Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg TN
I've been on a HUGE Gatlinburg area kick lately..... Here is a recent picture!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Pottery Cafe in Pigeon Forge TN

I've raved and raved about Pottery Cafe.  THIS is our favorite soup and sandwich place anywhere....   Its the perfect spot for a quality meal at a reasonable price in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area.

Here are some photos of some great food.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Random Gatlinburg Photos

We are totally in love with Gatlinburg right now.  It is such a special area, and we have made several trips to the area, some very different from previous ones.

When I was really in to baseball, we would go down to see the Tennessee Smokies AA baseball team a lot.  We might make it some of the way in to Pigeon Forge, but we would often not even make it to Gatlinburg.

These days, we probably enjoy a bit more time in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  We do some of the same stuff we used to do, but our trips are usually different ones than in years before.  A decade from now, we will likely still be doing trips to the area....  but we will likely be doing different stuff than we are doing now.

Right now, we really love hanging out at Berry Springs Lodge when we go and not getting too far from there.  Its a relaxing place.

Even after our most recent trip, we are talking about getting back soon, hopefully at least 2-3 more times this year.

The area has the busiest National Park in the US, AA baseball, several one of a kind museums, great food, etc. etc.  We agree that whether you are looking for excitement or relaxation, the area is perfect.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Ark Encounter- Williamstown Kentucky

We visited the Ark Encounter a couple of years ago, and decided to make it back again to check it out now.  There are a lot of things that haven't changed, but there are some new things too.

I think the main museum/landlocked boat is still pretty much the same thing.  They still have the amazing Hollywood style animal sculptures.

There is a new visitor center you can walk through before making it to the museum.  There is a gift shop, snack bar and a theater.  They show movies and have live music in the theater.

On the second floor of the ship there is an area where you can get yourself 3D scanned and you can order a small figure of yourself!

Here are some recent photos!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Manchester Coffee in Lexington Kentucky

I love cool independent coffee shops, and I found a great new one in Lexington, not far from downtown!

This is one of the cleanest, slickest coffee shops ever!  They've really hit it out of the park with their logo too.

Its modern and cozy.  I usually love the older looking shops with lots of woodwork, but Manchester Coffee Co. goes in a different direction and totally pulls it off!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lincoln Marriage Temple in Harrodsburg Kentucky

 Here are some recent photos I took of the Lincoln Marriage Temple in Harrodsburg.  Abe Lincoln's parents were married inside!

I've mentioned the Temple here before (here and here).

Friday, June 14, 2019

Harrodsburg Kentucky

 Here are just a few photos I took recently around Harrodsburg Kentucky.

This is a very underrated historic town.  it is beautiful with lots of great antique shops about nicely preserved old buildings!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg KY

 When we first moved back to Kentucky we ended up hanging out at Fort Harrod a lot.  We really enjoyed the Fort and events there.  We realized recently though that we hadn't visited in some time, so we went there the other day.

It is actually a replica of the original fort which was located at a site right across the street from where the replica stands today.  There is a parking lot at the original site.

The replica itself is pretty cool and historic, and it is coming close to being a century old itself!

Those early explorers who built the original Fort would have been active in the area around the 1770s and the Fort goes along with showing life during that time.

Old pioneer forts do have somewhat of a standard feel after you visit several (gated in, with homes and shops on the inside around the fence, with other buildings here and there inside).

I remember having a cowboys and Indians playset that could have passed for Fort Harrod.  I THINK it was made by Marx and it was great fun.  I am sure a playset like that wouldn't sell today.

Fort Harrod does have some enthusiastic staff talking about life during that period, and they dress the part.  We listened to one fellow talk about gun making.  My late father-in-law used to restore old rifles and would have loved this stuff.  It is interesting hearing about the process, especially the metals and molding process involved.

Another person was doing a demonstration on heating metal to hammer into a dinner bell I believe.  He let volunteers from our group fan the flames.

There was a doll maker here too (you could actually buy the soft, very old style dolls).  She talked a lot about raising children on the frontier, and how a baby crying could create a very bad situation for a family at that time.  Any attacking force could hear the crying....  So parents might keep a doll hidden to bring out and stop crying in these situations.  They would likely take the doll away once everything was clear.  They would want to make the doll a very special toy so that the child would stop crying immediately when they saw it.

The Fort alone is a great place to spend time, but your $6 or $7 admission also includes a lot more.  On the grounds is the historic old Osage Orange Tree, the marriage chapel where Abe Lincoln's parents were married, and there is a GREAT museum!

Unfortunately, they do not allow photos in the museum, but there are some great, pieces.  There is a piece of a tree where "DB" was likely carved by Daniel Boone.  There are some great Lincoln and Civil War displays.  Great vintage guns and musical instruments can be seen here too!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mary Todd Lincoln House- Lexington KY

Here are a few pictures we took while touring the Mary Todd Lincoln House.  We had been to the nice home before, but we took a friend with us who wanted to check things out.

I think the home always attracts a good crowd, and we probably had 20 people on our tour.

The house has a great history, and it was the home of the future wife of the 16th president in her teenage years.  It went through many transitions after they moved out, and it was pretty much falling apart in the 1970s when it was restored to and transitioned into a museum.  There are photos throughout the home showing how the house looked before the restoration.

Mary and Abe did visit the home, and it is exciting knowing that he spent some time here.  Our guide said that the banister going up the stairs would have been there at that time...  So you can literally touch something that Lincoln himself must have touched.

Original photos of Todd family members are in the house.  Plates and silverware owned by the family are on display.  Ornate bottles used by Mary are on display too.  One of many holy grailish items on display here is a playbill from Ford's Theatre the night of the Lincoln assassination.

Our guide gave a great history of Mary, her family in Lexington, and her life after leaving Lexington.  He covered the story of how most of the Todd family sided with the South during the Civil War.  Of course Benjamin Hardin Helm was brought up.

This is easily one of the most interesting house tours you can take in the state.