Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains + A Bit of Gatlinburg

Panama is a beautiful, ecologically diverse country that I constantly feel blessed to live in, but man, there is just something about being home.  The Great Smoky Mountains, less than an hour from where I live, are both one of my favorite things about East Tennessee and one of the things I find myself loving even more with each passing year.  The Smokies are full of beautiful sights and activities, and while I was home I was lucky enough to visit not twice, but three times.  Each one was magical, seriously. 

Sadie and I were on our way to the Cades Cove Loop, Sonic milkshakes in hand, less than 24 hours after I arrived in the States.  We took in the crisp Spring weather and took many an instagram-worthy shot before calling my dad to place our orders for BBQ.

Next was touristy but necessary stop in the neighboring Gatlinburg, TN.  Though the town generally avoids the ridiculous getaway antics of Pigeon Forge, it still has some pretty interesting attractions.  If you visit Gatlinburg, you’ll need to visit one of several (legal) moonshine distilleries that line the main road.  Each one offers free tastings of some of their many flavors- Apple Pie may just be my favorite, but I might have to taste again to be sure. 

Since I obviously have a thing for free samples, I also make sure to visit the Old Smoky Mountain Candy Kitchen for some delicious taffy, fresh off the roller.  And because I just can’t let go of some of my childhood favorites, I’ve made a tradition out of their delicious candy apples.

True to form, Natalie and I headed straight for beautiful backdrops, still in our wedding attire from a few hours earlier.  Though it took us a little bit to get back into the photographer swing of things, before I knew it we were back to old ways.

And what would the Smokies be without a bike ride ‘round the 11 mile Cades Cove Loop?  Maybe a little more leisurely, but that didn’t stop Andrea and I from tackling it.  If you haven’t yet sensed the theme here, we also gallivanted around the beautiful fields for some fun pictures, but sadly I don't have any to post.  

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