Wilderness At The Smokies Review

I seriously cannot say enough good things about the vacation my family and I took to the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area. A huge component of our vacation’s awesomeness was staying at the Wilderness at the Smokies resort! One thing that immediately pleased my husband and I was the ease with which we were able to locate Wilderness at the Smokies, and it’s actually in Sevierville, which travelers will reach before they would reach Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg when traveling from the West (passing Knoxville). This makes a difference when traveling with a bunch of children who are anxious to reach the vacation destination. As soon as we saw the resort’s entrance, my children perked up and then went crazy over all of the awesome water slides that can be seen from the road. The outside of the resort was well-manicured and inviting, and we quickly located the main lodge where I needed to check in. Upon walking in to the lobby, I was warmly greeted by the front desk staff as I looked around at the luxurious but homey decor around me. I could see the resort’s gift shop and a deli/ice cream shop, as well as the grand staircase. After…

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One Night at the Castle; A Medieval Times Review

Taking my four children to Medieval Times is something I’ve wanted to do for quite sometime, and the opportunity finally presented itself during our family vacation to the Atlanta, GA area this past weekend. After easily checking in at the ticket booth, we walked in to the Castle and were immediately welcomed and given our Medieval Times crowns. Our youngest daughter was elated… she had been looking forward to getting that crown since I showed her pictures of where we would be going! We then had a group picture made with the King, who was very friendly and showed the kids the huge (REAL) sword he was holding. Entering the lobby was an exciting experience within itself… there was a huge roaring fireplace, several suits of armor (that my boys were fascinated with… “No son, we can not buy a suit of armor to take home”… and a HUGE bar for adults to buy a pre-dinner drink (or three). The selection at the bar was wide and varied… my husband chose his favorite beer in a glass souvenir mug and I opted for a glass of wine, but I won’t lie, the daiquiri dispensers tempted me! We walked around the…

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On Summer Vacation I…

Guess what? I am so excited about my new series of posts that I will be writing over the next few months! After the realization that a Disney World summer vacation, aka The Holy Grail of all Family vacations, was out of reach for our family without taking a ton of financial shortcuts during the trip… I began researching other vacation options. It was then that I also realized that so many other parents are in our exact same position of wanting to take a fantastic vacation with their families. For us, Disney is out of reach without taking all of the extreme shortcuts featured in many money-saving blogs or saving up for two-plus years. Making special memories frequently appeals to me, big time. Saving money however I can is a way of life for us, especially with a larger than average-sized family, but I don’t believe in going on vacation to save money. Comstantly cutting corners while on a trip can be stressful and disheartening while seeing other families vacationing alongside yours are living it up to the fullest. My husband and I decided that several factors were important in selecting an affordable, but major summer vacation for all…

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