Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cherokee Play Day with the Kids

Cherokee Play Day with the Kids 

Saturday August 1, 2015

Kenny & Dana Koogler
Michael Lindsey age 6
Tessa Lindsey age 23 months
    We had been talking about taking the kids over to Cherokee for awhile to play.
We wanted to all have the experience of playing in River Park together in the Luftee.
We wanted to shop and experience the Cherokee culture and dances together.   We finally
got our chance last Saturday.   Crystal and Adam both had to work so we had the children
with us.  We made the long drive over without any problems. Michael travels very well at
his age and Tessa slept which helped.
     Our plans did not go off without some adjustments.   We ended up modifying the plans 
a number of times, but it was a fun day and a learning day for all of us.   We ended up stopping and eating a buffett lunch at the Newfound Lodge Restaurant in Cherokee.  It was very good.
It was exactly where we needed to be.   Michael had expressed some concern to be about meeting Indians. He was worried.   A sweet, smiling lady stood there and greeted us as we 
came to our table.   I grinned at her and asked her to come over to me.  She did and I put my arm around her and looked at Michael.  I said to her "Tell him what you are?"  She obliged me by hugging me back and telling him "I'm an Indian." He dissolved in a smile and I said to him
"See, I told you Indians are just people."  She was the perfect ambassador. She took a moment
to speak to us and to even share that her own grandson, a native child, was afraid of the warriors in their garb.   She explained that she got him over that by having one of the warriors 
at Powwow remove some of his regalia and show the child he was just a man.   The staff there
was warm, welcoming and the food good and prices reasonable.  Both kids ate wonderfully!

    We stopped next at the first native dancers place on the right heading in.  
We sat and enjoyed several dances. They are free, but they accept donations and this is how they get payed. Stop in and make certain to donate generously. It was great fun and I can't wait to get the chance to return and do this again.     
Below are a couple videos of the dances. 

There is more to this dancing than meets the eye and it looks hard!

      It was hot and the baby was getting flushed red so we moved on.  They did not want native american toys in the store.  I wanted them to get headdresses and drums and tomahawks so we could play Scalp Custer, but they did not go for it.   Maybe another time.

            We were burning up so we progressed on to the Luftee and River park.
We found a place to park. It was crowded on account of a Trout Derby.  We changed and got in the river fast to cool off.    We splashed. We played. We visited other nice families and the kids played with other kids. They shared their toys and were wonderful.   We caught minnows and one huge crawdaddy!    Tessa drank water slurping it right out of the Luftee.  Fish heads and feet and butts and all.  She is alive yet!    I did not take any photos of this part as we were busy playing.

 Michael dressed in Aunt Boo's leopard print garb. It incites War in the Black Devil, Diesel. 
Tessa playing with the Leap Pad and singing.

Three photos above are still shots from the Hoop Dance. It was very beautiful and complicated!
I should have videotaped it, but I did not want to miss it by fooling with the camera settings.

    Last we stopped by the visitor center at Occonaluftee and purchased each child a toy of their choosing.   Michael picked an owl which he named Red Hawk.  Tessa picked a black bear which she has not named, but hugs a lot.   She wanted key chains, but since she is still tiny and puts things in her mouth we refused to do it.  She got so excited about the key chains she had to have a diaper change.   She looked up at me and told me she pooped!   Shew-wee! is what she says about that.

         We headed home tired but happy.  The kids slept pretty much all the way home.
We wore them out! 


  1. None of the kids wanted a rubber tomahawk??

  2. I know, right? I wanted all of it myself. I am incorrigible. I still run around the house teaching them to war whoop and such. They think I am crazy. :-)


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