Tuesday, January 5, 2016

We'll Be Coming Round the Mountain...

Did my title make you sing the song?
It is now January 2016 & I'm just now blogging about our vacation that we took the first week of November.  I mean, it is SO last year...  Let's just hope my theme for this year isn't 'better late than never', though it sure is looking that way so far.  I will say this though- exactly one year ago today, my appendix decided to go crazy, so I'll take procrastination over hospitalization any day.

Anyway, back to our vacation.  We have pretty much perfected our annual trip to the mountains.  Every year it just keeps getting better and better.  My dad grew up in the Smoky Mountains, so it will always be near and dear to my soul & hopefully my children's too.  This trip will always mean more to me than the average Joe because of my sweet daddy and we were thrilled to have him join us this year.

  • We decided to stay in downtown Gatlinburg, instead of a cabin in Pigeon Forge on the side of a mountain.  This was very smart!  We were within walking distance of everything & it was half the price that we normally pay for a cabin (y'all know me and my good deals).  It didn't have the views we were use to, but we knew we would get those in Georgia, so we didn't mind.  Bear with me, there are a lot of pictures. No pun intended:)
  •  Just look at these cuties all excited to be on vacay
  • We started our days in Gatlinburg off right at The Pancake Pantry.  I can in no way describe the goodness of The Pancake Pantry.  It's amazing!
  • Not many things in life beat a bear shaped pancake with m&m's and powdered sugar- especially to a 3 year old!
  • Our first adventure was Ober Gatlinburg.  You take a tram up the mountain that has incredible views & at the top of the mountain is this "town."  It's minimal cost to ride the tram and your ticket is good for 2 days.  At the top there's a sky mountain roller coaster, alpine roller coaster, an ice rink, kiddie rides, ski lift, shops, an arcade, and a play ground.  There's so much room for activities.  
  • Name that movie.
  • We had to DRAG the kids away from this play ground.  My parents called when they were close by & we met up for supper at Cherokee Grill.  It's right across the street from Ober Gatlinburg & was so so good. Either we starved the kids or it was really good because they both ate Fried Calamari.  

  • The next day, we visited my Granny who lives in Maryville.  The 2 hour drive was so pretty & seeing Granny made my heart happy.  
  • We stopped by the Christmas Village in Pigeon Forge on our way back to the condo & while looking through my pictures, I noticed this one and it got me tickled.
  • Thank goodness dude didn't break the rules and lick the fence.  Though I will say the candy canes looked pretty enticing.
  • While the boys toured the Ripley's Believe it or Not, sister & I shopped.  She scored this pink umbrella, that is now hidden because she's obsessed with it.  Ralphie here will poke your eye out with it.

  • That evening I made the whole crew walk down to Mellow Mushroom.  I know, who goes to Gatlinburg & eats MM, but y'all it was so good.  Like the best pizza ever.  Plus you get to sit on the second story balcony and people watch.  Plus they have a margarita machine downstairs.
  • After pizza we loaded the kids up with ice cream because we're healthy like that.
  • Sister's got some nerve, here she is crying because she wanted yellow ice cream after she finished off her own.  If you personally know Annie June, then you are aware of her sweet tooth.  The amount of sugar the kid can ingest is downright impressive.
  • The next day, we went to the aquarium before we drove to Clayton, GA.  Believe me when I tell you it is incredible.  It's one of the top aquariums in the WORLD.  Daddy griped about the price, but once he saw it, he said over and over that it was worth every penny.  I promise you it does not disappoint.  
  • We spent our next two days at our cabin in Georgia with this view.
  • Relaxing and doing this...

  •  Pete & June joined our crazy crew in Georgia.  They are so much fun!!!We stayed in this same cabin last year and we will stay in it every year that we go in the future, God willing.  It is on the top of Tut's Mountain and it is good for the soul.
  • Rudy wants his ashes spread there.  Mom declared she also wanted her ashes spread there.  I declared that they were gonna ruin my happy place.  But seriously, I can't explain the love we all have for Tut's Mountain and this place.  
  • We had a great trip with lots of memories.  I will never forget my daddy rocking my babies on the porch in the mountains that he loves so much.  I cherish this time with my family and I'm so very thankful for them.

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