A few weeks ago, Gatlinburg stole my heart and has yet to give it back. I had the blessed opportunity to spend the week in Tennessee with my love's family in a charming, mountain cabin. Every day was full of time spent with family, experiencing new adventures, and celebrating in pure relaxation. Each first experience shared with my love were one’s for the book! My favorites included white water rafting, zip lining in underground caves (road trip detour), and hiking in the Great Smokey Mountains. However, the trip wouldn’t be anything without my savored breaths of peace. Imagine four books ready to devour, an incredible mountain view, and the perfect cool temperature. This cabin in the mountains and I were a match made in Heaven.
On the road trip down to Tennessee, we took a pit stop in Kentucky to experience underground zip lining! (Mega Cavern Ziplines) Let me tell you, it was awesome! After I got over the hesitation to get my scaredy cat butt to step off the ledge, I felt like I was flying free. Of course, I forgot to look at all the neat views while ripping down the line, but the wind in my hair made me feel like a soaring, blind bat!
From the moment I learned we’d be near the Great Smokey Mountains, I longed to spend days hiking. My wish was fulfilled! The AllTrails app was extremely useful to discover hikes with. Go check it out! We were blessed to have beautiful weather all week long, giving us plenty of chances to admire mother nature. Our hikes included Laurel Falls, Clingman’s Dome, and Indian Flatts Falls. Please visit Indian Flatts Falls if you ever happen upon Gatlinburg. This 8 mile hike includes a creek with countless waterfalls and each step is embraced with the scent of fresh flora.
If zip lining wasn’t enough for my adrenaline surges, white water rafting did the trick! (Big Bear Rafting) Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the drop site and I learned my only safe line to the raft were my feet! Yeah folks… uncoordinated Katti somehow managed to not fall overboard with only her feet as anchors. I had a ball laughing through the rough waters and feeling the water whip over the raft. Attempting to paddle down the river was so beyond thrilling, I may even attempt bigger whitecaps in the future!
When in a tourist city, do as the tourists do. Tennessee is home of moonshine, and there’s no way I was going to turn down some tasty shots. (Sugarlands Distillery Co) They really were delish... after I composed myself from the 100 proof shot that literally knocked me on my butt. We also gawked at cute sea horses at the Ripley Aquarium and got our honkey on at the Dixie Stampede. My favorite tourist activity was at the base of our mountain that hosted an arts and crafts loop. I tried my best to resist the urge to buy coffee mugs, but failed. I may have bought not one, not two, but three ceramic mugs… Oops. *Sidenote three was the magic number, because special mugs + coffee makes me feel grounded. (Haha)
Overall, Tennessee was absolutely perfect. It was so beautiful to have spent the week with my love’s family and have shared these experiences with them. The Great Smokey Mountains left an imprint in my heart and I long to go back to get lost in its story. There is so much beauty in this world, go experience it.