Chris’s family has been going up to Gatlinburg after Christmas for years. I am so happy to be a part of their traditions! We always have a ton of fun, and this trip was no exception! The first half of the week was hot as shit. It was 85 degrees on Sunday when we got up there and I was sweating my ass off. By Thursday it cooled down a lot and we were wearing our heavy winter jackets. We didn’t see any snow, but besides that…I can’t complain.
To counter all of the food and beverages that were consumed, my sister in law and I made a pact that we had to hit at least 10,000 steps on our Fitbits each day. To make this happen, we did some running around the pool table in the loft and around the drive way in the evenings. Our family thinks we are officially nuts, but we did it! We got in at least 10,000 steps each day!
We ate at the Alamo three times while we were up there. The first time was for lunch right when we got there and I had the baked potato soup and wedge salad. I don’t have pictures from the other two visits but the second time I had the filet and baked potato and the third time I ordered the Black and Blue Blackened Filet Salad and crab dip. Each time was delicious and this is one of our must stops when we are there.
We also have to hit up No Way Jose’s downtown! The restaurant sits on the river and we usually sit in the 21 and up section so we have the views and less noise. We always get queso and I ordered the Javier Favorite which was beef enchiladas.
Our TGIFridays closed here in Birmingham several years ago, and we just love their Jack Daniels chicken appetizer and a few other things so we were sure to stop there! My SIL ordered the Ahi Tuna Crisps on the app menu and those were amazing too!
The best hot chocolate in the world can be found at The Donut Friar.
There is a retro video game store called Control Freak that is located in Pigeon Forge. They moved locations since the last time we were up there and we stumbled across an amazing boutique and the Blue Moose while we were there! We grabbed some Blue Cheese Chips and the nachos and snacked while watching the Auburn game. Chris ordered an 8 Bit Pale Ale to stick with the gaming theme.
The Apple Barn is one of my top choices to eat and I didn’t get any pictures of the food or store….but it is tradition to take a picture in the gazebo there each year! I usually order the soup and a veggie plate which includes their chicken and dumplings. After, we walked around the store and picked up a jar of their apple butter and I introduced my brother in law to the Apple Freeze drink. Not to be missed!!! Trust me on this!
Get Your Drink On
Of course, what is vacation if you don’t partake in some adult beverages?! We visited the Smokey Mountain Brewery, which was probably the worst beer I have ever tasted. Other than that, everywhere else was wonderful!
We hit up the Mellow Mushroom both at The Island in Pigeon Forge and the one in downtown Gatlinburg for some great draught beer!
And of course, when in Tennessee…you must drink Moonshine! The Ole Smokey Distillery offers free moonshine tastings and each year we are up there, I prove to be the cheapest drunk around. That’s right, this free tasting consists of about 12 different shines and by the time we are done trying each of them…I am usually pretty damn buzzed. For free! They have really cool flavors like apple pie, blackberry, maple, hunch punch, etc. Plus they give you a cherry that was soaked in shine.
WALK AROUND DOWNTOWN
One of my favorite things to do is to walk around downtown Gatlinburg and check out all the shops! We always stop at the Space Needle arcade and Fannie Farkles too!
Another favorite area of mine to visit is The Island in Pigeon Forge. There are so many cool shops to walk around in, a super cool magic store, an awesome arcade, and a beautiful Ferris Wheel and water show!
Mini Golf and the Mirror Maze
There are mini golf and mirror mazes around every corner in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The best put put is at the Magic Quest though because it is inside black light golf!!! I got a hole-in-one on the last hole!!!
The Alpine Coaster
I hate heights. I hate roller coasters. I am basically chicken shit. So when I was talked in to the Alpine Coaster, it was a pretty big deal. No matter that my five year old nephew was excited and not scared at all to ride this thing but I was shaking with an elevated heart rate while we were standing in line to board. I figured YOLO and went along with it. But look at this thing!!!
I made Chris take a selfie with me while we were waiting. You know…in case it was my last picture ever because I might die. I willed Gracie to my sister and my MK purses to my SIL.
Each night we come back to the house and hang out with each other. Of course, there are always Mario Kart competitions each year. I am sure you aren’t surprised that we tote the game system and projector up there to play! I also got to spend some time with my 3DS, something I rarely do anymore.
I had such an amazing time, as I always do. It is so special to get to spend so much uninterrupted time with our family. We always create so many memories and look forward to the trip next year.
As for me, it is back to reality today. I took yesterday off to pick up the dogs from boarding, grocery shop, meet up with my sister to get our mail she had been collecting and sit around waiting on the Charter guys to hook us up with some faster internet. Hurrah! I started Whole 30 yesterday and still alive to talk about it this morning. So far, so good. Though I have a feeling I will be a cranky bitch by lunch.