Sometimes a girl’s just gotta get away. Escape.
I had the privilege of joining Susan from 5 Minutes For Mom, Zina from Let’s Lasso The Moon, and Melissa from Consumer Queen on a 2 day trip to Sevierville, Tennessee at the base of the Smoky Mountains last month, courtesy of the Sevierville Chamber Of Commerce.
It was part of their new Girlfriend Getaway Package.
Basically, the entire trip was a photographer’s dream, so I hope you’ll forgive me for all the pictures in this post. They’re only a fraction of all the beauty I captured there.
Our itinerary included a drive up into the Smoky Mountains, where I got my boots muddy in the name of a good picture.
And a trip to Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo. Home to the exotic…
and the plain adorable.
We also went up in a HELICOPTER with Fly Scenic!
But that wasn’t even the most adventurous part of our weekend because shortly after that I found myself zipping down 8 zip lines at Foxfire Mountain Adventures!
Photo credit Foxfire Mountain Adventures
It was, hands down, one of the coolest experiences of my life. A little scary, definitely, but so worth it. Even if I was only able to snap pictures of the views up there with my mind. NO way was I taking my camera, though that is allowed if you’re brave enough (and not planning on selling it to a friend when you get home.)
The entire property was really stunning, and inspiring.
In fact, this is the same place I crossed a bridge and tied my wish in the wind.
Of course, there was food. OH, yes. There was so much good, southern comfort food.
(Side note: If you’re a Flapjacks fan (which it seems quite a few of you are), they’re having a fun Pinterest contest for a $100 gift card.)
That? Is a basket full of apple fritters from the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant.
Oooh, you got a little drool on your keyboard. Sorry about that.
This is also where I got the apple pancake mix for those yummy apple pancake and fried egg with goats cheese sandwiches I made.
Then there was The Diner.
You know, one of the best parts of this whole trip was learning what makes these small business owners tick. The journalist and storyteller in me soaked up every word of their stories.
Howard Kingsbury and his wife Susan started The Diner after retirement. They moved to the Smoky Mountains, in large part, because it’s mostly centrally located in the middle of all their grown children.
And while The Diner menu offers all the standard diner fare, Howard is passionate about showing Sevierville and all their visitors the value of moderation and eating healthy. He’s currently working on menu items like quinoa, hummus and a turkey meatloaf. I’ll admit, the last thing I expected to hear out of a diner owner’s mouth was how important his 2 cleanses a year are to him and his health.
And then there was Clint. THE Clint of Clint’s BBQ & Country Cooking. That’s him in the black shirt at the microphone. Singing. With his wife by his side.
He was immensely proud of their restaurant that serves up huge portions of country favorites (and his wife’s cakes, which she bakes from scratch every day). It burned to the ground in a fire in 2010, and the community came together to help them rebuild, as illustrated by all the news articles framed and hung amongst the knick-knacks on the wall.
Donna Roland worked in the healthcare industry for years before she lost her job. She did what many of us have had to do. She reinvented herself. Donna’s now a fashion consultant and runs Faithfully Fashionable. She treated us all to personal fashion profile consultations, then took us shopping.
There was a lot more we packed into our weekend in Sevierville, TN. These are just a few of my photographic highlights.
Of course, the pictures can’t capture how grateful I am to have had some carefree time with Melissa, Susan and Zina to connect and chat about everything from kids to blogging. A huge thanks to Sevierville for having us.
I asked Amanda, our contact from the Sevierville Chamber Of Commerce, how much the whole weekend cost per girl (not including airfare). I was blown away when she itemized each and every excursion and meal, including the nights we spent at the Fairfield Inn (conveniently located across the street from some fantastic outlet shopping). The total was only around $770/ person, and that was with each of us having our own hotel room for 3 nights so there’s definitely money to be saved if you have roomies. The Sevierville Chamber Of Commerce sent me on this trip at no cost to me. All pictures (unless noted) and opinions in this post are my own.