When we last saw the Thompson family, they were enjoying a nice breakfast at the Christmas Inn and wondering where they would spend their next night of vacation since there was no more "room for them at the Inn."
Excuse my corniness!
Anyway, we were full, walked around and took some more pictures in the hotel and in the courtyard and then went back to the room to see what we could find for a place to stay. I called a hotel in Pigeon Forge that we knew was nice, but they didn't really have what we wanted. (the two bed rooms were a two night minimum). So, then I started looking in Gatlinburg. I called one nice place that had no rooms, then found a place that looked like it had a really nice pool area, so I called them. They had rooms, AND rooms with a view...and the rate was $119! We quickly booked them, then headed out to the Apple Barn.
The Apple Barn is our favorite place to eat while in the Smoky Mountains. Their apple fritters with apple butter are wonderful! The wait is usually really long, so we went ahead and headed that way. We played over by the river and did some shopping in their general store while we waited. After a filling lunch of apple fritters and homestyle cooking, we decided to go ahead and try to check-in at our next hotel.
It took us an hour to drive from Pigeon Forge to our hotel in Gatlinburg! Needless to say, there were lots of people on fall break in the mountains. We actually saw some people we know walking down the street with their entire family, but we didn't get to say hi before we passed them. I also found out that my book club friend was also there this past weekend, but we didn't see them. One of our pastor's wife was there with family as well, but no seeing them either.
Anyway....we got to our new hotel which was up a very steep road literally on a "vista." It was called the Park Vista Hotel...imagine that.
So, we go in and I immediately notice that the hotel is set up with rooms all around the perimeter in a big circle and it is open to the ceiling in the middle with three glass elevators going up to the floors. Of course, if you have read my Fox theater blog, you know I do not deal well with heights, so I told Corey to ask if they have an interior elevator.
He checks us in and comes back to say, yes, they have an interior elevator, and we are staying on the 15th floor....the TOP floor.
Deep breaths. I head over to the other elevator while Corey and the kids get on the glass elevator. I wait and wait and wait...this is the service elevator and with 15 floors it was quite a wait.
It finally opens and everyone gets off so I start to step in and it is looking very small and enclosed. I turn around and the doors start to close right as I think about how long it will take this elevator to go up 15 floors. And then I proceed to walk right off before it even shuts.
I honestly don't know why I have such panic attacks about heights and all that. It is a physical reaction by my body. I get short of breath and literally feel like I can't stand up.
So I called Corey and he is in the room. He said the kids were okay with the elevator for about 5 floors then Katie got upset when they kept going. Anyway, he informed me that the view from our balcony is INCREDIBLE and there was actually a pigeon sitting on the balcony when they went out.
I told him I panicked about getting on the elevator and would they come down and go up with me. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad with people with me I thought.
Well, they come down, Noah tells me excitedly that our room is all the way up at the ceiling and we go over to the service elevator.
When the doors open again, I try to walk in, but I am telling you I know this sounds crazy but my body completely and totally rejected getting on that elevator to go to the top. I don't know why, I can't explain it, but I just told Corey that we would have to see if we could get a different room. It really would not have been an issue I think if there wasn't that big circle area open in the middle of the hotel. That really made the height thing so much worse...all the rooms were around that circle. I think if it had just looked like a normal hotel, with a regular lobby and enclosed elevators, then I could have made it up there. I wouldn't have even been able to see that I was that high until I looked out the balcony, then there would be the awesome view to enjoy. Although, I know I am nuts for this, but I promise I can feel myself getting higher when I am in an elevator.
He is understandably a little bit aggravated, but we have been married for 8 years after all, so he just sighs and gets back on the elevator to retrieve our luggage from the room. I went to get in line to ask about a different room.
They had rooms available on the first, 4th, 10th, 13th, and 14th floors.
We took the 4th floor room. The view wasn't nearly as good Corey said. It was mostly of the top of the pool house. Though, I really regret not sending the camera with Corey to get a photo from that balcony before he got our stuff out. I just wasn't thinking clearly at that point though.
So, we checked into our room, went down to the pool and then took a nap from 5-6pm. The late night was really catching up with us from the previous day. We had dinner at the hotel, then decided to go to the Aquarium that night because it was open until 11pm and we had just had a nap. It was a lot of fun and we really had a great time, because it was really late and there was no one there! We were able to really get our money's worth with no crowds and being able to take our time.
The next day we went out to find a pancake house (a major request from Katie and Noah) and found a GREAT one. It was called Log Cabin Pancake House. DELICIOUS!
We then took the long scenic route through the edge of the Smoky Mountains Park that brought us in a big circle back to the main highway to head home.
I know it may not sound like it, but we really did have a great time. I really didn't even mind switching hotels for the two nights but it might have been less stressful to actually KNOW that is what you are going to do rather than calling each day.
HIGHLIGHTS: The INN at Christmas Place, eating apple fritters/apple butter, midnight swimming
NOT SO GREAT: checking into a nasty cabin/condo, feeling like a child for not wanting to go to the 15th floor of a hotel