Out of the frying pan...

Trip Start Oct 03, 2013
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg Downtown
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, October 14, 2013

Today we checked out of Westgate. It's a bigger deal to check out of a timeshare resort than a hotel since you have to take out the garbage and gather your linens and start your dishwasher etc.  We asked for a late checkout the night before but was told we would have to wait til morning.  So we called at 8am and they gave us til 11 (it was 10) so that gave us more time. 

We drove down into Gatlinburg and checked into the Hilton Garden Inn.  The minute we pulled up I felt good about it.  The lobby is beautiful and the guy at the desk was SO nice.  I had left a note on my reservation requesting a refrigerator because I wasn’t sure there was one in the room.  Although I knew they had rooms with them.  He mentioned it and asked if I needed him to refrigerate any medicine until my room was ready or if I needed more ice for my cooler!  Very kind and thoughtful above what you usually get at a hotel.  This seems to be a pattern here.  There are people who are either EXCEPTIONALLY nice and kind in above average ways or people who are awful beyond words.  So we check in but he says the room isn’t ready but looks it up and says he needs 2 more hours which was really nice to get an estimate.  Most places usually just reiterate their check in time which is annoying so this was a nice unexpected touch.  We decided to just drive into Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.  Jym wanted to check out some comic book places.  Mile wise it is not far…maybe 10 miles but once you are in Pigeon Forge it’s a lot of red lights, 3 lanes on each side, traffic and worst of all tourists who are doing more looking than driving.  Bonnie said Gatlinburg was like "Saks" and Pigeon Forge was like “Wal mart” I actually liked them to roads in Orlando…Gatlinburg is like I-Drive and Pigeon Forge is like the 192.  Both are one big road with touristy crap all over it but the 192 caters to a slightly different crowd.  It took about 20 minutes to get through Pigeon Forge to Sevierville.  The hotel is at the end of the River Road so closer to the park than where I was in Westgate (not that it matters since its still closed) so we took the bypass and back tracked and that worked well for traffic as far as Gatlinburg was concerned.  Jym enjoyed his comic shops and actually found some things he was looking for.  We then came back to the hotel and I took a small nap.  I am exhausted.  I did not sleep well last night at all.  I have not been able to relax at all on this vacation.  I am just wound so tight and every time I turn around some other bad thing is happening.  

So we check in and before my nap I am unpacking in the room and notice there is food stuck onto all the little card things in the room…like the strip with the TV channels on had some sort of icing all over it.  Like ALL over it.  It was nasty.  And the card on the bed that said about their “green” efforts had what appeared to be spaghetti sauce on it.  Then some other card thing had 2 distinct water marks on it from a cup possibly?  Then I see the amount of dust and cobwebs on all the desks, tables and fireplace mantle.  Then I see hairs in the bathroom and toothpaste on the sink and something sticky on the counter.  I mean REALLY???  I went to the front desk with the cards and asked that they be replaced and asked for a bottle of windex and some paper towels because I was going to clean the damn room myself.  I have NEVER EVER been in a room that I felt I needed to clean myself.  Don’t get me wrong I am pickier than most but of all the hotels all over the world I have stayed in I have never been in a room I simply couldn’t stand being in without cleaning it myself. So that should tell you how dirty this room was.  Of course the guy at the desk said that is not going to happen and he would send someone up immediately to do it and apologized saying its not the Hilton standard.  So on my way back up to the room a maid…room attendant…whatever politically correct term I should use… gets in the elevator with me and says something about people getting their asses chewed I guess because there are so many rooms to clean and they are behind. Etc. So Jym goes into the hall and sees a cart and asks if he can just have some cleaner and a cloth which she gives him so I cleaned it all myself.  They did send some guy up but I am quite certain he would not have cleaned anything the way I did and I would have literally had to have him clean everything.  And this was NOT like she just did a half assed job today.  This looks like a pattern of inability to clean correctly.  Then the guy that comes up brings us “new” card things and I look down and sure as shit it’s the same damn one I took down there to be replaced!!!  OMG. WTF?  That sort of pissed me off.  I was willing to clean my own room but really?  I was not happy at all with how that was handled.  I am also not a fan of the bed.  It has some system where you DIAL the level of softness but it isn’t like a Sleep Number bed.  It’s like some cheap knockoff and it doesn’t fill or empty like an air mattress so I have no idea.  But one thing I do know is that the sheets they have do not fit on the beds and it looks cheap and isn’t comfortable.  I honestly expected more from a Hilton.  I saw the Hampton Inn around the corner and wonder if I should have stayed there.  It actually looked nice.  The prices were around the same but usually Hilton’s are nicer.  I do have a fireplace in the room which is nice. 

After all that we drove up the Ski Road to Ober Gatlinburg where you can get some nice views.  We were up with Bonnie and Shawn but didn’t do much.  I wanted to try the ski lift to the scenic overlook which was $7 per person (or 2 tickets which are $3.50 each) The people in front of us on the lift were 2 women who were chain smoking all the way up which I do not agree with at all.  Its nature people can you hold off??  So their smoke was coming back onto me.  Great way to smell the fresh air on the way up!  When we arrived at the top it was a nice view and we were there before sunset.  We then took the lift back down and went back to the hotel and parked and walked to dinner.  We chose a restaurant Jym had found a few nights ago and it was very good.  Our first real nice dinner out since this trip started.  We came back and used the Jacuzzi in the hotel which is a nice size and very pretty but the “jets” are not really what you would hope for.  They don’t bubble at all.  But Jym and I had a nice time mocking some jerk by the fire pit who was shooting his rich mouth off. 

I think there might be a problem with my car.  We smelled something and Jym said he thinks something is leaking out the tailpipe and there was a puff of smoke out the back as well.  I am hoping its just a gas issue since I think I might have overfilled it.  It was giving me problems accepting the gas again and I just am so tired of driving off and not being full so I just kept squeezing.  Maybe that was the problem.  Right now we are just watching it. 

Then more bad news on the TV.  They are still TALKING about reopening the park but now not until later in the week which officially screws me 100%.  I cannot believe I came here and could not do anything in the park.  I am so mad about it. 

I asked for Friday off and my boss got back to me late in the day and said OK so I went to book the hotel I wanted in Savannah.  I know Savannah and we had a great time there last time we went and it’s on the way home so a convenient stop.  Well turns out the hotel is booked up Thursday because they are filming some MOVIE right out front so the whole town is crazy.  Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Really Universe???  I have no idea what movie it is but with my luck it’s a ZOMBIE movie! Because I would hate that most of all!  So now I don’t know what we are doing really.  They put us on a waiting list for a cancellation but I doubt that will happen with the downright shitty luck I have been having.  
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Kerri on

Glad you got off work for Friday! You could always go to Dollywood if you can't find anything else to do. I'm sure you'd love that! (Ok, not, but it sounded funny, right?) I agree, the air thing doesn't work like a Sleep Number bed (coming from a Sleep Number bed owner) but I find them much more comfortable than many other chain's beds.

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