It’s incredible how much of a difference a week can make. A week ago today I was in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, enjoying the views from my cabin in the woods at Westgate Resorts.
Now, that cabin no longer exists. All that’s left is the memories thousands of people hold on to who travel to the Great Smoky Mountains year after year.
So much devastation in the blink of an eye. While I conscientiously labored through my emails today, the news served as a sort of white noise in the background as updates were made through the morning on the condition of Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas. I paid close attention, not only only because it’s a place I have traveled to several times, just last week in fact; but also because my family owns a mountain top resort just outside of Gatlinburg.
I let out a “gasp” when the news outlets finally announced that my family’s resort had been completely destroyed. Immediately, all those amazing moments I had last week came rushing back: reading on the balcony as the sun rose over the mountain tops, sitting by the fire place with hot chocolate in hand and all the wonderful interactions that I had with the incredibly welcoming staff. My heart was, and is, broken for all of them and everyone in that area.
I will cherish every moment I have spent in Gatlinburg, from a little girl in elementary school all the way up to college, and now a married woman. All I know, I can’t wait to go back.