A Day in Gatlinburg

On New Year’s Day we were staying in a cabin with friends in Pigeon Forge, TN (where the Great Smoky Mountains are), and after sleeping very late (thanks New Year’s Eve!), eating a large breakfast and debating whether or not we even wanted to leave the cabin, we eventually decided to check out downtown Gatlinburg, which I have never explored.

day in gatlinburg

Downtown Gatlinburg is a very touristy cheesy small town full of souvenir shops, gimmicky shows and over the top attractions. So, basically, it was right up our ally. We started off the day in a little village that offered a ridiculous amount of free moonshine samples (“First legalized moonshine”). There was also crazy amounts of free jams, salsas, sauces, dips, pickled things and hot sauces. I stuffed my face while everyone else got tipsy.

free moonshine samples

Someone is enjoying their moonshine
Someone is enjoying their moonshine

sauce samples

You’d think that everyone would need a chaser for the moonshine more than anything, but turns out there’s one hot sauce that had everyone (well the boys mostly…girls were much tougher) begging for milk or more pretzels.

hot sauce

We ate lunch at Bubba Gumps (I know, I know…but God their seafood hush puppies are SO good), shopped, got more free samples, drank very hot coffee to warm us up and took photos all over town. It was really nice to just be on vacation with friends, which I think is a rare opportunity for most.

downtown the group new year's day the girls

Two of our favorite stops were the Jerky Shop and Doc’s Magic Shop. The Jerky Shop had deer, beef, boar, ostrich, alligator AND vegan jerky. Of course, the shop owner offered samples of his jerkys because that’s apparently the rule in Galtinburg. It works by the way, we each left with a bag of jerky. Doc’s Magic Shop doesn’t have free food, but they did offer free magic shows which we soaked up and ooh’d and aww’d over for far too long… and many of us left there with a bag of magic tricks as well.

jerky shop magic shop

Right as we decided it was time to go home (i.e. back to the cabin) we passed a whisky shop offering a big round of free whiskey samples. Once again, I had to sit out on the activity, but I made my own fun…

Worst cowboy faces ever!
Worst cowboy faces ever!

Everyone must have been feeling reeallllyyy good after their round of drinks because this photo session happened minutes later…


It was a really good first day of 2014!



Happy 2014!


I still have so many posts to share about our holiday vacation in Texas, but I can’t help but share our New Year’s Eve in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee first. We drove up yesterday to stay in a cabin with 13 friends and ring in the new year. I think this may be the best way to celebrate New Year’s…no need to dress super fancy, pay a huge cover charge or need to drive home. It’s especially nice since I’m about 8 months pregnant!

We made and brought way too much food and of course too many beverages, we watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and played a myriad of card/drinking/pool/random type games. At midnight we got distracted and had one of those “Oh crap, I think the ball dropped!” moments, so we “cheers”ed quickly, kissed our loves and ran out the door with sparklers!

glow sticks cheers soexcited woohoo

Our cabin is right at the top of the hill so we were lucky enough to catch all the fireworks being shot in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

cabin fireworks

The first few hours of 2014 were spent hot tubbing (not me…sadly), playing many more games and staying up way past our bedtimes.


It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2014 and next New Year’s we will be parents doing who knows what on New Year’s Eve! Now, it’s time to figure out my resolutions…(uh…drink more coffee once Luna arrives and do not become a super competitive Mom are topping the list right now) and start this year off right. However, we have 2 more days left in the mountains, so resolutions and what not are on hold!