Friday, June 17, 2011

Looking Back: Traveling to Tennessee

Our first anniversary is this weekend.  Thinking about that has had me looking back on what we were doing this time last year as we prepared to head to Tennessee.  I realized that I hadn't shared a lot about the weekend we had so I thought I could take a little stroll down memory lane.
Chris and I decided a couple of months after we got engaged that the "big" wedding wasn't going to work for us.  We had both been there, done that with our first marriages and neither one of us really wanted to kill ourselves over one day.  We were more concerned about what would come after that day.  Initially we thought about getting married in Austin since we lived here but couldn't get over the cost of trying to plan a small family and friends gathering here.  Mobile was our next option.  The cost would be less but we kept running into roadblocks with trying to schedule around everyone else's schedules.  One night I found a website called Let's Run Off, a resource for eloping.  I threw the idea out at Chris and we both knew it was what we wanted to do.  Once we got the buy in from both sets of parents, we settled on the elopement package at Berry Springs Lodge in Sevierville, Tennessee.  In the end, we were very happy with the decision because it made planning our wedding a lot easier and less stressful.

The picture above was taken around this time last year.  Chris and I were in the airport in Austin waiting to board our flight to Knoxville.  Chris had just gotten off work and was exhausted.  He was completely prepared to sleep on the plane.  That, however, did not work out very well thanks to broken seats and short flights.  Little did we know he had picked up the stomach virus I had a couple of weeks earlier.  That made for a fun first day of vacation for us.  But we were thrilled to be getting out of Austin for a few days and couldn't wait to see what the Smokey Mountains had in store for us.
This was the view that greeted us when finally arrived in Sevierville at Berry Springs Lodge.  I couldn't get over how breath taking the Smokies were.  I am still dying to go back when it will be cooler (and I am not a million months pregnant) so we can do some exploring in the mountains themselves.  We had such little free time while we were there, we really didn't get to appreciate all the Smokey Mountains had to offer us.  
Our first night in town, we drive into Pigeon Forge for dinner.  Just a quick geography lesson for you: Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Gatlinburg are all nestled right together about an hour from Knoxville, Tennessee.  It's one of those areas where you don't really realize when you have left one town and entered another.  The drive from our B&B to the heart of Pigeon Forge took maybe 10 minutes.  Anyway...we decided on this great local place called the Old Mill Restaurant.  They had wonderful home style cooking that made me happy to be in the South again.  Plus they had these adorable black bear salt and pepper shakers on the table that are handcrafted there in Pigeon Forge.  I am still kicking myself for not buying a set while we were there to enjoy at home and remind us of our wedding weekend.
Chris unfortunately was functioning on no sleep in 24 hours at this point and was completely miserable.  He suffered through the meal only to learn when we got back to the hotel that night that it wasn't his lack of sleep that was bothering him but that nasty stomach virus I had unknowingly passed on to him.  It definitely made for a rough start to our trip.  Fortunately, he recovered in time to fully appreciate the breakfast part of the bed and breakfast we were staying at the next morning.

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