I had never been to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Dollywood or anything in that area. Not that I hadn't wondered about it, but Tennessee wasn't the normal destination for vacations in Indiana. I had a few trips to Nashville, but other than that, it was mostly Indianapolis, Florida or the grandparents houses. We had the extra special trip to the Cayman Islands too, and a trip to Myrtle Beach, but I digress.
So I didn't know exactly what to expect. And Gatlinburg was beyond my expectations. I went with two of my chicks for a quick girls' trip. Had we gone for a mountain retreat, the experience might've been different. But probably not better. I love the tacky. It gave me fuel for the snarky comments for the entire time I was there PLUS a blog entry and some good stories.
So we had a great hotel (thanks, Jules!) and after the 6 hour trip (normally 4, but the traffic made it like Spring Break '94), we got dolled up for a night on the town. The recommended watering holes were a brewery that was owned by Calhoun's and the TGIFriday's. Not a great sign.
My favorite points of the trip were the crowded streets with families where at least one teenager looked mortified and parents were determined to make some memories, dammit. There was a plethora of options for miniature golf, ziplines and dinner shows. But places that stayed open past 1 a.m.--not so much.
The best part of the trip was the time with the girls. But that's often the case, isn't it? The company makes the trip.