After leaving Atlanta, Chad and I drove to Gatlinburg for a few days of fun.  We both had been before, but this was the first time going together.  It was a great fall trip.  We got to our condo where we were staying.  It was Bent Creek Golf Village.  The place was nice, but we don’t really golf and it was about 11 miles from the town.  The condo was, however, very spacious and cute.  Best of all, it had a fireplace that we really took advantage of.

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That Sunday night, we didn’t do much.  After we checked out the condo, we headed to the main street in Gatlinburg and drove for a bit looking at everything.  We drove to Pigeon Forge and had dinner at the Smokey Mountain Brewery, which had been recommended to us by a couple different people.  Chad had the buffalo chicken pizza and liked it a lot.  I had a calzone that was pretty good too.  It was rainy when we left there, but we looked around the Christmas Place and picked up a few things from Kroger.  At Kroger, we talked to a lady who we thought was in an information booth.  We mentioned we were interested in going to the Dixie Stampede, so she told us that we could get tickets for free if we go to a presentation for a resort.  We talked about it, and decided that 2 hours of our time was worth the $90 it would cost to buy the tickets, so we signed up for the next morning.

At 9:30 the next morning, we were at the presentation, ready to say no thank you as much as we needed to.  I was surprised to find out that the sales people meet with us by ourselves and not in a large group.  I thought I could play on my phone during a presentation, but this was more like an interview or a friendly chat.  We ended up staying there for 3 hours, but we got our tickets.  I didn’t find the experience all that bad until it started to get to hour 2, then I was ready to go.  We toured one of the resorts, and I felt like we were walking way too slow.  Then, at the end, we had to wait for a manager for a while because they were all busy.  It was interesting to find out about timeshares and how they work with the point system.  We are actually looking to find out more about them.  There was just no way that we were going to commit to something that day.

After we left there, we had lunch at McAllister’s and headed to Cade’s Cove.  This was a trail that you drive around to see historic buildings, beautiful landscape, and wild animals.  The hopes were that we would get to see a bear, but no such luck.  The animals that we saw were squirrels, a dear, chipmunks, and turkeys that trotted in front of our car as they crossed the street.  It was a lovely day and the tour was pretty fun.

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Next, we headed back to town and stopped at Laurel Falls.  This was suggested by my dad as a place that we should go, so we decided to check it out.  We had to hike 1.3 miles up to the falls, but it wasn’t too bad, and we had some lovely chats along the way.  I was surprised how close you could actually get to the waterfalls.  You could take a shower in it if you wanted.

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As we got back in town, we parked so that we could walk around and enjoy all the things to see and shops to go in.  We had dinner at No Way Jose’s, which was pretty good and fast.  We walked around and shopped, not really buying anything except for a few candy treats.  We also rode the Sky Lift.  It was fun to see from such a high point, and it was cute how nervous Chad was at first.  At the top, they take your picture.  Chad and I kissed for our picture, and it was really cute, but we didn’t spend the $14  it cost to get it.  You’ll just have to imagine how cute it was.  We walked what we felt was the entire strip and then headed back to the car.  Ober Gatlinburg was closed, but we talked about going back so we could ride the Alpine Slide.  That would have been fun, but I actually forgot about it until just now.

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The next day, we went to the Tanger Outlet to shop around.  There were so many stores, we were there for hours.  We took a break for lunch at the Chop House.  It was good food, but I think I ate too much.  We probably should have split something.  While shopping, I purchased 3 sweaters and a couple of sportswear items.  I think I got a good deal on them.  Chad didn’t find anything that was worth his money, but then again, he doesn’t like to spend money on clothes.  I actually found plenty of things that I wanted, but there weren’t as many good buys as I had hoped for.

That evening, Chad and I went to the Dixie Stampede.  I had been before when I was in high school, and I remembered it as being kind of fun, but Chad had never been.  So, with our free tickets, we went.  We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but we got a few before the show began.  It was a fun experience.  All of the food (a whole chicken, a slice of pork tenderloin, corn on the cob, creamy vegetable soup, a cheddar biscuit, and an apple turnover) had to be eaten without any silverware.  They sat us on the South side of the arena and we were in competition with the North side.  There was a show with horses and pigs and chickens to watch as we ate.  There was music too, but I was disappointed that not all of it was live.  I thought it was very obvious that most of the people were lip syncing.  There were goofy things that they did and we cheered on the south.  It was a good, fun time- right up our alley.

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After the show, we went back to our condo and went swimming and hot-tubbing.  We had lots of fun playing around in the pool and then relaxing in the hot tub.

The next morning was check out and time to leave.  All of the garbage cans outside had been overturned, and a guy cleaning up told me that they had 3 little bears who got into them.  I’m sad we missed our chance to see a bear, but I’m glad we didn’t run into them on the way back from the pool.  It was wonderful to get away with Chad for a while and really spend some good time together.  We enjoyed our time in Gatlinburg so much, and I’m sure we will be back again.