If some of you haven’t already figured it out, I am not from Gatlinburg. I live here in Ohio and maintain this blog with the purpose of writing about my experiences — and things I have learned — so I can pass this information to someone who has either never been here, or likes visiting and wants to know more. Today I would like to share some of the things that have influenced me to start this blogging endeavor and made me wish I could spend much more time there — some of which may not seem so obvious.
I say Houses because they make it feel like home when you walk inside, and the food only reinforces the name. There isn’t many things better to eat than breakfast in the South, and I have named some of my favorites in previous posts. Servings are large and the fact that much of these restaurant make their food from scratch only enhances the appeal. Here in my hometown they just can’t replicate these dishes. I’m not saying they’re not good, but in Gatlinburg when you take that first bite, it’s just special — something that you just can’t explain with words, just your senses.
Now I think you know where I’m going with this post — yep, it’s mostly about food. This one is easy, because I can name only one brick and mortar BBQ restaurant in my area in Ohio — and it’s 45 minutes away. A restauranteur here tried his hand at opening a BBQ place — but it failed — despite having been hugely successful with his other establishments. I think the reason is because most people here view it as a do-it-my-way specialty and don’t want anyone else’s. Anyway, Tennessee has some outstanding BBQ no matter where you go, so it is something I have to have on vacation.
This one is definitely not an obvious one, but I can’t leave it off this list. Maybe I don’t get out enough here, but I don’t know of any place to get fudge. Most Fudgemakers here run a home business, so it’s hard to really find out who really has the goods when it comes to this sweet treat. Gatlinburg has many fudge shops, and we always take some home with us. We used to get fudge at Kilwin’s, but since we discovered Chocolate Monkey, we knew what we wanted from this point forward — however, Fudgewrights in the Arts and Crafts Community is tough to top as well.
This is the most obvious of things I miss about Gatlinburg. Ohio has always been my home, so when I go somewhere that is not flat without the abundance of fertile farmland — and I go up hills and see mountains — I feel instantly inspired as my creativity is dredged up from the deepest parts of my consciousness. My morning walks in Gatlinburg seem to awaken these elements too, and are the reason I enjoy them so much when I am visiting. It almost has to be the reason I am not depressed when I leave for home. It is a high no drug could match for me, and I am not or ever have been a drug user. It keeps me in a good spirits post-trip for about a week — that is my natural high.
Sorry for the references to drugs with the last part, but I was just as uncomfortable writing about it — however that’s how I can best compare my feelings. This last description of my longing to be in Gatlinburg involves the people that make my stay so enjoyable. I have always heard about Southern Hospitality — but now that I have been to the South, I understand it now. Not everyone is pleasant down South — I get that — but a majority of Southerners are welcoming, pleasant, nice people who treat you like they would a member of their family. Phrases like “Sweetheart” and “Honey” are used regularly and are just rare to hear in many places in the North, like Ohio. It’s little wonder then, that I like to hear them when directed at myself.
Thanks again for reading! I hope you’re not disappointed that I decided to focus on good ‘ole number one with this post, but I will return with more posts on tips and upcoming special events in Gatlinburg. See you again soon!