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Smoky Mountains MagicAuthor: LaineWtman
Date of Trip: May 2007
We live in Nevada and our daughter lives in Florida with her family. She had been assigned to work in Iraq and we wanted to get together before she went. Our other daughter lives in Northern Georgia, so we wanted to meet somewhere convenient for all of us. We decided on the Smoky Mountains. I poked around online and found Aardvark Cabin Rentals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They had a cabin equipped with an elevator, which was very convenient for me as I use a mobility scooter. They were wonderful to work with, and we were looking forward to our vacation.
We flew into Knoxville, TN, and the kids drove up. We met at the cabin. It was a wonderful cabin, high on a mountain, with a fabulous view. We had some problem with the elevator so the cabin rental people sent someone out right away. It turned out to be our problem in understanding the directions. We were instructed, and the employee was friendly and accommodating, even though he had to come out on a Saturday Night. "Our" cabin had six bedrooms and seven bathrooms and was just perfect.
The weekend days we spent getting acclimated, going to the grocery store, and just becoming familiar with our environment. Sunday night we went to the show Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede for dinner and the show. It was a great evening, and the kids loved all the horseback riding in the arena in front of us, and their dinner, which was a dinner to be eaten with fingers only. The servers were cute teenagers who were very friendly and quite good at their jobs.
On Monday, the kids all went to a water park and we went through the Great Smoky National Park, and over to Cherokee, NC. It was a wonderful day. Tuesday, we all packed up and went to Dollywood. We were very surprised that it was so big, and had so many things to do. We had a blast! The kids loved the rides, we loved the music, we all loved the FOOD! It was a park built on the natural hills around there, so be prepared for hiking up and down hills. We especially loved the train and the kettle corn!
Everywhere we went, we felt Dolly Parton's hand, giving local people work and pride, and giving tourists something fun to do. There were many tourist activities, restaurants and shows that were not run by Dolly Parton, but we felt welcomed by Dolly Parton. We actually felt welcomed by everyone.........what a nice place to go! For any family looking for a good vacation, we highly recommend the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area for all ages. We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to a repeat visit some day.
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