Up to the Smokies Part 2

“I believe the best way to begin reconnecting humanity’s heart, mind, and soul to nature is for us to share our individual stories.”

-J. Drew Lanham

Alright so the end of day three:

Enter the drinking. What good is a trip to Gatlinburg without stopping at one of its MANY moonshine distilleries? We left the Skylift and headed to Sugerlands Distilling Co., which was conveniently across the street. Here’s the deal, you pay $5 and get to taste all eleven of their moonshines and cream liqueurs. Yeah, eleven. Let me tell you that shit hits you about three pours in. Especially since they start you out with a 100 proof corn whiskey. “Ouch” is a good way to describe it.

The set up Sugerlands has for their tastings is really interesting and encourages socialization. The “bars” are set up in a circle so you can see the reactions of everyone in your tasting group. It led to a lot of laughter, like when BP (yes that was the associate’s name and I highly recommend being in his tasting groups) tried to sell us on trying a Bloody Mary that tasted like Spaghetti Os. Watching a bunch of us cover our tasting cups all at the same time meant loud laughter. It was a fun and unique experience I haven’t really come across. So kudos to Sugerlands for bringing people together in a safe and fun way.

After that…well I’ll just say the night ended around two in the morning after a trip to a karaoke bar. No, I did not sing.

Day Four:

The hangovers were real. It took us a little while to get motivated but we finally settled on the day’s activity: finding a swimming hole.

My sister and I had noticed a couple on our way to Elkmont the day before. Donning the swimsuits and packing up our towels, we headed out to what was probably the best swimming hole I’ve ever seen. The water was this beautiful blue green and crystal clear. Don’t get me wrong, it was COLD. Super cold, but considering how hot out it was…I really enjoyed it.

We spent a few hours out there enjoying the scenery and water. Hello tan lines.

After, we headed back to the condo and got ready to go see what ended up being one of the corniest shows I’ve ever been to. I’m pretty sure my sister and I were the only ones under 50 in there. What’s going to draw an older crowd like that you ask?

The Soul of Motown.

Now hear me out, Motown has GREAT tunes. The production and lack of energy from the performers mixed with cheesy choreography ruined it for me and my sis. As someone married to a theater actor, I have been to many many shows. From high school productions, to small low budget community theaters, all the way to Broadway productions. I’m familiar with how they should go. Now, it may be that I was too young to appreciate it or that I went in with my expectations WAY too high..but it should not have costed me $32 for a ticket. The cheese fries were good though.

Day Five:

All good things must come to an end and unfortunately this trip did. I enjoyed it thoroughly and am very glad with the alone time I got with my baby sis. We don’t get that often considering we live 500 miles apart. It was nice to be able to talk, bond, and just really enjoy hanging out as not just sisters but as friends too. I’m very proud of who she’s becoming as she grows up.

The trip home for me was definitely of the scenic variety as I got to travel through the national park for an entire hour and a half. It made for some beautiful shots if I do say so myself.

The fun part is that I am going back at the end of this month with Alex. We rented a condo on a mountain top and will have a glorious view for a long weekend away. Granted, if the country keeps going the way it is with all the anti mask idiots…that may be cancelled. We’ll see though. As usual for 2020, stay safe and stay healthy.

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