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US Trip: 10 days across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia

Posted on May 10th, 2003 filed in Travelogues    |   

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Arrival airport: Cincinnatti

Departure airport: Atlanta

Airlines: Delta Airlines

Itinerary: 1 day in Cincinnatti, 1 day in Louisville, 1 day driving, 3 days Smokie Mountains, 4 days Atlanta.

Day 1:
Cincinnatti: We arrived around 10:00 am to Cincinnati airport and picked up our rental car. Off we head to Paramount King’s Island, the famous amusement park we heard so much about and were eager to see. Its reputation is quite earnt as it is laden with many fantastic rides most notable being Racer, The Beast, and the freaky Vortex. An unbelievable experience was however the adrenaline-pumping exhilarating Skyflyer where one is hooked to the top of a crane at a 120 degrees angle then released resulting in a freaky free fall followed by a superman-flying experience (Due to upswing of pendulum). Got a video memory for that. Absolutely awesome.

Left the park around 5 pm and headed to our hotel for some R&R and freshening up. Then headed to Riverside for some night fun. Riverside is the best place to appreciate Cincinatti skyline. First had some sunset drinks and mingled with lots of young crowd to live music at Chez Nora . Then moved to the nearby Chart House for a sumptuous (and quite pricey) steak.
Day 2:

Started our day with a few hour tour of Cincinnati then headed south to Kentucky.

2 hours later we were checking out the Louisville Slugger Museum, home of the largest baseball bat in the world. We then headed to our hotel, on the Indiana bank of Ohio River, and got ready for ‘Thunder over Louisville‘, reportedly the largest firework event in the world. We had booked our rooms close to 10 months ago. I’ve never seen anything like this. The experience was beyond fabulous. There must have been a million people there and the fireworks were phenomenal. Note to self: Must come back.

Day 3:

We started early and headed southeast to Mammoth Caves, the largest cave system in the world. Spent around two hours in one of the tours there and had a great guide that shared so much info about what the cave, and how it was discovered. Grabbed some souvenirs then off we went to Opryland Hotel, in Nashville Tennessee, the famous hotel that was once the largest before Vegas came to light.

What a beautiful place. We enjoyed a water show, innumerable plants and flowers, a gondole stroll, and a great dinner.

Back to the road all the way to Gatlinburg in Tennessee to our rented cottage. It was a fabulous place quite isolated with no sound but that of leaves and crickets. The cottage was made of solid wood and had all types of entertainment: Outdoor hot tub, Indoor Jacuzzi, , Internet, Huge 50 inch TV, DVD player, CD player, Pool table, Table Tennis table, and a fire burning fireplace.

Days 4,5 and 6:

Smokie Mountains

The hot tub experience was itself spectacular. Nothing beats soaking in bubbly water with a cool breeze in your face.

Wer stayed there for 3 days and hiked 5-6 hours each day. All the hikes are well marked with no potential for one to get lost. It was beyond awesome with all the waterfalls, greenery, and peace.

We also explored Gatlinburg itself and it is a lovely town loaded with cutesy and artsy stores as well as heavy country breakfasts. There are also many outlet stores and we did some heavy shopping and landed some really good deals.
I did not see any bears but had a scary encounter with a giant opossum. While watching TV one day, I heard a rustling sound. I first dismissed that but then noted that the sound was getting eerily closed and finally it looks as if something was on our balcony! What a panic! I turned the light on and freaked out of my mind as I saw what looked like this huge, and I mean huge, rat looking thing. It was like few seconds of frightening agony as I then was informed that it is a harmless opossum. What an ugly thing. Eeek.

Days 7-10

On Day 7, we departed Gatlinburg and headed south to Asheville, North Carolina where we spent hours touring and awing at the splendid beauty of Bitmore Estate and its beyond fabulous gardens.

We then headed proceeded to our final destaination, Atlanta, where we met with some friends and spent the last 2+ days there. Atlanta is becoming a huge city and Buckhead is quite a nice area to enjoy and a place to see and be seen. We visited the CNN headquarter and saw how they do the weather reports and toured the Coca Cola Factory nearby. That was quite interesting. Never knew that there were so many coke flavors in this world. They were also showing a number of documentaries about coca cola history and free unlimited fountain refills. Over all, both tours were time well spent.

I believe this trip was quite varied and enjoyable and that both time and money invested in it were well spent. The various sights we have seen and enjoyed and the fun we had, warrants a repeat that hopefully will materialize in the near future. A+.

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