GASTONIA, NC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A TikTok post claiming snow-capped mountains in Switzerland were actually in Gastonia led one Florida woman on a detour she’ll never live down.
“Me, my husband and his family were driving up to Boone because his mom had never seen snow!” said Jupiter, Florida resident Olivia Garcia.
She was scrolling through TikTok and came across the video.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God. This looks so cool! We have to go here!’” she said. “I showed everyone, and they’re like, ‘OK, let’s go!’ It was an hour out of the way.”
When they arrived, they saw, well, Gastonia.
“Everyone in the car was like, ‘Did you not google search this?’ And I didn’t think about it. I was just like scrolling on TikTok and was like, ‘we should go here,’” she told Queen City News. “They asked what the name of the place was, and I’m like ‘Gastonia.’ They routed it, and we went, and I just kept scrolling.”
Zachary Keesee lives in Durham and is the creator behind the video.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to Gastonia,” he admitted.
He has been tagging North Carolina spots like Wrightsville Beach, Falls Lake and Concord Mills Mall in videos he took while studying abroad two years ago.
“I know it’s not these actual locations, and that’s the point of it. But it’s nice people see the humor in it,” Keesee said.
Gastonia got some unexpected limelight in the now-viral video.
“I’m sure I just didn’t drive through the nice part,” Garcia said.
Its residents, however, would be the first to recognize there is room for improvement.
“Gastonia needs some spiffing up some, but there are some great areas around here,” one woman said.
Garcia got plenty of flak from her family, but traveling is about the memories more so than the destination, and it’s safe to say she arrived back home with a story and a life lesson.
“Don’t trust the internet,” she said.