Happy Spring!!! I disappeared from the blogisphere for a while..LOTS going on. I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend's house in the mountains on West Virginia. We're not together anymore, so now I'm free to travel again (roadtrip'n wasn't his thing...we wouldn't have lasted anyway). Shortly after the breakup, my mom told us she has stage four lung and brain cancer. That was right before Halloween....November was full of radiation treatments and stress. About everything. Lots of emotional issues happening. Anyway, so all of this led up to my son, Bailey and me, running away from home for five days to one of our favorite places, Gatlinburg Tennesee!! We LOVE it there. We went the first week of December. I got an awesome deal on a beautiful condo at the very top of the mountain. For five days it was around $287.51. There were hotel rooms available for $29 a night,which would have saved a lot of money, but being as it was just me and kid, I opted for safety and comfort :). It was well worth it!!! I found it on ivacationonline.com, the property number is 2466 Serenity. The owners are GREAT!! I love the way it was decorated. I wanted everything in there. I forgot to return my redbox movies when I left, and the cleaning staff dropped them off for me. So nice.
Since we were up at the very top of the mountain, it got real foggy and very dark pretty early. When the driving conditions are dark and foggy, it's very hard to see the road signs...We had been using the other houses as landmarks for where we were and needed to turn...but once it got dark, we couldn't see. I drove around the mountain one night for an extra 40 minutes, and I have no idea how we found our place lol. So, we tried to be back by before dark (around 5).
So, when you go to Gatlinburg, you will more than likely be paying for parking. Unless you're staying at a hotel IN town, you'll need to drive there and park in order to explore all the cool stores and restaurants. Parking was $8 for all day, and the machine takes credit cards.
The first day we parked, and ran down the street to get food. It was getting dark, and I needed to be back at the condo to get some things done. So we ended up getting a steak and cheese and a big ass sausage from this off the sidewalk food stand. It was kindof expensive, and not the best. I was thinking it was going to be like fair food....which is awesome. Then we went to this 50's style place, and got bacon cheese fries and a chocolate shake for the boy. It was tasty! And reasonably priced.
The next day, we went over to Cades Cove. If you ever go to Gatlinburg, you HAVE to go there. It's a very early settlement. There are cabins, churches, farms, hiking trails, and a little museum to explore. It's beautiful, and you see lots of animals!
In the spring and summer there is so much to here. Outdoorsy things. We couldn't do any of that, even though it was usually warm, b/c some stuff was closed for the season, but also because it pretty rained everyday we were there. So, we pretty much shopped and ate. We had breakfast at this place called Mel's Diner. It was the BEST breakfast we had all week, the people are so nice, and the prices are awesome.
We had lunch at this Old Mill Cafe (I think that's what it's called), and I had a fried green tomato BLT. Holy crap that thing was good. Both of those places are in Pigeon Forge. Oh, there is also a Krispie Kreme!! We had our first HOT DONUT! We had BBQ at this little cafe off on a back road somewhere (we just drive around and find stuff). It was good, and the lady who was working was he sweetest person!! I can't remember the name of the place, but it was attached to a primitive country decor store....if that helps lol.
In Gatlinburg, there's a store called Camp David. Good look'n guys work there, and they have great "Gatlinburg" shirts. They don't look like typical souvenir type clothing. I bought a long sleeve dark great vintage style shirt with a hoodie type pocket on the front...$30. Normally, I would never pay that much for a shirt, but I love it, and wear it a few times during the week.
We went to Ober Gatlinburg, the ski resort. We went ice skating (first time ever and I didn't fall!), and we did the ski lift up to the top of the other mountain. Ice skating for the both of us was $19, and the ski lift for the both of us, I think, was $12. You also have to pay for parking up there.
On the way home, we hit an ice storm. It sucked. I hit a mountain, then slid on down the guardrail...messed up my car. But, it's still drivable, and we were fine!
We can't wait to go back! We'll probably go at the end of summer. We plan to zipline, hike, raft, fish, Dollywood and go horseback riding.
Other things to do in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area are:
Believe It Or Not museums and aquariums
Ski lift in town
HUGE ski lift in town
Indoor Flea Markets, thrift stores, and antique stores
Bass Pro Shop <3
Ziplines & Areal Obstacle Courses
SHOP! There are outlets, and locally owned stores everywhere.