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Better Than Disney?


Today we were on a grand adventure.  We were in a land of enchantment and dreams and wonders.  My family and I set off early this morning to explore the joys of childhood amidst the twinkling sunlight.  We dressed ready to conquer worlds unseen by many…comfortable clothes and bottles of water…then we were on our way.

As we drove through the grand entrance, the landscaping was immaculate.  The foliage so green it was blinding.  The roars of the waters at times deafening and at times soothing.  The tree lined drives welcomed us with open branches ready to discover what they so expertly hid.  We had no idea how massive this park was!!!  There were 9 main features.  And we explored each and every one…and then some. We were not sure if our six year old son or our four year old daughter would be able to keep pace or take in all of the wonders.  But they did!!!  They never once complained and we couldn’t believe it.  We were also blessed to have my in-laws with us as well. (They never complained either 🙂 ~ but then again, they never do).

Our destination…Falls Creek Falls in Pikeville, TN.  It was beautiful and magical and a perfect adventure.  After our visit to the third waterfall, my son bounding with excitement exclaimed, “Mom!  This is BETTER THAN DISNEY!”  I could see the appreciation on the faces of the fellow adventurers.  I could not have been more proud of them than at that moment!  It WAS better than Disney.  I’ve always thought so.  Our many treks to the Metro Parks over the summer are evidence of that.  But this day, was perfect.  I could not have planned it better.  We left with the only agenda for the day was to get to the park and explore.  That’s it.

We walked down marked paths and unmarked paths, we sat above and below raging waterfalls and cascades, we walked across suspension bridges (one too many for my motion-sensitive self), we peered down into gulfs and gorges, we gazed upstream into glistening waters over smooth rocks.  It was perfect.

Now, I have to go back to my son for a moment.  I love him so much.  He has been diagnosed with ADHD and is often bundling with energy enough for all of us.  He was in the lead on every journey and soooooo careful.  Those of you who have heard tales of this fine fellow will know that he is a Navy Seal in the making.  Several things about today made me take pause.  As we crossed our first suspension bridge, he gently took his sister’s hand and said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you.  We’ll cross this bridge together, Sis and it will be fine.”  And off they went.  I watched as a couple intently watched this unfold.  As we reached the other side they were smiling at us.  I smiled back and said to them,”When did we stop approaching the world with such fearlessness?”  (BIG SMILE!)

As we moved on to our last stop, the cascades, my husband and I were huffing and puffing our way up the rock steps.  Our calves burning from today’s exertion.  At the top was our son, “Come on you guys.  You can do it.  There’s so much more in this world to see.”  There may very well be magic in Disney.  But the magic that unfolded today in the greatness of the natural beauty of the land and the hearts of my children can never be outdone by fantasy.  I simply cannot imagine a day so perfect as this one.