My Oy Vey-cation

Wilderness ResortOur spring break plans: a vacation, with guest blogger, Amynah, and her family, at a resort in the Smoky Mountains with an indoor water park.

For my family and friends, it turned out to be a wonderful vacation… for me, it turned into an oy vey-cation. What’s the difference, you ask? Let me break it down for you:

Vacation (my family/friends’ exprience): Sitting with a friend enjoying a relaxing manicure and pedicure the night before leaving town.

Oy vey-cation (my experience): Noticing, when it’s too late to fix it, that the color you chose makes your toes look like they are bleeding, rather than making them look cute and colorful.

Vacation: A scenic drive up in the new minivan – which is big enough to hold absolutely everything we could possibly need – and more.

Oy vey-cation: Realizing upon arrival, that despite having room in the minivan for anything and everything, we forgot most of Moose’s clothes, all of our pool toys, and a few other essentials.

Vacation: Restful nights.

Oy vey-cation: The fire alarm going off causing an evacuation of the entire building on the first night there. (In all fairness, this happened to everyone, not just me. So, I guess this was the one shared “oy vey-cation” moment.)

Vacation: Three days filled with waterpark adventures, playground fun, miniature golf, shopping and non-diet-friendly food.

Oy vey-cation: A half day spent seeking medical care, being diagnosed with shingles (it’s not just for your grandma anymore) and waiting at the pharmacy to get multiple prescriptions filled, two days spent lying around the hotel room feeling miserable, and a very uncomfortable drive home.

Vacation: Everyone returning home relaxed and happy.

Oy vey-cation: Returning home to continue recovering from shingles along with two kids with severe allergies and, maybe even a hint of a cold.

Despite all of that, I give high marks to the Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville, TN. It is attached to Wilderness at the Smokies, and guests at the Great Smokies Lodge get to use all of the same amenities.

The Wyndham units were comfortable and beautifully furnished. We stayed in a 2-bedroom/2-bathroom unit with a full kitchen and laundry in the unit. On top of that, they were able to put our friends in the room right next door.

I was very impressed with the indoor and outdoor waterparks (even though I didn’t get to spend much time there). Our party of eight ranged in age from 2 to 44, and there were activities for all ages.

For the younger kids, there were several play areas with very shallow water that were loaded with fun toys, including slides, water shooters, dancing fountains, swings, etc. The wave pool even had a very shallow area where younger kids could play. Isaac said it was, “just like the beach” (which I find funny since he’s never actually been to the beach.)

For the bigger kids (including the 44-year-old), there were deeper wave pools, wild slides and a “surfing” ride. In the arcade, in addition to the arcade games, there was minature golf, a multi-story climbing gym, and a multi-story ropes course.

I am looking forward to returning there next year and, hopefully, enjoying a vacation!

mini golf


  1. Chelsea says

    Oh no!!! Shingles??? I’m sorry and I hope you are recovering quickly!! Glad y’all had a good time and returned safely! See y’all at swimming!

  2. felissa says

    That sounds like an awesome place but the shingles part stinks . What a non relaxing vacation. You need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

  3. Amynah says

    Thank you for inviting us! We had a wonderful time. The kids can’t stop talking about the trip.
    I’m so sorry you got sick, but you were such a good sport about it. Through it all, you made sure we were enjoying our stay and making the most of our vacation.
    I hope you feel better soon!

    • says

      I’m glad I seemed like a good sport… I didn’t really feel like a good sport (still don’t). 😉 We definitely have to go back again!

    • says

      It really is a fun place – there is a lot to do on-site. At the same time, there are a slew of other things to do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Plus, you have the Smoky Mountains. We will definitely return… but I will get the shingles vaccine first. 😀

      If you can’t stay in the Wyndham section, look into the Wilderness at the Smokies hotel section.

  4. says

    I know in the other post I asked where you stayed, and now I know. A friend of ours suggested that since I was going to stay another night in TN, that we stay where you did. We ended up spending that night in Atlanta instead, but when we come back thorugh TN, we’ll definitely stay a night or two here. Sorry about the sick kids, though. And I suppose that everyone forgets something every time they travel. For us, I forget the laundry detergent. I thought I had some on the “just in case” bag, but didn’t.
    monique recently posted…Single Parent Traveling with KidsMy Profile

    • says

      Oh My! That sounds awful. Having shingles hasn’t been fun, and I may have nerve pain in my head, jaw and neck for months (hopefully, not forever) – but the fact that we were staying in an apartment-like unit with the fun attractions attached made it much easier. I was comfortable – and hubby just had to walk to the next building with the kids to have fun.

      Plus, being there with friends who were AMAZING at helping my hubby wrangle our 2-year-old and (almost) 4-year-old helped a lot.

      Being at Disney (especially with the cost of Disney) and having it happen would have really stunk! I hope you get a chance to go back and enjoy yourself.


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