Germany in America | Zehnder's Frankenmuth MI, and Ober Gatlinburg

Holy Brook bridge.
Germany is well and alive in America, from Michigan to Tennessee, if you can't make it to the real thing, a visit to the commercialized equivalent here in the red white and blue might be the ticket:

#1 Zehnder's in Frankenmuth Michigan:
Is fried chicken German?
Michigan. It used to be next to Ohio. I spent the first eight years of my life in a suburb of Toledo. One of the common places you go as a family when you live in Northern Ohio, is Frankenmuth. I had all but forgotten the place until I by luck I happened to land upon The Zehnder's website. Suddenly, childhood memories came rushing back in. This actually would be a perfect example of why every town and city should have a theme.

Okay first a primer on the subject; Frankenmuth is a Bavarian town in Michigan. Think Fat Germans, beer, sauerkraut and lawn gnomes, and you get the picture. Zehnder's is a restaurant in Frankenmuth known for their world famous chicken dinner. Let me clarify. It's so world famous, that Zehnder's dining room sits 1500 people. It holds the world record as the largest Dining Room. Actually it's 10 Dining Rooms, but hei, hei, hei, it's an all-you-can eat for $18.95 miracle of German chicken precision:

Finger licking Germany?
Includes Noodle Soup, Cabbage Salad, Cheese Spread and Chicken Liver Paté Frankenmuth Family Style Chicken Dinner With Garlic Toast, Freshly Baked Breads and Butter, Preserves, Cottage Cheese, Chunked Pickles, Frankenmuth Golden Fried Chicken, Grandma Zehnder's Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Giblet Gravy, Noodles, Vegetable, and Ice Cream.

Add a side of chicken livers for $1.95

The Zehnders resort is actually a replica
 of George Washington's home. 
Not convinced yet that Zehnders is one awesome place. Zehnder's has an indoor water park. Kind of cool when Michigan and Toledo are buried in seven feet of snow. Sure Waterloo is great, but can you top the Willy Wonka version of this charming indoor attraction?

Zehnders also has shopping, a hotel, and a unique covered bridge named "Holz Brucke". The 230 ton structure which took two years to build and accommodates two lanes of traffic and pedestrians which is built from Douglas Fir, and shingled with cedar.

2 Ober Gatlinburg, Ski Resort & Amusement Park

Ober rink?
We decided to drive up to Ober Gatlinburg, which sits high up on the Tennessee mountaintop over-looking Gatlinburg. First you need to know that there are two ways to get there. One by tram, from downtown Gatlinburg, or two drive a steep inclined road to the top of the mountain. While I'm sure the tram is a nifty way to take in all the sights, it is often expensive, and $9.95 per person. Drive, and you'll find a convenient parking lot overlooking the Smokey Mountains. 

During the winter months, Ober Gatlinburg is a ski resort, with an indoor shopping center, arcade, skating rink, restaurants and more. 

Around March Ober Gatlinburg shifts gears, and begins opening its amusement park rides, such as go-carts, a down hill concrete luge, sled track and other attractions.

So much fun!
We took part in the go-carts, and the luge both which will cost you $5.00 a person, per ride. The sled track is unique because you begin your journey riding up a ski lift to the top of mountain. The first warning sign that something might make this cool  is the ski warnings that only advanced skiers take this lift. Below our feet we could see the concrete track weaving in and around the mountain. Ten minutes later we're at the top and loading a sled onto the starting ramp to the track. Simple instructions on how to brake, and speed up are marked on the sled. We scooted off the starting ramp and began our descent. Quickly hitting speeds in excess of 40 MPH, you hit near vertical embanked curves where your forced in and out of the corners with incredible speeds. What seemed to take a long time to go up the mountain, seems to go by so fast in a high-speed bob-sled. 

Seriously this place is more fun then a Republican at a gay bar, ran by illegal immigrants. It was so nice to go to a place where the kids could have some fun, and we could too. Ober Gatlinburg is awesome.


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