paulaandhappy's DIBB Photo Blogs


It’s almost time for our big adventure and road trip as in the title it starts in Washington and ends there too.

We set off on 31st of August to Manchester Airport staying at the Raddison for the night. Really looking forward to it but not looking forward to leaving our little baby Lola she is a French Bulldog and just turned one the longest we have left her is a week in Feb when we went to Tenerife. Since then though we have decided to only go abroad once a year and our Feb holiday will be a UK one where she can come too. Her photo is at the top of the report.



Today she was stung by a bee and had to have a trip to vets to get something to take swelling down in her muzzle. Nothing to do with report but it’s these things u worry about when ur not there.

Anyway Sept 1st we fly FLYBE to Charles de Gaulle to catch our Air France flight to Dulles Washington on an A380.

Spend 3 nights at the State Plaza in Washington then head back to airport to pick up hire car for rest of trip.
Heading to Front Royal the entrance to Shenandoah National Park for the night via Harper’s Ferry saw the place in an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Hotel Hell it looks such a lovely town.
From Front Royal we head to Skyland Resort in the National Park for 2 nights. Then onto to Roanoke for 1 night , Roanoke Rapids for the next night and then head to Kitty Hawk for 4 nights. We have booked a cabin there from Airbnb and have booked a boat trip to see Dolphins and a kayak trip as well. After Kitty Jawk we are a night in Williamsburg then back to Washington for our last night staying at Doubletree near airport and shopping malls for some last minute shopping.

Sorry not much on way of photos here but am going to try and do daily report and get photos for that as go along.


Eat and Play Card


It's only 32 days until we start our trip back to the mouse. Usually we only go for 2 weeks but have managed to tag in an extra 3 days this time. We are also taking along my other halfs sister and 9 year old nephew.
We start our trip with an overnight at Manchester Airport at the Raddisson and then 5 nights at All Star Music before moving to International Drive for rest of the time.
This trip is going to be pretty full on but then all our trips are we don't do sitting around relaxing very well! Especially as our nephew might not be back for a long time we all want to pack as much in as possible. The last time he went was 2014 so we have measured him and it's looking like he should be able to do all the rides.
Am going to try and post this every day while we are away fingers crossed.

All that has to be done now before we go is pack our cases (nephew Jake is already packed!) and then we will be good to go.

We have the V room booked, managed to get seats in the bubble and I will turn 50 while we are away not really looking forward to hitting the big 5 0 but then it should be better there than at home! Spending the day at Discovery Cove so probably the most relaxing chilled day we can manage!




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Update on our pre trippie had a bit of a day today when Paula (other half) came off her Segway when battery died and so we had a trip to A&E she had a blood disorder that stops her blood clotting so had a nasty bash on face. As we were heading there her arm was hurting. Turns out she has broke her arm so now got a wait to see if it's going to be ok before holiday or if she will still be in a cast!



Not many photos today at all.
We got up and went to Starbucks for breakfast after a lie in then back to the hotel and checked out around 11.30 am and went over to the airport terminal.

Went to the United desk and paid for our extra luggage and got our bags checked in and said goodbye to them until Manchester.
I had been approved for pre selected security so didn't have to take shoes off etc but DW had to go through normal security. However Knoxville airport has to have the easiest security we have ever done no queue and took less than 2 minutes to go through.



Went and sat down in some rocking chairs they have these all round the terminal looking out onto the runway.

Then went to Cinnabon for a snack while we waited for boarding time.

Boarded on time but flight 10-15 mins late taking off but still arrived in on time at Washington.



The plane we flew to Washington on was small only 56 seats same as on way there.

Washington was also a breeze as we didn't have to do security again boarding was on time and take off on time.

However the flight home had to be the worst I have ever been on with turbulence from almost start to finish. I hate flying so was on edge the whole time even after having tablets to calm my nerves.
Entertainment on plane worked on way home which helped watched Poltergeist, Terminator Genysis and Pitch Perfect 2.

Thankfully the flight arrived an hour ahead of time so we got it at 6 am instead of 7am there was a huge queue at immigration bit out bags came off quick so found our taxi and home for 8 am.

We really enjoyed our holiday it was completely different from any other we have been on but was one of the best holidays we have had.



Today we were leaving our condo in the Smokies 😞 and driving to Knoxville to the Candlewood Suites at the airport before our flights home tomorrow.

We had a bit of a lie in not setting an alarm and set off around 10ish.
We were going the scenic route through Wears Valley the same way we went almost 2 weeks ago.

We stopped off at an Antique place and if anyone has ever watched the to show American Pickers it was a bit like that an Aladdins cave once you went in !



Some photos from inside but this is only a tiny part of the place.









We carried on for a little while and stopped off at a shopping centre that had a grocery place called Food City and a Dollar General also Cvs and a few local shops.
This statue was outside one of the local shops.



We got to the Candlewood Suites and checked in. Never stopped in one of these before but we were surprised how nice it was for a hotel that is rated 2stars it was lovely better than some of the so called better chains we have stayed in.






After returning the hire car we went for a walk along from the hotel for something to eat ended up at Taco Bell just needed something small as was around 3 and we were going to go for dinner around 7.

After our snack we found this place that sells Modular Homes which in the UK would be called Static Caravans, now it so happens we run a Holiday Park so were quite interested to have a look at some of them.

So being cheeky sods we went and asked telling them why we wanted to and the gentleman there gave us the keys and said they would open any we wanted to look in 😀

This phot above is the outside of one



A few inside photos they are just so much bigger than the ones we sell at home!















We went back to the hotel and chilled for a couple of hours then went to the Ruby Tuesday beside the hotel for dinner. Again not been to this chain before and it was lovely. DW had smoky mountain chicken which is a bit like New York chicken at home. I had a small steak and coconut shrimp which was lovely






Sorry they are a bit half eaten but this is as good as it gets with my food photos



We then went back to hotel able to have as long a lie as we want as we don't have to be out of hotel till 12 and our flight isn't until 2.30pm and being a domestic flight to start off only need to be there a couple of hours before😊



Today we were returning to Cades Cove so got ourselves up at 7.30am and out the door for 8.

Got to Cades Cove and had just started the drive round when we saw our first bear of the day.



He or she was busy eating fruit off of a tree apparently it has been a bad year for the Bears food wise there hasn't been much in the way of berries etc for them and they are having a bit of a food frenzy before they hibernate.
Just after we saw this one we caught a glimpse of a mummy bear and a couple of her baby's but they were too quick for us to get a photo



We also saw a few of these



A lot of the lovely scenery



And a couple of places we didn't stop off at the last time.
It really is a lovely place and if I lived here I would be visiting every weekend!



On the last little bit of the trail we were lucky enough to see another bear we were told it was an adult but it was very small.
We managed to park up and get out to get some better photos on my camera these photos were from my phone.
It did get scared off tho after a bit when a coach came past. The bus was full of Amish people there was a lot of them around this last few days and they had someone taking photos for them I guess because they won't use things like that themselves.






Nice little stream



After coming back from Cades cove we visited the Applebarn which has an ice cream shop and all things to do with and what they make from apples.



We had seen a quilt we wanted to get from a place called lil Dollys but wasn't sure if we had luggage space so decided to go back and pack our cases and see what we had!
Anyway we were both over our luggage weight so we had brought a hold-all with us that we use for an extra bag of we need it and because we were going to have to pay for extra luggage we would get the quilt and some matching shams it is lovely with some Bears on it.



After getting the quilt we went back to Corkys for dinner we went there on our first night so decided to go there on our last night at Pigeon Forge it was just as good as the first night yummy!

We don't fly home until Saturday but have booked the Candlewood suites at Knoxvile airport for tomorrow it was a bit of a last minute decision as I don't like flying and always get a bit of a funny stomach so didn't feel like driving to Knoxville and flying the same day so to spread the stress we are driving to the airport tomorrow stopping at anywhere we feel like on the way.



Today we were doing the Roaring Forks Motor Trail so after getting ready we set off around 9am driving to Gatlinburg and picking up the nature trail at traffic lights no 8.

I hadn't really read much up on this motor trail and didn't expect so narrow a road with big drops at one side so wasn't entirely comfortable with the drive.



However the views were good from some points.

Didn't see much of any wildlife other than a few squirrels.



There were a few nice spots along the river.



And some more lovely old cabins to stop and have a look around shame though about some of the graffiti people feel the need to leave behind on them.



After this we parked up in Gatlinburg and went for a game of adventure golf at the circus one on the road.

Was a bit disappointing inside as from the outside they have stuff out to make u think it's the same inside but it's not.



We then went to the Smoky Mountain Brewery for lunch which was really nice. Wasn't having a beer but did get a couple of samples to try which were lovely.
To eat DW had a house salad and some cheese quesadillas and I had a Philly cheese steak and fries both agreed it was very nice.



What was even better is that it came to $31 but 25 of this was paid with the dinner voucher we got when we went on the timeshare visit so only cost us $15 including the servers tip who we have a bit extra as he was very nice giving me some beer samples



After this we went for a wander an found a big chair we all had to have a go on including the Teddies!






Stopped at Kilwins for an ice cream toasted coconut was yummy.

Didn't take any more photos after this one we were feeling a bit tired so just nipped to the old mill area to pick up some small moonshine tasters to take home

Then nipped to Food city for something for tea as didn't fancy going anywhere or having that much then back to condo to chill for the night.
Ended up doing a little bit of packing I hate that cos it means going home soon only 2 more full days left it really has been a great place to visit.

Tomorrow we are going back to Cades Cove not sure what else yet.



Not got very many pictures today for some reason.
We started the day by visiting Mingo falls just outside of Cherokee on our way back to Pigeon forge.
After parking up it is a bit of a hike upto the falls there are around 200 steps and then a little bit of a walk although it's not really far less than half a mile the steps up make it steep.
But once you are up there it is well worth the climb.



The falls are the highest falls on the Smokies and are lovely.

Today seemed to be a day of climbing hills as our next stop was Clingmans Dome.

We drove up the Clingmans dome road and got to a quarter of a mile of the car park and the road was backed up with people trying to park!
However we got parked within 10 - 10 mins so not so bad.



The view from the carpark before we even climbed the hill to the viewpoint itself was stunning couldn't really believe we had driven so high up.

I am not the best when it comes to climbing up hills so just took my time and stopped a few times on the way up. It seems a lot of people do the same and there are some benches on the way up to stop at. DW on the other hand would have done the climb in one go but did wait for me.



On the way up



View from the top u could see Pigeon forge in the distance from on of the sides. Apparently it is possible to see a hundred miles away on a really clear day, although it was pretty clear today there was still a slight haze in the distance but still spectacular all the same.
Definitely made it worth the climb.



After we got back down decided to stop off at the Ober Gatlinburg and get the tram to the top of the mountain to the amusement park ski area.

We didn't really take much pictures there and none on the tram on the way up but it looked like this



It was in my opinion a bit of a rip off really as you paid $12 each to go on the tram then still had to pay to do anything up there I only paid for the wildlife area $7 and DW paid to do the alpine coaster anther $15 as well as the wildlife area.



In the wildlife area the had mainly native animals to Tennessee that had been rescued and wouldn't survive in the wild however I was disappointed in there enclosures as they were nothing like what they would have if they were living in the wild.

I didn't take any pics of the Bears because of this in my opinion with the amount of money they were taking in they could at least make where the animals live a bit more like the wild instead of pretty much concrete enclosures.

The otters which I took pics of seemed happy when they were being fed tho.



After getting back to the condo and changed we were off to the Dixie Stampede.
Only managed to take a few photos before the show as no photography allowed inside the arena.
The pre show started at 7.45 in the Dixie saloon which was pretty good.






Only managed one photo inside the arena when no one looking.

The show itself was very enjoyable and the food was better than at lumberjack feud.
I did enjoy the show at Dixie stampede more than lumberjacks and wish it was still on in Orlando as would definately go see it again there.

Got back to condo around half past ten and ready for bed off on The Roaring Forks motor trail tomorrow.


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paulaandhappy's DIBB Photo Blogs
2018
It All Begins And Ends In Washington! Pre Trip
2017
The Big Oh No I'm 50 Trip! Pre Trip
2015
Taking Teddy To Tennessee Day 16 Journey Home
Taking Teddy To Tennessee Day 15
Taking Teddy To Tennessee Day 14
Taking Teddy To Tennessee Day 13
Taking Teddy To Tennessee Day 12
Taking Teddy To Tennessee Day 11
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Park Hours - Saturday 18/08/2018

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
8:00am
~to~
12:00am
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
9:30pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:30pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
~to~
9:30pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Legoland Water Park
Legoland Water Park
10:30am
~to~
6:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 8:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.2492
CaxtonFX  $1.2457
Covent Garden FX  $1.2596
FAIRFX  $1.2460
John Lewis  $1.2522
M&S  $1.2249
Post Office  $1.2456
Sainsburys  $1.2470
TESCO  $1.2508
Travelex  $1.2410
Updated: 14:30 18/08/2018

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Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.0964
CaxtonFX  €1.0895
Covent Garden FX  €1.0980
FAIRFX  €1.0920
John Lewis  €1.0982
M&S  €1.0721
Post Office  €1.0917
Sainsburys  €1.0921
TESCO  €1.0979
Travelex  €1.0900
Updated: 14:30 18/08/2018