Our first stop on our 2019 Midwest tour is our own home – our log cabin in the mountains. It’s a wonderful change of pace to be in an actual house for a while! I’d nearly forgotten what it’s like to have so much space, and fabulous amenities like a dishwasher! I can wash clothes and bathe without having to consider holding tanks. It’s nice to have our own private hot tub and pool table again. We will definitely enjoy our time here at one of our favorite places.
I remember visiting the Smoky Mountains when I was a little girl – riding up the Gatlinburg chairlift with my dad. I was small enough that he kept a careful hand on me to prevent me from slipping down through the safety bar! When Jeff and I had our family, vacationing here just seemed like a natural choice. We loved it so much that we built this vacation rental log cabin and have spent many happy weeks here, in our other home.
And since the area is also within reach of many family and friends, it has been a gathering spot for shared vacations. In fact, our time in the cabin has usually been a revolving door for guests! This trip is no exception we expect to host friends from Tennessee and Kentucky this weekend, my sister and parents the next weekend, and our son and his girlfriend the following weekend! With three levels and three master bedrooms, there’s more than enough room for all.
Where is the bus, you ask? After searching, we found a rustic campground near Cosby, about a half hour away. The badly run-down campground was recently purchased by a new owner, who is hard at work improving it. He has his work cut out for him, and it’s not a place that I’d necessarily want to stay at. But they offered a large pull through full hook up gravel site for only $400/month. The bus is safely parked, plugged into electric, which will maintain our house batteries during our stay in the cabin.
We had a few days on our own before the guests start rolling in, so we did as we customarily do – work on the cabin to fix and replace items. Most maintenance items are handled by Jackson Mountain Homes (our property management company), but there are always little things that need fixin’. Like, broken hooks by the hot tub, loose pool cue rack, jiggly door handles, and areas that need touch up paint.
I took inventory to determine what needs to be replaced since our last visit over 2 years ago. I always expect that glasses and cups will need to be resupplied – you expect things like that to break over time. And games and puzzles in the downstairs game room usually have broken/lost parts and need to be replaced. That’s just normal wear and tear. Also equipment like cookie sheets generally get thrown out by the cleaning service once they get yucky (people don’t clean dishes well in a rental!) But, I don’t expect that 2/3 of our DVD library will be gone, or that half the silverware will be missing. What do people do – eat them? The cutting boards, can opener, and good corkscrew are missing in action. Almost all of my book library is gone. Our first (completed) cabin guest book is still here but the second one – the “in progress” one – is nowhere to be found. That’s disappointing because I’ve always loved reading the kind notes that guests leave. However, in this era of Yelp and TripAdvisor, maybe guest books are just passé.
It is mildly distressing to think that people abscond with the amenities here, such as the DVDs. It’s not like we spend a lot of money on them (we raid the $5 bin at WalMart). It’s just that I wouldn’t take anything that wasn’t mine, and it bothers me a bit that others do. I’m not naïve, I expect that anything we leave out here could potentially sprout legs and walk away, but I like to think that people who stay in our home are better than that. Well, enough of the pity party. A trip to WalMart fixes all – just the cost of doing business.
We will be here a whole month! We’ll enjoy the beautiful mountains and time with family and friends.
Life is good.