Because I Said So: July 2013
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Monday, July 1, 2013

The Ellzey's Take Tennessee

My family should no doubt have a reality TV show.

It's only day 4 of Ellzey family vacation and there has been so many things happen to us that I can't help but think,


Let me give you a brief over view and then break it down for you.

  1. Me trying to stick to my diet and get enough WW activity points throughout the day.

  2. My family's grand idea to only eat at local places constitutes for lots of arguing and driving around before anyone makes a decision (usually takes about 2 hours to actually decide anything!)

  3. Lots of panicking in general.

  4. Dad's sense of general misdirection.

DAY 1:

Let me preface this by saying, my family has a hard time getting anywhere on time. With four girls in the family, nothing gets done on time. That being said, this year, me and Carol (my younger sister) were determined to be on the way to vacation early. So, naturally we made an itinerary. Do all families do that? My guess? Probs not. First on the agenda, leave home at 5 am. Well, that was the goal anyway. My family has never been good with leaving on time, getting anywhere on time (church), or any time frame in general. However, this year we didn't do sooo bad.

Me and my little sister Carol made an itinerary the day before so I think that helped. We left at 6 still considered the crack of dawn and drove all the way to Chattanooga by about 2pm. I drove the first half of the 8 hour trip and we made it Chattanooga with plenty of time to see Rock City and Ruby Falls.  Lots of walking on these two events so that was good news for my activity points for WeightWatchers. These two places are a must see and very classic and beautiful to walk through.

As soon as we left Rock City, the bottom fell out. Of course at the same time, it was about dinner time and sticking with our "only eating at local places" we drove around in the pouring rain looking for the place to eat. After a few misdirections and shouting NO NOT THAT WAY!, we made it to a pizza joint. "Mr. T's Pizza and Ice Cream" Surprisingly this place was really good and just what we needed after a full day in the car and walking around. Plus it was reasonably priced, which dad is always concerned about.

Inside Ruby Falls


Day 2:

We went to the Incline Railway and stood in line for ages. You would think it was a ride at Disney. After making it to the top, we explored the surrounding neighborhood, dreaming of my parents buying one of the gorgeous mountain homes. Upon reaching the line to go back down the mountain, Carol tells everyone that she cant find her ticket. She had it and then it disappeared.

Incline Railway

"Someone should tell you that you should hold on to it! How was I supposed to know?" -Carol  (panic moment #1)

After a few minutes of shock and panic, we found it and we didn't have to leave her up there or walk down the mountain. Leaving there we stopped for lunch at "Mojo Burrito" and then headed to our cabin in Pigeon Forge. On the way, we stopped on a whim to see the Lost Sea Caverns. This place was my choice, thank you very much, and it was so much fun! Spoiler alert: There's an underground lake and it has fish in it.

After almost dying a few times, thanks to dad's mountain driving, we FINALLY made it to the cabin at the tippy top of the mountain. In the mountains, the sun does not set until 9. NO JOKE. So it doesn't seem like its dinner until about 9:30 which, for the record, is way too late for dinner. We finally made it to a place called "Holston's", but it really wasn't all that good. (probs because it was too late) After eating, we still needed groceries for the week. Again, after driving around for awhile and arguing about what time the nearest Food City was open until, we got the grocery shopping done. Hint: look for Giant, NEON, signs with the words "OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT" instead of just assuming its already closed.


DAY 3:

Today we got a late start. But boy did we get worn out! We went to this place called the "chimneys." Basically is a river with a bunch of giant boulders and rocks you can climb on with picnic areas scattered around within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Channeling my inner child, my sisters and I climbed on the rocks and made a game out of it. We wanted to make it to the rocks in the sun. (It was chilly and the water was FREEZING) So the way the river was, there was no straight way to the "rocks in the sun."

The Chimneys

We had to go up, back, down, across, etc. Seriously exhausted ALL of my problem solving skills for the next month. Carol had quite the exciting day ,as she face planted a few times in the water and once next to me on a giant rock.

Problem Solving

Moving on from the chimneys, we went in search of the trail to hike to Grotto Falls. This was not classified as an "easy" hike. Rather, it was "moderate." Moderate my butt.

Grotto Falls

It was so hard! One point four miles up and one point four miles back. Tripping over roots and rocks and crossing some not so tiny mountain streams is classified as STRENUOUS in my book. But we made it there and back in one piece and happy that we didn't give up half way through! That night we were so hungry and may have gone off of our "only eat at local places." We ate at a restaurant called Calhoun's in Pigeon Forge and it really wasn't that good, although Steph really liked her food.

The Falls


DAY 4:

Today isn't over yet, as I'm writing this post, but it might as well be for my family. Literally everyone is sleeping around me in the living room.

This morning we got up early and went EXTREME ZIP-LINING at 9am. This was so cool and we got to see the mountains from a completely different view. The guides were hilarious and obviously kept us safe. Even Carol, who wasn't too sure about the whole thing when we first started, ending up LOVING it. After about three hours of swinging through the trees, we came back to the cabin for Lunchables and then went Tubing.

Ellzey fam after zipping through the trees!

**For all you Louisianians, its more like floating down the river than TUBING, but still lots of fun.**

We started down the river in our tubes no problem. However, it started raining and that's when ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. The rain got harder and harder, it was thundering, and people were panicking. The family got separated and Steph and I ended up paddling with our shoes for our lives the rest of the way down the river, while the rest of the family struggled up the banks of the river through a briar patch hoping to be picked up by the river guides. All in all, it was a great time and we can laugh about it now, but Carol came out with sticks and thorns all over her, while Steph can bitten by what could be described as a rabid ant.

Ziplining! And like I said, the day isn't even over yet. This is what happens when the Ellzey's Take Tennessee.

Seriously, someone get this family a reality TV show...Because I Said So!