Got back from our trip yesterday.... am ready to go back already! We absolutely loved it and had a fantastic time.
Day one was the drive there. We got there in the evening. Didnt do much besides go find the cabin and settle in. We rented this place and it was WONDERFUL!
Day two I got up super early to see the sunrise... too cloudy to actually see it though. It was nice to hang out on one of the porches in the peace and quiet before anyone else got up. Once everyone else was up, we went and found the Pancake Pantry (after suggestions here) and had a yummy breakfast. I has the sugar & spice pancakes, my stepdad had buckwheat, my teen had chocolate chip and my 6 year old had m&m (it came with peanut butter syrup. She did not like it but her brother did). Then we wondered around the shps in that general area. The little village of shops next door was decorated for Easter so we took pics too. We walked down the strip a bit and then went down the other side before getting heading back to the car. We stopped in the parks visitor center there and spent some time looking around at the books, maps etc. Stopped at Food City on the way back to the cabin and got groceries. Had burgers etc for dinner at the cabin that night.
Day three: Up defore dawn to go to the Easter sunrise servce at Ober Gatlingburg. Got to ride the tram up the where the services took place. This was an amazing experience and I got some AWESOME pics. Ate breakfast at Ober Gatlinburg then headed back to the cabin for a nap/relaxation. Later in the day, we went to the Smoky Mtn Stables and went on an hour hourseback ride. This was really cool. My daughter was absiltely THRILLED to be riding a horse. Afterwards, he went into the Smokies and visited the Sugarland visitors Center and also did the short hike to the waterfall nearby. Had dinner at Bennett's before headng back to the cabin. Got in the jacuzzi for a little bit too.
Day four: This as supposed to be the worst day weatherwise but it was pretty nice! We hung out at the cabin and ate breakfast before heading to the aquarium. We spent several hours there and had a very ejoyable time. Had lunch there and then headed to the Old Mill. Did some shopping at the various stores and then had dinner at the restaurant there. Yum, that was a fabulous meal! I had the grilled porkchops (only ate one of the three! they served but my son finshed them back at the cabin), my stepdad had the meatloaf, my daughter chicken and dumplings and my son had grilled shrimp.
Day five: After breakfast we headed out to the see the Arts and Crafts Loop. Spent a good chunk of time visiting many places. Had lunch at the Wild Plum (two thumbs up). When we finished with the loop, we headed back into the parks to do some more sight seeing. It was cooler and drizzly so we didnt do much hiking but rather saw a lot fromthe car and stopped several times for quick looks. Went as far as Newfoundland Gap and then back again. Headed back to the cabin to enjoy the last night and a fire in the fireplace before leaving first thing the following morning.
I took about 7164217542154 pictures. Everyone enjoyed the trip and I know we're going to be planning another trip in the future. Thanks again for all the suggestions from folks here!