Sunday, June 15, 2008
June 2008 vacation - part 1
Where have I been since the middle of last week? Tennessee!
Two weeks ago, my wife and I were looking at our calendars and trying to find a time we could take time off from work this summer for some family vacation. What we decided we could do was a long weekend (Wednesday night depart and Sunday return home) - right around Father's Day weekend. Given the price of gasoline, we wanted something relatively close but still somewhere we hadn't gone as a family.
What we decided upon was Gatlinburg, TN. Nestled just on the other side of the North Carolina border, in the heart of the mountains, it was a perfect fit. Just three hours drive (150 miles), we could get there on Wednesday after work and have three full days of fun before coming home again. So, we did just that - left work on Wednesday and got to the Brookside Resort around 9:30pm.
Our room was nicely sized for our family of three - two queensized beds, a little fridge and bar area, and a back porch that overlooked a running brook (thus the name of the place). It was very nice. The place had two pools as well.
Thursday morning we took a hike down the hill into the heart of the tourist center of town. Gatlinburg is pretty much a huge tourist town, with lots of places to eat, things to do, etc. Our morning hike took us down and around a couple miles so we could get a bearing of what was there and what to do for the rest of our time. After that, we took a trolley-bus back to the hotel and got the car. Since the weather was looking stormy, we decided to dive the five plus miles over to Pidgeon Forge, to check out what was there and to do some shopping.
Pidgeon Forge, if you don't know, is also a huge tourist town. It mostly sprung up around Dollywood - the amusement park funded by Dolly Parton and her investors. There is also Splash Country, Dolly's water park, and of course the Dixie Stampede, a dinner show also connected to Dolly.
While we ate lunch, we called the Dixie Stampede and made dinner reservations for Thursday night at 8pm. Figured it would perfect to go on a non-weekend night. We got in just fine. After our lunch, we shopped at one of the outlet malls. I got some things to wear to my 25th reunion picnic next month. We then drove back to the hotel, showered and prepared for our evening out.