The Fall is probably my favorite season on this planet. The temperature is perfect (not too hot and not too cold), the leaves start to change to beautiful colors, the air is crisp, and dressing in cozy clothes becomes the norm. When a friend of mine decided to plan a cabin trip in Tennessee, of course, I was in. I didn’t get to do as much traveling as I would have liked in 2020, and any excuse to get away and unplug from your everyday routine is a yes from me. Of course, when my friends and I plan a trip, we prepare them well. From the budget to the cabin, activities, and food, everything about this weekend in Pigeon Forge has me considering leaving everything behind and becoming a mountain woman (I’m serious…).
I first want to give all the credit to my friend, Marvin. He took on the planning of this trip, and it was very well put together! We wanted to go on a big cabin trip for a while now but never got around to it. With traveling slowing down due to COVID, this was the perfect time to head to the mountains for some R&R.
One thing my friends and I require when planning any trip is organization. When planning for a large group (large to me is more than 3 people), it is easier to send updates and gather needed info from everyone with an email chain or Google Doc. It is the easiest way to lay out plans for flights/transportation, stays, food, and any costs associated with the trip.
Marvin’s emails stuck with our tradition as he provided enough information to eliminate any questions that we may have. Everything from price and what is included in the costs, food and menu options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, activities and itineraries, transportation, links and photos to the cabin, and even suggestions for what to pack!
“Where the money resides” – @durellyrellz
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I consider myself a budget traveler. I love to travel, but I still have bills and debt to take care of, like any average person. So, like many others, costs for a trip are my first thought. My friend was really good at keeping us up to date on the total cost of the cabin, and it was up to each person to consider how they would like to budget and plan to make payments.
The total cost for 4 days, 3 nights in a 6 bedroom/6 bathroom luxury cabin was $297.58 for each person (total of 11 people). We all carpooled up, and I chipped in maybe an extra $5-10 for gas. I budgeted by splitting my payment into two. I put half my total cost aside and saved the other half two weeks later. For me, it is always a lighter hit when paying for anything is split into two. I even do this for my large bills, like my mortgage.
I also want to note that I did not spend a dime during the whole trip. Since food was taken care of, and activities like hiking and game night were free, I didn’t even touch my wallet. It is nice coming home from a trip free of the financial burden you put on yourself by eating out each day and overspending on souvenirs (I’ve been there too many times).
Shall we get into this cabin?! This was probably one of the nicest vacation rentals that I have stayed in like…of all time. We stayed in a 6 bedroom/6 bathroom cabin that was 3 levels with 3 patios, a game room, maybe 100 firepits (haha), multiple entertainment areas, a full kitchen, hot tub, even a theater. I enjoyed my own bedroom and bathroom, which was heaven (I like my alone time)! My room and bathroom were so chic with a king-size bed that I wish I could fit in my suitcase to take home with me.
The views from the cabin were just as impressive. We had a sight of the Great Smokey Mountains for miles and the smell of the crisp fall air to go with it. We did have some visitors, as bears came up to our front door a few times. Fortunately, from our understanding, it was just apart of their routine to see if we accidentally left food out that they could score. Once they realized we had nothing for them, they kept it moving. One cabin-mate, Wes, an AMAZING cook, volunteered to cook each morning and night with food so delicious that my stomach is growling as I type.
The cabin is owned by a vacation rental company named Cloud 9 Cabins. They have 6 rental homes through the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, and from what I have seen on their website, every single one is gorgeous. We stayed in their largest and most popular cabin named “Judy Top”. You can check them out at the website that I linked here.
Fun and Games!
This trip’s goal was mostly to have some time to zen out and relax, which we all needed in 2020. We also made time for hiking, games, and movies.
We found a ton of hiking trails by driving down to Gatlinburg.
We also found time to enjoy the game room and blast music!
A Surprise Guest
Saturday evening, we had a fun night planned for dinner, music, and games. We decided to play a few games out by the large firepit, and everyone was having fun, getting along well, and bonding! Afterward, we took a look at all the pictures taken on each of our phones, and they all had something in common, a greenish orb of light hovering over each of us. At first, I thought it was a joke and that my friends photoshopped the pictures, but after looking at each person’s phone, this mysterious guest was in all of our photos.
Naturally, something like this would creep me out. Being in the mountains in a cabin with strange spirits hovering around sounds like the formula of a horror film. However, I felt calm. The energy surrounding our group was amazing! We all felt peaceful, safe, and happy. Whoever this spirit was, I think they were there to send loving energy to our group. Some of you may know that 2020 was a monumental year for my spiritual awakening. Seeing this simply gave me the confidence and reassurance that I am on the right path. That we are all divine beings connected to something greater than us.
I am so grateful I stayed in a nice cabin and shared energy with a group of great people and encountered such beautiful power as shown below.
“It’s so haaard to say goodbyeee” -Boyz II Men
I woke up on our last day to take part in a distance reiki session through Zoom. I figured ending the trip with some reiki energy healing was the best way to say goodbye to the mountains. After my session, I noticed there were strong winds outside and a terrible storm rolling through. The storm was so bad that we ended up losing power for about 5 hours. With nothing to do and the winds too strong to go outside, we just relaxed on our last day. We unplugged even more, took naps, played board games, and soaked in the last bit of Pigeon Forge.
This trip was probably my best one of 2020. It was exactly what I needed to end the year, and I can say with 100000% confidence that I will definitely be back to stay in this cabin.
Wow! We are quickly approaching one year since I launched this blog. I can’t express how grateful I am to all of my subscribers and readers. Thank you so much for supporting me! I started this blog as a way to document the fun trips and adventures that I get into, as well as inspire others that they can travel even when time and money don’t seem to be on their side. Starting this blog has given me the confidence to take all of my dreams and goals seriously, so stay tuned!!
This is my first blog post for 2021, and I plan to roll out so many more. Thanks again for sticking with me during my journey!
XO – Kat