Sunday, November 13, 2016

Our Day at Dollywood and Cataract Falls

Strawberry Shortcake at Dollywood in Tennessee
Strawberry Shortcake
Today, we slept in a little; got dressed; and ate the complimentary breakfast at the Bear Skin Lodge.  It was very good.  After breakfast, it was off to Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, TN.  This was our first time there.  

Dollywood is a very nice park.  The grounds are kept really nice and pretty.  My daughter drove me around the track on the car ride.  She rode the swing ride on her own; (Nadia was nine years old when we visited).  She enjoyed the kids area of the park the most.

Next, we rode the Dollywood Express.  I was so excited to get a window seat.  The view from the train was very nice and we really enjoyed the train ride.  I loved listening to the train whistle, but when we were done, I had black ash all over my face from the whistle blowing.  Every time I would try to rub it off, it would smear, it did not help that I had sunscreen all over.  What is a Mother to do??? So just a heads up - sit on the inside seat. LOL

We had visited in July and it was a very hot day, so drink plenty of liquids.   Dollywood had a really great Eagle exhibit.  That was pretty cool.  My daughter went mining for Arrowheads after.   I asked the lady while my daughter was mining if the arrowheads were real and she laughed, she said that some nice person in Mexico made them.  Anyway, my daughter was able to find eight of them, which I thought was pretty good.  I had thought we would only find one or two.  

We then went on to the roller coaster part of the park.  We wanted to ride, but the lockers did not seem to be working.  So we walked around some more.  I think we were done around 3:00 p.m. 

Dollywood was a very nice little park, but I really think I would have had more fun, if I was back in high school and able to run freely with my friends without a care in the world, or if you were with a group and had someone to watch your bags for you.  I can picture my daughter having a lot of fun here on a school trip.  I also think going when it is cooler would be better as with any theme park.  

Dollywood also has a water park called Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park, but we did not try that at this time.

Good news! Since it was only 3:00 p.m., we had time to go back into the Smoky Mountains National Park.  We went back to the Sugarland Visitor Center.  Past the visitor center is a hiking trail to Cataract Falls.  It was not a long walk and it was very shady.  The hike only took about 30 minutes.  The falls are not that big, but worth the walk. 

Cataract Falls in the Smoky Mountains
Cataract Falls
Afterward, we headed back to the lodge and decided to see where we would end up if we walked a block over from our Hotel.  It was the Gatlinburg strip!  It was very easy to walk to.  We found a TGIF and ate there for dinner.  There was a lot of different stores, like a Beef Jerky Store, Rocks and a store offering free samples of Moonshine.  I did not try any since I was the only adult there with the youngster.  We did not walk the whole way up, just a few blocks and then turned around to go swimming one last time in the “Lazy River”. 

We really enjoyed our visit to the Smoky Mountain area.