My Lawyer friend’s birthday is on the Fourth of July.  We celebrated her 30th birthday in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  At first, I was a little leery of spending the holiday weekend in a cabin in the mountains. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoyed it.  The wood cabin was fairly new with 3 bedrooms on the second level.  There were 5 bathrooms, a game room, hot tub and a movie theater. 

It was huge! Once we got settled in, I volunteered to prepare a Mexican feast for the birthday girl, her mom, her sister and her 2 other friends.  They loved it. I was glad everyone liked it since I’m not used to cooking for that many people.  The next morning, I woke up and walked out on the deck to inhale the crisp beautiful scenery.  It was so peaceful and serene.      

Sunday night we went to the “first” 4th of July Midnight parade to kick things off.  I have to say it was the strangest parade I’ve ever attended.   There was a weird guy walking around with a cat that waved named Princess Sugarpop, dressed up in doll clothes with a hat and reading glasses.   Since it was my friend’s birthday, we were really hype and cheering and laughing.  Everyone around us was pretty quiet and just lazily clapped.  It was so strange, I figured that maybe they were like that because it was late and they were tired.  The Christian groups were a little more aggressive than the churches at home.  They passed out pamphlets and had a life sized Jesus on the cross on the back of a pick up truck in the parade. 

We ate so much during the entire trip.  The next morning my friend’s mom got up and cooked Fish and grits with biscuits, eggs and fried potatoes.  It was delicious!  We lounged in the pool and watched “Hall Pass” down in the theater.  That movie is so outrageous.  It was sort of Hangover-like.

On the 4th, I went to the gym at our private resort.  I felt like I absolutely had to go, especially since I was eating so much, and did not like the image that looked back at me in the trip pictures.  I’ve slowly gained back so much weight.  I didn’t care that it was a holiday, that I was celebrating my friend’s birthday, or that I was on vacation, I had to work out.  I grinded it out on the elliptical machine (with the arms) for just over 20 minutes.  I worked up a sweat and felt great.  Afterwards, I joined the rest of the ladies in the pool.  My Friend’s mom bar-b-qued and made all the other “fixins.” I made a cute Birthday/4th of July Flag designed cake for dessert. 

 I watched a low budget movie in the theater by myself while some others took a nap.  That evening we went into downtown Gatlinburg for the holiday fireworks.  We got to see a little bit more of the culture.  They were selling deep fried everything (including snickers and twinkies), stuff I’ve only seen on TV. There were images of bears and confederate flags EVERYwhere and we were greeted with heavy southern accents.  Most people were friendly, but there was an older guy at the popcorn shop showing subtle racism; no eye contact, obviously not wanting to serve me, putting my change on the counter so he wouldn’t have to touch my hand, you know ignorant stuff like that.  But it’s the south, and that kind of crap happens at home too, so I didn’t really let it bother me.  We watched the fireworks, and sat in rocking chairs outside sharing stories.  It was such a beautiful night, the temperature was perfect.  Then just for fun, we got dressed up and took some ol’ Time Western photos.  Me and my lawyer friend posed with guns and liquor as her mom posed as our madam.  It was such much fun pretending.  I love the pictures.  (sorry it’s blurry, I didn’t get to scan it it in yet, so I just took a pic of the pic)

On Tuesday, we went to breakfast at the Red Rooster pancake house and hit the highway for our 9 hour road trip.   I feel relaxed and refreshed and rejuvenated.  I’ve got a good chocolately tan too from lounging in the pool.  It was so nice for six educated women to spend time together in a house with absolutely no drama.  There were no fights or arguments, we didn’t even disagree.  If you get a chance, and want to unwind, head on over to Gatlinburg.  It has my stamp of approval. 


  1. looks like a great time! I had to laugh about you calling it the south…I think of Missouri as the south! haha guess it’s all on your perspective. 🙂 fried twinkies and snickers…oh dear…
    the cake looks beautiful…. and good for you for doing that damn elliptical….I’ve only been to Nashville but that cabin looks cute…. Loveless restaurant if you go back…fried chicken and biscuits….(arghhh…you are making me hungry for southern food now… take care!

  2. I love the pics and it looks like you and your friend truly enjoyed her birthday. I’ve always wanted to stay in one of the cabins, but never knew anyone who did. Could you send me the contact info for the cabin?
    Thanks, Linda

  3. Mama Helen we had such a great time. When we went to NY, everyone just knew we were from “the South” because of our “accents.” We consider Missouri the Mid-West. I have to be honest, some of the pics came straight from the cabin website. I took the same pics, but the ones on the website looked better, so I used those instead. We defintely want to go back, we’re thinking about going back for New Years. I’ll have to check out Loveless Cafe on the way down.

  4. Hey Linda we had a blast! I wish I was still waking up in the Mountains. I’ll email you the link.

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