I wanted to share these yesterday but unfortunately I was having some uploading problems but better late than never! Anyway! Friday morning we got up early and headed to Gatlinburg for a weekend full of fun! It was my first time there and it was like many other tourists area but in the gorgeous setting of the Smoky Mountains! And do I have some pictures for you!
Food on the road! My first time having Wendy’s breakfast and it was yummy!
It was rainy when we came into town Friday afternoon so we decided it was a good day to explore, shop and eat our way through town!
First we did a brief sweep through the aquarium…hello Mr. Shark.
Then we wandered through Ripley’s.
Not exactly sure what pose I was going for here?
Yes, it really takes a chair that big to hold all 5 siblings!
Everyone was hungry so we had some McD’s, my second fast food for the day, I did have some apple dippers with my french fries though! And Cory conquered a 20 pack of McNuggets, pink slime and all!
But not before being distracted by pretty flowers!
Look who didn’t miss out on National Doughnut Day after all! Thanks to the Donut Friar!
The girls and I headed back to the hotel for some rest and a donut sampling party!
I ate my samples outside on the balcony overlooking a flowing creek! Oh and the verdict was glazed cake donut!
After spending the early evening napping and then swimming in the indoor pool and hot tub we cleaned up and went out for a late dinner at Mellow Mushroom!
I was to0 eager to eat my pretzels and salad and forgot to take a photo but we got other fun pictures before leaving!
After filling our bellies it was totally logical to go be bounced around in the 3D Moving Theatre! Sometimes I forgot my camera had a flash, can you tell:)
Before heading back to the hotel for bed we also did the Mirror Maze, which would have been terrifying if I was alone!
We got up bright and early to go to Dollywood!
Dollywood doesn’t mess around, I rode some of the scariest rides I’ve ever been on including Mystery Mine!
Even Adventure Mountain, a huge ropes course, was far more nerve-racking than I thought it would be! Even thinking about it makes my hands sweat!
But Drew and I put on our brave faces when we met back with everyone else!
We took lots of silly pictures!
We watched a little country singing and dancing!
And had a southern lunch, biscuits and all, at Miss Lillian’s Chicken House.
Miss Lillian herself made an appearance and sang our table a song!
And more silly pictures!
The highlight of Dollywood was going on the Wild Eagle!
I mean check it out! It was amazing and so smooth!
We got back to our hotel, the Best Western Zoder’s Inn, later that afternoon and I couldn’t help myself…I had to explore the little creek that ran through the hotel buildings!
Dipping my toes in the chilly water!
Since my lazy siblings napped into the early evening I spent some time with my Dad and Liza by the pool! With my face glued to my phone apparently.
We went into Gatlinburg for dinner at a Shoney’s, a had a nice big veggie omelet! Did even more shopping…and then Tess and I watched Up! together.
Liza said a trip to Gatlinburg was not complete with a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and I was very excited because I’d never been on a “real hike” before. Well….let’s just say now I have.
The Jeep doing what Jeeps are supposed to do…
4 miles up… and 4 miles back is nothing for someone who’s run a marathon right! If only I knew…
Much of the hike followed rushing rivers and streams, which I could not get over! They are so pretty!
Look I found a little friend…
And a really big friend?!
Just keep hiking…
One of two really cool “bridges” we had to cross over!
A little over half way there…except the hardest part is yet to come!
Here is a sampling of the various terrain that made up the “trails” I hiked on….
Even steeper and winding rock staircases…
At this point I was hiking alone and wondered…where exactly is my path?
I saw the warning sign and knew I had made it!
The love birds.
Yay! Made it! Now….to get back down.
Although the inability to catch my breath, panting and dizziness wore off going downhill it was replaced by shaking knees, rolled ankles and the dirtying of my brand new running shoes!
Oh! And there was more bears. I would like to point out, neither bear photo is credited to me because both times I was to busy swiftly fleeing the area.
Wiped out and past due for some cold drinks and snacks!
The real refueling happened after we hit the road back home with a stop at Cracker Barrel!
Since my amazing brother took over all driving duties in our car I was free to fill the 4 hour ride back to Clarksville with silly text messages between myself and my 15-year-old Justin Beiber obsessed cousin..
Whew! What a weekend! I’m still recovering. I think I can officially say that an 8 mile hike that goes up 2,000 feet in elevation is in fact harder than a half marathon! Not quite up to par with the marathon though. Nonetheless my sore booty needs to get used to running again so I have a run scheduled this evening!
Questions for You!
Have you ever hiked?
What did you do this weekend?