Vacation 2001

This is our second long distance trip. We decided to go to Gatlinburg, Tn and Hunting Island, SC. On the way home we stopped in at Six Flags over Georgia. In all, we drove 1648 miles. We averaged 8.36 mpg, at a total cost of $262. The gas prices were nice. When we left St. Louis, the price was ~$1.65 per gallon. The last time we filled up the price was $1.19 a gallon.

We left early in the morning (4:45am) Tuesday, June 19th. We arrived in Gatlinburg, Tn. At 4:30PM. It was actually about 9 hours of driving, but we stopped to eat and stopped along the way. We stayed at Twin Creek RV Resort. It was a little pricey, but very nice. The campground was very clean and the lots were flat and paved. The first night we stayed at the campground and swam in the pool.

The second day we went into the Smokey Mountains and to Cherokee, NC.. We hiked to Grotto Falls also. It was about 1.5 miles one way. The kids acted like there was no way they could walk that far. But, once we got there, they were climbing all over the rocks. Yes, two of the kids fell in the water. They got to learn just how cold spring water can be.

The next day we drove to Seiverville. We did the tourist things. We rode a helicopter and went horseback riding. In the evening we went to the Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge. It was a pretty good show and kids 11 and under are free. It was good, clean humor.

By Friday, the weather was getting pretty bad. It was raining terribly. We decided to go back to Pigeon Forge. We went to the Rain Forest since it was indoors. The Rain Forest is a small building with may reptiles and amphibions, some the kids got to touch. After that we went to the Rocky River Brewery.

On Saturday, we turned our rental car in. We are going to try the trolly and visit Gatlinburg. Twin Creek is about 2 miles from the Gatlinburg strip. We rode the trolly into town. It was only 25 cents/person. We went to the Aquarium of the Smokeys. It was nice. I forget how much it cost, but it was worth it. The kids seemed to enjoy it very much. After the Aquarium, we walked through town and made our way to Ober Gatlinburg. It is a cable car (Gondola) that takes you to the top of the mountain. They have a bear habitat, ice skating rink, ski lift (skiing in the winter) and many rides.

On Sunday, we rode the trolly back into Gatlinburg. We walked around town some more. We went to the Chapel that we got married in 7 years ago, Sugarland Chapel. We then ended up going back to Ober Gatlinburg. We stayed up there for many hours. Afterword, we walked through town again, spending lots of money on "stuff". We then went to Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.

On Monday, June 25th we packed up and headed for South Carolina. We left around 7:30AM. It was supposed to be a 6 hour trip, but the weather was bad and we ran into a lot of road construction. We ended up getting to Hunting Island at about 4:30PM. We ran into some very hard rain and bad lightning about 30 minutes before getting to the beach. By the time we checked in, it was sunny and nice. The campground was nice. It was $23/night. The sites were just dirt and had water and electric. There were 2 dump stations in the park.

On Tuesday, we walked the trails to the lighthouse. We walked the beach back to our campground. We spent the rest of the day swimming.

On Wednesday, we spent the whole day at the beach. We also took the training wheels off Jessica's bike. She learned to ride her bike on the beach.

Thursday morning I got up early to watch the sunrise. It was very nice. I then went back to bed for a few hours. We packed up that morning and headed out about 9:30AM. We arrived in Austell, GA about 4:30 PM. We had to drive through some very hard rain. At times I was only driving at 45-50 mph.
The campground in Austell was not that nice. It was overpriced. The sites were gravel and not even close to level. It looked like some of the MH were parked there forever. The bathrooms/showers were below average. Many stalls did not work and tiles were falling off the wall. We chose the campground because it was within walking distance of Six Flags.

We went to Six Flags on Friday

We left around 7:30AM Saturday morning. It was a pretty uneventful drive home. Until we got to Paducah, KY. There was a bad accident. They closed the highway. Traffic, needless to say, was terrible. It took us over an hour to travel 5 miles. We finally got through that. As soon as we got back on the interstate, it began to rain. It was so foggy, when we crossed the Ohio River into Illinois, you could not even see past the bridge. I finally parked under an overpass because I could not see and the water was pooling on the road. We stayed there about 15-20 minutes.
By the time we got close to home, we decided to go to some land we own at a lake lot. They were having a fireworks display, so we extended the vacation by a day.

We finally got back home at about 4:30PM Sunday, July 1st.

Now, I go back to work so I can get some rest :~).