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Unread 18 Oct 08, 07:18 PM  
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ariel2006
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Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Day 9

Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music
Day 9 ~ Stone Mountain Park

We were up at 8am, got showered and dressed and left just after 9.20am. Today was the last full day of our holiday and we would be spending it at Stone Mountain Park which was on the edge of Atlanta. It only took about 25 minutes to get there, as opposed to the 45-60 minutes we had been told, and we arrived there just before opening at 10am. We could see the big memorial carving on the side of the mountain from where we parked, it looked amazing and the mountain was so big.





We went and purchased our tickets, we got half off with our Dollywood season passes so it only cost about $14 each for all the attractions which was such good value. Stone Mountain is a park with a mixture of manmade attractions and miles of natural hiking trails around and up the mountain, a huge mountain made of stone with a memorial carving on one side. We decided to head first to the Great Locomotive Chase mini golf. We walked through Crossroads which was an area of shops, restaurants and food stalls, all themed like the old South with Frontier like buildings, water wheels, old fashioned signs and wanted posters and a big old steam train.





The mini golf was just behind the railway station with the mountain behind. There was only one other family already playing so we didnt feel rushed, although when we had finished it was starting to get really busy. The course was good, I got a hole in one again, this time the only one who did. I ended up coming third after Nick then Dad so didnt do too bad.













The steam train was leaving in about 10 minutes so we got a seat on it. The ride took us around the mountain and a man with a frontier accent told us all about the history of the steam trains in this area and their importance. We got some good views of the park and the mountain and saw all the mad people hiking around the trails. It was so hot today, it was hard walking around the park in that heat, let alone hiking miles around the park.



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Adventures of An Ex Cast-Member & Disney Virgin ~ Pre-trippie ;April-May 2008 ~ Villa, RPR, CSR (Trip Report); July/August 2006 ~ Port Orleans, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Miami; January 2005 ~ All Star Movies; July 1998 - I-Drive and Fort Lauderdale - 2 weeks; Trippies; Our Spooky DLP Celebration ~ Halloween 2008; Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Tennessee Adventure 2008
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Unread 18 Oct 08, 07:18 PM  
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By the time we got off the train it was just before 12pm and we were all hungry so we went to Miss Katie’s Sideboard Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was really cool, it was themed like an old fashioned house with old pictures and ornaments everywhere.







Our server was called Trout and she was dressed in a checked dress and apron. She brought us a plate of onion petals, fried pickles and sweet potato and cinnamon chips to share, all of which were really good. She took our order and then came back and hand threw some freshly baked rolls to us, straight from the oven. We saw Trout baking some more and then glazing them, they did this every 10 minutes or so before putting them in baskets and taking them to tables. For our mains Nick had Southern fried chicken with home baked fries and corn, I had southern fried chicken with home baked fries and coleslaw, Sophie had chicken tenders with home baked fries and coleslaw, Paul had southern fried catfish with fries and mac and cheese and Mum had a meatloaf sandwich with mash and gravy. All was very good but very filling.
Sorry no food pictures but I did get one of them baking the rolls


After lunch we went over to the ariel tramway station where we waited about 10 minutes before riding up to the top of the mountain. We were at the front and it was great as we rode to the top, the final bit where we went over the top of the mountain was great fun.







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Adventures of An Ex Cast-Member & Disney Virgin ~ Pre-trippie ;April-May 2008 ~ Villa, RPR, CSR (Trip Report); July/August 2006 ~ Port Orleans, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Miami; January 2005 ~ All Star Movies; July 1998 - I-Drive and Fort Lauderdale - 2 weeks; Trippies; Our Spooky DLP Celebration ~ Halloween 2008; Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Tennessee Adventure 2008
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Unread 18 Oct 08, 07:19 PM  
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We got off and went to the observation deck on the left side of the station first, the view was amazing.







We then went out onto the mountain, it was really weird and had big craters everywhere, it was a bit like what I would expect the moon to be like. The views from everywhere were great, from the back end of the mountain we could see over to Atlanta, all the skyscrapers and then another mountain which was just visible in the distance. From the rest of the mountain we could see across various other areas of Atlanta and other areas of the park, it was so cool. We sat down for a while and took in the view, although there were loads of people up there it was kind of peaceful, and so, so hot, even the gentle wind didn’t cool us down.















After a while Mum, Dad and Sophie went off to walk back down the mountain, there was a 1.3 mile trail down one side which you can walk up and down. We passed however as it was so hot, and everyone who had walked up looked so tired and miserable, plus we wanted to see the views from the ariel tramway again. We got a few souvenirs in the little shop and then caught the tram down, the views again were amazing and we could see over to the parks marina.

You can see how busy Memorial Lawn was already for the 9.30pm lazer show
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Adventures of An Ex Cast-Member & Disney Virgin ~ Pre-trippie ;April-May 2008 ~ Villa, RPR, CSR (Trip Report); July/August 2006 ~ Port Orleans, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Miami; January 2005 ~ All Star Movies; July 1998 - I-Drive and Fort Lauderdale - 2 weeks; Trippies; Our Spooky DLP Celebration ~ Halloween 2008; Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Tennessee Adventure 2008
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Unread 18 Oct 08, 07:19 PM  
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Once at the bottom we walked over to the marina which was about a 10 minute walk. As we walked down there were people hiking through the woods and more and more cars entering the park, it was getting pretty busy. At the marina we went on the pedalo’s. The lake was split in 2 with the pedalo’s on one side and the big paddle steamer on the other. Around the lake were little trails, all of which looked really pretty and peaceful. We rode around on the pedalo for about 20 minutes, we got to see a couple of turtles which was cool and also had good views over to the mountain.





Once we had finished on the pedalo’s we got a frozen slushee each and sat on a bench outside whilst we waited for the others. They eventually arrived about 90 minutes later and we all went on the big paddle steamer boat. We sat at the back on the top deck and the boat went all around the lake, past the Stone Mountain golf course which Dad and Nick were eyeing up for our next visit, past the Stone Mountain campground which looked pretty cool, and past a little beach area. We also saw the Ride the Duck’s on the lake, they looked pretty cool. Unfortunately we didn’t realize you had to get the tickets for them when you get your park tickets, but we wouldn’t have really had time anyway so its another thing we would have to do next time.







We got back to the marina and Mum, Dad and Sophie went on the pedalo’s whilst Nick and I got some drinks and nacho’s to share and went and sat up on the bank. I wrote my diary so I wouldn’t have to do it as well as pack later and managed to finish it well before they did on the pedalo’s. By the time they came off the queue for the tram back to the main area of the park was huge so we decided to walk, which was pretty hard work up hill it that heat. We headed straight to Tall Tales 4D as we needed some air conditioning and didn’t have to wait long before the show started. It was a 4D film about a grandfather teaching his grandchildren to be able to tell tales and showing them about Southern life, it was pretty good. When it had finished Nick and I looked around Crossroads whilst the others went over to Sky Hike, an adventure kind of course made of ropes and bridges on different levels. Unfortunately we met them on the way to the toilet and they had passed on the Sky Hike as there was a 2 hour queue to do just one of the levels. The park had got so much busier since we had been at the marina, Crossroads was absolutely heaving with people with cool boxes and blankets and even quilts and pillows all heading over to Memorial lawn in front of the memorial carving. They went over to the Great Barn instead and Nick and I did some souvenir and gift shopping and then met them over there. The Great Barn was a big indoor play center with loads of balls that you collect and suck into tubes, it looked like great fun. Once Sophie had finished playng we went over to Honeybaked Ham Cafe in Crossroads for some tea. The queue was huge and took a good 20-30 minutes but there were loads of free tables so people were obviously getting it to take over to Memorial Lawn to eat whilst they waited. Nick and I got a Southern Philly sandwich, some sweet potato souffl and honey baked ham and potato soup to share, all which was pretty good. The sandwich had honeybaked ham, cheese, onions and peppers in and was delicious.
After tea we walked over to Memorial Lawn to get some seats for the lazer show. It was only 8pm and the show wasn’t until 9.30pm but the lawn was absolutely packed, there wasn’t a space in sight. Luckily I had read about reserved seating before the holiday and we had booked it in the morning when we got our tickets. We couldn’t see where it was however and ended up walking all the way to the top of the lawn which was quite a long way through all the people. We searched for someone to ask but couldn’t find anyone. That was our one criticism of the park, the direction signs were few and far between around the park and there was no-one around the busy lawn to ask where to go. We finally found out where to go and headed back down through the people to the Louisiana Terrace. All the toilets and food centres were absolutely heaving, it was crazy around the park, probably something to do with the fact it was Labour Day tomorrow. The Louisiana Terrace was on the right hand side of the lawn about half way down, there were lots of seats set up and the view of the memorial carving was great. There were a few seats left so we got the ones at the back as they had more room. We were given glow sticks and sat and listened to the music they were playing, there was a nice atmosphere around the park, everyone seemed so happy. What was annoying though was that people without tickets kept coming into the area and sitting on the bench behind us and the girl who was in charge was too busy on her phone to notice. She did tell one man it was just for people with tickets but he simply made some comment about there being other people there without tickets and moved out of her view, some people are very cheeky.
Some pre-show pictures, its quite dark so hard to see but the lawn was absolutely packed




At 9.30pm the show started, it started with some lazers and fireworks with music playing. The show was kind of in sections, the first had all different songs about the South like Sweet Home Alabama and The Devil Went Down To Georgia. The lazers projected all different images about the south including images of the sports teams, the Braves and Cubs got big, big cheers, again it was nice to be part of the atmosphere. The images projected would be lazer images and now and again proper picture images would be projected too. There was then a section with lots of lazers dancing around in different shapes with some techno type music. The next section had cows doing sketches from different movies set to music from the movie and renamed something to include some kind of cow pun. The movies included Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gone With The Wind and more (sorry cant remember the cow names). It was sponsored by Chick-fil-a which was kind of funny, we also saw a couple of adverts for it around Atlanta with the cows in too. The final section was about the army, navy, firefighters and doctors. The army got such huge cheers, as did the 9-11 firefighters, it was so patriotic but so lovely to see. The lazer images were projected next to picture images, flags and eagles were shown a lot too. Fireworks were also set off at points, particularly at the end. It was all so good and so lovely to see how patriotic everyone is, I love being part of it.





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Adventures of An Ex Cast-Member & Disney Virgin ~ Pre-trippie ;April-May 2008 ~ Villa, RPR, CSR (Trip Report); July/August 2006 ~ Port Orleans, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Miami; January 2005 ~ All Star Movies; July 1998 - I-Drive and Fort Lauderdale - 2 weeks; Trippies; Our Spooky DLP Celebration ~ Halloween 2008; Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Tennessee Adventure 2008
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Unread 18 Oct 08, 07:20 PM  
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We were quite worried about how long it was going to take us to get out of the lawn and then out of the park in the car but being right on the side we managed to get to our car pretty quickly and then straight out of the park and on to the highway. It didn’t take long to get back to the hotel but we had quite a lot to do once we got back. First Nick and I did online check in but it took forever to print out and we had to log out after each one due to the hotels printer having firewall on it. After that taking nearly an hour to do we then had to pack, which with the amount we had brought took forever. Finally just after 1am we finally got in to our extra comfy bed for our final sleep in the USA
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Adventures of An Ex Cast-Member & Disney Virgin ~ Pre-trippie ;April-May 2008 ~ Villa, RPR, CSR (Trip Report); July/August 2006 ~ Port Orleans, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Miami; January 2005 ~ All Star Movies; July 1998 - I-Drive and Fort Lauderdale - 2 weeks; Trippies; Our Spooky DLP Celebration ~ Halloween 2008; Cowboys, Chicken and Country Music ~ Tennessee Adventure 2008
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Unread 18 Oct 08, 07:56 PM  
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Wow packed last day ...pictures great as ever especially liked the one of Sophie walking over the mountain ... thx for sharing
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Unread 19 Oct 08, 09:50 AM  
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Sammie, I'm really sad that your trip reports are coming to an end.

Another action packed day with fantastic photos.
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Unread 19 Oct 08, 10:44 AM  
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Oh no! Last day! I've really enjoyed these trippies - thanks for posting
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