I recently went on an adventure with my two senpai's to Tennessee! We went on vacation hoping to go to a cherry blossom festival, and so we did. Unfortunately, there weren't very many cherry blossoms blooming at the time. They probably had done so earlier and the festival, and we, missed it. But I did find a few, and I laid down beneath one as a break for a while and it was nice and cool and also pretty (even if most of the flowers weren't blossoming).
I talked about my Dreamv yukata before; I decided to take it with me to the festival, only I wanted to actually have a different obi for it. I currently have a pre-tied obi and a hanhaba. I didn't want to do the pre-tied obi to the festival (They really just don't feel as nice when you wear them) and my current hanhaba didn't fit spring or match my yukata in any way. I looked around online and saw that nothing would get here on time for the trip, so I decided to make my own hanhaba obi. I found a wonderful cherry blossom fabric and knew that's what I wanted to use.
But why stop at just an obi?
I actually decided sometime before buying the fabric that I wanted to do a more modern style yukata get-up complete with many accessories. In the end I also ended up making a puchi-heko obi, adding lace to the hanhaba, making my own kanzashi, and stringing some beads to a flower to attach to the hanhaba. I know it's not very traditional but I really liked how it all came out! Unfortunately, any picture taken of me in it was long after hours of walking around. Luckily I had the paper parasol that my parents had found at an auction. It kept me from getting overheated or sunburned~
Like a lot of things lately, the cherry blossom festival itself wasn't so exciting. What was exciting, though, was the city surrounding it! I got to eat all sorts of tasty and interesting foods, there is no way I could complain!
We then moved on in our journey and headed to the tourist town of Gatlinburg, TN. I've been here several times before in my life. We arrived too late for snow and snow related sports, though. I would have liked to have gone snow-tubing, but I guess that will have to wait for a later year!
I'm going to be completely honest here for a second.
The drive to the mountain chalet that we were staying in was absolutely terrifying.
The road was winding up a mountain with no rails on the side and barely enough room to share the room without scraping each other's cars up. The drops at the side were completely horrifying to even just know where there. With so many hills and turns, you never actually knew if a car was coming up from the other side either! To top it all off, we were basically at the very top of the mountain. In order to get to town and food, we'd have to drive up and down the mountain at least once each day.
At least the view from the patio was amazing!
The chalet itself was pretty cozy, too! We even had a hottub on the balcony where we could see off the side of the mountain! Pretty cool, huh? The place itself is really cheap to rent out, but I can understand why if people are too terrified to make the journey up the mountain. It's not something I'd ever want to do again, honestly.
For the next few days, we had our adventures around town. It was full of laser tag, arcades, mini golf, fondue, great food, awful food, donuts, going up and down mountains various ways, ducking into places to avoid the rain, window shopping, and really great views.
Speaking of food, if you ever find yourself in Gatlinburg and you like Chinese restaurants here in the states, I suggest going to North China. It's always been my favorite place to eat here.
|View from the side of a mountain after we road the skylift up.|
I got a few souvenirs to bring back, including these really cool cats that you can 'draw' on by scraping the black paint off of them. My senpai's helped me to win one (it was the cheapest prize anyway) and the guy at the counter gave us three (which were all given to me) and some candy as well!
One of my senpai's also bought me a fox plush as a souvenir. It's really adorable and its head wobbles and stuff. Other senpai named the fox Kory and we've both been carying Kory around until the point that the plush reached my computer desk.
It was an amazing trip and I had a lot of fun, majorly due to the wonderful company I was in. I hope we'll be able to take more trips together in the future! I love the adventures that we have together!
Also, my cats have missed me so much and won't leave my side now. I'm so happy.