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Trip Report from last week

Toledo, Ohio
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Trip Report from last week

Day 1- We stopped at Five Oaks Outlet Center on the way in. There was quite a few nicer stores.We bought just a few things there before heading to lunch at Chick Fil A.

We then checked in to the MountainLoft Resort. It was decent. Friends of ours have a time share, and we purchase the days from them. The kitchen, bedroom and living space was pretty nice, but the floors in the kitchen and the entire bathroom area needed to be redone- okay, but not great. The views from the 5th floor balcony were fantastic though! It was great to have the washer and dryer. We did more laundry than I thought we would.

Once we got checked in to the resort, we headed to Laurel Falls to do an early evening hike up to the waterfall. Although the parking lot at the trail entrance was almost full, we found a spot and headed up with my 4 year old in her stroller. It was a bit tough pushing her stroller up and she had to get out and walk in a couple of spots, but doable. We saw a bear as we were coming down the trail- scary, but cool.

We ate dinner at The Hard Rock Café, which was good. Then we walked up and down the strip for a bit and bought some fudge for a bedtime snack.

Day 2- Drove to Cades Cove. It was a nice drive up to Cades Cove and around the loop. We hoped to see at least one bear, but didn’t see any, probably due at least partly to the fact that it was mid afternoon as we drove the loop. After that, we ate at Guarino’s pizza- it was very good pizza and breadsticks. Then we headed to Smoky Mountain Outdoors to go white water rafting on the Lower Pigeon River, which was a lot of fun- we would do that again. 4 year old loved it, as did 8 year old. He thought it was a bit boring, but I think the Upper River would have been too scary for him.

We then had a late dinner at No Way Jose’s Cantina in Gatlinburg. It was pretty good, not great though. After that, we played golf at Hillbilly Golf, which was a good time.

Day 3- This was a busy day, as we got up early to drive to Firefox Mountain to go zip lining. That was probably the best part of the trip- we zip lined on seven different lines. While we took turns ziplining, 4 year old played on a swingset, played some corn hole, and probably her favorite part- hung out with the four dogs and other animals on the property. Really nice property and friendly people. Great experience. 8 year old and husband were in a group with a 71 year old woman and 4 others. I was in a group with 2 couples. We liked this so much we considered doing it again, but decided not to because of the price.

After that, we had Olive Garden for lunch, and then went back to the resort for some swimming and relaxing in the hot tub.

We tried to use coupon for rock wall at NOC’s, but we were told it was only open on Fri and Sat. We went to dinner at the Blue Moose. Their wings were excellent.

Day 4- We went to Log Cabin Pancake House for breakfast, which was excellent! Then we went to Ober Gatlinburg- good time, but overpriced. Would not do on next trip.

That night, we tried Blaine’s for dinner. It was okay and the kids meals were overpriced- $7 for spaghetti and drink and another $7 for corndog and chocolate milk. They didn’t have Blue Moon on their beer list, but we found out as we were leaving that they did indeed have it. Fajitas were just okay. Would not eat there again.

The kids and I went to went to Ripley’s Aquarium, while husband went to Star Cars. The aquarium was great. We spent three hours there, popping up in the middle of the penguins, petting sting rays and crabs, and seeing all kinds of cool aquatic life. Husband liked the Stars Cars, too.

Day 5- After checking out of the resort, we headed to the Roaring Fork Motor Trail- beautiful drive, but didn’t see any bears. We made some stops along the way. That didn’t take long, so we then drove towards Townsend/Cades Cove. We drove as far as the split for Cades Cove and Townsend. There we stopped at a neat swimming hole with lots of rapids and rocks to cross. There was a group of people climbing the rocks above the river and jumping into the water below- not something we were going to try, but fun to watch. We went to the Cabin Café for lunch, which was a bit off the beaten path in Gatlinburg. We wanted to give it a try since it was rated as the #1 restaurant in Gatlinburg according to Trip Advisor. It was a quaint little cabin with only 6 tables. The sandwiches were very good.

Next, we drove to the NOC Outpost with the intention of letting the kids try the rock climbing wall. It was again closed; a worker informed us that it was open on Saturdays and Sundays. So again, we left and moved on.

We then went to the Ripley’s Mirror Maze- somewhat fun, but not worth the $23.00 that we payed…..but after the disappointment of no rock wall, we did this instead. Got some fudge before heading home.

Pigeon Forge...
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1. Re: Trip Report from last week

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Sounds like a fun, action packed trip! Also sounds like NOC needs to get their stuff together! Sorry you didn't get to do the rock wall there. Funny that you say that the Cabin Cafe was #1 restaurant in Gatlinburg. I've never even heard of it...lol

Thanks again for sharing your trip, sounds like your family had a great time! =)

Belleville
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2. Re: Trip Report from last week

I must admit that i do enjoy reading these trip reports. Glad you had a good time. Come on October!!!

missouri
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3. Re: Trip Report from last week

Yes great trip report!

I just checked out the Cabin rest. as well for the first time. Will try it.

I hear ya Killerkitty....."Come on OCT!!"

Edited: 21 August 2011, 18:57
paintsville ky
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4. Re: Trip Report from last week

loved to read your trip report it sounds like you had a great time. I'm so glad you gave your report on the places you ate at, cause we have been wanting to go to some of them so that really helps to know what you thought about them. I hate to waste money on a place then not enjoy it. we are planning a short trip in Oct. and can't wait.

Toledo, Ohio
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5. Re: Trip Report from last week

The Cabin Cafe was not what we expected, but it was good. Nothing super special but it was a cozy little place with very friendly folks. Sandwiches were really good. I had the Rueben and husband had the Club. kids had pb and j and nachos with cheese, tomato, etc.- nachos were excellent.

Louisville, Kentucky
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6. Re: Trip Report from last week

Great report. Where is the Cabin Cafe lcoated, as I have never heard of it either!

Belleville, Illinois
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7. Re: Trip Report from last week

Thanks for the report!

What kind of stroller did you use for Laurel Falls? We would like to try that in October but would also need to take a stroller.

Savannah, Georgia
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for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
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8. Re: Trip Report from last week

I've never heard of the Cabin Cafe, either. I may have to look that one up.

Thanks for a great report!

Toledo, Ohio
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9. Re: Trip Report from last week

The Cabin Cafe is at 600 Glades road in Gatlinburg (I think). I used to have a few different strollers, but since dd is 4 now, we got rid of all but one just this summer. The one I kept is the Maclaren Quest....not the best for trails, but worked fine. We did have her get out once and walk a little since it was really rocky. I also buckled her in which I never ever do. It's a bit scary because it is pretty steep is some places and I was worried my husband would hit a bump with the stroller and she would tumble out over the edge of the mountain....I don't like those steep spots.

paintsville ky
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10. Re: Trip Report from last week

it is a very steep upgrade the whole way up. I can't imagine pushing a stroller up that mountain,you must be in great shape. I did well to make it up myself and I thought I was in pretty good shape,I guess not .lol. I had to stop often and rest but it was all worth the trip, the falls was beautiful and I plan on hiking it again this Oct. When we went it was in the middle of June and around 100 outside so I guess that didn't help me either.

Edited: 23 August 2011, 03:43