Monday, October 29, 2012

Gatlinburg: Whirlwind Babymoon

This past weekend, Jennifer and I took a much needed break from reality and sort of lost ourselves in the mountains of Gatlinburg.

(the view from our hotel)

I planned this trip way back in July after we had been talking about going on a babymoon, and the timing with the leaves changing and her birthday last Thursday worked out perfectly.

Plus, she had never been, and even though I've been a couple of times, it's been a long time and I've never really done any of the trails, so I was extra excited to make some new memories with her.

We arrived Friday afternoon to perfect weather: slightly cloudy with temperatures in the upper-70's.

Our hotel was right off the strip, and we were able to walk to all of the shops just like I had planned. Parking is hard to come by on the strip, and when you do find some, it's anywhere from $6 to $10 per day. Since the strip is only about a mile long, I knew the best thing for us would be to stay in a hotel right off the strip and walk everywhere.

As soon as we got checked in on Friday, that's exactly what we did. I love checking out all the little shops, but there was so. much. candy! I still have a stomach ache from thinking about it! Candy shops were everywhere -- Jennifer was absolutely loving it! The biggest problem is that the candy is so good! (and they know it, too, which is why that stuff is so expensive!)

Here's a video I took of them pulling the taffy; it's almost mesmerizing to watch:



We walked the entire strip, from the Aquarium down to the Smoky Mountain Brewery and back. And after resting and getting cleaned up, we headed back to the brewery for dinner.

The brewery was good -- the wait was what I expected for the crowd (maybe 30 or 40 minutes), and the beers were really good. I had the porter and Oktoberfest, which went perfectly with my bacon/cheddar/bbq burger (which was amazing!).

After dinner we crashed back at the hotel to rest up for a full day of hiking on Saturday.


I'll be back with some more posts and pictures from our hikes soon, but for now, here are a few random pictures from our trip!

Our hotel:


There was a trolley stop right in front of our hotel, which worked out great for getting around on Saturday night when it was raining (especially since I forgot to bring an umbrella):

Side note for anyone heading to Gatlinburg: http://www.gatlinburgtrolley.org/ is a great site to look up the trolley routes and to actually see where the trolleys are in real-time. Each trolley has a GPS link that automatically updates on the website, so you don't have to stand around in the rain wondering when your trolley will come.

Here's a view from the trolley stop (on River Road) looking towards the main road. Ripley's Aquarium (which was literally right next door) is on the left.


Saturday night we went out to The Melting Pot for dinner. It was Jen's first time there, and although she looks a little unsure in this pic, she loved it!


And in my opinion, a trip to Gatlinburg isn't complete without having pancakes for breakfast, so we made sure to get some Sunday morning.


Lastly, what's a girl to do when her husband forgets the umbrella and it's raining? Well, a scarf works pretty well, especially if you're part Iranian ;)

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