For years I assumed that for my 21st birthday, I would go to bars, get my first legal drinks paid for by friendly strangers, and party until I literally couldn't party anymore. That is what you're supposed to do right? Well cue the record scratch noise that they play in teen movies when things start to go wrong because along came Covid-19. Suddenly, my 21st birthday was far less exciting for me to look forward to. What can I possibly do to celebrate such a big milestone birthday when I am not even allowed to be around people?
Eventually, I came up with an idea. I would wait a little while and celebrate my birthday late. I wouldn't go out to the bars but would rather take a trip with my closest friends to Gatlinburg where we can hide away in a cabin in the mountains and party together. It turns out that this was far more fun than I can imagine any bar would have been.
Here's how it went:
1.) Arrive at the cabin and admire the view of the mountains.
2.) Watch sunset as the rest of the crew gets here.
3.) Go buy groceries as a little family
4.) Hot Tub!
1.) Explore Gatlinburg
2.) Go to local shops, eat cookie dough, and make reservations at Dick's Last Resort
3.) Eat at Dick's, get given insulting hats and have the best worst service ever.
If you have never been to a Dick’s or even heard of it then you should probably prepare yourself before your first visit. The servers here are supposed to be rude to you, so don’t be caught off guard when you ask for straws and they throw them at you instead of setting them down gently on the table. The best part however is when they give each person at the table a tall paper hat with a specially picked out mean comment written on it. It is easily one of the most entertaining dining experiences you can ask for.
4.) Walk the Gatlinburg Sky Bridge and try to ignore how much it is shaking in the wind.
The Gatlinburg Sky Bridge is a great way to get a view of the city from above. If you’re a city lights kind of person like me then I would recommend going at night. (Not to mention all the cute lights they have decorating the bridge at night.) You ride up and down the mountain on a ski lift which is already fun on it’s own, but once you get to the top it’s time to prepare yourself to walk across the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Hanging at around 150 feet in the air, it is definitely a little intimidating but worth it.
5.) Go Back to the cabin and have a little party!
1.) Attempt to go on a hike, but get rained out on the way there.
2.) Stop at a viewpoint we found on accident to make up for the lost hike.
3.) Go back to the cabin and decide that the poor weather makes it a great day to stay inside.
4.) Powerpoint Night
Something my friends and I decided to do was have a powerpoint night where each of us were supposed to make a funny presentation to present to the group. This was something we saw on Tik Tok and knew would be hilarious. The presentations made were about why Stuart Little sucks (the rat himself, not the movie), non-human cartoon characters that happen to somehow be attractive, reasons to hate Adam Driver, what the girls of the friend group would look like if they were men with beards, what we would look like as penguins in Club Penguin, and what would happen if we were all in The Hunger Games together. This is such an easy and fun way to make the most of a rainy night with your friends.
1.) Wake up not emotionally ready to leave only to find out it was snowing all night.
This was the morning we were supposed to get up early and be ready to leave by check-out time. However, the weather had different plans for us. When we woke up we were so excited to see that it had snowed all night. With us all being from Georgia and having no knowledge of how to drive in the snow, we were also very nervous. This led us to call the renters and ask if we could stay a little while longer and wait for the snow to melt. Thankfully they said yes. This was not only exciting news because we wouldn’t have to panic in a car in the snow, but this also gave us time to enjoy something we do not get to experience too often.
2.) Snowball fights, snow angels, tiny snowmen, and lots of pictures.
3.) Realize it is safe to drive and sadly head back home.
Overall, this was one of my favorite trips I have ever been on, and it happened to be a celebration for my 21st birthday as well. In my opinion, bars can be overrated anyways. Go on a little trip with your best friends, grow a little closer, and have new experiences. The bars will be there when you get back.