Sunday, March 6, 2011

A few vacation faves


IMG_5942No trip to the south is complete without a stop at Sonny’s BBQ.

IMG_5965Foggy morning on Foothills Parkway

IMG_5963We stumbled across the Bush’s Bean factory in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee.  Who would have thought learning about beans could be so much fun?

IMG_6015Sunset over the Maryville valley from Foothills Parkway.


Tellico Plains Bakery – another great stop.  Their cherry turnovers are the best! 
Do you notice a food theme going on here?  You’re just lucky I didn’t take pictures of Chick-Fil-A or Backyard Burger.  Smile 

When in the south a person HAS TO eat at the places we don’t have up here in the great white north!

IMG_6041Cades Cove – such a peaceful place

A church in Cades Cove

Welcome to my new home! Smile 
What a fun little cabin in the Cove.

IMG_6077A few trees were already blooming making us really hungry for Springtime.

IMG_6081The view from an overlook north of Bean Station on 25E in northeast Tennessee.  Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for Bush’s Beans to be located in Bean Station than Chestnut Hill? 

A few other things we learned during our trip…

*Don’t go to Sonny’s BBQ at 1:00 on Sundays – busy, busy, busy.

*Curvy mountain roads are no fun when it’s dark and raining.

*Tornado warnings are just as scary in Tennessee as they are here in the Midwest.

*The Titanic exhibit in Pigeon Forge is well worth the time.

*When they tell you a time share presentation will only last 90 minutes and if you’re there longer than that it’s because you want to stay, THEY LIE! (but we did get free Titanic tickets out of the deal)

*A southern accent is very easy to pick up inside of a week’s time.

*Lid’l Dolly’s in Pigeon Forge is a scary place.  I swear the eyes of the dolls followed me as I wandered through the store.

*Food is overpriced in Pigeon Forge.

*There are way too many flashing billboards in Pigeon Forge.

* We don’t care for Pigeon Forge. (can you tell? – sorry Dolly)

*Brussel sprouts fixed with a sweet-sour sauce and bacon are yummy!

*I’m too cheap to pay $7 per day at a resort to use their Wi-Fi.

Tennessee wineries are wonderful.  Hillside Winery Black-n-Blue baby!

*Chick-Fil-A really is as good as they say.

*Donna’s Café in Madisonville is a wonderfully, friendly place to eat lunch.  It’s pretty amazing when you show up at a place once a year, they remember you and ask if you want your usual table.

*Southern folks are very friendly and helpful.

*We never tire of the Appalachian Mountains!


  1. Love those mountains! And I grew my accent the first 5 minutes I was in the state. I still have it : )

  2. Looks like a great trip! And I agree, sometimes it's all about the food!

  3. How fun to get a review of your week!! The spring blooming tree is gorgeous... it is PINK! :) And I LOVELOVELOVE your new header photo!!

    Welcome home!!

  4. My husband and I love Sonny's!!!! Glad you had a great time! Blessings!

  5. Glad you had a wonderful trip! Yes, I hope us Southerners are friendly folks. We spend a lot of time in the mountains, but we go to the mountains of North Carolina.... called the Blue Ridge Mountains. Yes, Chick-Fil-A is delicious. I think my college aged daughter would be happy to eat there every day. I have never been to Pigeon Forge, but I get the impression that it is much too commercial & "touristy". Yes, when we are on vacation, it is ALL about the food. Love & blessings from NC!

  6. Oh things from the memories. We wetn to Cade's cove several years ago. I we LOVED Gatlinburg area. Never been to dollywood, sounded too commerical to us.
    Isn't it amazing that hthey charge for wi-fi, heck McDoanlds give it free.
    Next weekend for the wedding we are staying in a Sheraton, regular $149 a night, (we get wedding group discount) yet they say wi-fi will be $8 a night. Well yes siree maybe for some but not for this chick, McD's is walking distance away. At least I will get some frou-frou coffee cheap.

  7. We steer clear of P.F.----way to commercial (unless you like cheap t-shirts and over priced plastic junk). But the mountains, oh the mountains!

  8. I'm jealous; I'm not talking to you anymore. Ok, just this once. May I download that church steeple picture for my church collection? It is gorgeous! You did such a good job on your photos. Ok, now I'm not talking!
    :D DEB

  9. What wonderful photos and I loved hearing about your trip. Louie and I have never been that direction. Maybe we'll have to think about it sometime. Thanks for sharing. I'm so happy you had a good trip. Have a wonderful week. I'm glad you are back safe and sound.

  10. You take our kind of vacation!!! Sonny's is a for sure for us as well. The nearest one to us is just under 5 hours. :) As far as Pigeon Forge, it is very busy and touristy, but you have to go to the Apple Barn for a meal. You won't be disappointed!!

  11. There's no Chic Fil A's up north? lol. You're pictures make me wanna go to Cades Cove again! Which I'm sure we will, lol. We went to the Titanic museum the last time we went up there in November. It was really neat. The only places I recommend going to in Pigeon Forge is the Old Mill, Dixie Stampede, and the Apple Barn. Mmm Mmm Good. When we're camping in the Cove, the only "town" we venture out to is Townsend and we love eating at those Mom and Pop little restuarants. No chain restaurants there!

  12. Oh we are so much alike. Cades Cove is always my favorite!!! I LOVE it. I am not crazy about Pigeon Forge either but I love to stay in Gatlinburg. I don't like all of the stores but the food is yummy. We have our favorite places. So the Titantic was good??? I have wondered.