Monday, February 02, 2009
We both felt just fine today, so we finished packing Bella up, and got ready to roll.
First, we drove about 15 minutes to the Biltmore Estate, America's largest home and home of the Vanderbilt family. Bernie had always wanted to visit Biltmore but since it was getting close to closing time we decided there was no point in buying the $35 tickets (per person) to see the house so we just wanted to drive around the grounds and take a look. http://www.biltmore.com
When we got to the entrance, we were informed it was another 4 miles just to get to the house and that we could not access the grounds without tickets. Dissappointed we left and then drove east through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park towards TN.
Our first destination in TN was Gatlingburg, about two hours away. On the way there it started snowing lightly. As instructed by our GPS, Lola, we took the exit towards Gatlinburg only to find the road closed, probably because of the weather. This was a two lane road with nothing but trees on both sides. Turning Bella around was an adventure that only got more interesting as the snow started coming down hard. It took a while, but we finally got back on the interstate as Lola recalculated our route.
Lucky for us it was not snowing when we got to Gatlingburg but it was still very, very cold. We parked on the main street, bundled up, and walked around a little bit. We decided to try the Amazing Mirror Maze, as we had a coupon to get in (there are two mirror mazes here, we decided on the non-ripleys one). We were the only people inside the maze and kept getting lost again and again, bumping into the mirrors a few times. We had a few good laughs, this was so much fun.
Then we drove up the mountain to get to the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park. There is an indoor ice arena, a scenic chairlift, an alpine slide, water raft rides, and skiing. We walked around and got to watch people skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. It was too cold for us so we decided to keep rolling. http://www.obergatlinburg.com
It was still early evening so we decided to head towards our next destination, Pigeon Forge. When we got there we found a bookstore still open so we went to check it out. We asked if they trade books, and they said no, but gave us the name of another bookstore that does.
Then after driving around a little more getting to know the area, we went to the Welcome Center. It was already closed when we got there, but we decided to park there for the night.