Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our first trip to Tennessee.......

Back in 2006 we decided to go away on vacation. We hadn't been on vacation in a few years, and as we were now on our own and if dh stays around the house people are always calling him from work, so its best if we go away.

As I have always wanted to go to Dollywood, we decided to go to Pigeon Forge for a few days. So we book this cabin

It looks a lovely cabin doesn't it? And it is. There was one teeny little problem that was never mentioned...........its hanging off the side of a mountain......I mean its hanging there. On the deck there was the hot tub, and underneath the deck, there was well......NOTHING...........I suppose that's not true, eventually there was ground.................but even so. Now this is all well and good for someone who isn't afraid of heights, but I am afraid of heights and just looking out of the window made my stomach churn.

But what a view it was, it was stunning. We got there on the Sunday and it took me to around Wednesday to Thursday to be totally comfortable in sitting on the deck. Now to be fair our cabin wasn't as high up as these ones which we could see from our deck, but this is just to show you where they place these cabins.

We were so high up everytime I went up the mountain to the cabin my ears popped, when I went down the mountain my ears popped. Everywhere we went in Tennessee my ears popped, it was so funny..........well it was until my poor ears were hurting so much I had to go to the doctors at home!!

Anyhow, I have to say we fell in love with Tennessee and would move there tomorrow if the kids would move with us. So one thing we did a lot of was eat out, as there were so many restaurants that we enjoyed. My top pick in Pigeon Forge is The Old Mill Restaurant I can't get enough of their corn fritters with maple mouth is watering now just thinking about them.

Needless to say we were feeling a bit stuffed by mid-week, so I say to dh we should walk down the mountain and walk back up to get some exercise. Now lets just say I am allergic to exercise and dh knows this and says "I don't think that's a good idea." So I say, "no I'll be fine."

Well walking down the mountain was fine, despite the fact your toes were all squished into the end of the running shoes because of how steep it was. It was going up when I thought I may needed to be a mountain goat to walk up that mountain.............or at least someone who is reasonably fit. I did eventually make it back up the mountain under my own steam, but lets just say I didn't walk it again!!!

One of the best things about the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area is the Smokey Mountain National Park. One of our biggest surprises was that you didn't have to pay to visit the "attractions." I mean I would have happily paid $10 each to visit Cades Cove, but it was free. I think visiting Cades Cove was the highlight of the vacation, and every time I am in the area I will make a point of visiting it.

One day we decided to take a trip on Newfound Gap Road. The scenery was stunning, but there was one thing we kept on seeing, and it was all these motorcycles? Never thought much about it until we got to Cherokee and the place was over run with motorcycles. So needless to say we turned right round and headed back home........with my ears popping on the way up and down the mountain!!!!!!

So back to the cabin. I am going to assume the reason the Smokey Mountains are named as such is the mist that rises over them, making it look as though there is smoke on them.

So I step onto the deck one morning to take a photo of this, and promptly stood on a huge bug with my bare foot. Now the bug let out a yelp of some sort I screamed blue bloody murder and both our cries echoed through the mountain side, all at just after 6am in the if you weren't awake before hand you would be after me and the bug had finished screaming. I have no idea what this bug was, and honestly I didn't hang about to see what's what. So another reason not to go on that deck!!!!

So the reason for visiting Pigeon Forge is to go to Dollywood, not for the rides but the shows. We really enjoyed them, and that is where I was saved...LOL I fell in love with The Kingdom Heirs. I am not a religious person, but the songs they sing just hit the spot. We went again last year and my first port of call was to the Kingdom Heirs show, and if we go this year it's where I will go again. We don't have that type of music up here in Canada.......or at least not that I am aware of. Its so upbeat, as I am Church of England and our hymns tend to be more sedate.

It sounds as though I had a rotten trip, but honestly it was great we both thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so we went again last year and there is a good chance we are going to pop in on our way home this year as well.

The people from Tennessee are so nice and welcoming. Its super clean and we love it.

I will do a post about our trip to Georgia last year, as it has a couple of "it could only happen to us," stories in there..........



Ginnie said...

I would love the cabin as I love heights, but my husband would hate it. I have trouble getting him over bridges!! Tennessee looks lovely.

Connie W said...

I love visiting the Smoky Mountains area. We've gone to Pigeon Forge a few times too but never rented a cabin. Heights are scary to me also. I love Cade's Cove but the narrow, winding mountain roads up to the tops scare me and I hate those rides. Seeing your photos makes me long to see the beautiful mountains again. Like you, if my family could be there too, I would love living down there, but it's not meant to be.

Sabra said...

Hope you're enjoying your trip to Georgia, Gill! Have a safe trip. We'll look forward to the "it could only happen..." stories!!! Safe travels.

Niki said...

Beautiful pictures. That cabin on the edge would freak me out! I hate heights. lol. I think we're going to move to TN eventually. Big change from AZ, but I hear it's just beautiful.

Niki RuralWritings said...

The scenery looks beautiful. I wouldn't set foot on that balcony though!!
Niki (rural writings)

Denise said...

What a lovely post Gill, you write so well. We went to Pigeon Forge two years ago as we had wanted to see the Smoky Mountains. We loved the area, it was gorgeous. I wouldn't mind the balcony as I don't midn heights. What I loved about it was the jacuzzi!!!! Did you use it eventiually? I have taken notes as we'll be going back some time. It's only about 10 hours from here. Can't wait to hear about Georgia.

Gill - That British Woman said...

thanks for all your truly is a beautiful place to go, Tennessee, and there is so much more of the State that we need to explore. The people are just so nice and can't do enough for you. Its a place we will visit time and time again that's for sure.


Um Naief said...

this is the part of the U.S. that i love. i'm from indiana, which has a lot of beautiful greenery, but we don't have the mountains.

the cabin looks fabulous, altho i wouldn't have done the hotub for nothing.. for fear of it falling or some such. i'm a real scaredy cat!! and am also afraid of heights.

glad you enjoyed dollywood!! is this your first time to the States?

Jay said...

Wow, that cabin looks precarious! I'm not particularly afraid of heights but I wouldn't have been comfortable staying there.

I wanna see a picture of the bug!! What do you mean, you didn't take pictures??

I have a friend in Tennessee. I'm going to make her take me to the Smokey Mountains next time I visit. It looks just gorgeous!

Elizabeth said...

What an amazing cabin!
I would have been terrified.

Janet said...

The area looks truly magnificent. I'm terrified of heights though, so I'm not sure I could have stayed in that cabin, never mind ventured onto the deck. Yikes.

Daffodilly said...

What a cool place to stay...pretty freaky though!

The bug story was funny...luckily you did not chuck it off the balcony & have a heart attack at the same time..I would have!

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Gill, I am so glad you love Tenn.
We used to have a getaway home in Pigeon Forge until about 7 years ago and we sold it.We had many a good time there while we had the house. It got to be too much for us to take care of. We go up alot of times just for the day.We can be there in about 2 1/2 hours.Just looking at the mtns. you can't see all the houses, but at night there are lights everywhere!

L_Oman said...

I really, really love that cabin! My aunt had a log home and it was huge and amazing...

Great pictures for sure!

TNSnoopy said...

Having been to Canada, it is nice to hear how you enjoyed our Smoky Mountains area.
I work for Cabin Fever Vacations, in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I also live in a log home on Bluff Mountain. We have a small farm with several animals and enjoy the country life. Maybe while you and your family is visiting the area in the future you can stop in and say hello and possibly take a look at our home.

My wife, our 2 children and I lived in a basement for 5 years before having the roof raised off and building our log home. We designed it ourselves and did most of the building ourselves. Several unique features like whiskey barrel sinks, clawfoot bath tubs, antiques and a bedroom we call the Western Room that looks like an old storefront in a Western movie.

The Smokies are wonderful as are many of the people. When you do get to visit and are in the area, give us a call at (865)908-1919 and ask for Charles.