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Spring Break Road Trip. Houston to Great Smoky Mountains NP 03/06-03/14

When you get your ticket, they ask you if you want to park and ride the shuttle or you want to park closer to the house and walk to the house. Choose to park and walk. It is so much better and the walk from the parking lot to the house is only 300 yards which they say it is a 8 minutes walk. It is truly 8 minutes walk. And when you walk, you come out at the point where you start off taking the best pictures of the Estate. As shown by my first 4 pictures I took of the house below.

If you choose to take the shuttle, it drops you right at the front of the house. And for you to take these beautiful pictures, you have to walk all the way back to capture these angles.




 
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After visiting the house, I drove to the winery. Got in line. The line was long and it took me 25 minutes before I was shown to my table. Good thing I met these complete strangers while in line. A couple meeting each other for the first time and a very friendly family on a road trip. They were so friendly and we all got to know each other.

The lady ushering people to their tables told all of us that during summer or Peak season, the line for wine tasting is usually about 1 hour 30 minutes long to be seated. So, keep that in mind if you ever visit during peak season and wanted to do wine tasting. Either you go there very early or your wait in line will be 1 hour 30 minutes.

When we got to the table, we were immediately served their best wine as the wise wine gentleman told us how their wine tasting works.

He gave us their list of wines and we each marked our 7 wines we wanted to taste.

We had our tastings, asked questions, got to know each other more and enjoyed the stories from our wine server. After about 25 minutes later, we were done and time to leave the Estate.



 
It was time to get back on the road for 1 hour 30 minutes drive back to the hotel.

Tomorrow morning, I will check out of my hotel in Cherokee and drive 1 hour 30 minutes to Gatlinburg where I plan to spend 3 nights.
 
Checked out of the hotel at Cherokee today and drove in the rain to Gatlinburg, making a few stops along the way.
This morning was cold, wet and a beautiful scene in the park, with a lot of Elks laying in the grass.

Next stop was at the Baptist church


And then a few pictures I stopped for along the road.



 
Today was a busy day just walking around town and shopping on main street in downtown Gatlinbirg.

I got to attend Moonshine tasting for my first time. I don't drink alcohol so this was quite an adventure. You pay $5 and you get to taste 13 different moonshines. My experience was not good since I did not like the taste of most of them. But it was quite interesting since it was a group of like 20 people doing the tasting at the same time.

I like wild game and went looking for some and was happy to find bison, elk and venison at a jerky store. Just what I was looking for and I bought a pack of each. I also saw kangaroo and aligator. I have never tasted kangaroo. I was tempted to buy it but changed my mind. I also wanted aligator, but I cook that myself some times, so I did not want that either. I just got what I needed.

Later on I asked a moonshine worker at the tasting place if I could launch my drone from their parking lot. He said showed me a spot a d spent the whole time talking with ne and asking all kinds of questions while being marveledat my screen. He was very well entertained as I took my pics.
Here are my random pics from today.






Group of us about to start the moonshine tasting.

These are the ones we tasted together with some others not on the table when I took this picture. Definitely something to try, if you are interested.

Pics about their moonshine making process.





 
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And just to show how Gatlinburg looks from bird's eye view.


Then I took these shots. Took the first one. Then turned my drone 90 degrees and took the next one. Turned another 90 degrees and took another. Then another 90 degrees and took the last one. Shows a big picture of a good aerial view of Gatlinburg.



 
Yesterday, I was so tired I did not update. But have some time now to update as my vacation has come to an end.

The first part of the day was spent running the Tail of the Dragon. It was a thrilling ride.
 
My start of the Tail of the Dragon.



Along the way, there are 2 photographers who take pictures of your car and then they sell the pictures to you. You can go on their website to see your pictures and decide if you want to buy them or not. Here are my own pictures from their website. I may order some.





On that drive, you get to cross the border into North Carolina and then back into Tennessee. Time to take the pics I missed taking.



And these are some pictures on their wall of bikes wrecking on the Dragon.


And this is the wall of shame of some parts from some of the wrecked bikes on this road.


And these are pictures of why they have prohibited 18wheelers from using this road. They cause a lot of accidents as they block all the road when navigating those curves.
 
After enjoying the drive on the Tail of the Dragon, I drove back to Pigeon Forge to spend the day. I walked around a lot looking at many attractions. Then took some pics of some attractions. Then when I was done for the day. I ate at a nice small restaurant and went to the movies to watch Bloodshot and The Hunt. Bloodshot was not as good as I hoped, but The Hunt was a very good movie and worth going to watch.







 
Finally done with my vacation and drove 10 hours today from Gatlinburg to New Orleans. The drive was a really nice one and I met some speed demons on the highway.

Finally got to New Orleans in good time and went to the french quarters to eat and walk around. Had a good dinner and then went to back to my hotel to get some rest to be ready for my 6 hours drive back home tomorrow.
 
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