Painting a picture with words

I often think that pictures can not capture everything.  Some pictures are very moving, but they cannot capture the feeling you get when you are actually at a place.   I have many pictures of my beautiful cabin in Tennessee, yet I forget just how beautiful it is.  Each time I go, I remember how magnificent those beautiful mountains make me feel.

There is a sense of excitement months before I leave to go on our trip.  It is almost as if I can not wait.  My heart is aching, my mind is racing.  I just can’t wait to get there.  I am usually a very organized person.  But, I have to keep telling myself to calm down and think about what needs to be done before I leave.  The trip to Sevierville Tennessee is about 10 hours.  This would have been a huge inconvenience before I started going to The Great Smoky Mountains regularly.  Now, I hardly notice the long drive.  vrbo-Nothin-But-Views-2013-1101-Fall-View-3

As we get closer to the cabin, I notice the mountains and the scenery.  It is so beautiful.  We ascend Legacy Mountain where my cabin is and I get butterflies inside.  The cabin itself is so beautiful with the hard wood floors and the tongue and groove cathedral ceilings.  I cannot even believe we own such a wonderful place to vacation.  I have always dreamed of owning a home in the mountains and this one is one of the most beautiful places I have even seen.

I feel myself drawn to the decks.  I feel as if I can look out over those beautiful vistas all day long.  They are quite mesmerizing.  The scenery has a calming effect on me.  I really do not feel the need to go anywhere or do anything when I am on the deck enjoying the views.  It is as if no one else is around but me and those magnificent mountains.  I can hear the birds chirping.  There is a far off sound of cars driving.  I can see an apartment building that looks like a castle.  I can use my childish imagination and think of what kings and queens live there.  I imagine they have a pet fire breathing dragon.   In another direction, I see a school.  I can almost hear the happy children out on the playground at recess.   In the distance, I can see a field with animals in it.  I try to think of a time when this land was all just fields and trees.  When the animals roamed free and man hunted them for food.   I look out over the landscape and wonder how it looked hundreds of years ago.  I feel so small compared to thevrbo-Nothin-But-Views-2013-1101-Fall-View-5-with-Snow-Capped-Mountains vast beauty of the scene.  I am in awe to be a part of such a beautiful world.


Purchasing a cabin in The Great Smoky Mountains

VRBO-Nothin'-But-Views-2013-0524-View-1 Judy side of cabinMy husband and I visited Pigeon Forge in June of 2012.  My brother owns a cabin in Starr Crest Resort and we took our two (now teenage) children Calvin and Nina.  He was reluctant to travel 10 hours away on vacation.  I had been there before and loved it.  I love the mountains.  My husband is more of a beach guy.  We drove down the strip in Pigeon Forge.  The kids were so excited about everything they wanted to do on their vacation.  When my husband got to the cabin and saw the beautiful views, he said “You can drag me 10 hours anytime”.  We truly fell in love with the area.  There is something there for everyone.  The area is full of history, beauty and fun!

Less than a year later, we own a cabin in Legacy Mountain Resort.  We have been there many times.  I love it there.  I don’t ever want to leave.  It took a lot of trips to find the perfect cabin for us.  We were looking for something with roads that are wide and easily maneuvered.  We definitely wanted a view.  And, we found one.  We picked Nothin But Views.VRBO-NBV-2013-0627-Deck-View-1 Judy

The time came for settlement.  I thought I had everything in line to run smoothly.  When we got to our cabin to do the walk through, there were guests in there.  They were scheduled to stay a couple more days.  I did not know how to tell them that there were several things I needed to do to the house (meet with maintenance guy, cleaners, buy linens, decorate, etc…) to get it ready for my renters.  I felt bad for the gentleman.  Well, the rental company did find that family another cabin.  The cleaners did not make it in time to clean before settlement.   I put some of my things in the cabin and changed the combination and told them not to bother cleaning.  Somehow the cleaners got in later that day when we were out.  They took everything that was not nailed down (Alcohol, tape measure, hair dryer, bead spread etc…).   I guess they figured the last guests left the items.  I also made the mistake of leaving the owners closet open.  I felt robbed.  How did they get into the house?  We again called the rental company.  They did return most of our stuff.  But, I was so keyed up at that point.  Nothing was going right,  Even the cable company forgot to schedule us and couldn’t find time before we left to install the cable.

The dining room table sits 6 people.

The dining room table sits 6 people.

I was doing things around the cabin and just walking around like I didn’t know what to do next.  Someone told me to sit down.  I knew I would not be able to sit for very long.  But, I sat anyway.  I sat in the love seat and looked out the big floor to ceiling windows at those beautiful mountains.  Then I remembered that I had just bought my dream home.  I was in the mountains and I owned one of the most beautiful cabins I have ever seen.  Those mountains had a really calming affect on me.  I suddenly realized that all those things will pass and I will still have a beautiful home that I can enjoy over and over again.

I hope those mountains have the same calming affect on our guests.

“Weekly Photo Challenge: (Good Morning)”

laura Blevins panaromaOne of our guests took this shot off of our balcony at ‘Nothin But Views’.  You can see why they call it the Smoky Mountains.  It is a beautiful sight to wake up to.  It is so quiet and peaceful in the mountains in the morning.  I love enjoying my coffee on the deck in the morning and waking up slowly.  It is one of the highlights of my trip.  The view is ever changing throughout the day.  Our morning routine usually involves sitting on the deck talking and sipping coffee and checking our electronics (laptop etc…).  We often don’t even talk.  We just listen to the sounds of the mountains waking up and enjoy the wonderful views.cropped-vrbo-nothin-but-views-2013-0524-view-2-judy1.jpg   Then, I wonder up to the work out room or take a little jog.  You really don’t even need to jog in the mountains.  You get a good work out just walking around.   I am leery to take a jog too early in the morning because of the bears in The Great Smoky Mountains.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee


Gatlinburg is a quaint little town that you can walk up and down the strip and see all the sites.  There are musicians playing in the streets.  There are museums, shops, bars and just a great place to go and watch all the people walk by. moonshine They also have places where you can do some wine tasting, whiskey tasting and the very popular moonshine tasting.  In the moonshine area, there are plaques which tell you about moonshining.  Very interesting information about how Nascar racing is tied into Moonshining.

Ripley's-Aquarium-of-the-SmokiesThere are side streets with cute gift shops and coffee houses.  Ripley’s Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Ober Gatlinburg Ski lift, and the Hollywood Car Museum are just a few of the highlights on the strip.  You can take the trolley into town.  It is $.50 each way per person.  There is a trolley on 321 if you go the back way to Gatlinburg through the arts and crafts district.  There is also a trolley stop at the Gatlinburg Visitors Center.

We chose one day to park about 5 blocks off the main strip.  We parked in a church parking lot.  When we got back to our car, one person yelled bear and we all got into our car real quick.  I was looking around for a bear statue that may have been mistaken for a bear.  Sure enough, there was a huge bear sticking to the shadows of the church and moving right toward the back of our car.  He was close to the church were the lights don’t hit.  I would probably have missed him if it were not for my sister n law.  I wonder how many bears I have missed.bearincar

We followed the bear and warned people who were walking on the streets that there was a bear nearby.  We followed it and it went right up some concrete steps leading to a motel.  Could you imagine  opening your motel door to get some ice and a bear being right there on the walkway.  I guess bears are in the place you least expect them.

Flea Market at Dunn’s Market

Cades-Cove-FallThere is a flea market at the corner of Upper Middle Creek Road and Pitman Center Road (which turns into Bird’s Creek Road at that intersection) on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.  It just has some typical flea market stuff like old tapes and video games, etc..  It also has some antiques.

Cades-Cove-1 Cades-Cove-2There is a local artist named Don Arwood who displays his painting there regularly.  I have bought many of these paintings to display in Nothin’ But Views cabin.  I have a picture of the Elijah Oliver home in Cades Cove.  This is a hike to get to his homestead.  I have not yet been to this homestead.  Every time we go to Cades Cove, it is something different.  One time we met a man Odis Abbott who used to live in Cades Cove.  Fascinating stories we heard that day.  I do hope to get to the Elijah Oliver home some day.

Elijah is the son of John Oliver.  I also have a picture of the John Oliver home in the cabin by this same artist.  The John Oliver home is a short hike in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Don Arwood collects wood from old barns that are being torn down in the Sevierville area and makes paintings out of this wood.  He either uses it in the frame, or paints right on it.

I just love the local artwork and plan on being a regular customer of Don Arwood.