Monday, May 04, 2009

Stone Mountain - April 2009

Stone Mountain, GA, the largest piece of exposed granite in the world and quite well known in the southeast, and we are privileged to live only about 10 minutes away. Stone Mountain is one of the few things I remember about living in Atlanta as a very young child. We don't go as often as perhaps we should, living so close, but that may change. One of the most popular things to do there is to see the Laser Show. We actually took Luke to see it last year in June on a day when he had an unusually long nap. He was still pretty tired when it started, and it took us nearly 2 hours to get home after it was over (remember, we live 10 minutes away!). He really enjoyed the Laser Show, so we hated not to take him again, but it was such a hassle.

Then my husband had a brilliant idea: why not get a room at the Stone Mountain Inn, which is literally right across the street from the green where you watch the show? We stayed there for our first or second anniversary (I can't remember now), and we really enjoyed it. We had a picnic and saw the Laser Show and July 4th fireworks. It somehow seemed appropriate to take our son for a similar experience. He has been to Stone Mountain park, but never to the top of the mountain. I also realized he had never been on a picnic. I think it is time to fix all of that.

I can't take any credit for the muffin tin idea; I got it from someone else's blog, but I loved it. Luke thought it was all kinds of fun until he realized there were bugs outside, and in his defense, the ants were longer than a centimeter (nearly half an inch). We decided to try and have a little outdoor fun as well, like blowing bubbles.

Okay, so trying to blow bubbles. I don't think he ever got a single bubble blown from the wand, but he had fun trying, and I got some great pictures. Then we switched to the beach ball, something he had never seen before.

Of course, deflating it was nearly as much fun as playing with it.

And sometime during all of this, our shady picnic spot became not so shady.

But it was gradual, so I didn't really notice, and I ended up sunburned on my legs (put it on my face, neck, and arms, but not my legs). I wasn't that red, and I thankfully didn't peel, but it hurt for a couple of days. Then it was time to scale the mountain. He wasn't too sure about going up in the gondola:

But once he got to the top, he *loved* it!

I found another one of these, which I think is pretty cool.

And this was my best attempt at an artsy shot. Not too bad, I don't think, and I wasn't even looking at the screen!

Then we checked into the hotel. Our room was cavernous! I tried to capture it in a picture, but you still don't quite grasp how huge this room is. I would guess at least 20x30 (feet). Luke thought it was wonderful. So much open room to play! LOL

Back across the street to the green to claim a spot. I took pictures while we waited.

Luke and I each got a treat while we waited: he got a light sword (which really is pretty cool; it can be blue, green, or red (Jedi fans know why that is awesome), or a combination of the three):

And I got a funnel cake, which eluded me more than once while we were at Disney. If you ask either one of us, we will both tell you that we got the better prize! LOL I took a couple of photos during the show. This is the best one of the actual show (long exposures plus moving lasers equals mostly blurry pictures), and then one of Luke lit only by the light of the show. He was still fascinated.

We all greatly enjoyed the show, but we enjoyed walking across the street and going to bed instead of sitting in traffic for hours even more! We had hit our three primary targets for the weekend: picnic, mountain top, and laser show. So what to do on Sunday? How about knock off one of my 101 Things in 1001 Days list items?

Every time we saw or walked past the Duck Boats (right next to the parking lot we had parked in before checking in), Luke was *begging* to ride them. We promised him that if he behaved on Saturday, we would try to do it on Sunday. He kept up his part of the bargain, and we kept ours.

Children 9 and under have to wear a life jacket, per state law. I was afraid he would balk about it, since the adults weren't wearing them (ours were overhead), but he didn't. I think he would have done just about anything to ride. He was an expert quacker, with the help of Captain Bob, a.k.a. The Poet. Now, take careful note of the pictures above. See the relationship of the "splash" graphic to the ground? Here is a view over the side:

Just keep that in your mind. We drove around the mountain, and Luke seemed to be enjoying himself.

Then came splashdown, and suddenly it was the greatest thing ever!

This is a shot from the middle of the lake, looking back on where we entered. The kids actually got to steer while out there, but Luke didn't want to do it. And remember that splash picture I showed you, with ground clearly visible beneath? Check out the same splash, nearly covered by water:

Yes, it is an extremely odd feeling! But a good one. We had a great time, and Luke is already asking when we will go back. We'll see!

Currently feeling: quack quack


  1. Jennie Steadman-Revenue Management Stone Mountain Inn5/04/2009 3:22 PM

    I'm glad to see that you enjoyed your stay with us at Stone Mountain Inn! I have a Google alert set up so that anytime an item regarding the park or hotel hits the internet I get an e-mail. I enjoyed reading about your stay and your son's enjoyment of the park. Your family's experience is exactly what we are going for here in the park, right down to avoiding the traffic by staying at one of the two park Marriott's! Thanks for keeping us in mind and keep an eye out for our special summer promtions. We know that people are staying close to home this year and we have many special offers planned!

  2. Looks like a really fun trip. We have Duck boats here in WI at the Dells, and we've taken a few trips on them.

  3. Great pics! Looks like a great family mini-vacation. :)


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