Time to go Home

25 05 2012

Day Nine:

It’s always my least favorite day of our trip and Chris’s most excited…The day we go home.  I’m usually dragging and sad.  He’s ready to get a move on!  He’s been away from his own TV and bed and basement for too long and he must scoot me out the door so we can get on the road as fast as possible.

So long my Home Away From Home!  Until next time!


Arts and Crafts Trail and Ober Gatlinburg

24 05 2012

Day Eight:

Whoa, we slept in until 8am this morning!  Can you believe it?  We had some hot tub time and then Baby Brother made some delicious coffee to help wake us up.  When we were ready to head into town, we took a scenic ride in this time.  There was a nice, cool breeze and it was such a pretty day!

We went into Gatlinburg and drove the Arts and Crafts Trail.  It was a nice day for it and saw many different shops.  Lunch was good on a patio settled in the middle of a strip of shops.  The day was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t ask to go back to the Trail.  I’d go if someone else wanted to try it, but it wasn’t my favorite.

Scott had wanted to experience Ober Gatlinburg on previous trips and it never did quite work out for him, so we headed down the strip to take him.  You can take a road to it, but we decided to ride the scary death trap up the mountain.  It wasn’t so terrible until it came to where the poles are.  You do this weird feeling dip thing.

There’s not much that interests us once we’re up there.  The website is much more interesting looking than the real thing.  We take Baby Brother to see the bears they have.  As you can see, those bears are not as fun as the ones we visit in Pigeon Forge.

We fart around at Ober Gatlinburg long enough and head back down to the strip to start the “What do you want for dinner?” game.  I feel bad about it, but we go back to the Pottery House.  I don’t regret the decision for myself cause I could eat it almost every day, but I feel bad for not taking them somewhere new. 

After a delicious dinner, we stop for some ice cream before heading back to the cabin.  I bought some taffy to bring back home, Chris has the most awful milkshake and Scott bought an inappropriate sucker for Daddy to enjoy.

Mmmm….Ice Cream

16 06 2011

Day Six:

     Part Three

After seeing the bears, I was ready for something sweet.  A tasty ice cream cone sounded delicious so we headed out to go ice cream exploring.  We first stopped at a 50’s style dinner, but they only had soft serve.  Chris then headed to a Marble Stone Creamery, but I wanted scoops in a cone.  His patience was thinning so I had to think quick!  “Cross the street to the Christmas Place!”  I knew we had gone there before and saw the ice cream I was craving.  It was so worth being picky.  It was terrific.  Yum, I could go for some now.

Chris got chocolate.  I got three different types – Strawberry, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a Raspberry Cheesecake.  That probably says a lot about our personalities.  haha

When we ate as much as we could, we headed back to the cabin.  I was excited because Scott was on his way and would arrive that night.  We sat in the hot tub and waited until he called to say he was close.  When he turned on the gravel road we could hear his car crunching its way to us.  Yay!  Baby brother!

Tickets and BBQ and Bears! Oh My

16 06 2011

Day Six

    Part Two

After our drive near the beautiful poop water, we drove to the other end of the strip to pick up the tickets for the show with Scott.  Fingers crossed that he likes it! 

We were then at an awkward time – it was too late for lunch/too early for dinner but we were hungry.  We stopped at Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que and had an awesome meal.  Chris even liked their BBQ chicken!  Chicken, folks, he liked a piece of chicken.  That’s gotta say something to how good the food was here.  I have to be honest that I loved their sides much more than their actually BBQ, but it was good.

We then decided to head over to the Three Bears General Store.  I’ve seen it many times as we’ve drove down the strip because it has a large yellow banner that says JESUS SAVES.  That’s what I usually call the place instead of its given name, but we had never been so we thought we’d check it out.

It appears from the outside that its multiple stores connected together, but in fact, it’s one large store inside with many areas for the special offers – Fudge, Air Brush, Christmas items, make your own bear, games, etc.  We spent some time browsing the store.  It’s a typical shopping experience for Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg – lots of stuff that’s borderline junk.

It was then time for the reason we stopped in.  The bears!  On the second floor, you can purchase a ticket to see the bears.  We were surprised by what we saw.  Hard to believe this area was here and we never knew it.  They had 5 bears and they were very entertaining.  We purchased small cups of fruit and snacks for the bears and tossed them down to them.  The bears would wait for the food and one would even hold his arms up like you would when you’re open while playing ball.  Too funny.

I’ve read a few posts on the internet with very harsh views on the Three Bears General Store, but I have to say that I thought it was a nice place for the bears.  They did not seem mal-nourished or in pain and I didn’t see anything different from I do when going to the zoo.  We had a good time and we’ll continue going and will continue telling others about it.

Please enjoy these pictures!  Chris’s dad said they weren’t really Tennessee bears, but I haven’t researched to confirm or deny that.

I think this little guy looks cuddly.

Chris likes to remind me of these claws when I start talking about how cute they are.

Beauty and the Feces

12 06 2011

Day Five:

Day five was a relaxing day spent at the cabin.  Hot tub time, naps, tv, more hot tub time, dinner cooked at the cabin and American Idol (against the wishes of Chris).

Day Six:

     Part One 

After our morning ritual – you know, get up early, get in the hot tub and get ready for town – we felt a little adventurous and took a road we’d never been down before and still ended up getting to the main strip in Pigeon Forge.  We then drove through part of the way between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg just to soak up the surroundings.  We pulled into one of the stops created on the road to get out of your car.  It was really beautiful that day.  Pretty trees, rushing water, blue skies and then…I saw the sign.  Let me just say Ewwww.

Chris thought I was crazy but I called this a Pixie Pond.


I took a picture of this tree because it looks like someone’s butt and legs!

Okay, here’s where it gets hilarious!  Yeah, you know all that pretty water that you stop to listen to?  The wonderful pictures you take?  The oohs and aahs while you drive?!?  It’s poop water! 

Honey, I Don’t Think This Is A Steakhouse

11 06 2011

Day Four:

     Part Two

After our helicopter ride, it was time to decide on dinner.  We headed to the Apple Barn area where we knew there were a few restaurants to choose from.  We had been to the main Apple Barn with my family in October, but we weren’t all that crazy about it.  The wait was hours, tables and people were crammed together, and the food was just okay.  I wanted to check out the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant this time. 

The menu looked promising so we went inside.  Chris stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the same outfits on the waitresses (strange farmhouse dresses) and the same crammed tables.  He really wasn’t feeling it that day so I told him we’d skip it and try out the steakhouse at the entrance.

I’m sure if I was with my girlfriends, either of these restaurants at the Apple Barn would be a wonderful experience.  I wasn’t with the girlfriends. 

Not being from around the area, we headed to Orvis at the entrance of the Apple Barn thinking we were going to a steakhouse.  It looked like a steakhouse.  It had a huge porch with rockers.  We assumed they were for hanging out while you waited on a table.  The advertisements were combined with the Apple Barn displays so we figured it was another restaurant in their cluster.

As we walked closer to the front door I said “Uh, Honey?  I don’t think this is a steakhouse.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t even a restaurant.”  Guess What!  It is certainly not a restaurant!  It’s an outdoor clothing store!  Orvis

Here’s a picture of another location that looks similar to the one in Pigeon Forge.  Clothing store?  I think not.

After the confusion and let down washed over us, we headed down the strip for another option for dinner.  It wasn’t a very pleasant quest.  I was hot and hungry and cranky.  We got a little snippy with each other and almost went to a number of places but ended up at a place near the outlet mall.  I was much, much better after I got a little hydrated. 

After dinner, we were done with town.  It was certainly time to find ourselves in the hot tub for the evening.

Up, Up and Away

10 06 2011

Day Four:

     Part One

This morning did not start out as we had planned.  You know, it’s not like we actually set an alarm, but we certainly didn’t expect to sleep in until 9am!  So we had to start with a quick dip in the hot tub before getting cleaned up and heading into town. 

It seemed like a nice day for a helicopter ride.  We had talked about taking one on prior trips but Chris was never really that interested.  Daddy and I took a helicopter ride the first time I was with my family in Gatlinburg so I never pushed Chris to do it.  I knew how expensive they were and you never really know how Chris will react to sticker shock!  haha 

For some reason, Chris was ready to take a ride so we went to check it out.  We settled on Scenic Helicopter Tours and took the Mountain Valley Tour.  Everyone at this company was terrific.  They were professional and quick and engaging. 

I tried to snap a picture of one of our pilots, but couldn’t do it without catching the attention of Chris.  He found me out though, while watching the video back he said “you were really trying to get a picture of that pilot, weren’t you?”  Whoops!  Caught red-handed.  Guess I should have asked the hunk-a-hunk-a-tanned pilot for a picture to put on my wall.  haha

It’s so neat to be up in that little vehicle in the sky!  It’s really something.  But I must say that a 15 minute ride at $80 a person goes by really fast.  Like, super fast.  We almost thought they took us on the wrong route when they told us we were heading back in for the landing.  That’s a lot of money for 15 minutes.  Do escorts even get paid that much?