Now you know someone who has stayed at one of those Christmas-all-year-round places

...so go ahead and snicker. What can I say? Spring break found us packing for a 2-nite slumberjam at the Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge.

It gets worse.

We used a Groupon. Nothing says, "You should have partied in Daytona when you were able instead of going on all those community service trips in college" like using a Groupon on your hotel as your family of four drives NORTH in a station wagon for spring break and doesn't even cross state lines. Just pass me those mom jeans because I've got the turtleneck all ready.

The hotel itself is remarkable, though, you guys. And remark we did.

"Wow, that's kind of creepy that they wish you a merry Christmas upon entering."

"I wonder if the hotelier ever gets sick of saying that the free cookies at bedtime were made by Santa."

There were other remarks made, though, and the majority of them quite positive.

"The decore in this place is the amaze-biz."

"The breakfast was pretty much boss."

"Is it wrong that I want to stay here again?"

I don't know that we would have stayed here if not for the Groupon as it was part of Baby Girl's extended birthday present. I am honestly glad that we did, though, because the weather was crappy the whole time so the hotel itself was enough of a novelty to the kizzle (and the novelty of cable TV allowed us grown-ups --who never went to Daytona--to watch the Oscars). For around $110/night, we got a fairly spacious room with 2 queen beds, an amazing breakfast, and full use of the game room, indoor pool, and exercise room. Across the street is a fabulous Christmas store (think Bronner's but not quite as epic) with every kind of holiday ornamentation imaginable.

The staff at the Inn were excellent in their helpfulness. One night we walked out the main entrance and just thought we'd amble and try to find a restaurant within walking distance. Both of the doormen asked us if we were headed to dinner and if they could suggest some places. They even went to the trouble of grabbing some extra coupons for us. A+ for hospitality.

The best part of the stay was totally unanticipated, though. Thanks to the stalker capabilities of social media, we discovered that our good mates the Ramoses from Michigan had ventured down to Gatlinburg parts! So we got to crash their pizza party and the kizzle binge-watched Wild Kratts while the grown-ups--who were glad they were not in Daytona because oldness--had a gabfest like we do.

Give a shout if you're ever in the market for a Christmas in July vacay. Or April. Or September. It's totally still Christmas in Pigeon Forge, TN. Here are some pictures to tempt you or convince you that staying at a hotel not dedicated to a major holiday is advisable.

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Inn at Christmas Place

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The craze-biz two-story glockenspiel

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All the hotel landings had these unique displays. Our floor's was "A Christmas Story," appropos for the girl from Cleveland (wherein the film was shot) IMG_9982

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Breakie Room

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Game Room

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Exercise Room

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Indoor Pool

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Outdoor Pool

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Bonus: Couchtime with the Ramoses Baby Girl's future husband is pictured somewhere here, as are Little Man's groomsmen

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In