THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

River Rocks

On our latest family vacation we visited the Smoky Mountains. We had never
been to Tennessee before and I had always wanted to go! We shared a beautiful, 3
level luxury cabin with my husband's cousin, his wife and their two children. The
six hour drive was a little cramped with our three children, all of our supplies
and luggage but, we made the most of it! We packed coolers full of cold drinks and
yummy snacks for the ride. The last half of the trip got exciting as the mountains
got bigger and bigger along the way.

Pulling up to the cabin we could feel the excitement radiating from the children!
We told them that we were renting a very tiny cabin with only cots to sleep on....we really
wanted to shock and suprise them with the amazing spread! The cabin was absolutely gorgeous
and it sat on top of a HUGE mountain, bordering the Smoky Mountain State Park! It was stocked
with supplies and adorable furnishings that made it feel cozy and special. It had big open rooms
with high ceilings and every window offered a breathtaking view of the mountains and wildlife.
The bottom level had floor to ceiling windows, air hockey and pool tables, sauna, snack bar,
and on it's balcony sat a spacious jacuzzi. A very peaceful location surrounded by nature yet,
just minutes away from endless local attractions!

Our rental was located in Seveirville, Tennessee. There was one very long, windy
road that ran right through the mountains of Seveirville. The road had enormous rocky
walls on either side. A wide, rocky, rushing river ran between the road and the mountains,
on the right and left. and every so often a misty waterfall could be seen surrounded by
cliff edges and lush greenery. There were families everywhere along this river swimming,
splashing, tubing, fishing, diving, laughing, making memories.....it was like a painting
or a postcard everywhere I looked! If you follow this main road for a few miles it comes
to a fork. One way was Gatlinburg and the other, Pigeon Forge!

Tennessee We tried to do different things each day.We let the boys pick something they really
wanted to do and each day was a new experience. We spent an entire day in downtown Gatlinburg.
It is being transformed in time to an old town that sits down in the valley between the
mountains. It reminds me of whatSwitzerland might be like (not exactly) but it had a sky lift
that you could ride all the way to the top of the mountain and back. We parked and walked the
whole day. There are the sweetest little specialty shops, quaint little restraunts, rides and
there are artists on every street corner. Each one making or doing something creative and
different. There was a quilter that taught me how to make a quilt, a wood carver, musicians,
a lady hand making jewelry and much more. There is also a mall in the middle of everything.
There were ice cream parlors and we got giant waffle cones that melted faster than we could
eat them! We spent another day at the NASCAR speedpark. It includes 12 go cart tracks, rides,
an arcade and much more! Each track was unique, ranging in size and speed. There is a track for
everyone in the family. A couple of the tracks required a valid drivers license! They were very
large and the go carts were zooming along much faster than all the rest! On my favorite day in
Tennessee we woke up, made a huge breakfast, packed our giant innertubes, life jackets, sunblock,
and goggles headed to the river!! We stayed all day swimming and tubing! The kids had a blast
and we knew that day was special!

This trip was one we will never forget! The one place I regret not going would
have to be Dollywood. Everyone I talk to that has been says if they had to pick only one
thing to do while in Tennessee, unanimously the answer was Dollywood! We will definitely
make that our first stop the next time we go to Tennessee! I would also love to visit
during different seasons. I have heard it is the most beautiful in the Fall when all the
leaves are changing but I think it would be amazing to see all the mountains covered in snow!
When we reserved our cabin online, I noticed that you can request a visit from Santa for
a small fee! I think it would be so special to stay in the winter and have santa show up to
see the children! I really hope to arrange a visit for my children!! Tennessee is really a
wonderful state and I can't wait to go back! I look forward to visiting a new place, on
the map, with my family!

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