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& Other Stories: Downtown Gatlinburg

on
Sunday, February 26, 2017

I'm blessed enough to have visited many places across the globe at such young age. Ever since I graduated from high school, it's been a tradition in my family that we should make our time to travel. Each year in my life was unforgettable as another bucket list was ticked off, yet it's very rarely of me to show this other side of my life. Some of my friend even wondered why I didn't post pictures while traveling. Frankly speaking, I learned from my younger self when I first traveled abroad. I was too busy picking tons of pictures and ended up missing several moments that obviously couldn't be repeated in reality. It's such a sad remembrance when you passed the opportunity to witness bigger things through your own lens.

However, lately as I visit more destinations, I start to think about the what-ifs of forgetting the detail on each journey. And being a writer myself now, I know for certain that one of the best ways to remember is by keeping a journal. Realizing I couldn't have everything etched on my memory, herewith I'm assured I can share a travel journal that highlights some memorable experience that my parents have granted to me. On this first post, I'd like to dedicate it to a resort city in Tennessee that I visited last year. I went on tour to the Southern USA in search of the joys of spring. For that March 2016, the weather in New York wasn't really accommodating due to blizzards and rains.

Downtown Gatlinburg pretty much reminds me of Downtown Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. Probably because of its quirky attraction that can be found along the road. This tourism destination is situated on the border of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. To me, it was indeed a nice place for a walk. I remembered how breezy the day was regardless the striking sunshine.

Upon arrival, I took an Ober Aerial Tramway in which, I was shown the panoramic view of the Smokies. The cable car goes directly to the mountaintop where the amusement park, ice rink and ski area are located. I wasn't amused with the ride-up, so I decided to leave earlier since there's nothing much to enjoy.

For lunch, I browsed around the area near the cable car station and was easily lured the moment I saw a watermill in front of a steak house named Calhoun's. Didn't have a single idea of what to order, I got attracted by their featured menu of the day; wild salmon. The service was fast and hospitable, but their delicacy was an ok, it didn't make any remark.

Speaking of delicacy, if I could highly recommend anything for you when visiting Gatlinburg, it must be their donut and fudge. The Donut Friar offers variety of handmade donuts that is freshly crafted daily. Just make sure you enter The Village complex to find this little gem inside. Another thing that made quite a remark was Kilwins' fudge. Not sure which flavor you fancy? Worry not, the workers will let you sample! The greeting was all friendly that the guy didn't hesitate to suggest the other delectable flavors to me. (I am just that confused when it comes to picking just ONE flavor, for God's sake!) In the end, I ordered a double dark chocolate one and it was so savory.

This year, I almost booked a tour to revisit this place, but a sudden change of plan headed me to a sunnier destination. (You can look forward to the travel journal!) All in all, I wouldn't even complain if I had to revisit this town. It'll be a pleasant journey knowing how beautiful this place is and I'm eager to explore Tennessee.

My next travel journal will be covering my trip to one of the *literally* HOTTEST touristy places I've ever been. Just the thought of it made me cringe again as I got extremely tanned after. Can you guess? Leave me a comment!
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