Gatlinburg, TN November 2018

Hi friends! How were the holidays for you? I hope they were both exciting and relaxing and that you got to spend time with all of your loved ones and eat all of the yummy foods you could find!

So I am super late writing this post, but better late than never, right? Well, I will start off by saying that every year my husband’s family spends the week of Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg, TN. It’s a tradition they have been doing since before we met, and I absolutely love it! We all spend time together in a beautiful cabin in the mountains, we get to eat at all the delicious restaurants, and there is so much shopping and fun activities to do in the area! Last year baby B was only 3 weeks old when we went on our annual Thanksgiving trip, so that was definitely a new experience but we had lots of help from Mimi. This year, at 13 months, B was fully mobile! She wanted to walk and touch and talk to every thing and person she could find! It was so fun seeing her explore and learn things on her own, and to see that excitement just glowing in her face. Made my mama heart very happy.

My husband’s grandmother is buried in Kentucky, so every time we make this trip to Tennessee we always take one day to go visit Nana’s grave. My husband and MIL make beautiful handmade Christmas arrangements and decorate the headstones of his grandmother and great grandmother. It’s always a very special moment for our family, and I know having baby B there makes it even more special for them. There is a house very close to the cemetery and this year there were three dogs out in the backyard of that house. Now dogs are B’s favorite animals so the entire time we were there she just kept repeating, “dog dog dog!” It was so cute, and definitely lightened the mood for everyone!

While in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, one of my favorite things to do is eat! They have amazing chain restaurants like Margaritaville and Bubba Gump’s but they also have their staple restaurants that are specific to that area. We love eating at Paula Dean’s family style restaurant in The Island at Pigeon Forge, and we also really enjoy going to The Old Mill! Both of those places have classic southern comfort food that is just so yummy! Another thing we enjoy doing in Tennessee is the dinner shows! You are served a full course meal, and then get to watch a live broadway style show right from your table! It’s so much fun and the food is always delicious. Our favorite dinner shows are the Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure, and the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s Dinner Feud. Normally we stay in our cabin and cook a big Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, but this year we decided to eat out. Margaritaville actually served traditional Thanksgiving dinner and it was really good!

Of course we can’t talk about Thanksgiving week without mentioning the Black Friday shopping! With a Tanger Outlet right outside of Pigeon Forge, we are always able to shop until we drop and get some really great deals! This year we weren’t able to stay out too late like we usually do because we had baby B with us, but we were still able to make it to some pretty good sales. B had a blast staying up late with Mama and Dada and she loved seeing all the Christmas decorations that were lit up.

For my family, Thanksgiving is a time when we all get to escape the craziness of our everyday lives and travel to a completely different city to just have fun and be close with each other. It’s always filled with laughter and joy and I just love that about the holidays. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well, please leave me a comment and let me know what you did!

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