Monday, December 12, 2022

Unveiling the Serenity of Music Road Inn: A Pigeon Forge Getaway

Hey there, fellow travelers! We've just returned from a memorable vacation, filled with its fair share of adventure and a dash of stomach-churning moments (more on that later!). Now that everyone is back on their feet, let me spill the beans on our delightful stay at the Music Road Inn in Pigeon Forge.

The Music Road Inn turned out to be an absolute gem. The ambiance was enchanting, and the staff, even more so. Picture this – a lobby straight out of a movie set, complete with a grand fireplace that wraps you in warmth. Michelle at the front desk made check-in a breeze, setting the tone for a welcoming stay.

Our room, a standard double queen, was a haven of comfort. Traveling with my sister and two kiddos, the space was more than ample. Two highlights stole my heart: first, the bathroom. Divided into two sections, it's a haven of practicality. One half hosts the toilet and shower, while the other boasts a spacious vanity with a double sink, a bench seat, and a generously sized mirrored closet. A true luxury for a mom on the go!

The second highlight? The view! Despite the winter chill, our waterpark view room offered a breathtaking sight of the mountains. Imagine waking up to that every morning – pure bliss.

Now, about the beds – fabulous! Except for my little guy who found them a tad too tall, leading to an impromptu bed on the floor. Extra pillows and blankets to the rescue. But for the rest of us, the beds were a dream, especially for my husband who was on a mission to sleep until noon every day.

Winter might not be the typical choice, but our stay during this quieter period was a refreshing change. The tranquility, with only a handful of guests around, allowed us to savor the perks of being the sole occupants.

The indoor pool, despite our adult perception of 'freezing,' was a hit with the kids (and me in the hot tub!). Open 24 hours, it offered a rare chance for one-on-one time with my older son, away from the little brother's antics.

Arcade enthusiasts in the family rejoiced, and despite a meager prize haul for $15, the fun was worth every penny. Did I mention the complimentary HBO? Vacation perks for the win!

Breakfast was a standout feature that drew us to the Music Road Inn – homemade cinnamon rolls, need I say more? The spacious breakfast room ensured a comfortable start to the day, a big win for my crew.

Kudos to the fantastic maid service, ensuring our rooms were spotless throughout our stay. Initially, we planned to explore other accommodations during our summer visit, but after our Music Road Inn experience, it's safe to say we've found our home away from home in the Smokies. The friendly staff and warm welcome have won us over.

Despite a minor hiccup involving my oldest son and a flu-induced adventure, coupled with the impending "Snowstorm Of Doom," we made the call to head home sooner than planned. Regrettably, this meant missing out on a few room photos I had intended to capture. Not to worry, I'll throw in a few shots from the Music Road Inn's website to compensate.

For a family-friendly retreat in the heart of the Smokies, Music Road Inn is the clear choice. I can't express how pleased I am with our stay, and my family echoes the sentiment. Check out their website here or stay updated on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news, discounts, and promotions. Huge thanks to the Music Road Inn staff – we'll be back real soon!

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary stay in exchange for this post. However, all views, thoughts, and opinions are 100% our own.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Harlem Globetrotters 2023 World Tour- Tickets On Sale NOW!


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Sunday, June 5, 2022

Econo Lodge Riverside: A Gem in the Smokies for Budget-Friendly Bliss

We're back from our ten-day escapade in the Smokies, and while vacations are supposed to be relaxing, let's face it – they can be more stressful than staying at home, especially for us moms. But fear not, we've found our new haven in Pigeon Forge – the Econo Lodge Riverside!

Situated conveniently near the town's entrance, with attractions like the Titanic Museum Attraction and The Christmas Place close by, this hotel proved to be a gem. CVS is just across the street, and the added bonus of a trolley stop right outside made exploring the area a breeze.

After a recent top-to-bottom remodel, the Econo Lodge Riverside boasts a fresh, new vibe that sets it apart from your typical Econo Lodge. The value you get for your stay is worth much more than the price tag.

The attentive and friendly staff set the tone for our entire stay, ensuring we felt welcomed and valued. A thoughtful welcome package in our room, especially for the kids, added a personal touch that made our experience memorable.

Our room, equipped with two comfortable queen beds, proved to be perfect for our family of four. Some online reviews mentioned small rooms, but for our week-long stay, space was never an issue. The addition of a small table and chairs, along with a microwave and fridge, provided extra convenience.

Choosing a River View room facing the Little Pigeon River turned out to be a great decision. While it might necessitate a brief outdoor stroll after a swim, the tranquility of waking up to river views compensated for it.

The Econo Lodge Riverside offers a range of amenities that cater to every member of the family. Our favorite pastime included befriending the ducks, thanks to the feed machines by the river. The hotel's complimentary hot breakfast was a delightful start to our day, offering a variety of options, including DIY waffles.

Concerned about connectivity? Fear not; the hotel's WiFi surpassed our expectations, making it faster than our high-speed internet at home. The cable TV, including free HBO, provided entertainment options for the entire family.

For the kids, the game room was a hit, and the laundry room was a lifesaver for this multitasking mom. Both were conveniently located near the pool, which deserves a special mention. The Econo Lodge Riverside boasts one of the best hotel pools we've experienced – clean, spacious, and inviting. From the hot tub to the kiddie pool, every aspect was well-maintained, contributing to a highlight of our stay.

In all honesty, this hotel exceeded our expectations and has become our top pick in the Smokies. With its clean, affordable, and family-friendly atmosphere, coupled with a staff that goes the extra mile, the Econo Lodge Riverside stands out in a sea of options.

Even our departure seemed to mark the end of a perfect vacation, as post-checkout, we encountered a series of unfortunate events. Our family playfully credits the Econo Lodge Riverside as our lucky charm, and we've already decided – it's our go-to hotel for future visits.

So, if you're planning a family trip to the Smoky Mountains and seek an affordable, clean, and welcoming hotel, look no further than Econo Lodge Riverside. Check out their website for more information and stay tuned to their Facebook page for the latest updates, deals, and promotions.

Disclosure: Our family received a complimentary stay at a media rate in exchange for an honest review. As always, our thoughts and opinions are 100% our own, and we are under no obligation to write a positive review.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Unleash the Fun: Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

Looking for an unforgettable family experience in the heart of the Smoky Mountains? Well, buckle up because I've got the inside scoop on an absolute blast for the whole family! We just wrapped up our Spring Break trip to Pigeon Forge, TN, and let me tell you, this one's a game-changer.

Setting the Scene: A Love Letter to the Smoky Mountains
If the Smoky Mountains aren't your favorite place on Earth, they will be after you hear about this gem! Trust me; I've contemplated moving here so many times that I've practically memorized rental listings and long-distance moving companies. It's just that magical.
Dinner Show Delight: Hatfield and McCoy Feud
Now, let's talk dinner shows – and not just any dinner show, but the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud in Sevierville. Nestled between Wonderworks (the "upside-down house") and the Titanic Museum, it's hard to miss. The fun starts the moment you lay eyes on the building, with a petting zoo outside to kick off the excitement!

Over-the-Top Entertainment: A Feast for the Senses
I'm not kidding; this show is the definition of over-the-top fun. From the food to the performers and the music – it's an all-around spectacular experience. Trust me; it's the one dinner show that had my entire family hooked, from little ones to teenagers to the husbands. The consensus? This was the highlight of our trip!

Pre-Show Excitement: Petting Zoos and Redneck Treasures
Before the curtain rises, enjoy a lively atmosphere with a pre-show petting zoo. And have you seen the gift shop? Packed with cool and unique "redneck" items, it's a shopping experience like no other.

Dinner and a Show: A Culinary Adventure
Now, let's talk about the food – oh, the food! An amazing, family-style, all-you-can-eat meal is served right to your table. And let me tell you, it's beyond delicious. Take a look at those mouthwatering dishes!

Our family had an absolute blast, and that's saying something! When I asked everyone about the highlight of our trip, the unanimous response was the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud. It's an experience that brought us all together, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

This wasn't just a show; it was a memory-making extravaganza. I can't recommend the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud enough. In fact, I'm already eyeing their Christmas show for our next visit! It's a unique, family-friendly atmosphere that's hard to find anywhere else. Trust me; this is something you'll remember forever. Don't miss out – check out their website HERE for more details and start planning your own adventure in the Smoky Mountains!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Countdown to Tranquility: Our Upcoming Escape to the Smoky Mountains with Econo Lodge Riverside!

As our venture into homeschooling and college life unfolds, the excitement for our upcoming escape to the Smoky Mountains is palpable. Join me on this journey as we eagerly await the tranquility that awaits us at the Econo Lodge Riverside in Pigeon Forge. From affordability to amenities, let's delve into why this is our go-to choice.

Thriving Amidst Challenges: A January Escape Unveiled
Reflecting on our previous January trip, unexpected challenges like snowstorms, tornadoes, and unique in-store experiences added twists to our plans. Despite these hurdles, the allure of the Smoky Mountains persisted, prompting our return in September to explore the uncharted territories we missed earlier.

Why Econo Lodge Riverside: Affordability Meets Excellence
Affordability is a non-negotiable criterion for me when it comes to hotels. Econo Lodge Riverside not only aligns with my budget-conscious nature but also ranks impressively as the #10 hotel out of 94 in Pigeon Forge. Trusting the insights of fellow Trip Advisors, I am eager to validate if the Econo Lodge Riverside lives up to its acclaim.

Essentials of a Perfect Stay: Pools, Breakfast, and Convenience

A Pool for Our Little Fish: For my three-year-old, Bean, "the pools" are a vacation highlight. Econo Lodge Riverside boasts a promising pool that I believe will leave my little fish thoroughly impressed.

Free Breakfast, Stress-Free Mornings: Traveling with spirited kids, the convenience of a free breakfast is invaluable. No stress, no mess—just a delightful start to our mornings with the enticing prospect of biscuits and gravy.

Ease of Navigation: Admittedly "directionally challenged," finding our way around is paramount. Econo Lodge Riverside's central location right on the main road ensures easy access to attractions and the Pigeon Forge trolley, catering to my navigational needs.

Anticipation and Excitement: The Countdown Begins
Our anticipation is building, fueled by the hotel's proximity to the Little Pigeon River. The prospect of hanging out, feeding ducks, and the promise of picturesque mornings amplify our excitement.

Closing Thoughts: Ready for Pigeon Forge's Warm Embrace
While personal pictures and an in-depth review are yet to come, I have a sixth sense about this stay. Stay tuned for updates as we embark on our Smoky Mountain adventure, sharing our experiences and reviews. Pigeon Forge, get ready—we're coming soon!

Booking Information:
Interested in securing your stay at Econo Lodge Riverside? Click here for an unforgettable experience. Don't forget to stay informed about the latest news, deals, and promotions by liking their Facebook Fan Page!

Our family is grateful for the media rate discount and/or complimentary stay provided by Econo Lodge Riverside. In exchange, we offer honest thoughts and reviews. Rest assured, all opinions are 100% our own, and no monetary compensation is involved.

Choosing Your Smoky Mountain Retreat: Cabins vs. Hotels - What's Right for You?

Embarking on a trip to the Smokies? Deciding where to stay is a pivotal step, and we've got your back. Join us as we explore the factors that can help you determine whether a cozy cabin or a convenient hotel suits your Smoky Mountain adventure.

Decisive Factors: Your Blueprint for Planning

1. Cost:
Navigating your budget is key, and both cabins and hotels offer options across the spectrum. While prices can vary, a general rule of thumb is that cabins and hotels in the Smokies typically range between $100-150 a night. Consider your budget and preferences to find the sweet spot for your stay.

2. Location:
Location sets the tone for your Smoky Mountain experience. Cabins often nestle in the mountains, offering serene seclusion, while hotels are conveniently located in or near town centers. Decide whether you crave the excitement of downtown or the tranquility of the mountains, factoring in your preference for driving or walking to attractions. Personally, I love staying in hotels when I want to be close to the action, and maybe sneak out for a quick walk on the strip at night, or grab a late night snack at a snack shop! 

3. Privacy:
Define the nature of your vacation. If you seek peace, quiet, and privacy, a cabin is your sanctuary. Cabins often offer seclusion, while hotels may involve shared spaces and neighboring guests. Your preference for a family adventure, romantic getaway, or a mix of both will guide you toward the ideal retreat.

4. Weather:
Nature plays a role in your decision. Consider weather conditions, especially in the mountains. While snow-capped mountains are breathtaking, accessibility to cabins might be affected. Check road conditions and have contingency plans, especially if rain is in the forecast. For hotel stays, plan activities with weather fluctuations in mind.

5. Amenities:
Identify the must-have amenities for your stay. Cabins can offer private pools, hot tubs, and game rooms, ensuring a personal paradise. Hotels, on the other hand, might boast spas, water parks, and on-site dining. Know your priorities—whether it's a cozy cabin retreat or the convenience of hotel amenities—to streamline your search.

6. Size of Your Party:
The size of your traveling party is a pivotal factor. Cabins provide flexible options for different group sizes, making them ideal for family reunions or large gatherings. Hotels may require additional rooms or suites for bigger groups, potentially impacting costs. Personally, for our family of five, a cabin is SO nice to have the extra room to stretch out and not be all over each other in a cramped hotel room! 

7. Convenience:
Consider the level of convenience you desire. If you prefer a carefree vacation with minimal planning, a hotel in a central location might be your best bet. Avoiding driving and navigating can be a game-changer. However, if you enjoy the freedom of driving and value a more secluded atmosphere, a cabin might align better with your preferences.

Personal Recommendations:
We've had wonderful experiences at Econo Lodge Riverside and Music Road Inn in Pigeon Forge, offering both comfort and family-friendly atmospheres. For those seeking a true family adventure, Wilderness At The Smokies with its three water parks and family adventure center is a standout choice. If cabins are more your style, we recommend Arrowhead Cabin Rentals.

As you plan your Smoky Mountain retreat, the choice between a cabin and a hotel ultimately boils down to your preferences, group size, and the experience you seek. Whether you're drawn to the quiet intimacy of a cabin or the convenience of a hotel, the Smokies have something for everyone. Share your favorite Smoky Mountain stays in the comments below!

Wilderness at the Smokies: A Splashing Good Time in the Heart of the Smoky Mountains

Note: Since our last visit to Wilderness at The Smokies, the whole property has undergone a huge remodel and expansion! We have not been able to head down to check it out just yet, but we are excited to do so in the future, and will update you guys when we do! 

Our Smoky Mountain adventure reached new heights with an unforgettable two-night stay at Wilderness at the Smokies Resort in Sevierville, TN. Join us as we dive into the waterpark wonders, family-friendly accommodations, and endless entertainment this resort has to offer. Spoiler alert: It's a wild ride of fun!

Accommodation Surprise: A Bunk Suite Delight
Tater's dream finally came true as our family reveled in a delightful bunk suite at River Lodge. The surprise reveal of extending our vacation left the boys ecstatic. The room, adorned with a rustic cabin charm yet modern touches, featured a queen bed, twin/queen bunk bed, and a pull-out twin sleeper sofa. With a microwave, fridge, and a small table, it was the perfect home away from home. The private balcony treated us to stunning views of Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark and the majestic mountains. Two flat-screen TVs were a thoughtful touch, ensuring everyone had their own watchlist. Despite a minor TV hiccup (swiftly resolved by maintenance), we fell in love with the cozy space!

Waterpark Wonderland: Wild Waterdome Adventures
Our adventure kicked off at the Wild Waterdome Indoor Waterpark—an awe-inspiring spectacle. The vast expanse of activities was overwhelming in the best possible way. The wave pool, a favorite of the big boys, kept them captivated, while the kiddie area provided safe splashing for our little one. The Storm Chaser and Runaway Canyon tested our thrill limits, with Tater leading the charge. The Smokies Surf Rider stole the show, becoming a highlight of our entire trip. Our dinner at the Thirsty Miner restaurant in River Lodge was a treat, and the Kids Eat Free deal made it even more delightful. With multiple dining options on-site, convenience was the name of the game.

Adventure Forest Extravaganza: A Haven for Arcade Lovers
Our time oscillated between the Wild Waterdome and the all-new Adventure Forest dry play area, showcasing an arcade paradise. The boys' enthusiasm for the arcade was infectious, making even non-arcade lovers like me enjoy the experience. The Adventure Forest offered a variety of attractions, from bowling and mini-golf to a ropes course and laser tag. Cubs Climbing Den stole Bean's heart, despite a minor tumble. An "all-day" pass for unlimited play was a fantastic deal, ensuring hours of non-stop fun!

Future Plans and Resort Gems: An All-Encompassing Experience
As we soaked in the picturesque view from our room, plans for a return trip began taking shape. The promise of exploring the outdoor waterparks and embarking on new adventures with extended family fueled our excitement. The trustworthiness of the resort's representation on its website was evident, making it a reliable guide for future planning.

Tips for an Unforgettable Stay: Insider Insights
Here are some handy tips for maximizing your Wilderness at the Smokies experience:

  • Dining Delight: Take advantage of the "Kids Eat Free" deal at the Thirsty Miner restaurant.
  • Adventure Forest Pass: Consider the "All Stay" pass for Adventure Forest to make the most of your visit.
  • Towel Tactics: Use towel cards provided for waterpark towels, ensuring a hassle-free exchange.
  • Pack Smart: Opt for comfy attire—yoga pants, tees, and tennis shoes—for an easygoing stay.
  • Extended Play: Arrive early or stay after check-out to enjoy the waterpark for additional hours.
  • Explore Beyond Waterparks: Uncover extra amenities like the gift shop, candy store, pottery studio, fitness center, and more.
A heartfelt thank you to the incredible team at Wilderness at the Smokies for hosting us and helping create enduring memories. We're already counting down the days until our next visit!


Saturday, January 1, 2022

A Candid Guide to Childbirth: The Truth About Having A Baby

Hey, courageous readers! If you're not afraid of a little real talk, buckle up because we're diving into the untold truths of childbirth. Warning: it's not your average bedtime story. So, if you're faint of heart, consider this your exit pass.

Expect the Unexpected Blood Show:
Everyone skirts around it, but let’s lay it out there – there will be blood. Not just any blood, but clots. Think fruit-sized. Lemons, limes, kiwis – you get the idea. It might look like your insides are staging a grand escape, but fear not. It’s normal. Consider yourself forewarned.

Unleash the Uncontrollable:
Brace yourself for a symphony of bodily mayhem. Puking? Check. Teeth chattering? Double-check. Alternating between freezing and burning up? Absolutely. Post-birth contractions that rival the ones before? You bet. The birthing journey kicks off with surprises; I found myself introducing my newborn to the world with a side of nausea. Talk about a memorable entrance!

Hospital Stay Reality Check:
Forget the notion of peaceful post-birth recovery. The hospital stay is a whirlwind of examinations, visitors, and zero moments of silence. Rest? A myth. Even with a supposed "quiet time," you're signing papers, answering questions, and getting poked and prodded. Sleep is a luxury. Trust me; it's a wild ride.

Nurses: Unsung Heroes and Stomach Poke Masters:
Nurses will become your intimate companions, checking stitches, poking your belly, and discussing bowel movements like it's an art form. Don't be surprised if they become your saviors. Shoutout to those nurses who, upon hearing my hunger woes, delivered a treasure trove of takeout menus. Absolute angels!

The Occasional Scare:
Oxygen masks, mysterious monitors – childbirth has its suspenseful moments. I found myself hooked up to machines, worried we were starring in a medical drama. Little did I know, these experiences were all part of the norm in the labor and delivery ward.

Embrace the Awesome Chaos:
Amidst the chaos, find the awesomeness. Childbirth is nothing short of miraculous. With Tater, fear held me captive, but with Bean, I was present. I even cut the cord! Feeling your body do its thing, something primal and beyond your control, is bizarrely exhilarating. Pain, yes. Suckiness, absolutely. But April 24, 2006, and May 30, 2010 – hands down, the two best days of my life.

So, here's to the messy, unfiltered truth of childbirth – it's wild, it's crazy, but it's undeniably extraordinary. Embrace it, remember it, and relish in the sheer wonder of bringing life into this world.


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