Friday, July 31, 2015

GATLINBURG


Hello Hello! It's been a while. In the week or so that I have been absent, something very terrible has happened...MY CAMERA STOPPED WORKING!!! Actually, it works, as in it can turn on and off and change settings and whatnot, but the screen is black and when I take a picture, it comes out black as well. Does anyone know what would be wrong with it or how I can get it to work? Unfortunately I can't just go and buy a new one as I do not have a job, therefore little money. Lame. I have no idea what is wrong with it, but all I know is that I won't be able to take pictures regularly now. But the good news is that I am back with some pictures from Gatlinburg - from before my camera stopped working.

My sisters and I went with our mother on a drive to Cades Cove (post on that here) and afterwards headed to Gatlinburg for dinner and a late night stroll. We ate dinner at two places. My sisters and mom ate at Johnny Rocket's while I went upstairs to grab some food to-go at the Loco Burro. Sometimes I don't much care for Johnny Rockets. I don't have anything against it, especially since there are a few vegan options. It's just that I don't like packaged/pre-made veggie burgers and sometimes I'm hungry for more than just a little salad (however, their sweet potato fries are divine!). So at the Loco Burro, I got three side dishes of black beans, mexican rice, and pico de gallo. Chips and salsa were complimentary with the meal. 

Once I was together with my sisters and mom, we had a blast! Our waiter, Carmine, was a real treat as well. He played the claw machines until he got each of us a stuffed toy, took turns drawing pictures with ketchup, he gave our mom his number so he can send us discounts for Twin Peaks (a restaurant that his girlfriend works at), gave us free milkshakes (in which Kuyuki and I couldn't have), and we even got up to dance with him twice. That experience at Johnny Rockets really was something else!
  
After our dinner, we hugged our waiter goodbye (we really did), and went across the street to the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. It's a must every time we go to Gatlinburg. We always get candy apples, multiple boxes of taffy, and other candies (all of which I cannot have now that I am vegan). But that's okay. It's still fun to look inside and watch the taffy being made!

The rest of the night we looked in various shops, sampled some of the hottest pepper sauces ever, and took pictures with and of some of the random things we thought looked cool (like the Claire's building and the statue of the world's tallest man). This was also the last day I could really take pictures because this was the day that my camera started acting up (hence some of the pixely and orangeish photos towards the end). From that day on I had to either use my webcam, sister's phone, or dad's camera if I wanted to take a picture. It's a burden to always have to ask someone to use their camera, whereas I used to be able to just whip out my own camera anytime I wanted. It sucks, but oh well. I know what's on my Christmas list now! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CADES COVE


Here in Tennessee, it has been nothing but rain and storms almost every single day. Not fun when you're on vacation wanting to go cowboy tubing, swimming, tanning, visit museums, go on picnics, and just other fun stuff while on summer break. But on this one particular day, it decided not to rain! So since it was a bright a sunny day, we decided to head to Cades Cove!

Cades Cove is a place in the Smoky Mountains containing a lot of wildlife, wide landscapes, historic buildings, churches, and log cabins. It was so neat to see the log cabins. While walking and driving through there, I tried to visualize what life was like here from hundreds of years ago. The stairs in the cabins are also very steep. I definitely would have fallen off a few times if I lived there.

One time when we pulled over to take a picture of the landscape surrounding us, my sisters and I decided to take a little walk in the woods. I went full hillbilly status as I waked through the wilderness barefoot. After taking pictures on trees and such, we left as soon as I scared Brianna saying, "Imagine we're in one of those scary movies where a dead person just comes out of no where and starts following us." Smooth, Michaela...real smooth.

One of my favorite parts of visiting Cades Cove was walking in a river we found. Me, my mom, and Kuyuki got inside and the water was so cold! The rocks were also slippery from the algae coated on top, so we couldn't get very far. After taking a few pictures, we got out and I walked around barefoot again because I didn't want to get my sandals wet and have dirt stick to them. You can bet my feet were dirty by the end of the day. There's also a few waterfalls you can take a hike to go see, but my sisters didn't want to, so we skipped that. 



After spending a few hours in Cades Cove, and finding blackberries to pick by the cabins (don't worry, we rinsed them!), we went to Gatlinburg to have dinner and walk along the strip because Brianna has never been there before. But more on this in another post!