I believe it is high time I posted a bit about my trip to TN. Here it is in pictures.
A good friend of mine was traveling up with her sister and niece to visit their other sister and some relatives in Chattanooga. They invited me to go along.
After a 12 hour car ride on Wednesday, it seemed like Thursday morning was a good time to get out in the fresh, chilly air. We all headed into downtown Chattanooga to see the sights...starting with a playground.
We claimed we were going for the sake of the 3 year old we had with us, but I think we big people had more fun than she did!
After the playground, we headed over to...
Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?
Why yes, it sure is! This was a total thrill for my vintage loving heart.
Thursday night was, of course, the big Thanksgiving dinner (no pictures). It was different for me to have Thanksgiving with someone else's family. It was nice, but there were a few items that I like to have on Thanksgiving that were missing. I also missed my family a bit. Overall though, it was a good dinner.
After dinner several of us loaded up in the Hummer and went to see New Moon. Again, no pictures, but it was a good time.
Friday we did more sightseeing in the area.
I so enjoyed seeing all the fall colors! How I miss that down here.
My friend and I drove up in the mountains to see the views and the big, beautiful houses up on the ridges. Occasionally we'd pull off at a Civil War site to walk around and take pictures.
If I had to pick, this drive would probably be my favorite part of the trip.
It was so beautiful up there! The area where I live is lovely, and people come here from all over the world to enjoy it. I really do love home, but it's so nice to get an opportunity to see something different...something I don't see every day.
Another highlight of the trip would have to be these cupcakes from Gigi's Cupcakes. If you are ever in Chattanooga, you need to check these out. I had a peppermint cupcake and a peanut butter cup cupcake. The cake itself was delicious, and the frosting was amazing. As you can see in the picture, there was a TON of frosting. I'd say it was at least 3 inches high! Soooooo yummy!
Friday night, my friend and I drove back over to see the Choo Choo all lit up for Christmas. It's actually a big hotel now. You can either stay in a traditional hotel room or in an actual train car. I'd so love to do that some day.
And isn't this tree just gorgeous!? I loved the effect of lights on the bottom, leaves in the middle, and bare branches at the top.
Saturday morning we headed over to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, and stopped for breakfast at the Apple Barn and Cider Mill. I should have taken a picture of my plate of food. I couldn't even come close to finishing it. I could have made 3 or 4 meals out of it.
After breakfast, we walked around there for a bit and went in the gift shop. I bought some of their apple butter and pumpkin butter. Yum!
Gatlinburg is a fun, but very touristy place. I preferred the more natural parts of the area. In the above picture we had stopped off on the roadside to see the trees and the little creek that was running by the road. It was so lovely.
We explored the Gatlinburg area for most of the afternoon. Basically, it's the same old tourist stuff you expect to see in a place like that...souvenir shops, candy stores, old timey photo places, etc. The best part of all of it was the Sky Lift.
We rode up the side of the mountain in a ski lift.
I expected to be a little bothered by the height, but because your feet are always dangling just a few feet above the ground it doesn't really seem that high.
From the top we took some pictures of the view.
On our way out of Gatlinburg we stopped at the Christmas Place Store
The sign says "Incredible" and really it was. The store is packed with Christmas decorations. I felt a little bad that my mom couldn't be there with me. She would have loved it. However, if she had come along, we'd have probably never gotten out of there.
I bought myself a tiny, purple, sparkly Converse-like sneaker for my little tree. I'll try to get a picture of it to post later. It's adorable.
On Sunday, the weary travelers piled back into the Hummer at 5 AM and headed south toward the sunny state we call home. I had been a little hesitant about going on this trip. It was my first Thanksgiving with someone else's family, but I had a wonderful time. I'm so glad I decided to go!