Sunday, December 23, 2012

A long weekend in Gatlinburg

Bilal has been making a slow recovery from his sinusitis, still on antibiotics, of course, but complaining less and less about headaches. We were debating taking our planned vacation (our first trip to Gatlinburg in about 11 years) with him sick, but figured it was worth a shot. What we didn't plan for was Safa catching a stomach virus. The day we left she started throwing up. Thank goodness for Dramamine while we were traveling! We got to Gatlinburg by mid-afternoon on Friday, and checked into a condo we had rented. If you ever plan to take a vacation involving a hotel stay, it might be worth checking out VRBO first. We have used the website to find places to stay a few times, and have had nothing but great experiences. This time has been no different. A lovely 2 bedroom condo is much nicer than renting two hotel rooms.

Anyway, on Friday evening, Zakir, Hamza and I walked into town and roamed around for a while, and Safa and Bilal stayed in, to recuperate. We enjoyed the Christmassy sights and sounds of town. Thankfully, by Saturday morning, Safa was feeling fine. In fact it was as if she had never been sick! That meant we were able to proceed as planned.

First we took a scenic drive from Gatlinburg to Cades Cove. We took a route called Little River Road and made plenty of stops on the way.

The loop itself is a narrow, one way road, 11 miles long, and very picturesque.

It didn't take long for us to find some local wildlife. Deer!

And turkey!

We passed a quaint little church, among other buildings.

And the weather was perfect. A little chilly, hovering just above freezing, but with a bright clear sky. Not a cloud!

A deer, so close to our car!

Icicles hanging from the water wheel of the old mill:

The entire trip took about four hours. Th enwe had delicious Chinese food for lunch and in the afternoon we met up with another family who is also visiting from Birmingham. More on that later.


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