Friday, May 05, 2006

Who Needs A Vacation, Me Or My Pooch ??

This is a recent article that I had published in a NC regional pet magazine..

Who Needs A Vacation, Me Or My Pooch ??
By Cheryl Gilliam - Published in the “Pet O’ Mine Magazine” April 2006 Issue

Well, you just finished a 50 hour work week, cleaned off your desk for the first time in 3 months, answered the last email, called your mom and packed your bags. FINALLY - You are ready for a VACATION !! Hey, but what is a vacation without your best canine friend Fido or Boo Boo?? How can you leave home without the one who greets you at the door every night wagging his tail with that "special" look on his face .....

How can you explain to Boo Boo that you are heading out to the mountains or the beach but he has to stay with Aunt Millie and her iguana.. Sure there are some great doggie daycares, pet resorts and all kinds of luxurious places for your pets to stay but you may have "separation anxiety". If your well behaved pet travels well and it's hard for you to part with your pup for a week, why not search out one of the many places that now will allow you to bring along a pet on vacation.

More and more people are traveling with their beloved pets..You can now find accommodations for the most "pampered doggie diva" or your basic "nothing but a hound dog". It is easier than ever to enjoy a real vacation with the family pooch and in some cases with other pets as well, although dogs still are the most accepted pet in vacation spots around the nation. About 10 million Americans travel with their pets and 75% of those pets are dogs...

Many hotels now cater to pets and their owners, I just read of a hotel that even offers a doggie menu with T-bone steak and tuna with caviar... But I feel that the most comfortable lodging for a family and their pet is a vacation rental home, condo or cabin.. Why not have all the comforts of home and much more on vacation for just a little more than the cost of a cramped hotel room ? Often you may end up saving money since you will not have to eat every meal out. Fully equipped kitchens are the norm in most of vacation rental homes, which enables you to have breakfast on the deck or grill a juicy steak. Games, pool tables, hot tubs and swimming pool access are just a few of the amenities that can be offered. Wow, your pet and family will love this.... It's all up to you....

You will find many websites now dedicated to offering these "pet friendly" homes in all areas of the country.. Just be certain to check for any stipulations, many have pet weight restrictions or other guidelines to consider. If in doubt, call or email the owners or vacation management company to inquire about the requirements for bringing your pet. There normally will be a pet fee but would generally be less than the cost of boarding.. Please be a responsible pet traveler, obey the rules and be certain that your dog or pet will not "act out" in an unfamiliar place. "Test the waters" before leaving them alone in a vacation rental. If you are concerned about leaving them alone while you are out sightseeing, search for a local pet sitter or doggie daycare.

See these websites for Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals in the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Townsend, Tennessee area Best Cabins By Owner or Heavenly Cabins

Many years ago, Cheryl & Roger Gilliam fell in love with a little community called Wears Valley just outside of the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Sevierville, Tennessee area in the Great Smoky Mountains.. After renting log cabins in this area for several years, the Lord blessed and they were able to start their own cabin vacation rental business there primarily via the internet, email and phone from their home in NC. Also, since they have 4 precious dogs, these cabins are "pet friendly". See the website for information or availability Heavenly Cabins . They are truly heavenly !

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Smoky Mountain News from HeavenlyCabins

"Smoky Mountain Travel Tips from Heavenly Cabins" Just some news and happenings around the Smokies, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Wears Valley- Tennessee.

One of the new shows this season is in the former Louise Mandrell Theatre.. It is now called The Miracle Theatre in Pigeon Forge, TN. The website calls it a stunning musical recreation of the life of Christ told in epic proportion. Featuring an enormous cast of actors, singers, dancers, technicians, and live animals, you will be awed by the magnificence of this performance. From centurion soldiers on horseback to majestic kings on camels, the huge scope of the production is amazing. Check the website The Miracle Theatre

I also just discovered a new show at the Governors Palace Theatre in Sevierville (across from Super Walmart). It's called Fixin 2 Rain - a story of Noah and the Ark with a Smoky Mountain Style.. This show features James Rogers - well known for his own popular show at the former Music Mansion, as well as performances at Dollywood. The website states it is a show about faith, hope, love and courage set in depression era - Appalachia... It sounds wonderful, I can't wait to see it.. I will give another report then.. See the website for details at Fixin 2 Rain.

Well, has the gasoline GUZZLE got you down ??? There is one way to save SOME gas when you come to the Smokies... Try riding the TROLLEY bus around town !! I actually have never riden it, but what a great way to save a little "petro".... You might even see some sites that you have never seen before.. Just think, no searching for a parking place, no worries.. Just go down to the main trolly station at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, park your car and choose your Trolley !! You can't beat the price - 25 cents or 50 cents to Gatlinburg. Check the website for routes, etc Pigeon Forge Trolley

If you have not planned that summer vacation to the Smokies yet, you better HURRY ! We are booking very quickly, check our site Heavenly Cabins or our new sister site Best Cabins By Owner . We developed this site so that we could easily refer other "high quality" cabin rental owners that we know in the Smoky Mountain area when we are booked. We list Pet Friendly cabins and Non-Pet cabin rentals in both the NC and TN sides of the Smokies. Check the sites and call or email for availability soon !!

God bless,
MATTHEW 5 16 Let your light so SHINE before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Historic Headrick Chapel Church-Wears Valley TN

This beautiful church and graveyard - Headrick Chapel is a rare piece of history in Wears Valley on Hwy 321/Wears Valley Rd just past Rocky Top Country Store. Why not take a minute to stop and step back in time.

The quaint chapel building is part of the cultural, educational and religious history of the Wears Valley community. It is a living monument to the rich heritage of Sevier County, Tennessee and the surrounding areas.

The information is from the Headrick Chapel Preservation website

Spring in the Smoky Mountains

This blog is to share the beauty and special qualities of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennesse as well as the unique opportunities that you discover when staying in a vacation rental home or cabin as opposed to an ordinary hotel room.

The vacation rental cabins in the PigeonForge, Gatlinburg and Townsend area are normally owned by a family or individual, then managed either by a management company or the owner themselves.

Staying in someone's vacation home offers a slower pace, more flexibility, a better chance to relax on your vacation. Take time to pick up some locally grown fruits or vegetables to prepare at your rental. You can pick blackberries-in season right outside of our cabins. Yum !! Blackberry cobbler with ice cream cannot be beat. You will never taste a better fresh blueberry than the ones grown in Townsend. Visit the BurgerMaster in Townsend for a juicy burger or cone of soft serve ice cream. Chat with the owner at the coffee shop, learn some history about this rich mountain culture....

You may be planning your first trip to one of our Heavenly Cabins or just looking for the right place to spend your next vacation. In either case, I hope that you will be inspired to look beyond all the "well known" attractions.. Sure, we all want to hit Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium, The Comedy Barn, Dixie Stampede, shopping in the outlet malls.. The kids will want to go to Dolly's Splash Country, Nascar Themepark, the guys want to fish, golf, shoot pool and the list goes on... But, just try and set aside some time to chill out and do something out of the ordinary.

I took the photo above on the first day of spring 3/21/06 from the deck of our "Glimpse of Heaven" vacation rental cabin. That famous "smoky" mountain mist was lifting up from the valleys. Our cabins are located in the Wears Valley community just a short drive from either Pigeon Forge or Townsend. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a short drive away. Cades Cove is also easily accessible from the cabins... You will hear more about Cades Cove from me soon since it holds a special place in my heart. Well, please enjoy my ramblings about this great place and don't forget to add some of your own stories or recommendations....