Day 4: Beef Jerky, Fudge and Moonshine

Today was the first time I felt like we got to really see what Tennessee and Gatlinburg is all about. We all decided to go to the center of town and do some shopping. There was a 1 mile section of road that was filled with hundreds of shops, so we started one one side and made a huge loop. After going in and out of a few places the kids all ended up with mood rings but Matt and I were still looking for something we liked. We came a long a beef jerky shop and of course with Matt we had to stop. The guy working there was so much fun, he had a really thick accent and he was very entertaining. He gave the kids samples of deer and kangaroo. Gracie asked if people steal from him and he replied with “yes but I usually catch them and if I catch a kid steeling they become part of the shop”. Gracie looked really confused so he pointed to a bag of jerky near the exit, it was hanging off a pitch fork and the label said “Bad Kid jerky” he continued to say, ” when I caught one of them stealing I took him and made him into jerky, I got a whole 2lbs out of him”. Gracie looked kind of scared and Hannah started opening the door to leave, we all started laughing.
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The next stop was fudge. How Matt is with jerky, I am with fudge. I love it! I can’t eat a lot because its so rich but I always go back for more. They had a special, buy 2 get 1 free. How could I not get 3. We got milk chocolate, dark chocolate and Carmel chocolate. Can’t wait to dig in! While we were walking we also saw the actual car from Fast and Furious, that was kind of cool.
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We walked for a little bit and then we saw a sign for Ole Smoky Moonshine. We had to check it out, we’re in Tennessee. They were giving free samples of moonshine, pretty much as much as you wanted. The shot glasses were about 1/4 the size of a normal shot. The guy behind the counter really looked the part of a moonshiner, overalls, a little chubby, and the start of a mullet. Matt and I had Apple Pie first, strong but good. Then the guy said want to try straight moonshine, no flavor? He gave us two, one that was a weaker version and then one that was 100 proof. The first one went down hot and really strong but good. The second one was a lot harder to get down, the guy said shoot this one FAST. I can’t explain the taste, just one of the strongest drinks I’ve ever had. I asked the guy for another apple pie shot since it was sweater to wash down the taste. Matt and I felt buzzed within 2-3 minutes. I think my new favorite drink might be moonshine, vodka who? What?
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The best part of the day for me was the ambiance right outside of Ole Smokys. There were about 50 rocking chairs lined up, 25 on each side of an ally way and at the end of the ally right in the middle was a band playing. They were playing real southern music, banjos and all. This is what I’ve been waiting for coming to Tennessee. I don’t want to see tourist crap, I want to see true Tennessee. It was so much fun. The kids really got I to it too. We stayed for a bit and then kept making our loop. We ate lunch and then headed back to the cabin.

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Overall good day. Till tomorrow….


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