The wait will soon be over.

Winter here in Ohio is trying to hang onto whatever life it has left, as flurries are forecast for the end of the work week; however, Spring is here, and that means we are set to make a return trip back to Gatlinburg. I shouldn’t complain too much since it really has been a fairly mild winter when compared to average winters here, which can be downright awful sometimes. I mean, I didn’t even have to shovel the driveway once this past winter. Still, the gradual warming of the temperature is comforting, and along with the longer days, it lifts the cloud of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I actually believe is a real thing.

We are obviously excited to get back to our happy place, even if it’s just for a few days. We don’t have many activities planned, as some unfortunate things befell us leading up to our trip, but we don’t spend much until our traditional June trip anyway. I am going to share with you plans for our brief trip to the Smoky Mountains, which is just a few short days away.

Day 1

As some of you readers have seen from previous blog posts, I have expressed my desires to make a new life for our family here in East Tennessee. Keeping with this theme, I should mention that this day will mainly be spent scouting a few areas in Knoxville. Our plans include a few apartment visits and just checking out potential locales since I don’t have anything on the job front yet (The job must come first). When we do finally arrive in Gatlinburg, we will get checked into our downtown hotel and head to Best Italian in the Elks Plaza, if we haven’t already eaten in K-Town. Of course, we will stretch our legs a bit by walking the Parkway until we’ve had enough and eventually rest up for the next day.

Day 2

This will be our morning to head down to our favorite spot for breakfast–a place that needs no introduction, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. This restaurant has the biggest portions, best food, and some of the best service (knock on wood) in town.

I could go on about this place, but I need to get moving as I am making a drive after breakfast back toward Knoxville for a career fair. I’ve heard they are a mixed bag, but if we want to make this happen, I need to get acquainted with employers here. Unfortunately, this probably means we’re winging it for lunch, as my wife won’t be coming with me to the career fair. 

Hopefully, time is on our side for heading to the Arts and Crafts Community to see my social media friend Lori at her relocated Farmhouse Mercantile, which is still at the Covered Bridge. We will probably visit more shops on Glades Road, but I look forward to this visit the most.

Back to Gatlinburg we will go, and here we will visit our favorite casual steak restaurant in town, Cherokee Grill. As I have mentioned before, we want to try other steak places in town, but we just can’t turn down their delicious steaks and side dishes. I also like that I can have a nice cold drink here from their craft brewery located just a few steps away at Smoky Mountain Brewery.

Day 3

Yes, unfortunately, this is our last full day in Gatlinburg. This will be my morning to take my solo walk–unless my wife is awake–to The Village where I can have my donut–or two–from The Donut Friar and my coffee from Coffee and Company. My peaceful morning walk will take me back the other way down the Parkway to Old Dad’s for a newspaper. I have to visit this little convenience store, especially after their gracious display of opening and feeding the firefighters when the tragic wildfires destroyed some of the Gatlinburg area in late November.

Since we learned Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will be open, that option could be considered, but if not, then we will spend our day perusing various shops including Sugarlands Distilling Co. They have the best moonshine in Gatlinburg in my opinion, and we may end up with another jar for the road. They have new flavors we haven’t tried, including an orange-flavored one that is advertised as tasting like an orange cream pop.

Day 4

This will probably be our morning we decide to hit the Pancake Pantry for the best pancakes in the Burg before our long and painful journey back home. It’s certainly a bit depressing to leave, but usually, it is inspiring to me in a sort of strange way that keeps me on a high for a few days after we arrive home. Oh well, time to start planning for the next trip, right.

Thank you for reading about my latest thoughts, advice, and happenings in Gatlinburg. I hope that you find it interesting enough to leave your questions and comments on anything related to The Smoky Mountains. I usually respond fairly quickly, so ask away. See you all next time!

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