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We’ve been back from our Smoky Mountains vacation for a few days now, and I gotta say, I’m really missing it. The mountain air. The views. All the stuff to do. The huge king size bed in my room at the cabin. I’d go back right now if I could.
We spent our last couple of days shopping and doing other fun stuff around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Unfortunately the weather took a turn so we weren’t able to do as much outdoors as we wanted to, but it was still a great time.
One of our first stops on Thursday was the Tennessee XXX Distillery. They have free moonshine samples, so obviously we tried as many as they would let us. My favorite was for sure the Big Orange Dreamsicle. I even made sure to get a picture of my very minor child in front of it.
Am I winning at parenting yet?
Our next stop was the Moonshine Ridge Country Store, where we spent some time looking around and touching everything bear related.
I didn’t get any pictures, but our lunch stop was at the Old Mill Restaurant. This was our second time there, and if you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend stopping in for a meal. And come hungry, because their portion sizes are ridiculous.
We were stuffed and the weather wasn’t getting any better, so after lunch we headed back to the cabin for some downtime before the day’s main event: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. You guuuuuuys. It was so fun. The entire experience was just really well-done, and Wyatt was enthralled by the whole thing.
They have a sort of “holding area” when you first get there that’s styled like a saloon. You can buy drinks (served in a souvenir boot, of course) and popcorn.
You’re also treated to live music, and you hang out here until they’re ready to seat you for the show.
These guys were awesome, by the way. I’d have been okay listening to them for way longer.
When it was time for the show we all filed into the “arena” and found our seats. It didn’t take much convincing to spend $3 on one of the Dixie Stampede flags. Wyatt loved waving it around during the show. Plus, at the end you can go around and have the horse riders sign it if you want.
I didn’t get many pictures of the actual show. One, because they give you so much food you’re pretty busy eating (not complaining) but also because it’s not super bright in there and flash-photography was prohibited. But that’s okay. It kind of forced me to just relax and enjoy everything without worrying about getting pictures.
I really think this was Wyatt’s favorite part of our vacation. He’s still talking about it days later.
They talked toys for a little while (obviously) and then we made our way around to more shops, eventually settling on Timbers Log Cabin Restaurant for lunch. It was a cute little place with friendly staff and really yummy food. And Wyatt liked it.
We also stopped into the Glades Soda Fountain (because what is a vacation if you can’t eat until you’re uncomfortable), whereupon Wyatt found himself a girlfriend. An OLDER woman no less. Scandalous.
I’ve never seen him try so hard to impress a girl before. It was adorable.
After all our shopping was done, we couldn’t end our vacation without one more drive into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wyatt had totally crashed by this point so we just took a leisurely drive through the park until we got to Newfound Gap.
My dad and I got out to walk around and take pictures.
Not a bad view, I guess. While we were looking around though the clouds really moved in, and by the time we were heading back to the car, our view was totally gone.
Mother Nature, you so sneaky.
We really had the best time on this trip, and I’m already excited about going back.
Have you been to the Smokies? What’s your favorite thing to do there? I need ideas so I can start planning the next trip already!
I’d also love for you to checkout my homeschool kindergarten board on Pinterest, as well as our Amazon Homeschool Favorites where I have curated a list of things we genuinely use and love in our homeschool life.
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