Tuesday, July 16, 2013

mini vacation in the Smokies

Our wedding is in 2 weeks, guys!
I'm so excited but also kind of stressed out - when you're planning a wedding, you can only do so much up front. Things like the decorations and the legal side of things can only be taken care of in the few days before, and waiting on them can be crazy-making.
We have a friend who works at Dollywood in the Smokey Mountains, and she gets free tickets every month. Because she is a saint, she gave Caleb and I a couple so that we could get away and relax for a day!
If you've never been to the Smokies, you're missing out. The scenery is gorgeous and there are lots of fun, tourist-trappy things to do.  Some people don't like that, but I think its fun :)
Just a taste of the views:

Beautiful, right?
Dollywood is an amusement park that Dolly Parton (one of my favorite people) founded, and its super cute and rustic, just like the rest of the Smokies.  Caleb is a huge bluegrass aficionado, so it was right up his alley.

This is what the whole park is like.  I really love it.
We had a great time rising roller coasters (both of us LOVE them) and checking out all the cool things that the craftsmen were selling. There was a glass blower, a blacksmith, and a gemstone shop with really reasonably priced rough gemstones.  I love the look of rough amethyst to make jewelry, so I bought some here.  Look for a post on how I wire wrap them to make necklaces later this week :)

I look super swampy in all of these pictures, but hey, it was like 90 degrees. No judging.

We rode a train around the park and up into the mountains, which was really cool, except that it was a legit steam-powered engine and I got soot in my bra. That was fun.
After about 4 and a half hours in the park, we were pretty beat and pretty hungry. Since amusement park food is so expensive, we decided to call it a day and eat in one of the restaurants in Pigeon Forge.
The one we picked was called J.T. Hannah's and it was delicious.

It was also really cute on the inside, and the drinks were served in huge mason jars.  Also, the BBQ sauce was FANTASTIC.

It was a really nice break from work and all the crazy of the past few weeks, and I loved being able to get away with Caleb for a while :)

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