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Smoky Mountain Christmas - 2021 - Day 3 - Affordable, Family-Friendly Travel

Day 3 itinerary of our affordable, family-friendly Smoky Mountain Christmas!


We made breakfast at the cabin this morning. Scrambled eggs with diced ham and cheddar cheese with some toast. Quick meal, nothing fancy. Our snow tubing reservations in Gatlinburg were at 11am so we needed to make the drive. It’s not that it’s far from the cabin. It’s that traffic is so crazy to drive 9 miles that it can easily take 40 minutes. I even take the windy back roads that give me PTSD to the roads we took to scatter ashes back in April.


We took the hanging cable car (what do you call them?) at Ober Gatlinburg to head up the mountain. I don’t do much heights anymore since I became a mother. I have issues with motion sickness now too. So just the little swaying of the car as we were ascending the mountain was really quite enough for me. I was glad to get off and back on the ground.


The three of them hit the slopes for snow tubing. I stayed out to snap some video then retreated back inside where it was just slightly warmer. They had fun! Lex was the first to head back inside to me. We sat side-by-side drinking our beverages of choice. A little later, the other two met up with us and we decided it was time for some lunch down the strip. TGI Fridays didn’t have much of a wait and everyone could find something there. The weather warmed up by afternoon. What started out as a misty, foggy morning warmed up to about 52 degrees. We decided, eh, we’re on vacation…let’s go get in a nap.


We crashed and woke up around 6pm-whoops! Time to venture out and find some dinner. If you’ve never been to The Island-Pigeon Forge it’s worth spending a few hours at. Lots of restaurants, shopping, rides, activities. It reminds me a lot of CityWalk or Downtown Disney.

Lex hopped out of the car and made dinner reservations while we parked. “It’s kind of nice having a third adult, huh?”-Ed. Honestly, it’s just different. We had dinner at Margaritaville. (I really cannot stand Buffet but I wanted some cocktail shrimp. They DID disappoint. No cocktail shrimp. Also, wtf is coconut ranch dip? Jalapeño tarter sauce? Go home, Jimmy Buffet. You ARE drunk and I can’t believe I’m gonna even say this but stick to songwriting.)


Lex ventured off to do the ropes course. She said, “I’m in the mood for free-falling tonight.” The four of us went on the huge Ferris wheel which was really pretty at night. It was about 10:30pm, the area was shutting down, so we decided to call it a night. We were positively frozen and thawed out at the cabin.

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