A Quick Trip To Bristol TN/VA

Hello friends a recap of last week’s trip to Bristol TN/VA. I had hoped to get a post out during the week about my trip but it just didn’t happen.

First of all I hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day. I have no human children but I have definitely mothered many through the years. I think mothers come in many different forms. I received a precious message yesterday from a former employee that I still keep in touch with after many years. He wished me a Happy Mother’s Day and said he always thought of me as someone he respected and could come to for guidance and that I was a mom in his life. That truly made my day. It is amazing how just a few words can mean so much. My own mama has been gone for nineteen years and I have to tell you she was the best Mama in the world!!!!! We were best friends and I miss her every single day.

Last week I spent a few days at a meeting in the Bristol Tennessee & Bristol Virginia area with our Southern Highlands Attraction group. The two states are very close and there is a spot on the street where you can stand in both states at the same time. I did however almost get run over doing this once so if you try that be very careful. I am sure the locals hate this area. My meeting was actually in Johnson City but we spent the entire day Tuesday in Bristol.

We started the meeting Monday in Johnson City about a two and a half hour drive for me. I left early Monday morning so I wouldn’t have too many nights away from hubs and the fur babies. We met at the beautiful Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site. If you missed my Wordless Wednesday post I posted a lot of pictures of the site it is beautiful with so much history. You can check out the post here.

Just look at these beautiful yellow Irises

Our meeting ended about 4:00 and I headed to the hotel where we were staying. It was only a couple of miles from Tipton-Haynes. The Carnegie Hotel is a beautiful historic hotel. It is located in the heart of Johnson City with lots of things to see and do around it. We had a little time before dinner. I actually took a small nap.

Dinner was so delicious We went to Southern Craft Barbecue. It was only about a mile from the hotel. The food was amazing. This was probably some of the best barbecue I have ever had.

A deviled egg, cornbread and sugar bacon, this was the appetizer
Salmon, Barbecue pulled pork, okra and sweet potato souffle. We had so much food, we had to do a lot of sharing.

We started Tuesday morning with meetings. And then at 11:00 we took a bus to Bristol which is about twenty miles from Johnson City. We started out with lunch at The Burger Bar. This is supposedly the last place Hank Williams was seen alive. Not from eating there but it was a favorite of his. And that is where he ate his last meal. Just a little local history for you. There you will find the best burgers and milkshakes ever. Just a few of the burger selections: Hey good lookin, cold cold heart Hawaii 5-0, Howlin at the moon. I didn’t get a milkshake but the list to choose from is unbelievable. Check out their website here and plan to eat there if you go and get a burger and milkshake. It is such a sweet place with lots of memorabilia on the walls and just plain old southern hospitality.

Next we went to The Birthplace Of Country Music Museum. This place is amazing and I love it. I have been several times. It is so much more than a museum. A lot of people think that Nashville is the birthplace of country music but actually it was in the small homes and store fronts in Bristol where the very first country music was recorded. We didn’t tour this time but met with some of their staff and board members.

We stopped in at The Southern Churn Ice Cream & Candy Shop and we just had to try this Mountain Dew Fudge. It was actually very good.

Next stop we visited Benjamin Walls’ gallery for a wine reception and some chill time enjoying the beautiful photos of Benjamin Walls and we were actually treated to an unveiling of a couple of his new photos.

That is Benjamin on the left.

Benjamin is an internationally acclaimed artist, avid environmentalist, and successful entrepreneur. I am taking all of this from his website but go and check it out for yourself. His artwork has received seven international awards and has been displayed in dozens of museums, including five exhibits at the Smithsonian and twice at the Natural History Museum of London. It is almost unbelievable some of the photos that he has captured. Check out his website here

A few other places that we visited: The Paramount Theatre
and Lost State Distilling

After the wine reception at the gallery we went to eat at 620 State Restaurant for dinner. Another amazing meal. I had the chicken and rice and a sushi roll, and a margarita. It was yummy. We were exhausted from the day and being on the hot street. It was good to relax and enjoy our meal.

This Margarita really hit the spot after a long hot day.

Our bus picked us up to take us back to the hotel. I think I napped on the way back. The next morning we had meetings until noon and then I headed for home. Although I was only gone for two days I was so glad to get back home to my hubby and the babies.

Breakfast.

If you live near this area or if you are just passing through don’t forget to check out some or all of the things I mentioned. It really is a great trip. Bristol Tennessee or Bristol Virginia is a beautiful area. You won’t be disappointed.

I hope you enjoyed your short trip to Johnson City and the Bristol TN/VA area let me know how you liked it.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!!

Home Again, Home Again

Hello friends. As I mentioned in my last post I had to be gone from the family for a few days earlier this week. Our attraction was hosting the attractions association that we belong to. It was a very nice but tiring few days. I was so glad to get back home.

I got home late Wednesday evening. Scruffy was so happy to see me. He did his little frantic running in circles dance around me that he always does when he is happy and excited. Even Molly came over to nudge against me. Of course all the kitties were very aloof because that’s just the way kitties are. And of course hubs was glad to see me. Although that could have been because he knew I would be relieving him of some of his animal tending duties. Hee hee.

What a great time we had on the trip. Lots of information to exchange with the other attractions, great ideas about how to deal with the ever changing times that we are dealing with right now. I always come back from these meetings feeling energized and ready to tackle whatever comes along. It’s good and bad knowing that our attraction faces the same issues as lots of others and we are not alone.

Monday afternoon was all meetings with a special guest speaker from the Tennessee Department of Tourism. Monday night we went to the Iron Works Grill that I mentioned a few weeks ago. This is where I had the amazing rainbow trout, mashed potatoes and fried okra. We had given the grill our menu almost a month ago. They ran out of the rainbow trout after only six people ordered it. They had no mash potatoes and they ran out of several of the desserts. I was really disappointed. The poor waitresses apologized profusely and it wasn’t their fault but I felt like someone sort of dropped the ball there. Especially since we had given them our choices a month before. I had the pulled pork barbecue this time and it was delicious. No matter what you eat there even if it isn’t the trout it is delicious. The setting is on Tellico river and it is beautiful. So this with a glass of wine made things a lot easier. Our group was great with all of it and they had a great time anyway. That’s what I love about this group.

Be sure to check out all the links I have listed below.

jTellico River
Dinner was delicious
Chilling by the river

I wanted to share with you some of the places we visited. We started out the second morning with an all day itinerary. Some of the highlights were Lost Sea, we did a cavern tour and underground boat ride. http://www.thelostsea.com

Tsali Notch Vineyard in Madisonville. http://www.tsalinotch.com This is a muscadine vineyard. We were able to taste the wines and juices and then do a tour of the vineyard and even pick muscadines from the vine and taste them.

We did a tour of the vineyard
Part of this vineyard is used for weddings. It is a beautiful setting.
I bought some of the wine and jelly.

Next we traveled to The Fort Loudoun State Historic Area. This is an old reconstructed British Fort http://www.fortLoudoun.com. You can actually see what the soldiers barracks and hospital looked like. It is a very interesting historical place. It reverted to the state parks in 1977. Along with touring the fort there is a museum, trails, picnic areas, fishing sites and places to launch your boat, kayak or canoe. It’s absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite places.

Beautiful Tellico Lake

Next we visited The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. When you visit this Cherokee Indian Museum you will learn about the man Sequoyah and creator of the Cherokee writing system. The museum is small but has so much history within it. http://www.Sequoyahmuseum.org

The last stop of the day was in Townsend where we had dinner at the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro. The appetizers, and drinks and meal was superb. I had the salmon and I tore into it before I got a picture. We also had a wonderful band that played for us. It was a beautiful setting in the woods with a fire pit and s’mores fixings at the fire pit. What a night and day!!! http://www.dancingbearlodge.com.

This bluegrass band was amazing

We got back to the hotel at 10:30 PM that night and we were exhausted. A fun but tiring day. The next day was meetings and then home. Well actually I did another Hobby Lobby stop on my way home to search for fall decorations. I found a few things and yes some more yarn.

It was so good to get back home. I think it’s good to venture out every now and then because it makes you realize just how special home is. I’m sitting here writing this and Scruffy is lying at my feet. Molly is in the living room cozied up next to Mark and Kitty Kitty has retired upstairs to find anywhere soft to sleep, she has a multitude of places. The outside kitties, well they are all curled up together outside on their blankies in the garage. It looks like one big fur ball out there. Ahhhhh my little family they are everything to me.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

May Days

Happy Memorial Day to you!!! I had to work today so no lake time or cook-outs for me but that is fine. That is not the reason we recognize Memorial Day. It is to take time to honor our fallen soldiers.

We have been having Whip-poor-will winter here in the south. If you missed my post describing the times of the different “winters” that we experience here in the south you can check out my blog post about them here. Whip-poor-will winter is usually around the end of May. It is when you first start hearing the whip-poor-wills late in the evening or early mornings. True to form Whip-poor-will winter arrived Friday morning and it was only about 45 degrees F. All weekend we enjoyed the cooler temps.

It is so hard to believe that May is coming to an end and June is here. Almost half of the year is gone already. Christmas will be here before you know it!! O.K. I will reign it in. I mentioned Christmas at work today and got a couple of angry glares. It’s not that I am rushing the seasons or anything but this year is marching right on by at an alarming rate.

I had a bit of a crazy week last week. I took my little mother in law out for a ride for the first time in almost a year and a half. She lives in an assisted living center and they have pretty much been on lockdown since March of 2020. We have been able to visit lately but only last week did they tell us that we could take her out of the facility. She always loved going to get a hamburger and take a ride. So that is what we planned for our first outing.

We planned the trip for Tuesday evening. It was about 90 degrees and blistering hot. I arrived at the center at around 4:30 to pick her up. It was a bit of a nightmare. We had to use her back door which involves using her walker on concrete and that really slows it up and her down. It also made her quite frustrated and hot with the stifling temps. We got to the car and I had trouble getting her into the car. It was almost like she had forgotten how to maneuver herself into the car. And she probably had, like I said it had been well over a year since we did this. After much sweating and praying we got her into the car. She didn’t like her seat adjustment and I told her I couldn’t change it until we got to the drive-in where we were getting a hamburger. Once we were there it took 30 minutes to get the burger. She did not want the car running while we ate so I turned it off and we sat in the evening sun while sweat dripped into places it shouldn’t have. After the burgers we went for a short ride. She just didn’t seem to enjoy it like she used to. It was disappointing and scary to realize just how much frailer she had gotten during quarantine. But we will plug along and try it differently next time. I am not sure what we will do different but if she wants to go we will make it work. She is 87 years old and if she wants a hamburger and a ride we will find a way.

Wednesday night we took some pictures of the “Flower Moon”. It was beautiful. The night sky was clear and for just a brief time the moon turned a pinkish color. Luckily it happened for us about 9:30 PM and we caught it just before going to bed. We also sent the drone up but not very good pictures with it.

Later in the week we had major internet issues at work. Our online ticketing went down and as one of my co-managers said, we were dead in the water. We finally got it resolved and all was o.k. but a very stressful day.

So when Saturday rolled around I was ready for some down time. I picked up groceries on my way home on Friday. I watched some movies and crocheted on the afghan I am working on. I did some laundry and me and the babies took some walks. It was wonderful. I finished up the weekend making a Birthday cake for my niece and baking some bread for co-workers and my nephew. Mark had to work all weekend so it was just me and the babies.

I think our rain gauge has seen better days but it is one that Mark’s dad used for years and years and we just can’t part with it.
My co-workers have come to love my sour dough bread and now expect it regularly. Ha Ha!!!

Have a great week and always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

Goodbye Winter

Can you believe it is spring of 2021? Remember this time last year when the pandemic was just starting to make a difference in our worlds? I think spring almost slipped by without notice. As many things did of course.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts spring is definitely in the air. Trees are blooming, buds are popping out daily, the grass is getting greener and mowier. But I have to give winter it’s due diligence. Winter I love you. I love you for many reasons: I don’t have to bare a lot of this super frighteningly white skin. I feel more secure in layers. I can wear my stretchy pants and boots and I look somewhat stylish. I can pull a toboggan or hat over my staticky hair and it still looks fine. I can spend more time indoors, it is cold after all. Knitting is much more fun in the winter months when it is cold and you have yummy warm yarn resting on your lap and legs while you knit. Hot coffee and warm banana bread on a cold morning is just heavenly. Walks with the babies while I am bundled up and breathing the cold air is invigorating. I don’t sweat as much. I love wearing boots but in the south it is just too hot to wear boots all year long, winter is best for boots.

So you can see my love for winter is pure and true. I could go into some of the yucky winter things like icy roads, I’ll stay at home. Hibernation, I am the queen of that thank you very much. Boredom, I have never been bored in my life I can always find something to entertain me. Having to bundle up every time you go out, see the paragraph above and you will understand. No I can’t think of a lot of reasons to dislike winter.

Spring arrived yesterday with sunny skies and a slight breeze ruffling the trees. The air was soft and sweet like it is before the hot temps and humidity set in. It was a great day. I took the babies on a couple of walks and they seemed to enjoy being outside sniffing the grass and anything else they could plant their little noses into. It was so nice being outside and enjoying the sunshine and spring air.

So goodbye winter until we meet again and if you are from East Tennessee you know that could very well be next week, HA!!! It isn’t actually spring until we go through all the winters in the south. I know I have mentioned these a few times but here is a few that I swear by:

Redbud Winter – Mid-March to early April, when the redbud trees bloom.


Dogwood Winter – Mid to late April, when the dogwood trees bloom. Often a heavy frost falls in dogwood winter.


Blackberry Winter – Early to mid-May, when the blackberries are in full bloom. In the Tennessee mountains, this often coincides with the last frost of spring, which can kill new plantings on the farm.


Whippoorwill Winter – Mid- to late May, when the whippoorwills can first be heard in the twilight of evenings and before dawn.

There are a couple of others but these are the ones I grew up with. I would often hear my parents say its’ “Blackberry Winter, the black berries are blooming.” I knew that summer would soon be arriving but for a little while longer we would have to add an extra blanket on the bed.

My husband makes fun of me for believing in these different winters but that is what a lot of farmers use as a guide for planting different things. I can assure you they happen year after year. Who am I to question nature. Plus it gives me a little more of winter to enjoy. Now where did I put my sweater???

No matter the season,

Always remember,

Love your day your way!!!!