Mother’s Day in the Smokies

I promised on my next post I would share about our trip to the Smokies. This was an unplanned, spontaneous trip. Before all this craziness happened we had been planning to take a trip the last week of April but we hadn’t picked out where to go. So, when we found ourselves with free schedules, except for continuing to make product for the business that we hope we’ll be able to generate some income from later this year when festivals start happening again, we decided let’s do it now while we can.

Where to go though? Since Tennessee and the Great Smokey Mountain N.P. was opening by Mother’s Day weekend, that seemed like a good destination. It’s only a 3-4 hour drive and I had some hotel points to burn. We decided, made reservations, and packed late Thursday morning. We were on the road with lunch packed to eat as we drove, by midday. Very impromptu, which made it all the more fun.

Caney Fork River at the Rest Area

It was rainy and chilly all day on Friday, but we had a fun time anyway. We mostly walked around and explored Gatlinburg at the shops and restaurants that were open at the time. I didn’t get many pictures of that day, except these two. We ate at the Smokey Mountain Brewery for lunch (and a couple other times as well) and then while walking around in the afternoon ran across this phone booth where Jerry made me take this silly picture. We had a few beers with lunch. LOL!

The Park was open on Saturday and we had went to Cades Cove in the morning and spent about 4-5 hours. The weather was gorgeous and even though there were a lot of visitors it was great fun spending the day with nothing in particular we had to do but see the sights and look for places to eat. :-)

Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel in Gatlinburg and headed back in the Park to maybe hike up to Rainbow Falls before getting a late lunch and then heading home.

We knew the trail was almost 5.5 miles round trip but what we didn’t know was that the first half, 2.7 miles, was entirely uphill. Yikes! We almost turned back at least 8x, LOL! Glad we persevered, but it took way longer than we expected, because of the frequent need to take breaks on the way up. I am so glad we brought extra water and snacks! We wouldn’t have made it otherwise, trust me.

We didn’t get back to the truck until about 4:30 and we hadn’t had lunch yet. We decided we were in no big hurry to get home so we booked another night in Pigeon Forge. We checked in at the hotel and headed to the Smokey Mountain Brewery again (the Pigeon Forge location this time) for supper and beers. We had a lovely night. :-)

On Sunday morning we told the hotel we would exercise my Platinum Elite Priority Club benefit of a late check out so that we could hang out in Pigeon Forge and have a nice dinner before heading home. We visited the Hillside Winery and bought a few bottles. We have already had one of them since we got home and it was quite good. I only like dry (not sweet) wines and found a couple. It’s hard to find in these parts. We did a little souvenir shopping and then found a great Mexican place for lunch.

We had such a great time! We have been married 32 years and these last 5 years have been the first time we have had both the means and freedom to do some traveling as a couple. We are going to try and take at least one more trip somewhere that will be fun but not be too expensive. Hopefully we can do that in June. Any ideas?