The Only Ten I See

Happy Memorial Day!

This year, my boyfriend’s family and I took a trip down to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. 15ish hours and many states later, we drove into the town of Gatlinburg for an early lunch. We had our first meal at Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp, which was definitely one of my favorites this trip. Their biscuit and pancakes were too tempting not to finish! So much for my no carbs diet!

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We took advantage of the only sunny day we had (literally) and walked around the small town, lined with local shops as well as tourist attractions. We decided on the Ripley’s Aquarium, which was definitely worth the visit! Besides the smaller window of exhibits, a conveyor belt circled around all of their water life. It reminded me of scenes straight out of Finding Nemo and Dory. To top it off, we were even able to touch some jelly fish!

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The night ended with deviled eggs and some pretty massive burgers at the Local Goat before heading back to our cabin. It was a very cozy, three bedroom space, which even had a pacman arcade in the lounge room! Just when we were ready to call it a night, my boyfriend’s dad spotted a bear outside our cabin. And it was surely a small, baby bear wandering down the end of the road looking for scraps of food. You can only imagine how tempted I was to open that door and get as close as possibly can.

I started the next day bright and early to catch the sunrise on my own. With the trees and mountains in the background, the sun was rising in every shade of yellow and orange. Luckily, I did not run into any more bears along the way.

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Before settling into our campground, we had chicken and waffles for breakfast, with a side of pancakes. Gotta have more pancakes!

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We drove through the mountains and caught a great view of it before the first downpour of the week.

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I must say that it was quite the experience for the majority of our first time camping. From building the tent to cooking under the canopy in torrential rain and complete darkness. Might as well kick back and enjoy a beer while listening to music by mother nature.

Our second hike of the trip was Ramsey Cascades. It was a pretty easy trail until it started to rain heavily. Yep, again. Despite some whining and being drenched from head to toe, we still made our way to the waterfall at the top. The bright side to this rain was the fog that covered all of the mountain, giving the Smoky Mountains its credible name. And of course, it continued to rain through our second night of camping.

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On our way back home, we made a stop at Durham, North Carolina for a BBQ lunch at my other favorite of the trip. I’m not sure if The Original Q Shack was considered a hole in the wall, but their barbecued meats and selection of sides had such a homemade touch. I even tried hushpuppies for the first time!

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The second stop we made was our apartment in Arlington, Virginia. After camping out in the rain for two nights, our first real shower literally made us all feel like a million bucks. We ended our night with some warm ramen at Boru, nitrogen ice cream at Nicecream, and then an evening stroll around the neighborhood.

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D.C. was our last and final leg of the trip. We spent the afternoon at the Air and Space Museum and was even able to catch the last day of their Barmecide Feast exhibit, mirroring the set from ‘A Space in Odyssey’.

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And as it was the day before Memorial Day, many motorcyclists rode through the city to pay respect for all of those who have sacrificed their lives in serving our country. Salute to all.

Lastly, I’d like to thank my boyfriend and his family for letting me share this past week with them. Now I can say that I survived in the wilderness and cannot wait to camp again! Hopefully mother nature will cooperate then.

🌺 EM

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