Smoky Mountain Spring Break---Finished!
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Love the scenery pics, what awesome views! Cool cabin too. I also got a kick out of the heart shaped tub.
And a Hatfield and McCoy's Dinner Show restaurant. I didn't know that existed. Too funny.
I don't see mountains much so I am loving your report so far!
I looked into the Dinner Show, but things are very expensive down there, especially with 6 people and the make-up of our group.
Originally Posted by Principessa_di_Fata
Wow that looks beautiful! That's only 6.5 hours from us... I really need to get out there, I swear... this is so selling me! Looking forward to more!
Originally Posted by lauriep
The resort, your cabin and the scenery all look absolutely wonderful! What a great getaway-- family and a vacation spot all in one.
It's so close to us! Without the pit-stop at my aunts' it would be about a 7 hour drive from my driveway to theirs, especially now that we know where we're going.
Originally Posted by carters_mom
We saw the exact same Cross on our way down a couple of weeks ago, I definitely noticed it's strategic placement next to the bookstore!
Your photos are great! Can't wait for more!
Thanks!! I saw another one too, but I don't remember where it is. They are everywhere. There's one near Effingham, IL too.
Originally Posted by chezp
What a stunning cabin - I love it! And I'm fascinated by the sights you saw on the way, as it's a part of the States I'm not familiar with at all.
I thought several times how much you and Mark would like it there.
I am so glad now that I booked it ages ago. Even questioning myself and saying "i can't believe i'm going someplace besides Disney" I still enjoyed it.........but this is a year of that.
Originally Posted by Tigger1221
Very pretty pics! Sounds like you had a lot of fun. Can't wait to read a bit more!
We are early to bed, early to rise people, even on vacation. I woke up by 5am and my Mom and Aunt were already up and had coffee brewed!
We didn’t really have any kind of plans this trip, so today we decided to head into Gatlinburg and check out the strip. We parked in the first lot we came to, which is the cheapest at $5 for the day. We walked a bit up the road and saw the Ripleys Aquarium. I asked if they wanted to go in and they said “sure” so we did.
Us with the Little Pigeon River behind us. I had no idea I cocked my head like a pigeon.
Aunt Joyce, me, Mom, Mikey and Gabby.
Little Pigeon River
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
I love how Rays always seem to be smiling.
The kids loved doing this, even though they were a bit too tall. If Mikey looks cross-eyed it's because he just bonked his head.
I had an amazing experience here. I was standing there and all of a sudden a Ray eyed me, swam along the glass and parked himself in front of me. Here comes my buddy:
He didn’t move until long after I did.
The penguins were really cute
We then walked across the little road and into one of the malls. Mom bought a pair of orthotics and they immediately started helping her out! I wish I had the extra $200 and I would have bought me a pair. I sometimes still need a little bit of extra help on my foot, but nothing like I used to before surgeries. Except today. Silly me put on sandals instead of tennis shoes. I didn’t make that mistake the rest of the week.
After the little shopping and aquarium, we walked back towards the car and decided to sit on a bench at Hard Rock Café, taking things in and trying to figure out what to do. I asked everyone if they were hungry and while we weren’t starving we could eat, so that’s what we did!!
Tommy Lee wore this
The one thing Josh wanted to do if he went with us was eat here. So we did it for him. I think it was destiny that we were put in a booth near Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith memorabilia. LZ is Josh's favorite band and Aerosmith is mine.(you thought I'd say the beatles!)
Mom and Joyce shared this appetizer combo as their meal
Gabby and Michael share the nacho appetizer
I had the Red, White and Blue burger. Buffalo wings hot sauce, blue cheese and an onion ring. Fantastic combination. I didn't share with anyone.
Ben had a pulled pork sandwich, but I neglected to get a picture of it.
We headed back up the mountain, taking a wrong turn again but we were quickly on our way. Rested in the cabin the rest of the day, which was great because of my foot/ankle due to those sandals.
Tonight we had steak, potatoes, sautéed asparagus, a green salad and cheesecake. Just when Aunt Joyce put the steaks on, an ugly dirty cloud went over and poured rain. The steaks got done, which of course it doesn’t take long to cook medium rare, but the potato packets didn’t, so we nuked them.
I went to bed fairly early again and lay with my foot propped up on a pillow all night.
Unsurprisingly because I went to be early, I woke up early. Well, not incredibly early, but I was up, dressed with shoes on by 6:30am. Putting my shoes on before I went up the steps probably saved my foot and kept it from ruining my vacation.
A cloudy sunrise:
We had coffee and then headed to the Pancake Pantry and Space Needle. We parked closer to the Space Needle($8 for the day) and had a good walk to the restaurant. We were at the Pancake Pantry---the first pancake restaurant in Tennessee--- before 8:00am and even then we had a little bit of a wait! Ben and I had blueberry pancakes, Gabby had the Zippidy Doo Da—banana stuffed pancakes topped with strawberries and bananas, Michael had the Child’s Special.
When we left, the line was out the door. We walked to the adjacent Village which is 27 shops. Very neat little area and I wished we were there after it opened. We did go into one shop that sold belts and boots and the owner built our resort!!! That was really kind of cool to talk to him. When the economy tanked, the construction stopped and he went back to the job he did as a kid, selling boots.
Mini golf on the way to Pancake Pantry
In The Village
Gabby moving a very large ball
There is so much to look at on the Parkway that you nearly break your neck. This is something my older two would have liked
When we had spent enough time that we could head to the Space Needle we walked back past the Pancake Pantry and the line snaked around the side of the building!! No doubt it was a good ½ hour to hour wait by then. So glad I told the family we needed to be there early!
Back at the Space Needle, we had about a 15 minute wait for them to open. That’s all right because there were benches and we people watched. The FFA convention was in town so we watched a bunch of teenagers going around. You know what? Best group of teenagers I have ever seen. Every one we talked to were very polite and they represented the organization really well.
From the bench:
At 10am, Arcadia and the Space Needle opened up. I had already bought our tickets ahead--$31 and change for 2 adults, 2 seniors, and 2 kids. We went up 400ft in a glass elevator. I loved this part. This is what we saw when we arrived:
Aunt Joyce and Mom
“I took a picture of Wendy taking a picture of me”
My favorite photo:
The Sky Lift. This is $13 per person round trip. No, we didn't do this.
Mikey checking out the Sky Lift
My car in the parking lot from Ben’s camera
My camera on full zoom:
Where you see civilization end and lots of trees is the road into the Park
We could stay up as long as we wanted, and the elevator ran every 4 minutes, but we stayed 10-15minutes. Maybe more.
Because the kids had been pretty darn good so far, we stopped down below.
Ben and I spent $20 in tokens in the arcade(Arcadia). It was a really good deal at 100 tokens for $20. You only got 40 with $10.
Mom and aunt Joyce walked back towards the shops while we played a bunch of games. The kids ended up with just over 1400 tickets. They picked out a whoopee cushion each and candy. LOL They had an absolute ball.
We decided since the entrance to the Smoky Mountain National Park was right there, we went in. Went to the Sugarlands visitor center and then up Newfound Gap. I did not take very many pictures up in the park. I was busy concentrating…..
One lookout we stopped at:
Pretty sure this is one of the peaks we see from our balconies
Back in Gatlinburg
After fifteen miles of curves and we were near the top I asked Ben to turn around so we could head back down. I had had enough. I can’t explain it. I don’t get super nauseous, but it affects my head too and this girl cannot sleep in a vehicle, ever. Fortunately, everyone else had said they were good to go too, especially Mikey and Gabby who DO get motion-sick.
It was pretty and I am glad we did it, but I don’t have to rush back to do it again without taking something.
We got back and while we weren’t starving we grabbed some snacks and enjoyed the view. Then the storms started, just when we were talking about dinner. LOL We were smart tonight and had planned on cooking in the oven anyway. Dinner was hamburger steak hobos with carrots, potatoes and onions.
Mom enjoying the view:
Trying to get her phone out, notice how hard she is concentrating:
Today was my friend’s birthday so I sent her a quick text and told her she should have come with me. I knew I didn’t want to do a single thing today, I think I will still feeling the effects of the mountain drive from the day before. I did however encourage Ben, Mom and Aunt Joyce to go do the Ober aerial tramway that they wanted to do. They also went into the Smoky Distillery and brought me back some Moonshine………..lets just say that I will probably use it to thin paint.
From the Ober Aerial Tramway
Tramways are too high up and only hold on to these too thin wires for me.
Old Smoky Distillery
We were smart this afternoon and Joyce grilled pork chops early and then we just heated them up for supper. Wouldn’t you know, there was no rain today! LOL Ben and I walked up the hill and took pictures of the view from up there. That hill was STEEP. What a good workout.
Getting the grill ready:
Walking up towards the big cabins. These are HUGE!
This is Little Cherokee. I highly recommend this one. The views are even more amazing than mine. But I didn't think the views warranted the $45 more a night it would have cost.
Our neighbors on the left were from New Orleans. Someone had a DS in there because my kids connected to them via Streetpass. I know, I'm talking gibberish unless you know what I mean.
Okay, can you tell that I got a kick out of having my mom and aunt with us?? We had so much fun!!
The view from Little Cherokee
One of the selling points for this cabin was the single step up into it.......
We are at the end of our trip already, and will only have 1 more installment
Thursday April 5, 2012
Check out is before 10am but we were on the road before 7am. We were all ready to get home, get in our own beds. We stopped at Shoneys for the breakfast buffet. We had excellent traffic and travel on the way to aunt Joyce’s. We stopped once before the state line at a Stuckeys and I picked up some fudge.
We dropped Aunt Joyce off and made the long trek home. I wanted to go the “old” way, down the big hill at Halls Gap, through Stanford where we had lunch at Pizza Hut, past Harrodsburg and then up through Frankfort and on to US 421.
I had forgotten how twisty 421 is and said “we don’t have to go this way again”. LOL
As we came back into Indiana the Madison Milton bridge.
(Madison, IN and Milton, KY)
And the Ohio River:
We were on the road this day for about 12 hours, with all the stops we made. I was so glad to get home and see Josh and Carlee. They had a great time with the youth getting the church camp ready. It was weird not vacationing with them at all, but our family is changing and they are growing up.