Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Smokies (and not those little cocktail weenies either)

Have you ever had one of those "spur of the moment" ideas? You know, the "it's 2 in the morning and I just have to have ice cream" idea or the "let's sell the car and buy a boat" idea, or the "let's drive down to Tennessee and rent a cabin for the weekend" idea. Well, I can't say that I have participated in the first two, but my husband and I did decide to head down to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee a couple of weekends ago for a little getaway.

If you have never been to the Smokies, you have got to go! The mountains are absolutely beautiful and there is so much to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Now I will say that a short trip to the Smokies can turn out to be a pretty expensive trip, but there are plenty of good deals if you can find them. First of all, there are coupon books everywhere! Just about every place we visited we had a coupon for -- restaurants, museums, etc. Also, you can either stay in a hotel or a cabin/chalet -- both are about the same price. We found a nice little cozy cabin about a mile from the Pigeon Forge "strip" but very private for about $90 a night. Here are a couple of pictures of it:

The Kitchen

The Cabin from the outside

Some of the things we did while on vacation (besides eat, of course!) were: played indoor blacklight miniature golf, toured the Hollywood Wax Museum, toured the Guinness World Records museum, had a blast at WonderWorks, walked the streets of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and did a little shopping at the Tanger Five Oaks outlet mall. But...enough about that. Let's get to the good stuff -- the food!!

Okay, what is a vacation (even a mini-vacation) without eating at some unique restaurants? Not the "chain" restaurants that you are used to eating at (McDonald's, Applebees, etc.). Jason and I actually made a rule that we would not eat at any chain restaurants or restaurants we could find in Louisville while we were on vacation. Let me tell you, it was pretty hard, especially at 8:30 at night when you are starving! (That was only the first night though).

Day 1: "Not so Happy Days"
After traveling for 4 hours, finding our cabin, and settling in; we finally found a little diner called Happy Days on the strip in PF and scarfed down a hamburger and fries. I don't have pictures (because it was late and we were hungry), but I will tell you that I do not recommend this place. Not too clean, not too friendly, and the food wasn't that great (and you know that says something when you are so hungry you could eat a cow!).

Day 2: Flapjacks, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, and The Diner
Since we were on a "mini-vacation" we decided to get up pretty early Friday morning to take advantage of the day. We headed down the strip to a little place called Flapjacks Pancake Cabin. It is very cozy inside and we were welcomed by a black bear statue. Our waitress was great! We both had pancakes with eggs and bacon (Jason) and sausage links (me). Unfortunately I don't have a picture of them -- they were gone too fast! Everything was delicious.

After Flapjacks, we decided to do a little walking and shopping. At about 2:00 pm we decided to go to the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant (our favorite restaurant of all time) for a late lunch. Since I have several pictures of this place, and it is my absolute favorite restaurant, I have decided to dedicate the next post to the "Apple Barn" as I call it.

(And, since this post is getting quite long and I don't want you to lose interest, I will post about the rest of our trip in the next blogpost as well.)

Stay Tuned!!

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