Saturday, October 29, 2011
Woke up early, no rain!, but very chilly. Put on the coffee pot and hubby lit the fireplace. Enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while making plans for the day. Finally dressed warmly and drug ourselves out into the car. Remembered the camera, forgot the cooler.
Oh well, not going back for it.
We decide to do the sightseeing thing and drive up through the mountains and take some pics and video, the fog has burned off and its looking to be a sunny day, although windy and not very warm, low 50's. We head out of Gatlinburg on 441 into the park toward Newfound Gap.
I'm taking tons of pics and video for my 94 yr. old Grandma, she will be so excited to see all the things we saw and did on my laptop when we get back from this trip. Fall is her favorite time of year and I talk to her as I am filming so she feels like she is here with us too since she cannot travel anymore.
First stop the overlook a few miles in, got out and shot some video of the trees and mountains with a few dozen of my Smokies friends, LOL, my videos all contain heads and voices of people I don't know, seems impolite of me to say, moveeeee outta my video and be quiet please. So I just try to edit around them later.
We drive almost to Clingman's Dome before turning around and heading back. The weather starts out sunny and windy, we stop at the Chimneys where lots of folks are bundled up and grilling out at the picnic tables. I get some great photos of the river, all that rain sure made for nice rushing water shots! On up the mountain we go, lotsa traffic, everyone had the same idea today it seems. It's getting colder.
We come upon a long line of stopped cars and think, Bear Jam!, finally, have not seen one yet this trip. But nope, people are sticking their hands out the windows, for what? Then we find out a few hundred feet ahead, its HAILING! Ice pellets falling from the sky. The peeps in the cars from down south are going crazy. They know whats coming ahead.
A few miles further and the trees are covered in ice on the mountains and the road signs are getting snow on them, yep SNOW. Higher up still we go and snows everywhere on the ground and everyones pulling over and taking pics, the pulloffs for the trails are full and kids are sledding on plastic baggies down the hills in the parking areas. Road signs warn of icy roads ahead. Several side roads have been blocked off and there are closed signs on them. It's time to head back for lunch.
The kids were so fun to watch on the return trip, even with the windows up we could hear them squeal with delight while grabbing fistfuls of the white stuff off the ground. We wondered if some of them were seeing snow for the first time they were so excited. "Daddy look, Mommy its Snowwwwwwwwwww!"
By the time we reach Pigeon Forge its a little early to eat, traffic moved much faster going down the mountain, so we go shopping in Waldens Landing, I check out the movies at the new theatre, nothing we want to see. Window shop and check out the new Tomb attraction building, its not something we would like, but Egyptian history nuts and kids would. I Pick up some coupon booklets and browse thru them and take some pics of the fall decorations there by the putt putt golf. Found a coupon for 10% off at Nom Nom's Cupcake Factory, and look there it is, its fate we were meant to go there.
A man greets us as we enter, shows us the glass cases full of different flavored cakes and describes the cupcake fillings & frostings, he notices we have a Best Read Guide coupon book and mentions they have a coupon in there, wow, no kidding. fate.
I had my heart set on the cherry cheesecake or coconut I saw on the website, but they were out, Note: they don't have all those flavors all the time. They had some of them and others that were not listed. I chose the pumpkin cheesecake, a pumpkin cupcake filled with cheesecake and iced with cream cheese frosting. Hubby got the caramel apple, a caramel cupcake with apple pie filling in the middle and frosted with buttercream then drizzled with caramel. They sell a 2 pack for 5.50, minus our coupon and adding tax it came to 5.41 for both. Update - delicious, nice size and hubby wants me to let you know its one of the best cupcakes he ever ate, likes them better than the other cupcakes we bought at Bakin Bishop. I liked them all, put frosting on a paper plate and I'd eat it. The Frosting, not the paper plate.
We put the cupcakes on the back floor of the car and headed off for lunch at J T Hannahs, a newer restaurant in PF we have never been to. Actually we are trying all new restaurants this trip, well new for us, except Carvers Applehouse, we have eaten there several times and really like it. We have to go get our apples anyways so we are already there, and the wonderful smell lures us in for lunch.
J T Hannahs looked like a warehouse inside like I read, very neat and interesting old stuff on the walls and ceiling, even car tires, metal drums and feed bags. It was around 12:35 when we got there, we were seated right away in a booth under a rusty RC Cola sign and a waitress took our drink orders. Drinks came out a few minutes later and we placed our orders. I got the 10 oz. sirloin steak, baked potato and salad for 16.99 and hubby got the ribeye, potato and salad for 17.95. The salad was brought out right away. The housemade ranch dressing and croutons were good.
The entrees came out just 12 minutes later, cooked perfectly, fast and done right, both of them, that never happens to us when ordering steak. My sirloin almost melted in my mouth, so good. Hubbys steak was a lil less tender, but thats a ribeye for you. Still we would go there and order them again. The hostess came by and asked how everything was and the waitress checked on us at least 4 times, the place was about half full and the staff were very efficient in keeping the patrons happy.
Looking around I saw huge burgers and salads that I may like to try another time. We were too full for dessert, but the strawberry shortcake looked good and if I had downloaded the coupon from their website I could have got it free to go, but I forgot that too. Tis okay, cupcakes are in the car for eating later.
Stopped at Walgreens to get batteries and popcorn. Parking lot was full, they had a tent thingy set up out front giving flu shots and stuff for children by DARE officers and other activites, the crash dummy guy was on the sidewalk waving folks in. Funny! If you have an AARP card, show it at the register, you get coupons good for dollars off on your next visit, we got a 5.00 and a 3.00 one today. They expire soon though, so use them during your visit.
Headed back to the chalet around 3:30, and decided we are going to stay in for the rest of the day. It's cold and I like that fireplace. Later we fixed hamburgers and smoked sausage on the stovetop grill, and had slaw and potato salad I bought at Food City, (their deli items are very good), and those yummy cupcakes of course for dinner. Hubby watched the Ohio State game on the 50 inch flatscreen in the living room and I played on the computer then watched some TV in bed upstairs till the game was over, it was late so we skipped the hottub and went right to sleep.