We had a wonderful time on our annual Smokey Mountain anniversary road trip! I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.
The trip began early Thursday morning with packing. Yes, I waited until the morning we were leaving to do this. My nature is to do things as simply as possible. I only wanted to take necessary items and I didn't want to spend all week worrying about it. We wake up EVERY morning EXTREMELY early anyway so I just got up at my usual time, packed and we got on the road.
The first stop was to take Dave, our sheltie, to the doggie vacation spot. Its a very nice place out in the country run by people we know. Each little doggie has his own indoor sleeping area with a doggie door that goes outside to his own little fenced in yard. He was way overdue for a thorough grooming and he was scheduled to have that done while there. Normally when we go somewhere over night, my son takes care of Dave, but this time he was out of town as well.
After taking care of a couple of other errands, we were on our way! We left the area we live in by 9:00 A.M. I have always enjoyed going on road trips with my husband and one of the best parts is the trip itself.
This year we really enjoyed the scenery because as best I can tell the fall foliage was late this year in North Carolina. We have been going to the mountains this same weekend for several years and I've never seen such brilliant colors. Usually by this time of year the leaves in the mountains are gone, but even in the mountains there was still a lot of color. The most beautiful colors were in the Piedmont area. I tried to take pictures, but the pictures just don't show the beauty!
This is a picture of some of the foliage as we were traveling down I-40.
Then the most exciting thing happened!!! It started snowing!!! I absolutely love snow, although I'm not fond at all of driving in it! This snow was not sticking to the ground, but was coming down really hard. Driving beside tractor trailers on I-40 going up or down the mountain near Asheville is kind of scary, but throw some snow into the mix and it really gets scary!!! The snow lasted about an hour and was even coming down on the guys mowing grass on the side of the highway. Here is a picture of the snow, but again the picture just doesn't show it all that well.
We spent Thursday night in Newport, Tennessee and on Friday we traveled the rest of the way to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville, Tennessee area. We couldn't check into our hotel until 3:00 so we headed over to the Gatlinburg area and made the rounds on the Craftsmans Road. All kinds of craftsmen and women have shops on Glade Road, a country road in the mountains. We love to browse in many of the shops and each year discover a new one or an old one we didn't know existed. I have to be honest in saying that we don't buy too much in these stores because the prices are pretty high, but always come away inspired.
We returned to the Glade Lebanon Baptist Church thrift shop which is located on this road and found a few more treasures that will be in a future post. I got out the phone book in our hotel room and looked up all the thrift shops in the area and we visited quite a few. We went to the Goodwill Store, Salvation Army Store, a hospital thrift store, as well as the Lebanon Baptist Church thrift store. Would you believe we also went to a yard sale right in the edge of Pigeon Forge? There were 2 other thrift shops that looked great, but we just didn't have time to get there. They are on my list for next year however! These were my favorite shopping experiences on the trip!
We visited two amazing quilt shops! I was in awe at all the beautiful fabric and quilts on display. One of the quilt shops is "The Cherry Pit" located in downtown Sevierville, Tennessee, right across from the Courthouse. Its a big store, packed with fabric and ideas and they teach quilt lessons there.
One highlight of our trip each year is to eat lunch at "The Wild Plum Tea Room" which is located on the Glade Craftsman Road. Its a unique restaurant with interesting food. The lady who originally opened it started out using her own china there. Like most of the stores and restaurants in the area, she set up shop in an old rustic building. Here are pictures of The Wild Plum Tearoom.
We were also able to spend some time with my brother in law and sister in law who attend a square dancing convention, "The Turkey Strut", the same weekend as our anniversary each year. We stayed in the same hotel and shared a couple of meals together.
I got a kick out of the fact that our hotel is located right across the street from some beautiful hills with a fenced in pasture for cows. I felt right at home!!!