This is Stone Mountain State Park, where the girls went today after a sleepover with friends. I was all primed for photos of their great time and they get home and inform me they left the camera in our car when they took their suitcases to our friend's car. I am SO disappointed! My friend said she would email me some photos but it won't be this great new experience from their point of view. The Flip video camera was in the same camera pouch so no videos of their fun with their friend Sarah either. Heavy sigh.
I took Lily to Stone Mountain when she was about 4-1/2 or close to 5. She loved Thomas the Tank Engine with a passion, so I thought I would take her and ride the train. Well I don't drive downtown Atlanta much and got lost and we took a tour of several highways. When we got there it turned out to be a holiday - I don't get any holidays off so the more minor ones I forget sometimes, and I had not realized it was Memorial Day. We got there with most of the day gone, and it was crowded beyond belief with a 2-1/2-hour wait to ride the train, so we didn't. The petting zoo I had built her up about was closed. We rode the riverboat and she was terrified and clung to me. The seats were full and I had to hold this heavy child for a long time while a row full of "gentlemen" watched me struggle. We went to the plantation house - such a thrill for a 4-year-old! NOT!
So I was excited about them getting to ride the tram up the mountain and walk down. They rode the cool train. They saw a 4D movie of the Polar Express but only 20 minutes long. They went to the petting zoo and the plantation house and went in some kind of barn where you shoot balls at each other. They had all sorts of fun but I have nothing to show for it. One more gusty sigh and a loud groan.
Simple Mom is giving away a gift certificate to Lisa Leonard, who makes beautiful hand-hammered silver jewelry, most of which is customized. I am longing to win the cute Chinese lantern necklace. I have all of one necklace and this one would be special as I could wear it for life and then Lily and Jing could each take their charm to wear. (Not to be morbid or anything!) Head on over and leave a comment on the blog for a chance to win the gift certificate!
The girls and I visited Old Town Morrow just past sunset - passing the No Trespassing signs to take a peek. A gentleman trespassing before us said they didn't seem to mind so we went on in and were met with cold stares, so we quickly left! This is a little pedestrian shopping and dining community being created across from the mall near us. There is a streetfront made of new buildings that look old and several old houses repurposed into a pub and boutique shops.
It was hard to resist the wooden bridge leading to the town and the sight of the old houses taken from the local area and fixed up to be new again. One of them I had sadly lamented when it was removed from a property near us - I thought torn down - to make a strip mall. I was so happy to see it freshly painted and covered in lights. I LOVE old houses and if I were wealthy we would be living in something at least 100 years old! We can't wait until it opens and we can visit without worrying about the security guards from the mall across the street booking us for trespassing!
It's THAT week of the year! Pack a shoebox or two and take it to the nearest pickup location. Our favorite restaurant, Chick-fil-A, is accepting boxes this year AND giving away a free Chick-fil-A sandwich if you bring a box. It's a great way to give back and make Christmas a little better for children across the world who may not have as much as we do. My girls had so much fun picking out toys to put inside our boxes - you can choose boy or girl and different age ranges. We chose girls 5-9, and their AWANA class at church is filling boxes for 10-14-year-old girls, so they took some things for that too. You can find info at samaritanspurse.org on how to send your boxes - they must be done by 11/23!