Monday, May 15, 2017

Dollywood Weekend

Adam and I finished grad school in October 2016, and he decided we needed a little weekend getaway to celebrate. I knew we were going away, but he didn't tell me where or what we'd be doing. (This makes it challenging to pack, but fortunately he did give me some insight into the types of things I might need.)

We took off work on a Friday and got up early to hit the road. I knew we were heading east, but that meant quite a few possibilities of where we could be heading.


However, as we got off at a certain exit in East TN, I was pretty sure I knew where we might be going. I guessed right, as we went to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg. Adam had rented us a cute little cabin in the woods. It was the first weekend in November, so the fall drive was beautiful! (Side note: This was about 3 weeks before the fires that hit the Smoky Mountains/Gatlinburg.)


We got checked in and explored our cabin before heading out to walk around the strip in Gatlinburg. I know some folks reading this might not have any idea what I'm talking about, but this part of the Smoky Mountains is very special to most of us born and bred Tennesseans. It's just sort of a kitschy tourist town, but there's something beloved about it. I've been there more times than I can count. It's just sort of a fun little weekend getaway kind of place. It's also where a lot of the parents of people my age, including my own, honeymooned in the 70s when it first sort of became a thing. Much of the town still looks like it's in the 70s, which is part of its charm.

We went to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge for dinner. It was your typical down home country cooking, and it was delicious! I also loved seeing all the Christmas decorations around town. After dinner, we went back to the cabin to enjoy the hot tub before heading to bed.


On Saturday morning, Adam surprised me with Dollywood tickets! Despite living so close by all my life, I had never been! Adam had never been either, being from West TN and all. It was so exciting to get to go do this together for the first time.


We spent all day exploring the entire park and riding every single ride, some of them multiple times. We were actually really impressed with the roller coasters and with how neat we found everything in the park to be. We also found some neat things in some of the shops for our home.


As it got dark, all of the Christmas lights came on. It was really cool seeing all the lights and decorations as well as riding a lot of the rides at night.



We were there from open to close and had an amazing day! Once we left, we went to the cabin and enjoyed the hot tub for a bit before crashing.

On Sunday morning, we packed everything up to check out of the cabin. We then went to Paula Deen's for an amazing breakfast.



Seriously. Look at all of this delicious food.


We did a little shopping around town and visited a few of the local wineries before hitting the road back to Nashville.

It was such a nice getaway, and it was really special to get to do Dollywood for the first time with my love!

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