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We were scheduled to attend a seminar in Nashville in July. I had always wanted to explore Tennessee, outside of Nashville...especially the mountains! Gatlinburg seemed like a great place to start on this adventure.

Jim from the Gatlinburg Chamber helped us line up the details and soon, it became a reality...we were finally going to visit the Smokies!

I am not sure what moved us to take a photo by this sign. Probably just because others were.

We arrived in town toward evening. We actually saw a snake on the road near our entrance, therefore we knew we were in the right place! Our hotel, the Park Vista, was amazing! They left us goodie bags with notes to welcome us to the area and fed us an amazing breakfast each morning. It was beautiful both inside AND out. We got put on the top floor with an amazing view of the city and the mountains.  It was hard to fall asleep that night...we were too excited for morning to come!

What was shocking is that...For being a good size town, it had a small town feel to it. It was easy to get around...Todd didn't even get lost!

Here we are at Laurel Falls.

The highlight of our trip was finding a red cheeked salamander. That may seem crazy, but we know we won't find one anywhere else, so it was special We came upon a couple of little boys on the trail admiring it. We showed them that it won't hurt them and made a couple of fans. Anytime we can share what we do with children especially, it's the highlight!

Here we are with our new friends!

Our only real challenges on our journey were lighting and food! There are so many trees making it seem gloomy....not that that's a bad thing...only for videographers! :) We also assumed there would be a couple of areas in the park which would offer some types of food service, but we were wrong, so we soon learned it was necessary to pack a lunch before we headed out each day. Luckily, Gatlinburg is close by and offers any services a visitor might need. :)

We spent 2 days exploring the park. One day we headed southeast, and the other day we headed southwest. It wasn't nearly enough time to see all we wanted to see. However that gives us an excuse to go back, right?

We loved our time in the Smokies and Gatlinburg and can't wait to go back!

Terri and Todd