Friday, December 30, 2016

Anniversary In The Smokies-Part 3

Monday December 12 was our 14th wedding anniversary and our last full day of our time in the Smokies. 

Unfortunately, on the last day of our getaway, both of us were still feeling a bit under the weather with symptoms of a cold. Paula felt pretty bad and needed to rest. I was still fighting off the effects of feeling poorly the entire time there. So we spent a little longer at the condo than we had planned that morning. But we eventually felt good enough to go enjoy our special day.  

It started with a late breakfast at the Applewood restaurant in Sevierville, one of our favorite places to eat. 
 Although I didn't take the shot below it's the exact view we had of the dinning area. We sat at the table in the bottom right of the picture. 


We try to eat here every time we are in the area. The muffins and fruit spread you get to start off your breakfast is worth the trip all by themselves. But everything else is always good too. 

We did a little bit of shopping while in the area. The weather was a bit rainy and damp but was supposed to clear up later in the afternoon. So we went back to the condo to rest a bit more.

As the sun began to go down we headed back to the parkway to do some Christmas shopping for our grandchildren at a Carter's outlet. 

Along the way Paula took some nice pictures of the light displays outside some of the attractions and hotels. 


Our next stop was the Christmas Village. It's the largest Christmas shopping outlet in the South. This place was incredible. The outside was fully decorated. 


Inside the many many shops was over 60 decorated trees and every type and style of Christmas ornament and decoration you could imagine. 


Most of it was, what I call "serious" decore; not my style. (Anyone who has seen my home during the holidays knows I tend to go for the more whimsical.) It was also a bit on the high end price wise. But just about every where I turned I saw something I wouldn't mind having at our house.You could spend a mint in this place. 

There was even a small toy store, a place to get hot chocolate, and Santa was there to meet the kids.

In the middle of our trek through this amazing village I found a bench to sit and rest. Paula sat with me. As we sat there a nice older lady came up to us and offered to take our picture. I hadn't even realized we were in the midst of a unique photo opp but she did. 
About halfway through the Christmas Village we realized that we weren't going to get through all of it so we decided that it was time for dinner.

Our anniversary meal was going to be one one that involved giving an area restaurant a second chance.

For the 2nd day in a row we went to The Island. We decided to give Paula Deen's restaurant another try. 

Back in May 2015, we had a very negative experience during our initial visit. The food was good but we were seated in an area of the dinning room where the sun hit us directly through the glass windows. We felt like ants under a magnifying glass. It was so uncomfortable, Paula almost got sick from the heat.   

Because the food was so good we decided to go and try it again but, this time, after the sun went down. 

The building that houses the restaurant is 2 stories. The dinning room is on the 2nd floor. The 1st floor is a retail store filled with Paula Deen merchandise and other products she endorses. 

There's a check-in desk to the right just inside the door. It's where you get your name on the waiting list. It happened to be a slow night so we were told to take the elevator up to be seated right away. 

This time our table was on the main level of the split level dinning room. Here's a couple of pics that shows our view of the area outside from our table.

We ordered Chicken & Dumplings, Cheesy Meatloaf and Roast Beef for our entrees. Creamed Corn, Candied Yams, Mac & Cheese, and Green Beans were our sides. 

The food is served family style but its "all you can eat". Unfortunately we can't eat all that much these days. But what we did was very good. 

With only 3 desserts to choose from we got the banana pudding. It was not made the way we like it. For what it was; it was not bad. 

Overall, our second time to Paula Deen's at The Island was a very nice experience. We'd go back again but most likely, only with another couple or group of people. 

After dinner we walked around the area again. This time we did a little more serious shopping; looking for a something to take home to our grandchildren. 

As I do every time I visit The Island, I took some pics of The Wheel. This time it was in Christmas lights mode. 
Even though it was chilly outside, the water fountains continued to present a show every half hour; this time to Christmas music. Here's a video of their dance to "Winter Wonderland". 
video
I also videoed the fountain during another song; Tennessee Christmas by Amy Grant. Here's the link to it on my You Tube channel. 
Dancing Fountains @ The Island Christmas Edition

The final thing we decided to do on our anniversary turned out to be one of the coolest Christmas things we've done in a while. 

On a very densely foggy night we drove 9 miles out to the baseball stadium that's the home of the local minor league team, The Smokies, during the summer. In the parking lot is an amazing Christmas lights display called "Shadrack's A Christmas Wonderland."

It's a drive-thru display that has two parts. Initially there's a series of fixed displays some of which are animated. 
Here are some still shots of what we saw.  






Here's a short video of the animation. 
video

The 2nd and most impressive half of the display is a field of trees, lights, and decorations that are coordinated to Christmas songs you listen to on your car radio. Here's what I mean. 

video

I was so excited about this experience that I went on Facebook live and shared it with my FB friends. 

I also took some video of the lights moving to one of my favorite Christmas songs by a group called "Go Fish". 

Here's a link to that video on my You Tube channel. 

We stayed at the lights display for about 45 minutes until it closed. 

We then drove back to our condo in the fog. After some initial packing in preparation for leaving in the morning, we called it a night. Our 14th wedding anniversary was over but it was a good one. 

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and recollections I've shared with you in this series of posts. 

As I wrote at the beginning of the first post, The Smoky Mountains resort area is where we choose most often to spend our vacation time. If you have any comments or questions about this series or the Smokies just send me a message on FB Click Here or email me, RHavens1423@aol.com. I'll be happy to hear from you. 

Also if you know someone who would enjoy this series of posts share it with them on all your social media. I would greatly appreciate it. 

More than likely this is going to be the last blog post for 2016. So I'd like to wish you and all of yours a Happy and safe New Year's celebration and a great and blessed 2017. See you next year.  



  



  





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