Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Smoky Mountain Dreams - Our Trip to Gatlinburg

I told you I would post about our trip Monday but let’s be real.  We got home Sunday evening, unpacked, watched The Walking Dead and crashed.  I sat on the bed ready to cry because I wanted to go back so bad.  We had the BEST time, rain and all.  My parents booked us rooms (and pair for ours, thank you Mom and Dad) at the historic Gatlinburg Inn.  Walking in is like walking into a time capsule.  It’s so charming and full of character.  Clearly it’s been a while since the d├ęcor was updated but I absolutely loved it.  It’s the type of place where you’d expect to turn a corner and see a ghost.  It feels more like a bed and breakfast than a regular hotel.  It was homey and comfortable with REAL KEYS!  Who does that anymore?!  Obviously I can’t say enough about it and how much I loved it.
Fun Fact: the song "Rocky Top" was written in room 388 of THIS hotel, Vol fans.
Gatlinburg Inn, hotel,
We convoyed with Kaylen and Daniel on the way up and got there at about 11:30 Thursday night.  The next morning was perfect.  Cool and a little cloudy.  We walked to Breakfast at Pancake Pantry and then crammed in the car to drive to Cades Cove.  Cades Cove was beautiful as always and we saw 16 deer and a few turkey.  (Is the plural form of turkey still turkey?  Whatever.)  It started raining while we were there and didn’t stop for the next 24 hours.  That night we ate at The Peddler, a nice restaurant on the river.  Everyone at the table had steak and we split a chocolate brownie confection for dessert.
gatlinburg, cades cove, deer, smoky mountains
After dinner we loaded back up in the car and went to Pigeon Forge’s Hollywood Wax Museum.  Hilarity ensued:
That was just day one.  Moving on.  Saturday morning it was still misting so I bought a black beanie and looked like a small criminal.  Maybe a girl who shoplifts Essie nail polish, but not quite someone who robs banks.  We walked around town and shopped and sampled all the food.  It was perfection even if it was lightly drizzling.  We played the obligatory round of indoor putt-putt at the place that’s been there ever since I can remember.  After golfing (Dad won, followed by Kaylen and I in a tie, followed by Daniel then Chris in case you were wondering) it finally stopped raining and we went back to the room to freshen up.  
This is where the story takes a turn.  I took off my beanie in my parents room and my heart stopped when I realized I was missing an earring.  Missing a diamond stud earring that my parents got me for my 16th birthday that has not left the second hole in my ear since I got pierced at 17.  PANIC.  We searched the room, searched the hallway, searched mine and Chris’s room, searched the elevator and searched the hotel lobby.  Nothing.  We walked back down to the golf place slowly scanning the sidewalk the entire time.  Dad walked through the entire 18 hole putt-putt course and I roamed through a couple of stores I had walked into.  Nothing.  It took everything I had not to cry and didn’t until Chris pulled me up off my hands and knees from the sidewalk and just hugged me.  It’s killing right this second knowing MY diamond earring is somewhere on that parkway as we speak.
Ugh.  Moving on from that sad detour.  Like I said, it quit raining during our round of golf.  Next was the chair lift.  We hit it right around sunset and it was gorgeous up top. 
Gatlinburg, chair lift, smoky mountains
After the chairlift was Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner.  I had tilapia on top of spinach on top of mashed potatoes with a lobster butter sauce.  Just go ahead and kill me now.  After the sunset it got FRIGID in a hurry so Kaylen and I got coffee and we walked around for a little while longer before calling it quits.
The next morning it was gorgeous, because it naturally always is the day you leave.  We packed up and got ready to go, but not before Kaylen and I got a few last shots in the hotel.
the shining, creepy hotel, grady twins
I just couldn’t resist.
We ate our last breakfast (strawberry crepes for me) at Log Cabin and headed home.
Earring tragedy aside, it was a really great trip.  It’s my favorite place in the world and I’m so thankful I got to go and experience it with my nearest and dearest.  This Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m most thankful for.  A family that genuinely loves each other and likes doing things together.  
Gatlinburg, family, smoky mountains national park
Have a WONDERUL Thanksgiving!
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  1. What an adorable trip. A pity that it's on the other end of the world, otherwise I would have gone too.

  2. This looks totally amazing! I would love to go there one day!

  3. That Gatlinburg Inn looks like such a cute place! I'm going to look into it. Thanks!


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