A city like a painting – Seattle, Washington

Hey Fellas, after such an amazing trip to Lake Tahoe and Reno I planned on visiting my friend at Seattle. Before we get on with the trip, few were like are these trips recent ? meh, it isn’t. The ones I write now are like 3 years back precisely 2015 – 2016. I am writing based on my actual travel sequence. I hope this answers most of your questions on how latest are my writings. So my friend was my schoolmate who shared my kindergarten days to the third-grade ones. But it was after years I  was gonna meet her.

My flight was early in the morning at SFO airport. I pretty much slept in the airport itself the whole night as I didn’t want to disturb my family friends sleep after their journey from Reno(Link). The very first time I had to stay the complete night at the airport, It was so amazing as I was searching for food, whiling away terminal checking out people 😛 and sleeping somewhere in the between safeguarding my baggage. Finally, In half sleep, I  boarded the right flight to Seattle. What does the first thing come to your mind when you hear about Seattle? Yes, that’s right I hear you all. There is where both the wealthiest companies Amazon’s and Microsoft’s head Quarters are present.

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The excitement was to see her after years and the stories listened about the city made me excited the moment I set foot on the flight to Seattle. It was early morning around 6 am. Precisely 1 degree to 2 degree Celsius.  I got out of the airport, It was freezing and I managed to get to the train station just enquiring people around. the plan was to meet up half way as I took the metro and reached Union Station and she was already waiting for me. It had been over a decade since I met her. I was welcomed with the same old warm smile and a hug 🙂

Few glances of Gasworks Park

I got to stay at one of her guy friend’s place, I took rest for a few hours and in the meantime, she already had a plan as to all places to be visited.  With a good breakfast, we kicked the day. The first point was Gas works state park. Even before we gotta discuss about the gas works park I need to let you guys know, we just used public transport where ever we went just because we were students back then and it was harder to rent out a car every single day in addition to which I was less than 25 years back then which asked for an excess of 10 dollars every single day. So we use this ORCA (One Regional Card for All) pass for our complete travel. Which is comfortable at the same time economical if it is less than 3 people.

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 ( Seattle + Me ) in a nutshell 

It was a pretty chill day ranging about 5 degrees. The gas works park gave a spectacular view of the downtown with birds chirping at the corners, ducks all over the lake and tourist boats. We spend a good amount of time viewing the scenery and having a conversation about our lost decade friendship. It was great catching up and got to see how life had been for us. After this nostalgic catch up, we headed over to Chinatown and started feeling the difference between the actual city and the Chinese side of Seattle. Where all the stores, restaurants, massage places and what not, were all named in Chinese and had Chinese structures to the buildings. You name it, they had the Chinese version of it LOL 😛

Downtown and Chinatown 

On the way back we walked through the downtown and finally found an Indian restaurant accidentally and our stomach was not even listening to look for reviews, it wanted us to just go and have food. After which we decided to go to Kerry Park. Kerry Park is a perfect viewpoint to see the complete city with an elevated view. It offers amazing morning views as well an exemplary lighted view of the Seattle downtown. After this amazing beauty, we chose to head home. Legs have already given up on us. Since we weren’t driving we even slept off in the bus itself. Thank god, we got down on the right stop.

Images of Kerry Park at Night 

Another Pleasant Seattle morning, we started our day by going around one of the most adorable campuses in the US. It was none other than, University of Washington- Seattle. Old yet classic and a prestigious institution. Since everyone was on vacation, University seemed to be silent but at the same time, we were able to take good pictures with any background we chose without any commotion.  Close to lunch time we took off to Chihuly Glass gardens.

Chihuly Gardens 

Chihuly gardens are basically garden made out of glass shaped into beautiful structures. We were fortunate enough to also see how they would do by heating the glasses and blow they through a shaft to yield those shapes. I bet my words can’t even get close to describe its magnificence. Hopefully, the pictures explain you its right perspective.

Pike Place Market and the First Starbucks store

After having a lovely time and a thousand pictures in the gardens we decided on going to the pike place market. Pike place market has a ton of stores which also encompasses the famous first Starbucks store ever to be opened still a part of this. It looks so bright and ambient with all the catches from Alaska and produces from the local farmers. They also have honey, flowers and handmade artefacts from locals. I just have some vague memory, as in we did have some food over there and went to the nearest place called Gum wall.

Glance of Seattle 

Well, This is one the weirdest places you would probably get to see in my list of places visited. Yes, it looks colourful, Vibrant and even you get the best of pictures from there but its a wall where you eat gums and keep sticking all over the wall with loads of spray paint and graffiti images. Had an amazing time looking at the street are and the creativity of the people of Seattle. Yes that’s pretty much I covered in my First trip to Seattle but three things you should do as a visitor to Seattle are,

  1.  Space Needle (Link)
  2. Colombia Towers (Link) – Sky view observatory.
  3. Of course the most beautiful Mt. Rainer (If you are a nature lover – That’s one place you should never miss )

Thank god I covered them the very next time on my second trip to Seattle like 4 months back. (May 2018). Well, my First Seattle trip didn’t end there, on the next day we planned on visiting Portland, Oregon. So many memorable moments from the first time I drove a car independently in the US to a drive that’s worth remembering forever. EYYY……. I assume I am pouring a lot more info about the next post… I can’t wait to tell you guys story of my 1-day trip from Seattle. Until then have an amazing time 🙂

 Cheers to many more smokey videos and more travel Swetha – Thanks for being an amazing host  🙂

And one thing I completely forgot to tell you guys the whole journey.  The amazing host was Swetha (Whom you guys saw in the pics) and if you guys are visiting Seattle. She would be your go-to person if at all you guys need any help with places to see or things to do. (Swetha’s Insta Profile).

Love,

Praveen <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ROADTRIP – SAN FRANCISCO TO LAKE TAHOE

Hey folks, Hope the last blog post was helpful for you and if you felt so do share it with your friends as well. Let’s get back to my baggage lost story in San Francisco(SFO), After getting my baggage lost form receipt and a whopping offer of $150 to purchase anything of my choice, my family friends picked me up from the airport and I just had to explain them about all the delay. Got back to a 45-minute drive to San Ramon hills next to SFO. Such an amazing house, those were the initial days in the States and that was the very first time ever I was visiting my family friends place which was their own. Mind was like could you even afford to buy such a house, that too in SFO. Well, at least now I know it’s not a big deal if you are gonna live in the US for more than 20 to 25 years. Stories apart let’s get back, borrowing everything from Uncle except my inners 😛 . The shirt and pant were just as loose as it can get lol. Anyways I didn’t have a choice.

I came home around 11.30 pm and we started at around 4.45 am to the location that I haven’t still revealed. Back then I didn’t know how to plan, how to go about places, the modes of transportation, even driving was an issue. This trip was an eye-opener to see how people travel here with family. They were a couple and they had 2 sons as well as 3 relatives visiting them from India. So, we were 8 in total. We had two 7-seater vehicles Uncle drove one vehicle and Aunty drove the another. Finally, we started off to one the coldest location where it’s gonna be snowing and they gave me the snow weather dresses as well. You could look at me and say that wasn’t my dress haha.

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The drive was to LAKE TAHOE, one amazing place I wouldn’t regret going any number of time. Even when you guys see the picture you will feel the same. Such a beautiful place you can enjoy both your summers as well as winters. Summers for the lake and the winters its snow, skiing and the amazing ski resorts.  Cars were allowed only if it had a 4-wheel drive or a chain attached at the wheels to not skid during the snowy areas. So, we were on a drive to the snow resort over in the Lake Tahoe. It was a mountaintop, throughout the way after crossing Sacramento ( Capitol of California )the way was completely capped with snow and it was my first time having a sight of that sort. I just started feeling the awe moment and started taking videos all over. Yet I didn’t see the snowfall. We started driving to the peak of the mountain where the ski place is.

 

 

Even then when I was in parking I didn’t see anything that was making me all excited. The moment when we got out and felt the – 40C with the beautiful snowcapped mountain view I just fell for it. I could get over the view even today. Got ourselves with the skiing kit with the kids. We went to the skiing area and I was like wow how do these kids do it so amazing. I just felt it’s kind of so easy to do it. Trust me when I wore those skiing kit and took a step ahead I was like, can I give it back and look at the amazing people doing it. But I didn’t leave the spirit to let’s see how far it’s going to be challenging? I was a beginner was assigned to a trainer and then he literally thought me as you would to a child as in how to move, how to stop and pretty much how to turn. I took so long in learning them, in the meantime, the kids with started getting hungry.  So, had lunch probably a burger I suppose.

The Few Shades of me Skiing 🙂 

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Then the real fun started as in to go in a rail to reach the top of the ski area and ski from the top, as the evening proceeds the temperature again started dropping. In the coldest of weather snowflakes all over I did try skiing, it was mostly falling and getting off from the top a mountain. But I never quit, kept on trying even at a point where my one leg got caught in the snow and another one moving, in the numbness of the cold I just felt my legs are done it’s for sure a fracture. I couldn’t feel my leg nor I was able to take my ski pads stuck deep in the snow. Somehow pulled inch by inch to get me out of that trap. Finally, we called the day off, then someone remembers about the baggage claim, don’t have to think who is that. That’s none another than me lol. So, when we started driving to stay at a closer resort in a different city called Reno. It was an hour an and a half drive from there. In the meantime, I was calling up United airlines and they were like “Sorry sir, but the bag is still stuck in SFO and it is in Transit”. I got really mad but I couldn’t shout at them as I was with my family friends. Anyhow he increased the price to an amount of $250 (As a matter of fact my ticket was priced at only $280 ).

We were travelling back to a small but a beautiful city called Reno. And stores close around 9ish because the city was famous for its casinos and pretty much it. I literally didn’t have anything to wear the next day. So I was in a compulsion and I needed to get everything before the store closes. Somehow I made it, So happy that I made it plus I can shop for $250. It was quite some time since I moved over to the US, and that was really a great amount for me to spend on a one-day shopping. I did get all the clothes from all expensive brands lol. Finally done with shopping and getting back happily, I see my delivered it to my room in the hotel. It was a like a buy one get one free kinda feel.

With this happy note, let’s see how we spend the next couple of days in such a beautiful location 🙂

Love,

Praveen 🙂

TOP 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE TAKING A FLIGHT

Hey everyone, how is the heat treating you? Yaas summer it is, but honestly who cares about heat when you get time to travel to beautiful destinations and with sun everything is a just a notch brighter and prettier.  Today’s blog is just a guideline for you if you are a frequent traveler, a newbie to travel or a traveler on and off when you got time. This post is gonna help you not miss, get all your desirable perks and be a pro in a flight travel. Not to boast but giving you the background, I have traveled almost 5 to 6 international airlines and more 10 domestic airline carriers across the globe. Yes, I have made so many blenders which I don’t want you to commit. So here you go.

To accomplish all this, all you need to do – is to just follow the 10 steps below 🙂

I am letting you guys know what I learned the harder way, do follow this and I am pretty sure 99% you would not have any hiccups in your flight journey or maybe with respect to any sort of transportation.

1. Checking your Name, Date of Travel and Place of travel:

The most important and the first step you need to do is make sure all your details that you input for the flight are in accordance with your actual schedule (Dates and months to be verified) and as per your government documents(Name and Date of birth). Most flights have the option for the travelers to change it within 4 hours to 24 hours from the time of booking. So, make sure you guys have a check once you book your tickets, usually, we conceive in our mind what we had given is right but double checking is always better.

Courtesy: ndtv.com and travelvisapro.com

My experience: Did this mistake N number of times, I went to meet my friend in Seattle and I was supposed to fly to Los Angeles on 31st of December to have my new year gala at Los Angeles. I was about to check in on the 30th of December and my ticket was booked for 30th of January. Well, pay another $160 for a silly mistake. This list doesn’t stop from name changes to schedule changes. Well, I was fortunate enough to escape because of the 24-hour flight change policy quite a few times- but honestly why to risk it instead of verifying a couple of seconds.

2.  Checking-In in Advance:

Hey, is it a big deal to check in within 24 hours of the flight? Well, the answer is yes, it is. It’s not that it reduces the time drastically but also makes sure you have a seat. There are chances if you don’t check in earlier you end up waiting in the general line where people wait to check in the luggage (This reduces your time for security check, time to sip a cocktail at the lounge or even have some delicious food from your favorite restaurant). The list doesn’t stop right there, It can make you wait for a seat even till the last moment till everyone board (Your mind voice: Is this guy serious? I am not kidding, It has happened to one of my very own friends). One more additional advantage, I am not sure of domestic airlines of different countries but the domestic airlines in the USA charge less if we check in our bag when we check in.

Courtesy: Iberia.com and American.com

3.  Dress as per Destination:

The common mistake we do as a traveler or even just as a passenger is we get to pack dresses as per the source place instead of the destination. If you are traveling for whatever span, you always have the option of finding on the internet, how is the weather going to behave for the days that we are gonna stay at that place. Just a fun fact mostly in the world we assume June, July and August are summers but those are winters for people who live in Australia. So always make sure pack your pieces of luggage with the right combination of dresses in terms of climate as well as culture (If you wanna blend in a little bit 😛 )

Courtesy: thefashiontag.com and basecampadventure.com

4.  Gate Change Update:

Well, one more Concerning thing that you as a passenger must know. Is it fine if I am done with security check and get to the gate? Can I relax and don’t care about anything until they call me to get on the flight?

Hell No, that’s when you gotta pay attention to every announcement that hears by your ear. Gates that the boarding pass say is not always going to be final, it can change due to technical reasons. It is even more catastrophic if there is a terminal change (Which usually doesn’t happen that often). So, the only thing we need to do is pay attention to the announcements and try to sit in the gate where our flight was intended to fly from.

Schiphol Gate D, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Courtesy: familytravelck.com

5.  Do’s and Don’ts for a Carry-On bag:

There are always restrictions in Carry-On baggage in terms of size, weight as well as things. One of the blog posts which gave a complete description of the restrictions has been added please go through it if in case you have any doubts about whether you need to carry them or Nah. (Carry on restrictions).

Few things I always have doubts about personally are Will I be allowed to carry food? Since they have restrictions on liquid, Can the food be semi-solid? As I guy Can I carry a razor? Few questions which knocked my mind when I was penning down my thoughts.

Answers are yes we will be allowed to carry food as long as it’s not semisolid or liquid. For example, I am a south Indian who loves parota with salna – which I usually don’t get in most of the Indian restaurants (For those who don’t know what it does mean just google it or I am putting up the link where I purchased in the USA – Restaurant) Well no shamming I am proud foodie 🙂  The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) didn’t allow me the salna or gravy whatever you wanna call since it was semi-solid. Razors, as well as a solid food substance, are fine to carry in a Carry-On baggage.

Any liquid item has a restriction and TSA’s official page has its description on what the weight we need to carry and exceptions on stuff like medication and infant items – Have a look a the link. (Liquid Restriction)

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Courtesy: Cil.com and travel.gc.ca

6.  Size and Weight restriction:

As a traveler, the thing you would hate the most is to pack and unpack within the flights constrained weight allowances. Every carrier has their own restrictions and allowable criteria make sure to check the respective weight criterion of the airline you are gonna travel. Usually when its international you would be given with two check-in baggage (23 Kgs each), a carry-on baggage and a personal item. In a domestic flight, it completely depends on the country and the carrier varies from just a personal item, or just a carry on with it or even free of cost check-in baggage. This completely depends on the carrier. This is more important when you need to choose what the purpose of the visit, if you are shifting from one location to another (It is better to prefer the airline which gives free checked in Baggage) or If you are going on a short trip for three days you wouldn’t even require a carry on Baggage so prefer to choose a cheap and non-baggage friendly airline. Blog post for size restrictions( Size restrictions ) Always double check with the airline for the latest update. 

Courtesy: Target.com and Vincentloy.wordpress.com

7. Parking / Uber Choice:

The Choice of transport to/from airport depends on three factors,

1. Traffic 2. Distance and 3. Economy

Traffic: So basically, in a city like Los Angeles or Bengaluru traffic gets in the way so badly that it can take several hours for us to reach the airport. God bless Google map, keep checking the estimated time of arrival when you are planning on driving or even using the public transport such as a bus or a metro.

Distance: If you live far away from the airport and your trip is as short as 2 to 3 days. Most of the Cities have parking next to the airports and those parking centers provide shuttles to the airport. So, it’s a win, you arrive on time, don’t have to wait for a public transport and obviously more comfortable.

Economy: Three options, Either we just use Uber (Something similar to the App like Lyft or Ola), Or have our own car parked in any of the airport parking centers or use a public transport. As a traveler work out the math which comes out to be cheaper and ofcourse use the effective one.

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Courtesy: Medium.com

8. Netflix/Song Download:

Flight experiences are amazing but at the same time if you fly in the nights or its really sunny outside and you don’t open the shades on the window. you are going to be completely bored especially if you travel alone. Adding to it, if you completely have a boring or a silent person next to you. you are done. That’s why always when you know you are gonna fly, download songs and shows of your Interest so that you never get bored. Few flights provide WIFI service in the air but it’s too pricey.

        Courtesy: makeuseof.com and wikipedia.com

9. Free Upgrades to Business Class:

Have you ever heard of this concept? you pay for an economy ticket and just because there is an availability on the business class the airline company upgrades your ticket to a business class one. Well, I am not kidding I have known friends who have had this amazing opportunity. I wish I can get one day but it has never happened as of now. It’s always better to go and ask when you are check-in in your baggage or even at the gate when you are about to enter your flight. If there is an availability for a business class and if their answer is yes we do have but you gotta pay for it. All that you can answer as well I am good for now, I was just looking for a free upgrade if in case you guys have it. It’s okay to not get but it’s not okay to ask lol. You never know whether that’s gonna be your lucky day.

Emirates 777 New Business Class

Courtesy: pointsguy.com

10. Baggage Loss:

The 10th and the most important section is baggage loss. What should I do if my baggage is lost? The answer is to keep calm and you are definitely not responsible for it. Make sure to complain to the respective airline companies baggage claim team and fill out the required forms.  The airline company or the insurance company take up the complete responsibility to bring the luggage to your own home address. Apart from that as a customer we also can purchase things for the amount sanctioned by the airline company during the phase of getting our luggage to our phase. Every airline has its own limit if you are not sure of the amount then check their website or call customer service which is always a better option. Just not waiting for your baggage delays might as well use your flying perks.

Any doubts you guys have feel free to reach out to me. I’ll try my best answering them or at least try to guide on where could you find the answers for.

Feel free to share with your friends who would need these tips 🙂

Have an amazing weekend you all <3

Love,

Praveen

 

FIRST DOMESTIC FLIGHT IN THE USA Miami – San Francisco

Hey Fellas, Hope everyone had an amazing couple of weeks. I guess you all would have guessed this week’s blog about. Flying – isn’t always fascinating? Be it we see a flight during our school time and counting them during our physical training periods or even today when it passes through the sunsets with a beautiful sight. The love for flying never settles be it five or fifty (Well except for the ones who have flight sickness). Getting to the point, did you guys have a chance to find what’s going on with Gatlinburg, Tennessee in my last blog post. Yes, it has been a couple of weeks, been extensively traveling for the past three weeks.

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                                                ENROUTE (Courtesy: Google Maps)

This blog is just about my first flight travel and the issues I faced as an amateur traveler. well, I was back home from the Alternative Break trip (Smokey Mountains trip)with my friends at Florida International University. It was just a day, did all my laundry, took rest to an extent and packed for the next 20 days to the west coast of the country. I guess, you guys would have guessed the place by now. If not give it some brain work to see what would be on the beautiful place on the west coast. Just before I reveal the place, I’ll let you know this is one of the places everyone would have dreamt at least once in your life to visit.

Yes, that’s right for those who have guessed it right – CALIFORNIA woohooooooo 🙂 I was flying to San Francisco but I had a layover at Denver.  I was flying with United Airlines. The best thing about flying to the west coast is you get to save 3 hours. For example, you take off from your flight at 9 am from east coast even after 6 hours of flight you would land at 12 pm PST. This flight especially made me learn a lot of stuff that I didn’t know that existed.

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 DREAM STATE (Courtesy: Google Images)

Learning A.K.A Bad experience:

  1. Not Checking in advance
  2. Change of flight due to air traffic at the end destination
  3. Loss of baggage.

The worst part was I didn’t know this would happen nor I was prepared for it.

I had my flight at Miami International airport. Being my first domestic flight assuming that I am arriving on time at least couple of hours early, I didn’t take the pain of spending 30 seconds to a minute to check in which cost me literally an hour of wait, as the kiosks for the automatic check-in wasn’t working. The lines were up and every minute passed my pulse was adding up as I am relatively new to this process and finally when It was 30 minutes to departure I got to the security check. Long lines moved fast and with my heart-pounding, I boarded straight into the flight running to the gate.

  MIAMI AND IT’S ELEVATED BEAUTY 

A peaceful flight to Denver. It was a beautiful sight to see mountains filled with snow and feel the cold when I exited the aircraft to the terminal. And once I came to the gate of the San Francisco (SF) flight all the chaos started happening from the flight delay, to change of flight. I was told there was air traffic in SF, which delayed my flight by 3 hours. So, I was just roaming around the alley, a completely new experience as I have started liking and feeling lively traveling alone myself. In an hour and a half the flight crew was asking as in any passenger wants to go in the previous flight and I was the first one to say YEEESSSSSS in the excitement of reaching San Francisco. I just made sure my baggage will be shifted to the right flight and they did confirm it.

DENVER  INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

All the eagerness packed in the bundle when I buckled up for the flight to SF from Denver. And you guys got to know I was the one to run first to the flight and I was last one from the flight to get out of the airport. Yes, my baggage was missing and all my belongings were in there. I didn’t even have any change of dress or even a towel. At least I wouldn’t have minded it if I was staying in SF. I was leaving as early as 5 am to Lake Tahoe (Lake Tahoe location) So nobody would be there to even collect my belongings for the next three days.

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   NIGHT VISUALS OF SAN FRANCISCO

Then the procedure of claim, refund, the purchase was all confusing and new. After a continuous hustle with the airline company, the airline company gave me a credit of $150 and asked me to purchase what I want for the time being. It was already 11 pm and I was pretty sure, it’s gonna go waste and I have also instructed them to send it over to the amazing location that I was going (Will reveal the Place next blog). It was One amazing and a learning experience.

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                                                           BAGGAGE DELAY FORM 

In my next blog post, I am gonna share few tips as a traveler of any magnitude we need to know to avoid problems related to flight travels, baggage claim, checking in and long ques in the security.

All said and done. Stay tuned next weeks blog post.

Have an amazing weekend folks.

Love,

Praveen

GATLINBURG – LOST SEA ADVENTURE- A DAY OUT- ICE SKATING- TUBING

Still with those beautiful views from smoky mountains last week. Yay welcome back guys. what’s up?

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Heading over to THE LOST SEA ADVENTURE

During my whole week of stay in Smoky mountains, one day was off, so we were kinda let free from the camp. There are so many beautiful destinations across Smokey mountains. One most important and beautiful destination is Gatlinburg. Since we were there during the month of December, it was misty, cold and yet so beautiful.

Before we hit the spot we were planning on going to THE LOST SEA ADVENTURE – yes the name was kinda intriguing for me as well, as you all are thinking right now. It was a privately owned Cavern ( What is it Private? Yes it was fascinating to me too that an Individual can own a cave in the USA ). The entry to the place is $20.95. It is a cave, completely dark and a constant temperature of 65º F ( 18º C). It was one such experience guided by individuals who take us on a tour around explaining its reasons for the erosion and all the minerals present and suddenly we see a pool of water with fishes swimming around. We were also taken a ride around- Such a beautiful start to the day. Then we were heading over to Gatlinburg.

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Gatlinburg is a small town in Tennessee and has the best views, best wine tasting and alcohol(Moonshine) tasting in the country. The thing about that day was everybody was on time so we could leave as early as possible out of the camp and come back late. we did make it as per plan. It was like a couple of hours drive from our place and reached for lunch and to my surprise, everything I did on the day was just my first time ever.

We went to dine in a restaurant, and I could eat something simple like a chicken burger. There was a log of meat got served by the waiter to one my friends and I was like what is this? and he replies “what the heck haven’t you tried ribs?  Don’t you know what ribs are, expect the human rib cage lol ?”. Well, the honest answer is a NO and I did say it. He cuts a part of it and insists me as in I need to complete it. It was so nicely done that I started loving Ribs the very first time I tasted it.

Then we had a plan of events lined up for the entire day starting off with going to an Ice skating arena. And kid you not, the shoes felt weird when I actually saw them as they were a single piece of metal welded to the shoe and again the question arose was “Haven’t you done Ice skating?”. What will I say them, I am from a tropical country where the temperature is around 30 – 35 degrees Celsius approximately literally throughout the year. Being my first time, I fell on my ass every single time I tried to skate. Then everyone came to my rescue and taught me how to do? Held on to my hand and took care of me like a baby bro haha.

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Strictly NO JUDGING on my Ice Skating skills 😛 

The most enjoyable experience was the snow tubing, its fun guys.  If you guys would have done it, you would probably accept the fact. It was open and freezing in spite of my leather jacket. It wasn’t a lot of people which means we get more turns to do it. Let the pictures explain you better.

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Gatlinburg is a small beautiful town famous for its architectural experience, Moonshine, breweries, and their amazing wineries as well as their outlets (More important free tasting – SAY NO TO FREEEEEEE right 😛 ). We went on the Gatlinburg sky lift- like it was one of a kind views from the top of the mountain. The ride was amazing and thrilling as we went higher it was steep and scary. Overall worth the cost.

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Then after a tired day. We went on a walk to purchase some souvenirs, but the walk was so beautiful following us with the creek next to us. the sound of the water over the rocks, lights of the city, and the amazing architecture of the city was all worth the while. When we were on the lookout for restaurants, the wineries didn’t let us pass through. People from the shop were so welcoming and explained us about the complete procedure of preparation of wines. They were really a rare collection compared to the rest of the country and the aroma and taste were on point. Passing by every winery, none left us without tasting, never seen a bunch of people this courteous to serve free alcohol.

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When we were done with the wine section, Moonshine stores didn’t let us pass by without tasting. Moonshine(Link to explore more about Moonshine) is a type of alcohol mostly specific to smoky mountains area. This is a mystery drink as it can generate two flavors, for example, they had a cinnamon apple moonshine which tasted cinnamon while drinking and when you exhale it gives you an apple flavor. The storekeeper made sure, we had a taste of all the flavors. (I still didn’t understand why are people too nice :P)

PS: Drink responsibly, drink only if you are above 21 are moreover drinking can be injurious to health – I see you guys better behave, just kidding keeping in control is always better.

After such an amazing day, we did grab some food from the McD’s if I am not wrong and back to our forest zone at 11.30 pm.

TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS:

  1. Make sure you have a plan based on your interest.
  2. Hotels and resorts are pretty expensive, try to book it beforehand. (Options for cheaper booking: Hot rate hotels @ Hotwire.com)
  3. Keep your activities in the morning, so get ample time to explore the city at night.
  4. If you are a Wine lover, Never forget to taste raspberry and blueberry wines pretty much from all the outlets. Buy a few which suits you- they are amazing for the cost. (Average price $15 – $25 per bottle and cheaper when taken in a case)

THINGS TO DO IN GATLINBURG:

  1. Skiing, Ice tubing or Ice skating – So many options to choose from (We went to Ober)
  2. Creek walks around 7 pm if its winter and 9pm if its summer.
  3. Try out the wines from different local wineries.
  4. Amazing Barbeque places. (Choose based on google ratings – It works)
  5. Go on to the top of the mountain – Use Skylift (Tickets for $7)
  6. Moonshine tasting is a must if you like are a Whiskey Lover.
  7. Climbworks smoky mountains for zip line lovers.
  8. Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.
  9. Wild Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark. (Pretty amazing place for some family time in the water )
  10. Mountain mall (Both for purchasing souvenirs and spending some time )

Hope you guys had an experience exploring this beautiful city. Let’s explore my first flight journey in the US and check out next week to see where I flew.

Love,

Praveen