I might as well not keep it a secret anymore that I seriously want to move to East Tennessee — and it is something I have discussed in detail with my wife and son. Well, last Thursday I had an interview in Knoxville for a job similar to what I’ve been doing for more than a decade. I have since decided not to take it, but we are serious about moving in the not-so-distant future — maybe for a job that will make me happier.
In this post I will describe my brief trip to Gatlinburg on Friday — since, of course, no trip to East TN is complete without a visit to the mountains no matter how long it lasts.
I woke up before the sun came up on a Friday morning at about 6, and I left my hotel in Sevierville– the one we stayed for one night in June — and drove into Gatlinburg. Since it was a weekday — and very early — there was little traffic with to contend, and I parked along River Road at about 7:30. As soon as I exited my car, I noticed someone parking in one of the $6 lots nearby. For those that don’t know, River Road is free parking, and I was about the fourth car parked on the road that stretches down about a half mile. I wanted to say something, but my introversion kicked in, and I just figured they probably parked there to be shaded from the sun (probably not, though).
I walked down to my usual breakfast spots when we vacation here: Donut Friar first, then Coffee and Company for my coffee with espresso (Shot in the Dark). After quenching my cravings for donuts and coffee, Gatlinburg style, I took a walk down to Old Dad’s — located at the far end of the Parkway — to buy a couple newspapers (I’m old-fashioned like that).
The rest of my morning in Gatlinburg was spent taking a few pictures and doing a lot of thinking, while browsing through some of the shops after they opened. It was different walking through town knowing I couldn’t spend a bunch of money if I wanted, but that was alright, because frankly, I was just happy to be there.
Lunch was awful to figure out, since I knew I was leaving soon, so I did the one thing I have been wanting to do for a few years — sit at the bar in Smoky Mountain Brewery to have one of their tasty craft beers. I’m not a big drinker or someone who frequents bars, but something about the place made me want to do it — and I did, finally. Prior to going to the Brewery, I went back to Old Dad’s, as I remembered something the cashier said about their food when paying for the papers. They did not disappoint. For $6 I had a grilled chicken sandwich that solved my dilemma for lunch.
It was 2:30, and I wanted to visit the one person in town that knows more about me than anyone else here — and also makes some good food in her store too. That person is Lori from Farmhouse Home Goods in the Covered Bridge area of the Arts and Crafts Community on Glades Road. I told her about my situation from yesterday, and I had to buy a few things, because it always feels good to support small local businesses.
I left for home on Saturday feeling a bit bummed, but strangely happy. It’s a feeling that I haven’t been able to figure out, since I seem to get that way every time we leave our favorite vacation destination. I think maybe it’s just more motivation for making it our permanent home someday, and knowing that there will be a next time…and I will see y’all next time here too. Thanks for reading.