When we found out that we were heading to Gatlinburg we were beyond excited! We had a vision of being in a huge cabin with about ten friends, staying up late every night talking, laughing, and enjoying life. We knew that Gatlinburg was beautiful and there would be plenty to do but I guess we did not account for two one-year old toddlers joining us. We immediately thought to invite our nanny, in which she agreed to come to help out (Thank God). We already knew that we would stay at the Elk Springs Resort as we stayed there four years ago and it was amazing. So all we had left to do was confirm the amount of people and activities; easy enough right? WRONG. Everyone had schedule conflicts and could not make it. Our vision of a group of ten quickly became a group of three. What’s life without a few curve balls? Once the group was confirmed, we planned the activities and we were all set.
When we originally looked at the distance to drive from Atlanta to Gatlinburg, we saw that it would take us roughly four hours to drive there. With no stops along the way and a little extra horsepower, Jarius was sure that the drive could be done in three and a half. WRONG AGAIN. It took us almost five hours to drive there because we left right before rush hour. Now rush hour is usually 5pm in most cities but in Atlanta, rush hour is from 2pm until around 8pm. Needless to say, we were OVER IT!!!. Our kids were over it 1000x more. Since they are older now, they require more stimulation and movement. They quickly became unsettled and ready for some action. Even their favorite tv show would not calm them down. To add salt to the wound, Ashton was becoming overtired. We have the kids on a really good schedule and anytime they are thrown off it, they let us know about it. Ashton could not fall asleep, thus resulting in whimpering; which soon escalated to screaming.
We finally see the “Welcome to Gatlinburg sign” and the look of relief on our faces were priceless. We starting seeing all the familiar landmarks downtown and the memories started flooding in. We literally had a story for everything that was familiar to us. Excitement was definitely an understatement. We finally arrive to the resort, which is roughly ten minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, and pulled up to the cabin. I immediately start removing the kids from their car seats while Terrell starts vlogging the scenery and cabin. We are all excited and the kids are too. After almost five hours, we had finally made it. We get to the front door and put in the code and after a few tries, I realized Jarius had taken us to the wrong cabin. Thankfully, no one was at this one but how embarrassing was that. Lol. We get back in the car and found the right cabin.
ARRIVING AT THE CABIN
When we first walked in, our mouths dropped to the floor. Now, we had been to resort prior to this, but this cabin was top notch! Immediately walking in, the first thing we noticed was the Great Room, which was surrounded by a wall of glass that had gorgeous views of Mt. Leconte. The cabin itself was three stories high and included amenities like our own private home theater, pool table, air hockey table, mini bar, side by side washer and dryer, and a hot tub.
The kitchen was newly renovated and included brand new kitchen appliances to prepare meals, a breakfast bar that seats 3 guests and a large dining area with vaulted ceilings and windows everywhere that seated 12. There were two wrap-around decks that featured a picnic table and, grill, rocking chairs, and THE HOT TUB!
The first-floor king suite had a fireplace, stand up shower, jacuzzi tub, and direct access to the deck. The second floor of Silver creek featured three different sleeping areas. A large loft area with a queen sleeper sofa and tv. There was also a king bedroom and an additional bedroom with 2 twin bunk beds. A full bath with a tub shower combination - accessed by the second-floor hallway. The lower level included the pool table, air hockey, bar, and a 9 ft movie theater screen and seating. The lower level also had a king suite with a master bath, jacuzzi tub, standing shower, closet, and a door way to the wrap around deck with the picnic table. We were a little sad looking at the backyard because they were building a REALLY nice outdoor pool. This would have put the icing on the cake for us, so to all future visitors, enjoy!
There is so much to do in Gatlinburg and we soon realized this. If you are looking to go, please plan to go for at least five days to ensure you get the most out of the trip. This was a short vacation for us and our first one with no help with our kids so we did not get to do everything that we wanted. BUT, the things we were able to do was amazing. We started by going to Downtown to do the “touristy” things like sightseeing, shopping, and literally eating everything in sight. We had everything from Turkey Legs to ice cream, so you can imagine that we all gained a few pounds while there. But hey, who counts calories anymore right?
Outdoor Gravity Park: This is the place to go for our thrill seekers. Basically, you drive up to the top of a 1,000ft hill and climb into this GIANT ball and speed race down the hill. This had to have been the most fun I have had in a very long time. They fill the huge hamster balls with water and you can either roll solo or with a group of four on one of the tracks. Our hearts were about to leap out of our chests as we waited to be pushed down the hill. Once we got rolling, the excitement took over and all we could do was laugh until we couldn’t breathe and scream. Will and Boots rolled together and they legit sounded like women rolling the entire time. They were terrified! I think the feeling of not being in control of your motion made everyone have no choice but to enjoy ourselves. Overall, this was probably the best part of the trip. We will definitely go “Zorbing” again.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: If anyone knows us, you would know that we LOVE Ripley’s! So naturally, we had to go to 3 of their attractions in Gatlinburg. We visited the Odditorium, their Mini Golf course, and the Aquarium. The odditorium the weirdest place we have ever been. In a good way, of course. It has so many interesting one of a kind things like a Dragon that is made out of recycled scrap metal. The golf course was very interactive and fun. Of course, the Joseph’s came out victorious but it was fun to see our friends try and keep up. The aquarium was very kid friendly and even had a dolphin show included. They had some animals that the Georgia Aquarium does not have so that was a plus. It was not overly crowded and it had a big playground inside, which is good for all the parents out there. Overall, we had an amazing time and look forward to visiting again! We may make it a yearly tradition :)