Monday, December 5, 2011

Visiting Tennessee 11/28 -12/4

We arrived in Tennessee in the pouring rain but we didn’t let that stop us. We spent the first day shopping at outlet stores and looking for bargains.

The next day we had dinner with two friends that we had met on a cruise last January. This is the second time we had met up with them and we had a great time! I’m so glad we stay connected through Facebook.

045One day we drove to Knoxville and Maryville where I found some yarn stores and antique stores. On the way back, we decided to see if the roads were open in the Smoky Mountain National Park since they were closed that morning from the snow. They were open and the views were spectacular. Icicles on the rocks shone as we drove by. Trees were coated in ice and snow. It was a beautiful winter wonderland. What a perfect way to end the day.

004One day we drove to the Bush Beans Plant in Chestnut Hill, TN. After eating a fabulous lunch at the Family Café, we went to their visitor center. After watching a movie about how it all got started, we walked through the museum with wonderful exhibits. As we were leaving, we even got to meet Duke (the dog who wants to sell the secret recipe). I would highly recommend this place which is great free entertainment.

Then we stopped at the Smoky Mountain Knife Works. I have never seen a bigger knife collection than what was here. There was so much to see that we will have to go back to finish looking around. The store had tons of neat stuff to look at too.

When the weather warmed up and the sun came out, we finally got to do some hiking. We went to Laurel Falls and enjoyed the scenery. You can see so much more in the winter when the foliage is not blocking your way. We had a great time! Then we stopped for soft serve ice cream at Cades Cove before doing the 11 mile loop road. I was surprised that we only saw a few deer but we saw a lot of turkeys. Unfortunately we didn’t see any bears.

Well, that ends our week in Tennessee. We had a great time!

Things I Learned this Week:

1. Don’t let the weather stop you from doing things.

2. Ask local people about things to see and do in their area. Many people enjoy telling you about the great things you don’t find out about at the visitor centers or online.

3. Winter is actually a great time to go hiking. The views are so beautiful and you can see a lot of different things that you can’t see in the summer.

Original image by Pat Hensley

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