We said that so many times over the last few days.

“Shhhh. Listen… it’s soooooo quiet.”

That was really what we were needing. Complete silence. It was deafening. And we realized we hadn’t heard that sound for a long time. The sound of nothing.

We kept going back and forth and around and around on where we should go for our little four-day get-away with no kids. Wednesday morning, I jumped out of bed at 6 a.m. ready to make our reservations for French Lick, Indiana.

“Let me just check one more thing…”

I looked at the mileage from our drop-off point near Cincinnati to Gatlinburg, Tenn. Hmmmm. It’s five hours to Cincinnati and another five hours to Gatlinburg.

Then, I checked our favorite rental cabins in the mountains. They were 30 percent off for last-minute weekend travelers. Done.

So, we made our reservations five hours before we left, we drove 10 hours total in the minivan. And we took along our hiking shoes and laptops. (It just wouldn’t be vacation if we couldn’t use the Wi-Fi in the cabin to look up movie times and restaurant menus. =] )

My brain pretty much dissolved into a pile of goo the first day we were there. Why do I have to go so far away to completely relax?

I have always loved Gatlinburg. Oh, yes. It’s a completely over-run tourist destination now. But it brings back great memories of family vacations as a kid.

I love the smell of the mountains in the morning. I love hiking and going into town to get fudge. And I love the sound of running water in the many streams and rivers that run through the mountains.

But I also realized that what makes the Smokies a favorite vacation spot for us is really the cabins that we rent in the mountains.

We relaxed here:

And ate breakfast here:

And hung out here:

And here:

And we looked at this:

And we listened to the sounds. Of nothing. Which is just what we needed.

OK… back to reality… so I have a question for you… What is your favorite vacation destination and why?

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