Hubs and I along with my cousin and her boyfriend headed to the Smokey Mountains on Sunday. We have about a 5 hour drive and arrived in town about 4. We went directly to check in at the Red Roof Inn (Aquarium) in Gatlinburg. The hotel was a little more dated than I imagined but it was nice and nestled into the mountainside. We were starving so we headed down to Pigeon Forge to The Old Mill. My cousin was craving corn chowder and we had not eaten since 9 that morning. I cannot say enough good things about The Old Mill. I had the fried chicken (three huge chicken breasts) and Hubs had the ribs. The amount of food you get for the money is outrageous - salad, corn fritters, corn chowder, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Oh..and dessert! Yum!
Monday was Dollywood day so we got up early and headed to the Smokey Mountain Pancake House in Pigeon Forge. It was pretty good. I was not in the mood for pancakes so I got a bacon omelet. I'm not a huge breakfast fan but it was pretty good. We headed over to Patriot Park and took the trolley to Dollywood. We had a great day and my cousin got to ride Wild Eagle (I happily sat and waited on her). I was excited to be there during the Festival of Nations but was sad we didn't get to see any of the regular shows. We left Dollywood about 6. After a rest and showers, we headed to Bennett's Barbeque in Gatlinburg then walked the strip for a while. Bennett's pulled pork is sooo good! I wish their salad bar was included and I didn't have to pay extra for it but oh well. There are 10% off coupons in tons of tourist books.
Tuesday we had breakfast at the Shoney's next door to Dixie Stampede since we had to stop at DS and pick up our tickets for that night. Then we headed to Cades Cove. It was a nice pretty drive (that felt like it took forever). On the way back, we got caught up in traffic that turned out to be a bear sighting. The boys jumped out and got several pictures. Their main goal of the trip was then fulfilled. :-) It started raining on the way back and it took us over 2 hours to get out of the park and down River road back to our hotel. Crazy. We made a mad dash to get ready and we headed to Dixie Stampede. It was a lot of fun (as always).
Wednesday we didn't really have any real plans. We began the day at the Pancake Pantry. I have to say that even though it is an icon, I was not overly impressed. We then spent the day shopping and browsing. We had lunch at Best Italian in Gatlinburg. Great pizza! We visited the free Moonshine tastings and the boys shared fried oreos. We walked all the way back to the hotel and ended up taking naps (we were exhausted). We headed out for dinner about 8 and went to JT Hannahs. It was good except they were out of a lot of stuff...including their pretzels (they are amazing).
We headed home early on Thursday. We had a blast but were exhausted. Looking forward to our next trip!!