Gatlinburg, weekend shenanigans

Shenanigans in Gatlinburg

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.

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.

Blue Moose


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!

Apple Barn Gazebo

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.


Ole Smokey




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!


Space Needle



fannie farkle



The Island

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!



the island


c motor


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!!!


mini golf


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!!!

Alpine Coaster

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.

in line

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.

Yoshi's Island

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.

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  • Reply Andrea @ Living On Cloud Nine January 5, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Jam packed goodness my friend and I LOVE that this is a tradition and you focus on one another. Brings back great Gatlinburg memories for us, my husband does not like that Smokey Mtn Brewery either. I’m scared of heights too so I have never rode it, how was it? I love the pic of you mini golfing!! You look like “yes”!!! Hole in one? Hey today is Tuesday but it’s like a Monday for you so maybe it’s won’t be too bad!!! 😉

  • Reply Ralph Marion January 5, 2016 at 9:21 am

    It looks like I need to make a return to Gatlinburg sometime in the near future. I would love to do that Moonshine tasting. Plus those enchiladas looked really good.

  • Reply Biana @ Blovedboston January 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

    You guys did so much!! I’m loving the fair you went to – that looked like so much fun!! Side note – I really want to play some miniature golf right now! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply Rebecca Jo January 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I love posts on Gatlinburg – I’m always like, “Yep… uh-huh… been there… done that”
    LOVE Donut Friar… love that whole Village area.
    Yep – Alamo is fantastic…
    I love the video arcades there – even my mom gets into earning tickets at those things 🙂

  • Reply Amy January 5, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Wow! You got so many awesome pictures! Good blogger! And the food… I’m dying right now. I love me some moonshine. I need to plan a trip to Gatlinburg!

  • Reply laura January 5, 2016 at 10:24 am

    You guys did ALL THE THINGS!!! it looks so fun! props to you for getting on that roller coaster, because umm, hell to the no. You definitely can’t beat free moonshine!! And YAY for whole 30 — we got this shit.

  • Reply Pamela @ A Little Glitter January 5, 2016 at 11:49 am

    What a cool trip! I have never heard of Gatlinburg before!

  • Reply Jessica @ Pleas(e) & Carrots January 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve never heard of Gatlinburg but it looks like you had such an awesome time!!!

  • Reply Laura @ Life with Lolo January 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Holy smokes what a trip! So much good food and fun things to see! I’d like to blame your food pics on how hungry I am but I know it’s just the Whole30 and wanting a giant loaf of bread right now. We can do this though! Can’t wait to hear more about how yours is going 🙂

  • Reply Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders January 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    It sounds like you didn’t have a spare minute between all of the fun activities, adult beverages, and amazing food! Those blue cheese chips sound so amazing! That’s nice that you had one extra day to get things situated around your house, and good luck doing Whole30! I’ve started a new diet for the new year, and I’m not cranky yet, but I feel like it’s going to happen eventually!

  • Reply kristen January 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    i love roller coasters but that thing looks terrifying.
    tell me more about this hot chocolate. no photos?
    i have only been to gatlinburg once, and i didn’t do hardly anything you did! i recognise the ole smoky distillery but thats it. i am pinning this in the hopes that we get to back one day!

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph January 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    That looks like a lot of fun! LOL @ extra steps to get your steps. You go girls!

    Donut Friar, I’m coming for you.

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says January 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    This is on my list of places I want to go so I’m totally saving this post for suggestions once we make it.

  • Reply Kaitlyn Danielle January 5, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I love Gatlinburg! Wow, looks like y’all had an action packed weekend. I’m so jealous of all the scrumptious food you’ve been enjoying, yum!!

  • Reply Katy January 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    You just talked me into adding Gatlinburg to our travels when we take our Road Trip Out West in the spring. #JacknKatydotheWest #JacknKatyRoadTripIt #JacknKatyDriveforHOURS #JackDoesntKillKatyCauseHeLovesHer (All possible hashtags for the trip. I’ll let you know what we decide…. hahahahaa)

  • Reply Katie @Running with Wine January 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! You guys did so much while you were up there! I haven’t been in years, I need to make it my mission to go sometime soon. I can’t wait to hear how whole 30 goes!

  • Reply Dani January 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Wow, you did so many fun things in one week! I LOVE Ole Smoky Moonshine! Usually I buy the apple pie one- it’s delish! I can’t believe they give out free samples- I don’t think I could do 12 of them! The Island is so quaint- little areas like that are my favorite. And I agree with you on the coaster- old wooden ones scare me the most because I always feel like they’re going to literally roll right off!

  • Reply Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis January 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I’m not very familiar with Gatlinburg but sounds like there lots of fun stuff to go and great restaurants and bars to check out while. What’s not to love? lol Also the downtown looks very pretty at night.

  • Reply Lindsay Latimer January 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    How far are you guys from Gatlinburg? We’re about 3.5 hours. We went two years ago and I wanted to go over New Year’s break but we ran out of time to plan! I love it! And I’m happy to have all of your food recommendations next time we go. So glad you had a good time! Looks like a blast! Welcome back to reality. 🙂

  • Reply Kerry January 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    You are killing me with all that good looking food. I am trying to be good!

  • Reply Erin @ TexErin-in-SydneyLand January 5, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Uhm…I want to jump into my computer right now and eat allllll of that food! I love rollercoasters, and that one looks a-may-zing! I love the idea of you running around the pool table for steps.

  • Reply Dorrie @ Rt 1 US 1 January 6, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I really can’t even express how much I love and miss Tennessee and Gatlinburg! New Orleans Sandwich Company also has phenomenal food, but their schedule (if they’re even still open- they were tucked back behind Claire’s) was a little hard to catch.

  • Reply Amanda January 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Major props for making the walking goal! I would’ve ate the calories and just said “fuck it.” lol

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