United States
Baskins Creek

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    • Day 35

      Gatlinburg, Tennessee

      October 18, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Today we drove to Gatlinburg, TN, and spent some time in the Great Smoky Mountains. We drove along Roaring Fork Nature Trail. We saw a black bear and some nice fall colours. Anthony and family are also here tonight.Read more

    • Day 7

      Asheville to Gatlinburg

      October 19, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      We ended up sleeping better than expected, considering the poor sleep we'd had in Charlotte the night before, thanks to a comfy bed. Breakfast was again included (more waffles!) before we headed towards Biltmore Estate. I'd been concerned about seeing the Estate, as I hadn't been able to buy tickets online. Fortunately there were plenty available on the day.

      Ted had been hesitant to come to the Estate too, particularly since we'd both been disappointed with the Queen Mary. As it turned out, he really liked it. Biltmore Estate was built by George Vanderbilt and is the largest home in the United States. It was like American royalty - almost every room was open to the public, and they were all spectacular too (particularly since they were decked out in Christmas themes). The place even included an antique bowling alley and swimming pool. Similarly the gardens could be walked through. Included in the cost of the entry was free wine tasting at the winery. Even though I couldn't buy any wines to take with us, I certainly couldn't miss out on a free offer!

      For lunch, we tried to eat at the Texas roadhouse which, to our surprise, wasn't open for lunch at all. We then settled on an Appleby's which was a new experience for us as we'd never been to one before. The drive to Gatlinburg was around 2 hours through the Smoky Mountains National Park and, even though I'd originally made plans to see some of the nature sights on the way, decided it would be better to see the town once we arrived instead.

      Before leaving Australia, I had read that Gatlinburg was the better place to stay for adults whilst nearby Pigeon Forge is better for kids. Definitely true. Gatlinburg almost reminded us of a country and western Toontown. Not that it was a bad thing! Everywhere you looked there were moonshine distilleries, country dining and wine bars. We really liked it, as the atmosphere was exhilarating. For dinner, we went to a Mexican restaurant, partly because it had a balcony overlooking the town. Really cool.

      We wandered around and looked at some of the distilleries (with their multi-flavoured moonshine) before heading back to the hotel. We were even lucky to see some racoons peeking at us from the drains. Not something you see every day in Australia :-)
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    • Day 7

      Smokey Mountains - Gatlinsburg

      June 14, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      First stop on today's agenda was a gas station for the coach. We got 20 mins for the stop so while I perused the snacks, dad had a go on the slot machines and won $75! Using this he treated himself to a coffee and a blueberry cream Danish while I had a vitamin water with an apple and a cereal bar
      After a couple of hours ride we arrived in Asheville, a quirky town with lots of independant shops. We only had one hour so found a cafe inside an art gallery. I went for a toasted PB&J sandwich (only in America) it was so damn good, and dad had a chicken salad sandwich. Today was their anniversary and each meal came with a free scoop of ice cream, dad went for strawberry and I went for chocolate. It was nice to get our first diner style experience in America!
      The afternoon was made up of travelling through the smokey Mountains, getting plenty of photo ops of the lovely views until we arrived in Gatlinburg at 6pm. Even from the drive to the hotel I could tell it was going to be my favourite town yet
      As we waited for the suitcases we sat out on the balcony sharing a beer and taking in the sights. We agreed immediately that we had to do the skylift, unfortunately on the way up I dropped my bag off and there was a whole palava and ten minutes of stress and worry until i was reunited with my bag. We made our way back up, did the bridge across and looped round. As you can imagine all that excitement had worked up an appetite.
      We headed down the main streets taking in the sights of the Old Town feel buildings along with the neon lights that america is famous far. It was then we spotted our old famous joint Johnny Rockets. While the decor wasn't as great and there was no singing or dancing from the staff, the food was just as good. I knew what I wanted before I even stepped in the building, I had been dreaming of those chilli cheese fries for years now and they did not disappoint. Dad went for a burger and even refilled his fries. One thing, no matter where we've been for fries theyve always been way better than any in England.
      Dads back was hurting so I left him doing a leisurely stroll while I marched up and down the highstreet darting into shops. There were bright new candy shops next to old style moonshine whisky taverns, it was an explosion to the senses and so exciting and interesting to see. After a couple of hours of shopping, wandering and listening to live country music it was time to head back to the hotel for a decaf coffee and some chocolate before bed. Another day we'll spent.
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    • Day 56

      The Mountains are Calling...

      September 2, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Growing up in Connecticut, I had the mountains at my fingertips to my North and the ocean at my toes to my East. Now living in Tennessee, the Mountains are hours away and the ocean doesn't show herself. A weekend away in Gatlinburg is pure bliss. We packed most of our food to cut down on food costs and because Gatlinburg doesn't offer a ton of great local restaurants. It's such a busy town and during this time of year, is crazy crammed. Being foodies, chain restaurant food is not our style. But we did spend one night out at the original Smoky Mountain Brewery trying their beers and digging into a non buffalo chicken pizza. Satisfying for sure. We took advantage of the rising sun while biking Cades Cove. Cades Cove is located south of Gatlinburg near Townsend and is a one way loop though the mountains. I would never make the loop in a car. We biked the 11 mile paved trail with some friends on a beautiful brisk morning. The sun was just coming up over the mountains. It looked like lava about to announce itself to the world. We saw very little wild life, no bears. We made our way to the Dark Island Campground swinging bridge to enjoy a picnic lunch. Upon crossing the bridge, we ran into a very sweet lady that took time to show us around and chat on her porch. So thankful for kind people in this world. We climbed a short trail down to some flat rocks calling our name to eat upon right on the Little River. Makes me wonder if I took it all for granted at one point in my life. Gatlinburg, until next time, stay beautiful.

      Hippie Tip: Definitely take the Cades Cove Bike Ride. Everyday Wednesday and Saturday, it is completely closed off to cars. This is the best time to make this journey. You can rent bikes but we saw many people having trouble with the rented bikes.
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    Baskins Creek

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