Tiny Cabin living in Tennessee

It took a couple of years of travel before I realized how big a role accommodations play in enjoying a location or a vacation. Since that realization dawned on me, I never went back to booking a hotel room again. I booked cabins with VRBO and tried bed & breakfasts before I figured out Airbnb in 2013. I fell in love with it immediately and had the pleasure of staying in some lovely and unique places like this forest cabin in Mendocino, California and this rain forest retreat in Big Island, Hawaii. I even have a long wish list of cabins in my Airbnb account that I hope to stay in someday. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time trying to find that perfect spot for us in each of our vacations.

On our recent trip to Smoky Mountains National Park, I chose a tiny cabin of less than 200 sq ft. for our 2-night stay. If you watch HGTV like me, you have heard of tiny cabins and they are intriguing. When I saw this tiny cabin next to Cherokee National Forest in a beautiful setting among trees with a mountain stream flowing by it, I couldn't resist, despite knowing that my husband isn't a big fan of tiny spaces. It also had a wood-fired sauna and I went ahead and booked it for 3-hours for our second night and just hoped that my husband would enjoy it. 

We reached after dark but the owner sent us clear instructions, so it wasn't a lot of trouble locating the cabin. When we entered the tiny cabin it looked, well, really tiny. Imagine a kitchen, storage/sitting room, bathroom and a bed upstairs - all in less than 200 sq. ft. There was enough standing space for one to use the kitchen and the tight bathroom reminded us of the one in a cruise ship :) The small sitting space with benches worked more like a storage room for your luggage. The bed upstairs is good for 2 people if both of you don't plan to sit or stretch at the same time. I could see that my husband wasn't impressed with the space, or lack of it, but we quickly climbed the stairs and went to bed. The saving grace for my husband was that the mattress was good and he had a good night's rest.

Next day, I got up early, made myself a cup of coffee and sat outside with my book. The outdoor setting was indeed beautiful. And really peaceful. Being a huge outdoorsy person, I was a happy soul. 

Tiny Owl Cabin
 
Outside the Cabin
Wood-fired Sauna - Let's just say it was an interesting experience!
A great pick for the occasion and the location!
Soon enough I got immersed in my book. After a while, when I looked up, I saw a deer staring at me in the distance. I was happy to see it, admired it from a distance and went back to reading my book. 


A few minutes later, I felt something nudge me. I looked up and was startled to see it was the deer. I got up immediately and hurried into my cabin. And it followed me. Into my cabin. My husband who was laughing at the whole situation finally came to my rescue and helped me keep the deer out and lock the cabin door. We then realized that the deer meant no harm and that it might be hungry. I was thinking of offering it a butter croissant while my wise husband suggested a banana peel. It definitely seemed a better idea, and deer seemed to think the same as it ate half of it. Meanwhile, the owner of the cabin came by and told us that the deer lost its mom when it was young and frequently visits the owner and treats her as his mom. And that his name is John.

Dear John

Managed to keep it outside the cabin door

Feeding the deer
Deer John melt our hearts with his innocent looks and brought many smiles. We loved meeting him and feeding him that morning. Eventually, I had to tell him to go out and play with his friends as he wouldn't let go of me or let me read my book. 

Next morning, I waited for him with my book in the same chair with a banana peel and really hoped he would come back. But he did not. I just hope he is safe somewhere and found some new friends.

Later that night, we tried the wood-fired sauna. It was our first time and let's just say it was an amusing experience. After that, we returned to the cabin and while heating up our dinner, the smoke alarm set off and wouldn't stop. I had to climb the ladder and continuously fan it to keep it off. We had to do that every time we used the kitchen for more than 5 minutes. It was hilarious. We found a folded table and chair which we were able to set up for a cozy dinner. It wasn't a bad set-up, after all.  My husband began to warm up to the cabin. 

Not sure if it was the meeting with John or the peaceful setting by the stream or the hot sauna in cold weather or just a good night's sleep, but my husband said that he did enjoy the tiny cabin after all. All's well that end's well :) As for me, it was a perfect setting to immerse oneself in nature and enjoy its beauty and tranquility, no matter the size of the cabin.

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