On the Porch
After the drama of Hurricane Matthew, we were more than ready to return to our home in the North Carolina mountains. I had my heart set on being able to spend some time enjoying the Fall color and cooler temperatures. We set off on our return trip October 12 and quickly ran into a rain shower. Fortunately, it was brief and we were blessed with a double rainbow just before we drove up the interstate entrance ramp.
We arrived at our home in the early evening and I was delighted to see the trees were still clothed in vibrant colors.
The following weekend, my cousin Delores, and her mom drove over from Raleigh to spend a week with us. They arrived in time for the annual Pumpkin Fest. It is a fun time with lots of food, crafts and of course, the pumpkin roll. The participants in the contest take it seriously, after all, the grand prize is $100.00! There was a large crowd milling around watching and awaiting their turn.
Fall in Florida consists of slightly cooler days but there are no changing leaves and definitely not the fun of all festivals. If one was inclined, I think they could attend a Fall festival every weekend.
My cousin’s birthday occurred while she was visiting and we decided to make it a special day. We began the day with a drive on Highway 28 and once we were past Bryson City the Fall color was gorgeous, especially near Fontana Dam. I am sure the low sunlight and low hanging clouds added to the “pop” of the color.
Just north of Fontana, Highway 28 meets up with US Highway 129 and becomes the world-famous “Tail of the Dragon”. With over 300 curves in 11 miles, daredevils on bikes and sports car drivers love the thrill and danger. Fortunately or unfortunately, we weren’t driving either, but it was still a fun ride and my cousin enjoyed taming the dragon and she has the tee-shirt to prove it!
After the Dragon, we continued up 129 to the Foothills Parkway and eventually ended up in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was time for some retail therapy! After all, we were celebrating a birthday. We didn’t visit a single shoe store but we did score some great finds in the Corning Revere outlet. The one in the Red Roof mall has a section that has some serious discounts due to it being a returns center. While my husband was in a tool store, I placed a call to Paula Deen’s restaurant located on “The Island” and had our names put on the dinner list. The Island is a newly renovated entertainment area complete with an Eye-like ride called the Smoky Mountain Wheel, Margaritaville and several other dining venues. If you enjoy Southern style food, I think you will like Paula Deen’s restaurant. I sure did!
As we left the restaurant, I wanted to explore more of the Island’s shops and entertainment, but it had been a long day and we faced a two hour drive over through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ahead of us, so we boarded the tram for the parking lot. I know I want to visit it again and Rebekah has a birthday coming up in December. I need to find a Groupon or discount for the Margaritaville Hotel!