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It’s Easter Sunday, but we’re spending the day in the car. The drive from Memphis to Knoxville, TN is about 5 1/2 hours then another hour to Gatlinburg, TN where we would be staying the night.

We stopped for lunch at White Castle. We don’t have these down in Texas so I had to see what all the hype was about. We got two $3.80 combo and onion ring $1.69. The burgers look nasty, but they taste ok. They’re simple and to me a little wasteful with all the cardboard we had when we where done. I felt like I was eating a happy meal the whole time. Another been there done that moment and don’t think I’ll be back.

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Next stop was in Knoxville, TN at the Sunsphere Tower which is a 300 foot observation deck and free to enter. The hardest part is figuring out where to park and how to get in the damn thing. We ended up just driving around it several times and leaving. This structure was built for the 1982 World’s Fair and represents the sun (source for energy), and reflecting the energy theme of the fair.

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Right outside of Gatlinburg around the Dollywood area you will find the tourist destination of any tourist trap I’ve ever seen. There was so much to look at I just sat there with my mouth open. It’s like Vegas out of no where!

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Finally we made it to Gatlinburg, TN. Our hotel was the The Park Vista (part of the Hilton family hotels) we only paid $116 using AAA discount. I really enjoyed this hotel. They have a nice fire pit outside to watch the sunset over the mountains. They even give you hot fresh cookies when you check in. Since the hotel is round every room has a view and when you look up and down fast towards the elevators it plays mind tricks on you.

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We drove down to the main town part which is touristy, but non the less a place to eat and walk around. We went to the Space Needle $17.68 for 2 people. Little hokey, but it was pretty.

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For dinner we stopped at Smokey Mountain Brewery. We ordered 1 sampler platter of their beer for $7.35, now normally I’m not a beer expert, but it seemed like all of their flavors tasted the same and they all tasted like Miller Lite. The porter was one of the lightest porter have ever had. I you enjoy craft beers, this isn’t the place for you. We also ordered the Medium Buffalo Chicken Pizza $17.50 (four-cheese blend “white” pie with blue cheese crumbles, onions and roasted chicken tossed in our Sweet & Spicy thunder road wing sauce). While it may look nasty it was pretty good.

The other choice I had on my list was The Peddler Steakhouse, which later we heard from several people was a much better place to eat at.

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After eating we walked around a little more and stopped in to The Smoky Moonshine Holler to take the “tour”, which is just a walk along the fenced in area and read about it, but afterwards you get free samples. I’m not a moonshine fan, but I am now. I loved the apple pie, grape and lemon drop flavors. They pour as much as you want so taste them all and you’ll walk away with a buzz afterwards!

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