Relaxin' In the Smokies
A few months ago, Alan and I decided to book a reservation for a 3-night stay at a resort in Gatlinburg. I've been before, in that exact same resort, so I knew we made a great choice. Man, was it nice after all of the work and time we've put into the house and our jobs. Unfortunately, our vacation was pretty short. We left the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and came back on Monday. I know so many people who say Gatlinburg is a great place to spend a long weekend because it is so close to us (which is true), but there was only so much we could do in two full days! Next time, it will be an entire week!
Friday morning, we left our cats and dog to the babysitter (my mom) and headed out. It took us about six hours to get there, with a lunch break and a couple of quick stops along the way. Once we checked into our cabin, we left to get dinner and gather a few things like bottled water, milk and breakfast items at Wal-Mart. We ended up going to dinner at a place called Calhoun's, per the suggestion of one of Alan's coworkers. Their barbecue was amazing! We left full and happy and went back to our cabin to get some much needed rest after our long day.
On Saturday, we decided to go for a pretty long drive in the mountains. Alan said he didn't care what we did the rest of our stay, as long as we could drive a stretch of road called the "Tail of the Dragon." This 11 mile stretch includes over 300 curves and is an iconic road in the motorcycle world. We were about two hours away from the start of it, but Alan knew he would regret not driving it if we were that close. Alan wasn't able to bring his bike, so we drove our car down it. It was still quite a journey! There were other cars, but there were tons of motorcycles. At probably five or six curves in that stretch, there were cameras stationed to take pictures of each bike (and vehicle) and have them available online. We didn't get any pics, but the ones we looked at reminded me of a car commercial where the vehicle is being driven on a dangerous mountain. Pretty cool, actually! In my eyes, the success of this adventure was determined from the fact that I didn't get car sick! My only complaint in all of this was my ears popping going from 1500 feet to 5000 feet and back again! The views were gorgeous, and although I wasn't near as excited as Alan was to drive that road, the scenery made it worth half a day's drive.
The rest of the weekend was a series of typical Gatlinburg events. We went swimming at the resort Sunday morning, followed by going into Gatlinburg to shop. We mostly just walked around looking for places that I knew I wanted to go to and then turned around and walked back down the strip (like I said, Alan was perfectly agreeable no matter what after our journey in the mountains). We ended our trip by going to Dixie Stampede Sunday evening.
We were super sad to leave, but left feeling a bit renewed and refreshed after spending time in the beautiful mountains. We also took back a lot of ideas for where to go and what to do when we return to Gatlinburg.