Monday, November 4, 2013

Gatlinburg Vacay 2013: Friday

It's Friday...our last full day of vacation in my favorite place in the whole world.  I want to make the most of it!  And I think I did.  I would have to say it was probably my favorite day of the whole week!  I had already planned a few things for us to do today, but then I heard that there was snow up on the mountains this morning, and I've always wanted to be in Gatlinburg when it snowed, so I changed up the day a bit!  We got started a little later in the morning than we had been, but we still were able to get in most everything I wanted to do!

We started the day with breakfast at the Log Cabin Pancake House.  Shawn had heard about this mom and pop restaurant on the Gatlinburg information channel on TV.  It surely didn't disappoint!  It was delicious!  Shawn had the strawberry crepes and got scrambled eggs and sausage.  I had the French toast with spicy apples and it came with sausage, and then I added two hard fried eggs.  And they placed a pitcher of warm maple syrup on the table to go with my French toast.  To me, syrup is syrup, but this maple syrup was absolutely yummy!  Our meal was so delicious we planned on going back on Saturday before we headed home :)

After breakfast, we headed into the park. My plan was to drive up the Newfound Gap, and then up to Clingman's Dome.  I wasn't planning on walking the trail up to the observation tower (you can read about our last trek up that mountain here.) at Clingman's Dome, but I still wanted to drive up to those mountains and see the snow and the amazing views of the trees with snow on them. 
The picture below was one of my first views of seeing snow on the mountains in Gatlinburg!  I was in awe of the beauty of it!  I think we stopped at either two or three different pulls off so I could see them and take pictures!

The road to Newfound Gap was smooth sailing until we got about a mile away and encountered some snow and ice on the road.  When we first starting driving into the park, there was a flashing sign that said the road to Clingman's Dome was closed, so I was kind of bummed about that, but we were still able to make it to the Newfound Gap area.  And once we got up there, traffic was still heading to Clingman's Dome, however it was bumper to bumper moving slow and it was still another 5 or 6 miles to the Dome, so I decided not to keep going. 

Heading back down the mountain went a lot faster than it did coming up the mountain, except in one area.  We had just left the Newfound Gap and was driving slow cause the roads had some snow and ice in certain areas.  I had slowed down and let a white SUV pull out from a pull-off (it's in front of me in the below pic).  We were only down the road just a little bit and we were told to stop our cars and people were running around yelling at cars to stop.  Apparently right in front of the vehicle I had let out, a motorcycle went down on the ice!!  Scary!!  Thank you Jesus for protecting us....who knows what would of happened if I hadn't of slowed down to let that car in front of me out just moments prior!  Thankfully the man and his motorcycle didn't appear to be hurt and some people helped him pick it up and push it down the mountain to a pull off area! 

After our trip to the mountains and seeing the snow and amazing views, we headed back into Gatlinburg to go to OberGatlinburg.  We visited Ober on our very first trip to Gatlinburg and hadn't been back since, so we wanted to go up again.  I also found out that once you get up to OberGatlinburg, there is a scenic chairlift you can ride to take you up to Mt. Harrison.  Since I always ride the chairlift in Gatlinburg, I definitely wanted to ride the chairlift  at Ober!

Bye Shawnie!  I'm heading up the mountain and Shawnie is staying at Ober and played video games in the arcade!  He's afraid of the chairlift.  Not me, I love it!  It's so relaxing just sitting there looking around at the peaceful, quite scenery! 

I finally made it to the top!  That was a long ride!  And it was freezing out there!!  I was bundled up in my coat, scarf, and gloves!  What amazing views it offers from the top!

Oh, look who is at the top of the mountain with me...those cute little Amish people ;)

The white thing in the middle of the next picture, is one lone house on that big mountain!  I'd love to drive the road up to it...I think :/
I'm not sure how long I was up there, but I was a frozen popcicle going back down the mountain!

Once I got back down to Ober, we paid to go to their new animal exhibit so we could see the bears since we didn't see any all week in the wild.
I promise I'm not stalking them....

The bear exhibit at Ober was amazing!  These two bears were so active, running around playing with each other, eating leaves, pooping and peeing, and then being lazy!

This bear was eating leaves on the ground.  I noticed there was a bunch of big ones on the ground where we were standing so I went over and kicked one through the gate down to him.  It landed on top of his head and he looked up at me and then laid back like he is in the picture below and started eating it!  It was the neatest thing.  After that I was kicking lots of leaves down to them :)  This exhibit alone was definitely worth the money spent to see them. 

They also had these cute little otters, and then a bunch of nocturnal creatures, but the bears by far was my fave!

Got my smashed penny from OberGatlinburg, too bad though it doesn't say Ober on it :/
We were going to do some other stuff in Gatlinburg, but we spent a lot more time at Ober than we planned and were starving for dinner and had planned on eating at the Bullfish that night since it's our fave place to eat.  We both got the baby back rib dinner.  It was good, but not as good as it usually is.  And I think I stuffed myself with the bread before hand, cause I couldn't hardly eat my dinner.  A lot of it went to waste :(

After dinner, we made a couple more stops.  One at the Lumberjack Feud so that I could get my friend a birthday present, and the other at the Comedy Barn so I could drop my geocache Eisi the bear that I have been holding on for entirely too long! 
And one last stop for the Mad Dog's Creamery for ice cream.  The last time we were here on vacation, we discovered Mad Dog's and I think we stopped there each night for a sweet treat!  This time, only once.  I tried to be better since we started a WW program at work!

After looking at these pictures on this day, I would have to say it was my favorite day of all days!  

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