One day we visited Cade's Cove, an old settlement in a farming valley in the park. There are several old log buildings still standing. It was quite cold that day but we saw herds of deer and numerous old buildings, a working original mill and other cool things.
On the last day it was quite warm and we hiked 4.5 miles round trip to see a 90 foot waterfall. It was a "moderate difficulty" hike but with 5 kids it was even more interesting..."my legs are tired", "I'm thirsty", "carry me", "how much farther". The kids sure were getting tired of the four adults whining like that! :)
The weather was nice most days. For about half a day we had some rain so we decided to make that a "town" day and went to breakfast at one of the 7,000 pancake houses, then visited the aquarium. After that the boys went to Ripley's celebrity car museum and the girls went to Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. We got exotic beef jerky and some fudgy ice cream.
Every night we had a campfire and enjoyed s'mores. We experimented with coconut marshmallows and the super jumbo sized marshmallows. The kids played flashlight tag in the nearly empty campground and stayed up WAAAYYY past bedtime every night. One night we drove in to Pigeon Forge and went to dinner at the Dixie Stampede. This is a dinner show where you cheer for the North or the South and there are horses and trick riders and audience participation contests, etc. You eat with your hands and everyone gets the same thing, a whole chicken, pork steak, corn on the cob, soup, biscuit. Basically it is like the redneck version of Medieval Times.
We are back home now. I have done about 10 loads of laundry but haven't folded any of it! Camping is messy business...and everything is smoky. The kids have another whole week of Spring Break but we are just hanging around the house. The weather is wonderful right now but it is supposed to cool off considerably and begin raining later this week.