Well I finally got this post all put together and ready for the blog. Tennessee was absolutely amazing. It was a very relaxing vacation and I really enjoyed spending the week with Tommy. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. The first day we drove all the way to Chattanooga and found a really nice hotel in downtown, the Chattanoogan. We took advantage of the FREE shuttle service around downtown. We rode to the riverwalk and then visited the Big River Grill for dinner which was not very great.
The next morning we drove to Adventures Unlimited for our white water rafting adventure. We didn’t realize we signed up for such an adventure. I almost died twice! Once we were dressed in our wet suits and had the rafts loaded on the trailers we began our “adventure” to the beginning of the river. We rode in 1967 van that was ready to break down any minute. A motorcyclist cut in front of us on the curvy mountain roads. Then he slams on his brakes and antagonizes the driver of our van to try to hit him (which was very possible considering the old brakes on the van). A few seconds later the motorcyclist pulls out a gun and starts to wave it around in the holster. I pretty scared at that point. Our driver, however, was waving his hands around yelling, “Come on cowboy. Show me what you got!” It’s hilarious now but at the time I was hiding behind the seat in front of me praying that we would make it to the river. We eventually lost the motorcyclist and made it to the river. White water rafting was a blast. It was very cold but very fun. The colors on the mountains were beautiful (check out the slideshow for pictures). The photographer for the rafting company was already off for the season we did not get any pictures while rafting but we have plenty others. After rafting we headed back to Chattanooga and got ready to eat dinner at a Murder Mystery Theatre. We went to “An Italian Redneck Wedding” show at the Vaudeville Café Murder Mystery Theatre. I highly recommend this if you are ever in the Chattanooga area. We laughed the entire time, the food was great, and best of all…it’s BYOB! We downed 2 bottles of wine and had a great time.
The next day we walked to the riverwalk and watch a few regatta races (1-6 person canoe races) on the river. Then we toured the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and visited a model train museum which was pretty cool.
We packed up and headed to Rock City which was very touristy and not impressive. We then headed to Gatlinburg and found a hotel for one night. The next morning our main objective was to find a cabin in the mountains. We found a very inexpensive cabin in the mountains with a hot tub on the deck! Exactly what I wanted!! Next, we traveled into the Great Smokey Mountains and hiked to Rainbow Falls which was brutal. It was over 5 miles (round trip) up hill to the waterfall. My legs were on fire. We cooked dinner at our cabin that night and listened to the election results (which made for a pretty bad night).
The next morning we had breakfast in a campground next to a stream and then headed up the mountain to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point the Smokey Mountains. We saw a few patches of snow and even stood on the TN/NC state line. After Clingman’s Dome we went to Laurel Falls which was very pretty and a very easy hike. We decided to give our legs a rest after Laurel Falls and drove through Cade’s Cove. Cade’s Cove was very pretty and we saw horses, deer, and even a coyote. After Cade’s Cove we walked through downtown Gatlinburg which is just a whole bunch of shops and tourist traps. We had dinner at then headed back to the cabin.
The next morning we made our way to Nashville. The first few stops were at outlet malls. We found a huge outlet mall in Sevierville, just outside of Pigeon Forge. This place was HUGE, the largest I have ever seen. We didn’t buy much but I was just impressed by the size of the mall. Once in Nashville, we found a place to stay and then headed to Broadway street. We had a few beer, talked politics, listened to karaoke, and had a really great time. The next day we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Opryland Hotel, and drove by the Opry Mills Mall. The country music hall of fame had a special exhibit on the Hank Williams family which was pretty interesting.
After Nashville we drove to Memphis to visit St. Jude’s Research Hospital and eat some delicious ribs. By this point I was exhausted and ready to head home. So we went straight to St. Jude’s to drop off our donations and then drove to Beale St for some ribs at Blue’s City Café. The ribs were great! We then headed HOME! It was a long drive. I think we left Memphis around 6:00 and didn’t get home until after midnight. Tommy did well and didn’t fall asleep at all. I, however, couldn’t keep my eyes open after 7:00. But it was nice to finally be home.
Check out the pictures in the slideshow of everything you just read about!
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