The Gillean's Guide to the Smokies

IMG_1781.JPG The handsome husband and I wanted to go on a trip for our one year anniversary, so a few months back we booked a cabin in the Smokies. We wanted a short getaway, with a drive that wouldn't take all day to get there, so this was perfect.

Google maps said it would take roughly four hours for us to get there. It took us a little bit longer because we had to make the usual stop at Chickfila and countless bathroom stops because my bladder hates me.

One thing I wanted to be sure and do was cherish the memories of this trip. Just kidding, that was the name of our cabin. Cherished Memories on Dolly Drive. I definitely cherished the memories, and if it wasn't for our cabin's name, I might have forgotten to. So thank you for that reminder, cabin. Anyway, I brought lots of books and games and a puzzle for us to put together during our stay, but instead we played about 20 games of pool because apparently I'm really competitive about billiards. I only won twice, which was why we played so many times because after my first win, I was hungry for another. This is why I can't gamble. So, if you actually want to read the books and play the games you brought with you, don't get a cabin with a pool table.

Every morning I drank my coffee and looked out the window at this. It was lovely.

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And sometimes we ventured out into the world. Usually it was because we were starving. So most of the things I will tell you to do while you're in the Smoky Mountains (besides billiards) is eat at restaurants. Here were our favorites:

1. Best Italian - And it really was the best. This was where we ordered way too much food and made a vow to always share a meal when we go to a restaurant. The food was delicious and it was cozy and warm inside (which is important because it was absolutely FREEZING outside).

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2. The Donut Friar. Um. Amazing donuts. I really don't feel like there's much I have to say about a good donut shop. The donuts were GOOD. If I had to pick a favorite, the chocolate cruller is where it's at.

3. Crockett's Breakfast Camp - This is where Tim and I broke our vow of always sharing meals when we go to restaurants. And as soon as the food arrived and we saw how much there was, we made the vow again. And then we ate a fried cinnamon roll.

4. The Park Grill - Again, we forgot to split a meal but I ordered the filet and wasn't about to share it.

5. Maypops - Yes, more donuts. But we grabbed one to share after dinner one night and the place was too cute to pass up.

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As far as entertainment goes, you have all the options you could possibly want. Here were the highlights:

1. The Dixie Stampede. Because, Dolly. And horses. This is a dinner show and a great way to spend a cold evening in the Smokies. We were there when the Christmas show was happening and it certainly put us in the holiday spirit. You get to sit and eat delicious food and watch amazing horse tricks. What more could a gal want?

2. Stroll around Gatlinburg. Here, you will have the opportunity to consume as many samples of fudge as you want and buy beef jerky of any variety. If you're lucky, you can catch a bluegrass band playing outside Ole Smoky Moonshine. Tim also informed me of the fact that you could purchase ninja stars in a shop we didn't go into.

3. Auto tour the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This was my favorite day. We drove up into the park and saw the incredible views and gorgeous snow-covered treetops, all from the comfort of our heated car.

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4. Hike to Laurel Falls. This was alot of fun! It was an easy hike up and when we got there the falls were so pretty! You absolutely MUST do some sort of hiking while you're in the Smokies. The park is amazing and there are so many options.

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And then I had a bear sighting!

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Just kidding, it's just my husband yawning.

I can't tell you how great it was to get away with the Mr. It was so relaxing and wonderful and recharging. The Smoky Mountains were the perfect destination and I highly recommend it for anyone!

Where is your favorite place to get away to?

XOXO, Di