With a 14+ hour drive ahead, you'd think we'd want to get some miles out of the way on the first day, but no. We decided we just wanted to go to Tellico Plains and get some of the other kinds of miles under us-go hiking. Matt and I went hiking a few years ago to Huckleberry Knob when we ran off for the weekend and I have wanted to go back with the kids. Our route goes very near Tellico Plains anyway, so add the lure of Tellico Grains on a Saturday and we needed little more than a second to make our decision! The detour added some distance to our overall drive, but we decided it was totally worth it! So what if there's still nearly 12 hours of driving and a moderate mountain range between there and the beach? Hiking, brick oven pizza, herbed flatbread. If I were to have another baby, I'd name it Herbed. No, I wouldn't. But I love me some flatbread. I am pretty sure Jake will cover me though by naming his first baby Petza.
We have almost always stayed at the Tellico Plains KOA in a kamping kabin and that's where I headed to make a reservation. They are so nice there, I love the kabins and that KOA has some of the best rates in the whole region. The automated system said it was no longer part of KOA!! I looked around online and discovered a tornado wiped out all 10 kabins and the office back in March! : ( They are rebuilding, but I am still sad, we have made so many memories there. Some places, you just like to imagine when you are having a bad day and the KOA was always the same-we got the same kabin every time, the kids would swim even if it was 60 degrees. They went from being too little to too big for the playground. The last time we were there, Zeppie was with us.
There are not a huge amount of places to stay in the area, so instead of trying to book a cabin somewhere else for a single night, I moved my search to Sweetwater, about 20 or so minutes away. I ended up at the Magnuson Hotel site and loved the photos and the amenities they offered, so I checked the rates and then called. Sure enough, the front desk was happy to give me a better rate and they added in our AAA discount and tax and all, it was under $60! And she waived the extra person fees and I agreed to bring an air mattress because they don't have roll away beds.