1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Gatlinburg, TN - Soccer & Possible Trek to Cherokee

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by PressThe5n9, Aug 26, 2021.

  1. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2

    My Trip Report

    So the long-awaited date has arrived for a high school soccer tournament. My daughter’s school is one of about 50 teams competing this weekend in Gatlinburg. For the record, their team is not very good as we come from a small school (maybe 800 students). This tournament has been on our radar since earlier this year. We almost missed out due to the young lady recovering from an ACL injury and then a very recent breakout of COVID on the team. Most of the team are with us and cleared to play!

    This will be her sophomore year after an injury-shortened freshman season last fall. She’s excited to get back on the field. They have games today, tomorrow, and Saturday at Rocky Top Sports World. Will add some pictures from the fields when we get there - though I’ve heard the views are AMAZING! The wife and I have discussed trying to make a side trip to Harrah’s Cherokee on Friday after the game (which happens to be at 3pm). Will report back if we get away!

    We embarked this trip in the wife’s new chariot…
    E56A14A7-DB39-4BE6-BF4A-423A00CF79D1.jpeg

    It took about 3ish hours to get from the school to Pigeon Forge for the team to have a pre-game meal. We had a slight scare when some cars in front of were braking hard and swerving. We partially ran over a complete tire tread at 70-75mph that smacked the underside of the vehicle, but thankfully no damage. Now it’s time to go check in to the hotel so we can get prepared for the game. We are not staying at the same hotel as the team, because as you can imagine, who wants to stay at the same hotel as possibly hundreds of screaming teenagers? :goofy:
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  2. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    16,704
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Love Gatlinburg! Enjoy it. Check Waze or Google Maps before making that drive to Cherokee. The drive there from Gatlinburg can become incredibly long if there are any problems on the roads or with the traffic in the park. Have fun!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Just dropping some room pictures here. Not a fancy hotel, but we are in a king suite with fireplace and wraparound terrace. It’s not Cosmo in Vegas, but still one of the few I found with such an amenity in town. Plus the view is decent.
    2A97F6FE-968A-46F5-A6C9-CEEF03692658.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 5
  4. Ty

    Ty ?

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    7,316
    Location:
    Mid Ga
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    We're about 6 hours south of there and we've never been. The closet we've been is Helen, Ga.
    One of the days. The room looks nice and spacious.
     
  5. FuzzyDiceCraps

    FuzzyDiceCraps VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,712
    Location:
    Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    42
    Have a great time!! I played in a lot of tournaments in my youth, high school and college careers. This tournament (if its the same it was when I played in the late-90s) was fantastic and the views so fun. When I had more free-time I side-hustled as a referee and ref'd at this tournament as well. So much fun. Best of luck to your daughter, you may be surprised how competitive you can be!

    And good luck at Cherokee if you make it - never been there myself despite going to Gatlinburg at least once a year.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    So our first game was delayed for quite some time due to lightning in the area. After about 90 minutes, our game was pushed back to Saturday morning. The complex was very nice and well setup. The view from the field was definitely spectacular!
    FFD05208-0F7B-4CC1-B544-CC4A9A5F079B.jpeg

    Since we now have all night open and don’t have a game until 5pm tomorrow evening, the wife and I decided to go to downtown Gatlinburg to find some food. We walked up the strip and decided upon Calhouns. We used to have one locally but it closed years ago. Took some cool pictures of a church across the street and the view of the mountain.
    8A7AB9E6-70F9-432A-9E43-8EDE5A6857ED.jpeg
    1E818C36-5BF8-4FCB-A35E-C0330E5F30F5.jpeg

    Dinner had now been ordered….
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  7. Not at the table Carlos

    Not at the table Carlos Cheapskate

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,674
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Just missing ya. Am 50/50 on making a trip up there on Sunday.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Would have been awesome to meet you and make the Smoky Mountains fear THE Earl!
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 2
  9. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    So dinner was decent. There was a sign on the door saying they were down staff members and to expect slow wait times. We walked in and were seated immediately. Service was very good and the drinks were filled before being empty during our entire stay.

    Wife had BBQ potato skins
    4CC3301B-4BD5-43C1-9538-4A8D2A1C6BEF.jpeg

    I had the pulled BBQ plate
    671293C6-4F62-45F4-8B79-6572775215EE.jpeg

    After dinner we decided that if Cherokee was going to happen it would be tonight. We walked back to the car and made the hour plus drive on 441. Very scenic and peaceful. I kept claiming that it felt like the show “Terror In the Woods” was going to happen on each leg of the journey. If you haven’t seen the show, just watch a few episodes and it will make you think twice about the woods. The drive is roughly 30 miles each way of mostly thick woods… We only saw a lone wolf on the trek. We did make a stop on the drive to Cherokee to catch the sunset.
    E85E8C06-60D7-4006-8A8F-B31366117ED3.jpeg

    Got to Harrah’s and the place was pretty full for Thursday. They had 4 craps tables @ $15 all jam packed. The RTW table was at $5 with 5x odds. I got the only spot available and bought in for $300. Played very conservative for just over an hour, cashing out at nearly $550. Never had a server come by to even ask if I wanted a drink. Printed my ticket and told them thanks as I walked to the cage.

    Been a very long day, but made it back to the hotel around 12:30. Time to unwind and get some rest for tomorrow.
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 3
  10. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Was a late start to today although I didn’t get much sleep. Had to go to Walgreens to find something for a makeshift strap. Wife is in a walking boot and the strap broke last night, so today got an ace bandage to McGyver the top half together so she can comfortably get around.

    We then made our way into Pigeon Forge to visit the Tanger Outlet stores. Used winnings from last night to get myself some new shoes.
    967A77EE-ABB6-4D2B-B340-F96EB235A963.jpeg
    2384BD4B-81F6-4408-937C-5F8EF44CD82F.jpeg

    Wife spent some time (and money) at Michael Kors outlet. Don’t want to know how much because she enjoys bags and purses, but hey, it makes her happy!

    Now time to find some lunch…
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 1
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    20,287
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    if you go to Cherokee - great resort/casino by the way - you will be going through the park, up and over. Pretty drive - but slow. And I would not even think of doing it in the dark.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    16,704
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    I have done it in the dark and agree 100%. One of the dumber things I have done in my life
     
  13. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    I didn’t find the night time drive to be so bad. Keeping with the speed range of 25-35 and it was good. I did find one stretch I was coasting much faster and just kept on the brakes. There’s one turn (which feels like a full 360+) is probably the most harrowing. Otherwise it was a tranquil drive if you ask me.
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 1
  14. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    16,704
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    I did it in the days before GPS was common. One wrong turn plus a deer almost ramming my car made for a harrowing night!! Glad it was better for you
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    So our girls finally played their first game of the tournament earlier this afternoon. It was a very tough game played by both teams in the first half. Our team pulled away early in the second half and won 5-1. Most of our starters were pulled after going up quickly in the second half so the others got their chance to see more field time (something I appreciate as a dad and coach as I have had both types of players - a starter and a benchwarmer during their playing days). Two games on tap tomorrow.

    Was hoping there might be a chance to go back to Cherokee, but the wife and I spent more time walking around Gatlinburg. We’ve played some mini golf, and unfortunately I must report that although I have won outright, she has been the only one to get a hole-in-one.
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 2
  16. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Saturday was a completely packed day. First game was held at 9am and then another game scheduled for 2:30pm.

    We arrive for the first game about 8:15am. Since this was a makeup game, we played ata local high school field, which was about 30 minutes from the main tournament complex, rather than RTSW. The field was nice and had bleachers on both sides of the field. I took video in the sun the first half, and headed to the other side (somewhat shaded) for the second half. It was a sunny a hot day (mid to upper 80s for this early game). It was a competitive game but our girls pulled away in early part of the second half. Second game was a win 4-1.

    We had a short rest period before having to return to the main complex by 1:45pm for our second game. It was even hotter (low 90s with a heat index nearing 100-105). Levels o say it was miserably hot was an understatement. Our girls were sluggish and very exhausted and tried all they could, but fell 2-1. It was a good showing for their first tournament.

    My daughter had a decent performance in the tournament but she was more thrilled to be helping her team become better rather than being the star. She had one goal and 4 assists, and is currently among the Top 10 assist leaders in the state (early on in the season though).

    They finished the tournament with a 2-1 record, and happy to report as of Sunday afternoon they won their division! There were 7 teams in the division and four of the teams finished with the same record. Our girls had the largest goal differential so that put them over the top.

    After the games, the wife and I were heading back to the hotel but decided to stop for some ice cream to cool off. We stopped at Mad Dog’s Ice Creamery for some ice cream nachos. It was a large helping of ice cream, whipped topping, chocolate sauce and sprinkles over a bed of crumbled up waffle cones. They were amazingly good and helped to cool us down.
    A042A050-8C58-4382-98C9-9EA1018F1409.jpeg
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Love Love x 1
  17. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    After a needed shower and change of clothes, we relaxed in the cool room a LONG while and headed to dinner around 8:30pm. We decided to stay low key so nothing noteworthy to report on the food side.

    Moving on to Sunday it was time for us to depart. We got our stuff gathered and left the hotel to get some breakfast. We stopped at Smoky’s Pancake Cabin. Breakfast was delicious.

    I had the chicken and spinach omelette
    7B156F2B-8CB9-4855-9639-1EBB5C0B442B.jpeg

    Wife had a pancake breakfast with bacon
    F70C7E55-18C8-4C7C-B1EF-7FEFA19A3B5F.jpeg

    After breakfast, we headed our way out of town and northbound towards Sevierville. We stopped at a country store to purchase some trinkets for work folks (because that’s just what we do). Found some humorous desktop signs for my work group and we headed on our way home. We get a little more than an hour out from there and realize we left our pillows at the hotel. :rolleyes2: We stop and call the hotel. Thankfully, the housekeeping staff brought our pillows down when the cleaned the room. It took almost 90 minutes to get to the hotel to get them. I’m a pillow snob, and I wasn’t leaving a hard to replace pillow if it takes less than 2 hours to get it back! While traveling through Pigeon Forge to get into Gatlinburg, we noticed smoke coming from an area close to the road. As we near it, the smoke is getting more intense and we see flames. We look over and it’s a go-kart that was on fire! The people riding it appeared safe as they were standing on the cart area away from the fire.

    After retrieving our loot, we then headed for a second round home. Nearly four hours later we arrived home safely.
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Like Like x 1
  18. PressThe5n9

    PressThe5n9 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    As per usual, I like to find funny signs on my travels. Here are a couple I saw around town.
    B16C2F1D-FFD3-4826-AF5A-6824E7EA2F1C.jpeg

    61A5DE37-74F5-4C64-86C8-DC0E3811D314.jpeg
     
    Youngest Son’s 21st Birthday Trip to the Desert
    6 Nights in the Valley - Red Rock & Suncoast
    • Funny Funny x 1
  19. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Messages:
    9,946
    Location:
    The Island
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Excellent report, @PressThe5n9! :D
    Great times!

    Thank you very much for the report!

    RICHARD
     
    • Like Like x 1