When we arrived in Gatlinburg we checked into a log cabin complete with hot tub and stream running through the back of the property. The kids spent the first three days playing in the creek and hiking up the side of the mountain. Despite some rather chilly weather the first two days the kids continued to insist on playing in the creek. Blue lips and chattering teeth never hurt anyone. It usually ends up costing less when we take a trip like this because instead of paying for a week's worth of expensive theme parks all the kids want to do is hike. Healthier too. Instead of cotton candy and junk food, trail mix.
The second night we were there we went to the Dixie Stampede. We loved it! The kids especially loved eating all that chicken, potatoes and ham with their bare hands. The pre-show featured the funniest four part "redneck" band I've ever seen with a banjo, bass, guitar and fiddle player. The guitar player was a cute little redheaded girl who was introduced as the youngest person ever to win on Star Search. My girls danced in the aisle during their show as we sat and ate peanuts and popcorn.
After the pre-show we went into a huge comfortable indoor stadium. We had front row seats and watched as the horses and riders came rumbling into the performance area. The performance area is decorated like a southern plantation and the audience is divided into North v. South. They have contests between the riders to decide the winner. It was amazing to see how fast the riders would go in such a small area.
At one point a girl dressed as a falcon was lowered down from the roof on a rope. The lights were turned off and her costume glowed in the dark. A guy on a horse would ride up to her, grab her by the wing and race her around as she hung from the ceiling. He would then let her go and she would fly through the air like a giant bird. Pretty cool.
There is a lot more to this vacation than I've written here but my youngest daughter is calling for my attention.