Today was also a big driving day.

We had continental breakfast at the hotel this morning and then got on our way. The rain was gone and it had warmed up to 74 degrees before we left. It was starting to get warm and the day was forecasted to get hot.

We had long stretches of highway driving today and so I helped pass the time for a while by reading out loud from a book called “This day in Ohio history.” Did you know Phillis Diller was from Ohio? How about that the July 13, 1995 mission of the Discovery shuttle was manned by an all Ohio crew?...

We stopped in Chapin, SC at a Waffle house for lunch. We had egg sandwiches and hash browns.
Just outside of Henderson, South Carolina I was looking around and I saw a sign for “Ragan Orchards.” I did not get a picture because I had just gotten up from a nap and was not quick enough… =(

We got lost today near Clyde, North Carolina. The directions said to follow I-19/US-23. I-19/US-23 went 2 ways and we chose (or I chose) the wrong way. We did figure it out and got back on track about 10 minutes were lost. Some of you might find it interesting that I didn’t even freak out when I didn’t know where we were. (Normally I freak out if I can’t figure out where I am.)

We started to get a glimpse of the “Great Smokey Mountains” by way of the Cherokee Foothills.

We soon entered the Cherokee Reservation. It was mostly a giant winding road up the Smokey mountains.

Since I kept nagging Shawn that we should stop somewhere in the Cherokee reservation, he finally stopped at the Santa’s Land. It was very decorated and even the car barriers were striped in red and green. They did have one thing I wanted, but we decided not to get it. They had big “Buck knives”…big deal right, well they were made with a deer leg and hoof for a handle. Just up my alley… the combination of a dead animal and a knife…but they were quite pricey not to mention we would be crossing several state lines between here and home...=)

After we left Santa’s Land, we drove through the Great Smokey mountains. This was a 32 mile drive at a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour due to the heights and twisting turns. We did not think we would ever get through them. We did stop a few times and saw some awesome views. We were at 6500 feet elevation at one point…my poor car…ocean ferries and now mountain climbing…=)

When we emerged from the high mountaintops, we eventually came to Pigeon Forge. We are staying at the MainStay suites here.

We went into town and ate dinner at the “Old Mill.” I had sugar cured ham and Shawn got Shrimp and rice. (Actually we each had a half of both…we both were undecided on which of the 2 to get so we got both and shared.) The meals came with mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, corn fritters, corn chowder, and dessert choice. I got peach cobbler, Shawn got yellow cake. The Corn chowder was awesome…I bought the recipe in the gift shop. =)

We then walked a little in town and went to a Christmas store, "The Incredible Christmas Place". It was like a mini Bronners.

Then it was time to go back to the room…222 pics today.