Monday, February 14, 2011

Enchanted Cottage

*Warning: This is a super long blog post*

This year was the first Valentine's season in a couple years when I've had a partner to do something romantic with.  As he is currently living in Columbia, SC and I in Cincinnati, OH, we noticed that the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is about halfway between our current residences.  Around Christmas and New Years, we started planning our next get together.

I only had a few criteria:
1.  I didn't want to stay in a hotel
2.  I wanted something secluded
3.  I wanted to avoid commercial properties
4.  A hot tub would be nice

I found a home for rent in Walland, TN, which is just far enough from Gatlingburg/Pigeon Forge that you might not even bother going over there.  In fact, we were in Pigeon Forge for all of about an hour.

The place I found is appropriately called "Enchanted Cottage in the Woods."

The link above takes you to the webpage that I'm guessing was created by the folks that own the home.  I'll include two more links at the bottom.  I found the property using TripAdvisor, but it is also listed on FlipKey.

Here is what it looks like from the front:
Here is the peaceful scenery that greeted us on our first evening:
The cabin owner also left us this little treat:
You can only see one house from this little cabin.  The house is so far back from the road that you can't even see it from the foot of the driveway.  Here is the view in the morning, which shows you about how far away the closest house is (far enough).
One of my favorite things about my boyfriend is that he is the first person I've come across with a sweet tooth that rivals mine.  Between the two of us, there was not much savory food in the house!
Just for the record and to indemnify myself here...I only brought three items that are in this photo.  Just sayin.  Oh, and that glass full of candy?  That came from my V-Day Present.  :)  I'd also like to point out the Blueberry Pie, which I picked up from Bonomini Bakery in Northside.  Their pies are the best!
This is my Valentine's Day present.  :)
 So, what does one do after consuming lots of treats?  We decided we would try to burn some of them off with a hike up to the top of the mountain.  The driveway continues all the way up to the top, but you can't take your car past the house due to a gate. 

Perhaps the steep angle of this hill would have convinced us that climbing to the top was not a good idea.  However, we are both somewhat stubborn and were determined to get to the top.  My guess is that its between 1.5 and 2 miles uphill to get to the top.  It took us most of an hour, with frequent breaks as we started to get worn out and winded.  Even walking back down took about 25 minutes.  But the higher we went, the better the view got.

View from the top!
Once we got down the mountain, we started a big huge fire in the fireplace.  We wanted to make s'mores on the embers.  While he built and lit the fire, I had a little nap on the couch.  :)  It was super cozy.
While the fire was burning down to a nice s'mores level, we hopped into the hot tub to soak our sore muscles.
The tub was super cute.  The owners strung up some icicle style Christmas lights on the railing, which set a lovely atmosphere in which to have a nice glass of red wine and relax.  Of course, we couldn't stay in too long when this was waiting for us!  (See below)

We also did a little cemetery exploring, which is weird but something we enjoy.  Isn't this a pretty spot?

Those pictures are from two different cemeteries we visited on the way back from a quick jaunt into Pigeon Forge.  One of the coolest things we saw there was hand carved grave stones.  I took a picture of one:
I'm guessing that this headstone said something other then the name initially, but maybe the elements wore off most of it.  Hard to say.  There were a lot of graves that were simply marked with a plain piece of stone sticking up from the ground.

We were both disappointed when it was time to head back to our homes.  We will definitely return here in the future.

As indicated above, here are a couple other links for more details (And pictures of the inside of the cabin):
The owner's website
Trip Advisor (Reflects current availability)
Flip Key

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