We were debating where we’d like to spend the next few days after the reunion, and Keith & I started talking about the possibility of Gatlinburg. I don’t remember who brought it up first, but I do know that’s what we decided to do.
We learned that Keith’s brother and sister in law were considering the same thing, so we decided to look into renting a cabin together. Since Keith’s parents were also considering traveling after the reunion, they joined in with our plans. Our cabin, Bear Hugs, was located in Hidden Springs Resort in Pigeon Forge, just behind Dollywood. Our cabin was one of the highest cabins in the entire resort community. The view was amazing! (The road? Well, let’s just say the first few trips up & down the cabin road made this flat-Indiana-land girl a little nervous!)
We went to the office to check in and get our keys, and then we drove to the cabin. We were all ready to be out of the heat. Keith’s poor parents had trouble with their car’s a/c for a portion of the trip, so we knew they would be looking forward to a nice, cool cabin when they arrived.
Unfortunately, we walked into a VERY hot cabin. Keith’s brother went straight to the thermostat to turn down the temperature. Several minutes later, the air conditioner still had not kicked in. We started to get a bit concerned.
Long story short, Keith’s dad stayed at the cabin to wait for the maintenance man while the rest of us went to Five Guys for dinner. A few hours later, the a/c was thankfully repaired…but it takes a long time to cool off a three story cabin that has reached temperatures over 100 degrees! It was a HOT night’s sleep.
The happy parts are:
(1) It could be repaired, so we didn’t have to move to another cabin. We LOVED the view and the cabin layout…the double sets of bunkbeds in the lowest level were perfect for all three boys.
(2) Keith went to the office and requested a full refund of our first nights’ stay, and they agree to do so. Vacation just got cheaper! ;)
We had two levels of balconies, one with rocking chairs and another with a hot tub and porch swing. Our kids were ONLY allowed outside with adults as the slats were spaced a little too far apart for our comfort. (That, and I wouldn’t put it past Max to try hanging over the edge just for fun, ha!)
blowing bubbles with their cousins, Kyle & Jessica.
Here’s the straight-down view from our balcony.
I preferred to stand back from the edge a bit ;)
We drove into Gatlinburg with Kevin & Leanne’s family, where we took in some gift shops, candy shops, and other random stores. My boys enjoyed watching how taffy is made, and then we let each of them choose a $1 bag of taffy as a special treat.
Kyle bought a new Airsoft gun while we were shopping, and he was pretty excited about that. Later in the week, he bought a new knife, too. I think I’ll just keep my boys little. I don’t think I want them to ever be big enough to like big boy toys ;)
We stopped at Cooters Museum/Store. My boys loved the tow truck!
Max & the General Lee
a patient Jessica helped my kids chase birds down the street
Here are a few more pictures of the cabin… these were taken on our last morning at the cabin, when a thick fog rolled in and took away our view.