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Extended Drive through the Smokies

by Meghann on October 21, 2011

I’m not sure who was more surprised this morning – the homeless man I found sleeping in the hotel’s fitness center or me. Yikes.

That probably should have been my first sign that the hotel’s ‘fitness center’ was going to be a no-go. After the very nice man vacated the area, I discovered that out of the three pieces of equipment in the tiny room, none of them worked. Oh well.

On to plan B.

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Nothing like a little old school boot camp cardio to get your blood flowing in the morning. :)

  • 2 min Jumping Jacks
  • 2 min High Knees
  • 2 min Butt Kicks
  • 2 min Jump Ropes
  • 10 push ups
  • Walking lunges across rom
  • 1 min squat
  • 1 min Punches
  • Repeat x2

When there’s will, there’s a way and I found a way with jumping jacks, high knees, lunges, and push ups in the hotel room. I didn’t get any running in, but I did work up a little sweat before it was time to high-tail it out of there.

I’m hoping to run once we make it to Tennessee, but we’ll see how it goes.

Our first destination this morning was a road trip stop classic – Dillard House.

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We’ve been stopping at The Dillard House for almost as long as I can remember. (Flashback to a visit in 2009 ) They specialize in old fashion southern style food that’s served family style and always leaves you with the feeling of wanting to unbutton your pants when you leave. It’s very heavy, loaded with grease and fat, and probably some of the best food you’ve ever had. It’s not something you want to eat everyday, but worth a visit every couple of years or so.

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We were seated immediately when we arrived and instructed to help ourselves to the continental bar before our hot food was served.

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I could have easily made my entire meal out of this breakfast bar and have been perfectly happy. There were amazing pastries, oatmeal, grits, tons of fresh fruit, and cereals galore.

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However, I was there for the greasy main event and didn’t want to fill up on bread. Instead, I took advantage of the gorgeous fresh berries and loaded my bowl up with a side of donut.

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The donut was a last minute grab and I’m so glad I did. It was warm and freshly fried with just the right amount of powdered-sugar sweetness. :)

Usually Dillard House is pretty quick with the food, but there was an error with our food ticket, so it took a little longer than we expected. When the food did arrive, the lost ticket sadly added a sour note to our whole experience and, instead of enjoying the food, we focused on what was wrong with it. Isn’t it sad how one little hiccup can change a whole group’s mood in a matter of minutes?

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The food was a little on the cold side and didn’t seem to be as bountiful as in visits past. The flavor and the grease was still there, but it was all missing the usual over-the-top-leaves-me-wanting-more flair.

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However, the cinnamon rolls – oh, yes, the cinnamon rolls – were served warm and easily the highlight of the entire meal. I grabbed one thinking I would only eat half, but I polished off the entire roll and almost went back for more.

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Delicious. :)

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We left Dillard House with full (but not stuffed) bellies and explored the grounds a bit to take in a little of the gorgeous weather and beautiful scenery.

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We left Dillard House with a two hour drive ahead of us before we reached our final destination. With such a short drive (and a whole day to explore) we decided to take our time soaking in the sights and just enjoying our time away.

We stopped at a local farmer’s market

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Did a little gambling.

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(turns out $5 does NOT go very far; even at the penny slots)

Entered the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

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And climbed to the top of Clingman’s Dome.

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We even made a friend. ;)

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Luckily we didn’t get to meet the mama.

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Somehow our 2 hour drive turned into 6, but I think we liked it better that way. ;)

We just arrived at the cabin and are about to make a fall feast.

Happy Friday everyone!

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