Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Vacation...Gatlinburg

For the third year, my family has gotten a large cabin in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area and spent 3 nights together celebrating before my grandma's birthday. We have so much fun together!

Packed up and ready to go Thursday morning.

Family time Thursday evening at the cabin.

Spent Friday in downtown Gatlinburg

They are two of a kind!

Grandma watching the taffy

Family lunch at Hard Rock

It poured while we were in there.... so we took our time eating!

Loved all the time we got to spend with Emma.

Our beautiful view

The bear we saw Saturday morning going through the neighbors trash.

Headed to the waterfall.

This 1.2 mile hike to Grotto Falls was about ridiculous. More than we signed up for! haha

Our cabin

The downpour we got while freshening up at the cabin after the hike.
We ate at Bennett's BBQ in Pigeon Forge before going to the Comedy Barn

Karter LOVED the show!
He even went up on stage to 'dance.'

Cam met a movie star. This guy has been in movies like Brain Donors and Kindergarten Cop.

Annual Sky Fly

Another bear Sunday morning...

He put his paws up on my sister's Jeep.

A 2nd bear Sunday morning

Love these two : )

Most of our family ended up at the same rest stop on the way home
We had to burn off some energy!

This year, we felt as though the weekend just flew by! Our cabin was about 3 miles from downtown Gatlinburg (above the Alamo and Little House of Pancakes) and at the TOP of a very steep hill. The drive to it was the craziest of any we've been to. The first night we get there, we all do what shopping/exploring we want to do before going to the cabin to get settled and have a cookout. Cam and I drove about 30 minutes away to meet up with some of his family we'd not seen since our wedding! We had a really good time visiting.

We spent a lot of Friday in downtown Gatlinburg, shopping and exploring. That night we all got some bonding time in with Emma!

On Saturday, we woke up to a bear rummaging through the trash in our little neighborhood. It was a big bear and could get into the trash canisters without any problems! After breakfast, we packed up for a hike. We chose to go to Grotto Falls because it was close to where we were staying and listed only as 'moderate.' First off---The parking was crazy (we parked about a mile from the waterfall trail entrance) and then the hike was much more 'advanced' than we thought it was going to be. Taking a three year old on it was a bit much. We switched off carrying him a lot of the way because we were very afraid of him falling or tripping. It was almost guaranteed that your feet were going to get a little wet and things were very slippery! We were so tired once we got there (an hour or more after started--- and no, we didn't stop on the hike. It was a constant pace!) but we didn't pack lunch or anything because we totally underestimated the trek, so we had to take a few pictures, turn around and make the hike back down.... We were exhausted!
 Waterfalls won't be on the list for next year! haha 

After we showered and got ready again after our hike, Cam and I ran to the Christmas store. Oh my goodness. That place is massive....but it really didn't have the things we were looking for. I was very surprised that they didn't have any brown decoratons...none!...But we did get a few things for my tree this year--- peacock colors minus the brown! We also found a breast cancer yard flag that I had been wanting. It's so pretty!

The whole family ate at Bennett's BBQ and it was delicious! Most of us got BBQ pork or the Brisket. Everyone loved their meal and we had a 10% off coupon for dinner. Gotta love saving a little money at a time.

My mom had reserved tickets for the Comedy Barn for us and that was worth every penny. It is a family friendly show with all levels of comedy. We laughed a lot! If you've not been there, you should go! Some of us cousins do the Sky Fly every year and this was no exception! We just love it! And we had to squeeze in a little arcade time for Kart.

Sunday morning we got to see two more bears, although we think the bigger one was the same one we had seen Satuday. They are very tame and were walking right up to cabins and cars. In years past, we had signs in the cabins warning of bears but this was the first year we saw any! I walked out Sunday morning to load things into the car and there was a bear about 20 feet from our front door. My sister was loading her vehicle and made a run for the house.....but then we were all taking pictures of it like ding bats!

After all the excitement, we loaded our cars and headed out.
Cam, my sister, Karter and I headed back to the Christmas Store for my sister to look around and then had lunch at Popeye's before heading out. We though we were a long ways behind everyone else until we all ended up at the same rest stop!

We had a really good time and are already talking about next year!

                                                               The gang

 Until next time....

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