A few weeks ago I wrote an unplanned blog post about my thoughts on this trip that was a bit random in nature. For this post, I have a theme at least–what our plans are for this particular visit, which is a lot different than how we usually plan a Gatlinburg trip. As of this writing, we are a mere three weeks from another excursion to our favorite spot. Mentally, we are ready for this, of course, but we still have things to do before we go. The following will describe what we doing and basically outline our plans so we have an idea of how to spend our brief time in Gatlinburg.

Day 1

We usually avoid Gatlinburg intentionally during the weekends; now, not only are we giving the weekend a shot again, we are going during a holiday to boot. Unfortunately, this is really the only opportunity afforded to us for a three-day trip to the mountains, since it’s hard with our son being in school–even though he’s not coming with us, it’s still difficult.

We plan on leaving when he gets on the bus around a quarter till 7 in the morning and hopefully getting into Gatlinburg in time to take advantage of the new Alamo restaurant’s BOGO free deal on lunches–served until 3 in the afternoon. It will be our first visit to Alamo, and since we love two other Johnson’s restaurants, our expectations are rather high. Just by looking at the pictures of their food online and on social media, we are really looking forward to getting a real treat with their offerings.

I teased on my Twitter page a few days ago about a place we haven’t visited since 2012–that place is Zoder’s Inn. They were affected by the fires last year and took their time to do some much-needed cleaning and remodeling as well. We loved the location, and it is why we stayed there on our very first two trips to Gatlinburg. So far, they have already exceeded our expectations by calling us after we booked the room online–this surprised us. I don’t remember what I requested but they said we could have one of the remodeled rooms but not on the floor we wanted; however, by looking at their social media pages, (they are now very active on social media, by the way) we wanted to stay in one bad enough to not care what floor it was on. Hopefully, our stay is just as special as how it was some five years ago. Boy, has it really been that long!

After checking into Zoder’s, we may do some moonshine tasting a bit later. Last June I bought four bottles of Doc Collier’s–a very underrated place that I recommend for some good tasting shine–but my wife did not try them, and this time she is interested in trying them with me. I don’t think she wanted to try the ones I bought, so I am still making my way through them. I’ll finish by saying that there are a couple I’d like to buy already, but I’ll let y’all know after we visit which ones I bought, if I do.

Day 2

Now we’re really going to start getting into the best parts of our trip, and it starts with breakfast at…c’mon now, you know where our favorite morning eatery is: it’s Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. The only question is what I’m planning on getting. I’ve successfully ordered a different menu item every time we’ve visited, so it’s getting harder to figure out what to get. The one thing I know is that everything has been fantastic, and this time should be no exception.

Lunch is usually an up-in-the-air thing for us, so we are going to use this day–weather permitting, of course, to visit the new Anakeesta attraction in Gatlinburg. This is where staying at Zoder’s is going to pay dividends for us, because of their location and Doc Collier’s being very convenient to Zoder’s. We’ve never seen snow-capped mountains with our own eyes, so hopefully, this will give us a simply magnificent–and majestic–view of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. My wife is really looking forward to doing this–as am I–but she is a bit uneasy about getting there by way of the chondola. She definitely won’t do the chairlift, so this is the only other option available.

Dinner will be a case of same-but-different with us eating at Best Italian, but not in Elks Plaza like normal; this time we are planning on going to the lesser-received one on the Parkway. Their pizza and garlic rolls are what brings us to this Gatlinburg local Italian restaurant. The service was a little strange and off-putting last time, but the pizza is better than anything we get here in Ohio, so we’ll give them another chance in the service department before we think about other options…ahem, maybe Smoky Mountain Brewery, who makes a fantastic pie–with great craft beer too.

Day 3

As you all who’ve read my blog know, I cherish my morning walks to The Village in Gatlinburg to visit the Donut Friar and Coffee and Company for breakfast. The only question with this visit will be whether my wife will decide to make the walk with me, as I normally do it alone so she can sleep in a bit; and yes, I do bring her a favorite donut of hers from the Friar: the Chocolate Chipper.

Today is a day for tying up some loose ends by buying some of our favorite fudge from Chocolate Monkey and whatever souvenir we may find to our liking that’s worthy of purchase. There are other options that are dependant on the weather, and whether the roads are good enough to travel out to The Arts and Crafts Community: Custom Creations by Beth and maybe other undiscovered gems out on Glades Road. We bought one of Beth’s artwork that is hanging up on our bedroom wall, so we look forward to seeing some her beautifully crafted artwork when we come here now.

Day three’s dinner will be at the widely acclaimed Cherokee Grill in downtown Gatlinburg in Calhoun’s Village. Once again, if you read my blog you’ll know how much we love this restaurant. It is the most expensive meal on our trip, but it’s worth every penny when they’re as consistently excellent as they normally are.

Day 4

This day is notable only for our final stopping point before we…wait, the last spot will really be Donut Friar before we head home, but prior to that, we will eat breakfast at a place we returned to last June after a long absence: Log Cabin Pancake House. I’m thinking of trying crepes for the first time on this visit, but we’ll see how I feel about that when we arrive. I know my wife will probably order some of their excellent ham and maybe another a-la-carte item.

Sadly, that will conclude our trip. Stop back to my blog again in a few weeks, and I will give you guys a full report of how everything panned out. Until then, I’d like to wish everyone Happy Holidays, and of course, I appreciate all of you that take time out of your busy lives to read my posts. Thanks, and see you all again soon!