Gatlinburg, Tennessee

This past summer, my family and I took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. With a severe case of Covid blues, my wife and I decided the entire family desperately needed a vacation. We booked a little townhouse in Gatlinburg, packed up the car, and took a road trip. This being the longest road trip we’ve taken together, I was very worried about an 11 hour car ride with my children, who were 1 and a half and 7 at the time. This worry wasn’t going to stop the trip, but it did make me extremely anxious thinking of how many times my wife and I would hear “are we there yet???”. We spent a few weeks planning and saving for the trip to make sure we had all the necessary items for our outdoor adventure.

Finally, after weeks of planning, shopping and packing, it was time to hit the road! My nerves were getting the best of me thinking of the long drive. My son’s track record with car rides wasn’t that great. Some days he absolutely loved them, but most days he hated them and would cry to get out…so like I said, nervousness in overdrive! We decided to leave at 5am so we could get there at a decent time. I’m happy to say the drive was actually fantastic! The kids didn‘t ask a thousand questions or cry, we didn’t hit any traffic, and the weather was beautiful. God was definitely watching over us on that drive because it was perfect, and the sights along the way were breathtaking.

11 hours later we arrived in Gatlingburg, and instantly we were in love! Sun was shining and skies were clear, it was like a dream. Instantly, my family and I fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, the trees and the creeks. Being surrounded in nature makes everything better! My son, who at the time didn’t know many words, kept saying “daddy, look, tree…wowwwww”.

We spent 6 nights there and it was incredible! We spent most of our days in the great Smokey mountains. With so much to do in the mountains, we literally spent entire days exploring. As you’re driving up the mountain you have the option to pull over throughout designated areas. Those designated area were plentiful — a hike through the woods, horseback riding, a tour through old homes and churches of the early settlers. Most of the areas however, were right alongside the creeks and rivers that flowed through the mountains. The best part? You could simply pull over and fish or go for a swim. Everywhere you looked was natural beau