Vacation in the Smokies

by - 7/05/2016

Hello friend!

Happy 4th of July. I hope that your summer has been going well! I recently got back from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and wanted to make a blog post about my family's vacation. This is a bit longer than the blog posts that I am used to writing, so take your time and enjoy.

On Friday, July 1st, my family and I drove back from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We go there every other summer for vacation, and it’s always so refreshing and a great way to kick off the summer. This week we had fantastic weather, even though the weather app predicted rain. It was sunny every single day except for one which had a little bit of sprinkling rain. Even then, the weather was perfect because it was still warm out.
The last day with a beautiful sunset!
On Saturday my family and I went on a lil’ hike past this place called, “The Sinks,” which was a place where you could jump off of these big rocks into water and swim! We didn’t end up swimming there, and instead we went back to our hotel and swam there after lunch. However it was so cool to see the water flowing down and forming a little stream throughout our hike.

Then it was time to go downtown, shop, and MOST IMPORTANTLY--treat ourselves to some ice cream!

On Sunday morning my dad and I did a big hike together; it’s become a tradition that we do one super long hike up Mt. Leconte. We hiked 15 miles in 8 hours with 4,000 feet of elevation that day. It was well worth it for the view, but let’s just say that we were extremely tired after! My dad’s feet didn’t do too well after that, he had some really painful looking blisters. My feet were okay, I had bought new hiking boots, but I was really sore! That was a once-in-a-lifetime hike. 

On the way down the mountain, it was so freaky because we kept on seeing bear scat! It literally felt like we were following a bear down the mountain, or a bear was following US, and it kept us moving quickly. Meanwhile, my mom and brother went to "Ripley's Believe it or Not!" museum. This giant marble ball rolling on water is sitting on the corner of a street, and it is so cool because you can change the direction that it's rolling in because the ball is floating on a little layer of water.

Monday morning we woke up early and went to the Log Cabin Pancake House which is right down the street from our hotel. Luke and I got  classic chocolate chip pancakes! After breakfast, we drove out to a Quiet Walkway which was along next to a little stream of water. The water was so cold! We sat on rocks and relaxed under the green leafy trees.

Log Cabin Pancake House. Classic!
The next day was our jet ski/wave runner day! We had initially planned on riding wave runners in the Bahamas, see this blog post, but it turned out that the weather was bad so we couldn’t go, and then we planned on riding them in Tennessee. My dad found this really neat place on a lake that was surrounded by mountains. It was such a beautiful day out, and the water in the lake was warm! I managed to go as fast as 59 miles per hour, and my brother and dad and I spent two hours racing across the lake and jumping into the water off of our jet skis! That and snorkeling had to be some of the coolest things that I’ve ever experienced in my life. The tears in my eyes were going to the sides of my face when I blinked at top speed! 

Dad and Luke on Jet Skis!
My brother and dad then participated in a basketball free-throw competition and this one guy got 10/10 shots in the basket! We decided that we were going to go to the bean bag competition as a family on Wednesday after that... Mom, Dad, and I went driving around to the craft stores afterwards and found some very cute shops! I found a 1965 Sound of Music record! They also had cute signs like this one:

On Wednesday, my mom and I rode horses at Sugarland Stables in the Smoky Mountains. The horses were so majestic and beautiful. I rode a horse named Lil’ Red. He went at his own pace and I had a fun time trotting when he realized he needed to catch up to my mom's horse in front of us! My mom rode a horse named Grey Ghost. He was white and speckled with little grey dots. 

Us in with Champ
After horseback riding my family went to the bean bag competition. We won the little competition and won two free tickets to Wonderworks, which is this place with a ton of family activities to do inside! It was so God that we won those because that was the one thing that we had wanted to do in Gatlinburg that we felt like we had never done as a family. 

The next day before we went to Wonderworks, we drove to this place called Clingman’s Dome and walked up to the highest point in the Smoky Mountains. Walking down it was a lot easier! 

Then we went to Wonderworks and went rock climbing, experienced a 4D Movie, walked through some mind-boggling exhibits and Luke and I climbed a ropes course. It was really cool in the upside-down house. 

After Wonderworks, my family and I went to Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure dinner show! The show was really exciting to watch, there were people there with many talents! They were on ropes and climbing up trees and also doing trampoline stunts. Some dogs even came out and participated in the show which was really cute. 

I had a great family vacation, and it was so nice because when we weren’t doing activities outside of the hotel, we were just lounging around and enjoying not doing anything. Our family really enjoyed watching The Middle together, there were some really funny scenes in it. Now, we are getting ready to go to Reach 2016, our church's national conference in St. Louis this weekend! Time to get packing again! It may be a while till I blog again, possibly next Sunday or Monday because of the business with the conference.

I hope that you have a great rest of your week!

Joy :)

You May Also Like