Thursday, May 20, 2021

30 years and Anakeesta

30 years. Not a short time. But that's how long I've been married to the girl who colors my world!

There she is.

To celebrate 30 years together, we decided to go on a trip. We ended up in Sevierville, TN, in Pigeon Forge and near Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Part of that trip included visiting Anakeesta, a theme park built after the great Gatlinburg fire of 2016, which burned much of Gatlinburg and Sevier county (claiming 14 lives and over 2,500 homes and businesses). 

To get to Anakeesta takes a chair lift ride up a mountain:

But she wouldn't watch, eyes closed just about the whole way up:

Granted, we were sitting in a chair with a non-locking, single bar across our laps (that we pulled down ourselves), quite a ways off the ground (several stories, although I'm not good at estimating height, so I won't try to give you a definitive number).

But once we got to the top, it was very nice (note: the price of admission is probably a bit higher than it should be, but it's got a lot of "adventure" things that kids would enjoy, as well as great views, neat sights, and, of course, that long open chair ride up and down the mountain). But someone spilled some paint:

Oh, she did it:

Should have known. Anyway, they have a large tower for lovely views of the mountains, Gatlinburg, and surrounding areas:

The bike is for "display only" and asks "do not ride"... but we did walk up to the tower.

It was a lot of steps, but we made it! And what a view:

They even have "glass" floors you can walk on to look down:

Some people wouldn't walk on them, though. But we did get some other nice photo opportunities:

And took a walk on the treeline swinging bridge:

And took a walk through the "Bear Adventure":

A lot of fun was had by all. We also got to see an American Flag made from flowers:

And a particularly noteworthy visitor:

And I'm not talking about the guy in the foreground of the above picture; instead, look pretty much center of the picture and find a large, black, four-legged creature that decided to come for a visit. Before too long, as he got too close to the park areas, he was shooed back into the forest by the park staff.

But we had plenty of opportunities to relax and just enjoy the views:

And then there was this glorious photo set, closing in the whole way:

Then we had the oddly less-harrowing chair ride back down the mountain:

It was a fun day. And before we spent the day at Anakeesta, we shot a round of "Hillbilly Golf" - which we highly recommend if you visit Gatlinburg. After taking a tram ride up the side of a hill (or mountainside), you get to play 18 holes of putt-putt back down the hill (not all the way down; there's still another tram ride back to the bottom). There are two courses, and if you go back within a few days, you'll get to play again for under half the price (just have to bring your scorecard back), so you can play both sides of the mountain. As it turns out, we tied:

I guess we're just perfectly matched! Then again, we have made it 30 years in marriage, so I guess we'd better be!

We ended the day (well, the "out" part of the day) at the Gaucho Urbano Brazilian Steakhouse - our first experience at a Brazilian steakhouse - and it was delicious. We both left completely stuffed, and went back to the condo to just sit on the couch and watch some TV and do nothing while our digestive tracts got to work. We may have dozed off a few times while watching TV.

And that's just one day of our adventure celebrating 30 years of marriage. Yesterday we hiked through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (saw a small waterfall, an old cabin, lots of woods, and hiked a half mile up one of the highest points of the Smokies and then up Clingmans Dome for amazing views. The park was extremely busy, and we hadn't planned to go to Clingmans Dome, but the parking area for the trailhead we planned to take was completely full. And a word of warning: although that half mile hike to Clingmans Dome is paved, I think it's also about a full mile in vertical ascent (not really, but it felt like it!), and the temps up there - both on the trail and at the Dome - are quite chilly, and windy, even when it's fine elsewhere in the Smokies. We had planned for hiking, but not for cold, windy, somewhat damp hiking-in-clouds, and we were very glad to get back to the car where it wasn't quite so frigid! The car's external thermometer showed 49 degrees as we drove away, and I think it may have been close to that (even though it was at or near 70 at lower elevations in the park).

What will tomorrow hold? Not sure yet; we're taking this adventure one day at a time!

1 comment:

Ninfa said...

Its been an amazing 30 years and this week is such a treat! 🥰 You did a great job of sharing our adventure!