Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 25 Zeroooooo in Gatlinburg, TN

So getting into Gatlinburg was great, we went to a breakfast buffet at Bennett's BBQ and I got my egg fix! Oatmeal, carnation breakfast, and protein powder just doesn't scratch the itch! The fresh fruit was amazing as well. We sat with EZ Does it and hung out for a bit. I was most impressed with the bath salts in the bathroom (no not doing drugs out here on the AT) but coconut oil scrub that left your hands feeling baby soft...I wanted to rub it on my feet but figured that is not socially acceptable when in town. After we headed over to NOC Outfitters to pick up my first mail drop from my mom! To my surprise she packed up my storage unit at home and sent it to me! I love you Ma! She did put my favorite Easter candy in there which was an awesome surprise! Also I can't thank her enough for sending me trail runners-my Reebok sneakers held their purpose but these are more practical! Looking around the NOC was always fun, I picked up another North Face t-shirt, an AT mug, AT shot glass and I think that is it? I put my sneakers in the hiker box in hopes that someone will get use out of them even if it is just for a short time like I did. You will see below I am sporting quite the fashionable hiker tan...high socks and two knee braces is quite an impressive look! My knee cap is tan! I have a farmers tan as well but that is more common. Sometimes it is hard to determine if I am dirty or tan...hiker problems. Most of the time it is dirt which makes it even worse. We decided to walk the strip since Korey wanted to get some more tobacco for his pipe, I started to feel real thirsty and dehydrated. I had one if those huge bottles of Smart Water I bought from the NOC but it wasn't quenching my thirst and I knew if I drank it too fast that wouldn't be good either. I walked the strip with it mostly on my neck to keep me cool. Once we got to the mall with a million floors I sat on a bench in the AC and sipped on my water. Lynn even said I didn't look good. They went into the tobacco store, and then the hot sauce store, and I nurtured myself back to life. Getting my period probably part of the combination as well (thankfully we are in town for 2 nights of it!) I felt better so I met them on the top floor where they were getting a musical demonstration of a homemade can string instrument, this one happened to be Budweiser. It was pretty neat, but another store caught my eye. There were a bunch of paintings and a woman painting in the window; I stopped in and talked with her quite a bit while looking at the artwork. Her and her husband are the artists and below I picked up a business card sized painting that was from a real leaf. If you look closely enough to the original you can see the little ridges along the leaf. It makes me smile everytime I look at it, I love it! There was word that there is an aquarium in gatlinburg, and most people didn't want to pay the $30+ on something not hiking related...my way thru I decided to hit it up solo, and I am glad I did. They have an underwater shark tank that you ride on a moving sidewalk through, it was very cool. The jellyfish were also my favorite they were so pretty! It was relaxing being in the aquarium and being able to do things at my speed. Back home I wouldn't even imagine going to lunch alone, NEVERMIND an aquarium but it felt natural. After I took the trolley back up to the motel since Korey and Lynn were still at the grocery store shopping. Our room was a hiker mess, you can take the hiker out of the woods-but you can't take the woods out of the hiker! I relaxed and bit and caught up on blogging, before I knew it they were back and Korey wanted to rest his ankle since it was pretty inflamed. Us girls opted on the free wine tasting! Though we did find out that down south semi-sweet and sweet is wayyyyyy sweeter than what we are used to. They like their wine like they like their sweet tea! Not to mention the had an automatic cracker dispenser which was pretty cool! After the wine we hit up the free moonshine samples! Can't pass up moonshine in Tennessee, even if I had to pass on the apple pie flavor (can't even smell it anymore without bringing me back!) we had a lot of fun in there, after our samples we sat outside in rocking chairs listening to a live band. It was everything I wished my southern experience to be! After we got our buzz on and the band took a break we realized we needed dinner, not without stopping for photos along the way of course! Good thing we did since we came across Rocky, Stitch, and No Rush! It's always great seeing familiar faces, we talked with them awhile, then made our way to Noah's to have dinner (Notebook reference inserted here) the potato skins were amazing-pulled pork, bacon, sour cream, and BBQ OH. MY! Lynn and I sat and talked awhile, it was nice. It's crazy how close you become to people out here after only a month. We didn't get back to the room til about 10, I still had to blog and pack and ran out if time since it was about 12:30 when I decided to call it quits since we would be hiking tomorrow.