Last weekend, we headed to Gatlinburg, Tennessee – an annual trip to celebrate the birthday of my friend Lauren, and her fiancé Jon. This is the 7th year they’ve arranged the trip, and my 4th or 5th time going. We rent a cabin, have anywhere from 10-15 friends, lots of booze, food and good times.
We spend a lot of time in the cabin. Gatlinburg in the winter is beautiful, it’s really the ultimate act of hygge to be in a cabin in the woods, surrounded by friends, a fire going while watching the snow fall, right? But some times the snow falls and some times it’s just cold, and sometimes, like this weekend, it did a little bit of everything.
This year, one of our friends was on crutches, so we stuck mostly to the strip. Blaine’s for dinner, an old-timey photo shop for the classic gunslingers and war heroes sepia print; The Mysterious Mansion; a mead tasting at Savannah Bee Co.; a tasting at the Gatlinburg Wine Cellar; and then back to the house for our own whiskey tasting and grilled burgers.
The view from the cabin:
Moonshine tasting at Sugarlands Distilling Co. (with host Matt)
The Gatlinburg strip
WHAT I WORE IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS
I probably could have figured out a way to wear only lounge pants and winter boots but since I went through the effort of packing, I decided to muster up a few things. I brought two pair of shoes – winter boots and my quilted slip-ons but with the melting snow, I wore the winter boots the entire time. One pair of black denim, black leggings, a t-shirt, base layer and oversized sweatshirt about rounded it out, even for three nights. I traded in the sweatshirt for a cashmere cardigan for dinner but as soon as we were back at the house, curled up on the sofa playing Salad Bowl, that Columbus sweatshirt was right back on.
A friend of mine once said she always packs a swimsuit because you never know when you might need it. At that moment, she was swimming and I was trying to cuff my jeans high enough to dip my toes in water at a resort outside Fairhope, Alabama. I think of her every time I pack a suitcase and thankfully so, because the cabin had two balcony hot tubs overlooking the mountains and ski slopes of Ober Gatlinburg.
It was also the second time I’ve been able to use my new Away carry-on. I’m a pretty organized packer, but this Away luggage makes everything look beyond put together; there’s a space for everything including dirty clothes and a phone-charger on the outside. If you travel frequently, or honestly, at all, these are huge bonuses.
Have you been to Gatlinburg before? Are you team kitsch or team stay-in-the-cabin?