Back Porch in Townsend (Where I First Tried Collard Greens)

I have a friend, Melanie, who grew up in Tennessee. Which you’d never believe if you met her, because she’s missing that deep accent. But there it is. Anyway, Melanie happened to be visiting her parents in Tennessee for spring break, the same week we were there. We agreed to meet up for lunch, since […]

5 Smoky Mountain Apps

I didn’t want an iPhone, just for the record. My husband, Jason, wanted to get one for me when he got his. I said I didn’t want one because it’s just something else to worry about breaking or losing. And I am certainly known for breaking and losing things. But he insisted. Fast forward a […]

Dick’s Last Resort in Gatlinburg

I’ll start here — the tagline for the new Dick’s Last Resort in Gatlinburg is the following: “The shame O’ the Smokies.” That should tell you something. All we knew about Dick’s Last Resort is that some of our group had walked by it on the Parkway (traffic light #8), noticed that it was new […]

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Kids

It’s a doubly-special day today. Some of us are remembering a sacrifice made long, long ago. I enjoyed reading the Easter story to the kids last night. It’s always nice to get their fresh perspective. They end up making me think way more than I make them think. We hope you all have a wonderful […]

Results are in! Our First ‘Unofficial’ Fudge Taste Test

Walking along the Parkway in Gatlinburg, you see many things. There’s one thing you see over and over and over again. It’s fudge shops — they are everywhere, and each one claims to be the best in the Smokies! Well, we were curious. So we set up a blind taste test. We called it an […]

Baskins Creek Falls — Maybe Not with 6 Kids…

You know, I’ve suspected this before, but never had hard evidence to back it up. Now I know for sure. Trail ratings in the Smokies are not the same as trail ratings in Indiana. In Indiana, our kids handle 5-mile strenuous hikes like pros. There might be some complaining, but they can do it and […]

Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend

Wow, Townsend, TN was certainly an experience. I’m not sure what I was expecting — the town motto is “The peaceful side of the Smokies.” I guess I was thinking quaint, small-town. Well, it was smaller than I expected. In fact, there just isn’t much there. But what is there is worth the trip. That’s […]

Chimneys Picnic Area in the Smokies

We made good time getting to Pigeon Forge from Indiana last week. When we called family members to find out where to meet them, we weren’t surprised by the answer — “Head to the Park; we’ll find a stream to play in!” My mother- and father-in-law have spent SO much time in the Great Smoky […]

16 News Items About the Smokies

Here’s what’s happening in the Smokies:

Back to Life, Back to Reality…

We just pulled in the driveway from a week down in the Smokies. And we’re missing that mountain breeze already. It was a great week, though. We rented a four-bedroom cabin with my husband’s family. We got to meet a brand-new niece from Florida. My son got to spend lots of time with his boy […]