Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tennessee Trip: Smoky Mountains and Nashville

Last weekend, I joined Dan in Tennessee for a weekend adventure.
Thursday morning, we made the drive from Nashville to Gatlinburg, and the fall colors seemed to get brighter and brighter along the way.

We headed straight to Smoky Mountains National Park and drove up to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park. 
After driving back down and into Pigeon Forge to get some groceries, we found our way to the airbnb we had rented. Our host showed us around, and we cooked dinner and settled in for the night. 

Friday morning we got up early and drove in the dark to the base of Mt. LeConte and waited for the sun to rise enough to begin our hike. It was cold. We headed up and enjoyed the varied terrain along the way.   
The view at the top, the third tallest peak in the Smoky Mountains, was beautiful. It was well worth the long hike. 
We made it back down six hours and about 11 miles after we started and drove into Gatlinburg for pizza and a little sampling of Ole Smoky Mountain moonshine. 
We had heard about a winter storm in the forecast but didn't take it too seriously. Overnight, though, the temperature dropped we awoke to about 6 inches of snow and no power in our cabin. 

I have to admit, it made me excited for the beginning of winter.
We packed up using flash lights and headed back to Nashville, the snow gradually disappearing along the way. 
It ended up being a beautiful afternoon in Nashville, and we explored the Germantown neighborhood and plotted our plans for the evening.  
We decided on a multiple-stop date, beginning with cocktails at Rolf and Daughters. We moved on to 312 Pizza for an appetizer, then to dinner at the Mad Platter. I had the duck breast and Dan had lamb, and we agreed it was the best meal we had had in a long time.

The delicious food continued on Sunday with brunch at the Germantown Cafe (I got the crab cakes benedict). It was a sunny day and afterward we walked through downtown Nashville and over to Crema Coffee to wrap up the day before I got dropped off at the airport. 
I spent the flight home in a tired but happy daze, overwhelmed by the goodness of the weekend. It was full of beauty, and just what we needed.

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