• There’s a reason why the Great Smokey National Park is the nation’s most visited.

Great Smokey National Park

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls

  •  Cades Cove Loop is a neat single lane road that loops through Cades Cove.  However, it only takes one car deciding to stop in the middle of it to make it a very long trip for everyone else!  (To give a benefit of the doubt, we heard there was a bear and the cubs up ahead.  IF those bear and the cubs were actually in the road itself, that obviously makes stopping not only excusable, but a must.  If not though, there are plenty of areas to pull off the road to take pictures and not block traffic.  That said, later when the traffic started moving again, it was clear who was stopping traffic the second time.  And it wasn’t because there was wildlife in the road, but pure inconsideration toward others.  Regardless, I highly recommend that you use the bathroom when you get a chance at the Cades Cove visitor center.  You may be on the road longer than you think and in a world of hurt if you don’t!)
  • Man, I couldn’t find anywhere to get pancakes up there.

    Flapjacks Pancake Cabin. One of six locations in the Gatlinburg area.

  • You can get HUGE savings at the outlet mall!

    Um...or perhaps not. A penny saved is a penny earned?

  •  I can catch trout there.  Not really something I learned, but hey, I caught a trout!

Never said it was a big trout!

  • Really, I wanted to find some pancakes.

Pancake Pantry. People waited in line here for pancakes. I was not one of those people.

  • Gatlinburg has shirt sizes that will fit you.  Seriously.  I am pretty sure regardless of how much weight you may have put on, they have you covered.

Wait, they actually make 7XL shirts? Well somebody has found some pancakes, and lots of them!

  • There is a store in Pigeon Forge that claims to be the world’s largest “As Seen On TV” store.  Given the size of the store, I’m not going to doubt them!  Among all products you see on infomercials, they can also take care of your classy “We killed Bin Laden, Yay Us!” t-shirt needs.

Acrobats perform hanging over the audience.

  • Pancakes?  Where?

Atrium Pancakes. Pancakes can also be found at Log Cabin Pancake House, Red Rooster Pancake House, Little House of Pancakes, Reagan's House of Pancakes, Smokey Mountain Pancakes House, ....., whew, and on and on. Oh, and of course IHOP. Not sure how I missed all those.

  • Places I didn’t miss for eating:  For the best footlong corndog, go to Fannie Farkles on the main strip in Gatlinburg (trust me, this is no ordinary corndog, it’s great!).  For great New York style pizza, go to Del’s Pizza in Kodak.  To get your day started right, get breakfast at Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant in Cosby (highlights include the apple butter, eggs, bacon, and yes, pancakes).  And if you happen to be in Dollywood, you could do worse than the country buffet at Aunt Granny’s.
  • Finally I learned that it doesn’t take much rain for Cosby Creek to go from this:

Peaceful Cosby Creek

  • To this:

Not so peaceful Cosby Creek! Where did all that water come from?!

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