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Unread 9 Oct 17, 08:21 PM  
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Join Date: Oct 11
Touring Tennessee: Day 10 Heading to the Smokey Mountains

After yesterday's complaints, we set the alarm so that everyone could be earlier to breakfast. It made a world of difference

Then we packed up and headed out, on our way to our Smokey Mountain cabin. Choosing where to stay had involved a spreadsheet with many columns and we had agonised over the decision. In the end, we decided that the dealbreakers were a hot tub and a view, so we ended up booking a cabin called "Wa Ta Vu" (say it fast). My interactions with the owner, Bob, had been really good and we were very much looking forward to this part of the holiday.

On the way, we stopped a Hamilton Square for a spot of shopping. There was no joy in Ross Dress for Less, but there was a Bootbarn (hurrah!) and Evan got a new pair of boots while Paul picked up a funky shirt. We stocked up in Walmart and then got back on the road.

Around lunch time, we arrived in Maryville. We fancied trying Arby's (We have the meats!) so set the satnav to lead us there. We were all quite excited so imagine our sorrow when the Arby's turned out to be undergoing refurbishment.

"Never mind," we said cheerfully, "We can find a Wendy's or suchlike." So we asked the satnav and she led us to Wendy's.

Which was also closed for refurbishment.

"Dangnabbit!" we exclaimed. "But over yonder, there lies a Hardees. And it is open!"

We were lucky that the Hardees was open but we were also unlucky because it was possibly the worst Hardees in the world. The food was quite medicocre and there were only 2 members of staff - the manager and the chef and both of them looked like they would rather be anywhere but Hardees in Maryville. As did the customers.

Before we left, Hannah and I popped to the ladies. She still had her drink (unsweetened tea - yuck) so she put it on the sink while we went into the cubicles. When I came out, there was a woman standing there on her phone. She turned and looked at me, then picked up Hannah's drink and hurried into a cubicle. I was too dumbfounded to say anything and besides, she looked rough as.

It was all quite odd but we were comforted by the fact that she would probably have had a big swig, expecting sweet soda, and ended up with a huge mouthful of cold bitter tea. That's karma!

Once on the road again, we were soon at Sevierville where we stopped at a branch of Duncan's Western Wear for some bargain Levis. Then we drove into Pigeon Forge . . .

The words Hillbilly Vegas came to mind and we stared aghast at what we were seeing. Suddenly there were flashing LED signs everywhere, tacky t-shirt shops, confederate flags, an upside down house, the Titantic (? ), King Kong (? ) amongst a plethora of pancake houses and dinner shows. It was really quite unexpected and we were very glad we weren't staying there!

Gatlinburg is similar, with much mini golf and yet more pancakes, but it is confined by geography and so is much smaller. Again, however, we were happy not to be staying in the town itself.

We followed the directions through Gatlinburg and up a steep and windy road out of town. It was a somewhat nerve wracking drive but Bob's directions were great and we found Wa Ta Vu very easily.

You can see how the cabin got its name.

Once inside, Paul tried his new gear on and we had a good look around the cabin.

We had originally planned to eat in Gatlinburg but didn't fancy the drive back in the dark. So instead, we drove down to the only grocery store in town, Food City, and got pizza for tea.

Back at the cabin, we cooked the pizza and sat on the deck to eat it, looking out over the Smokey Mountains. Bob had sent us a link to a webcam at a nearby cabin, so we knew what to expect, but it was still breathtaking.

One of the reasons for choosing this was that you could look at the view from the hot tub - a perfect way to spend an evening.

We sat in the tub and chatted and enjoyed the night sky before heading in for the night. We have never really stayed in self catering accommodation in the US before and it made a really nice change to have a whole house to ourselves, rather than just one room.
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Unread 9 Oct 17, 09:08 PM  
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Join Date: Dec 13
🤐 re Hardees - the name alone...

The cabin looks lovely! Self catering in the States means fun trips to the supermarkets

Love the view (though it took me a few goes saying it out loud before I got it )

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2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong
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Unread 11 Oct 17, 11:23 AM  
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Join Date: Feb 11
Cabin looks fab - I must admit, I had a similar spreadsheet and because I couldn't find anywhere that met everything - that's why we dropped Gatlinburg in favour of New Orleans. But that view is amazing and we really should get there one day.

Where to start on the food front - so many closed places and ewww to the lady pinching Hannah's drink - what the ...

I had heard that Pigeon Forge was like I Drive on steroids - sounds an accurate description !

It sounds so relaxing just chilling on the deck and enjoying that amazing view, how lovely.
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Unread 19 Oct 17, 10:01 PM  
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What a lovely view. An amazing end to the day to sit in the hot tub and admire the view.
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