Monday, March 18, 2013

Angelic Whispers

Every time we go to Gatlinburg, we have to stop and see our friend Kasey Schroeder at Angelic Whispers. Amazingly, Sheri always needs a new pair of earrings!

We posted about this shoppe about 3 years HERE (where does the time go??), but forgot to post when she moved to another location. That's OK--she moved again! :) And this place, unlike the 2nd, is handicap accessible. (And Jeff says, "great, thanks Kasey...there goes half our vacation $$!")

My absolutely favorite piece!

She is now located in the quaint Calhoun Village which is directly behind Calhoun's Restaurant and Cherokee Grill between traffic lights 9 & 10 (directly across from Ober Gatlinburg). 

One SMALL section of the earring display!

She is truly a very talented lady doing what she loves, super-friendly, and her shop is really just charming. And she's a hoot to talk to! ;) All her items are made in shoppe by Kasey herself.

Say HI to Kasey! Isn't she beautiful?

I encourage you to stop by her shoppe the next time you're in Gatlinburg--you really will be amazed at her reasonable prices. And gentlemen, not to worry, there's a bench outside the shop where you can sit while your wife shops! ;)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's Springtime in Gatlinburg!

Yes, it is & we have the sunburns to prove it! ;) Wow, we couldn't believe the temperatures here this weekend. When we left home it wasn't even 45 degrees and it was 75 Saturday and Sunday in TN. We were definitely soaking up the sunshine and apparently so were ALOT of other people. We couldn't believe the crowds this weekend. I guess everyone had the same idea for weekend plans.

Gatlinburg was all decked out in spring and Easter decorations--bunnies everywhere & pastel bows around the lampposts. They were planting bright yellow and deep purple pansies in all the railing-boxes up and down the streets.

It's always interesting to us to see who has gone out of business since our last trip down & who has replaced them. The Legends by Max restaurant was out of business the last time we were here in October. No more smells of marinara and oregano drifting up and down the street! It has been replaced by the Davy Crockett Distillery, same owners of the Ole Smokey Moonshine. You can see how Tennessee whiskey is distilled and they offer free tastings of their Fire Tower Cinnamon Whiskey, Salty Caramel Whiskey, Chokin Chicken Vodka, and their signature 90 Proof Davy Crockett's whiskey. Like the Ole Smoky Moonshine, they also feature live performances of bluegrass musicians.

Of  course, you know some things never change in Gatlinburg. It still smells like a carnival with all the sweet sugary smells!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Christ in the Smokies

Christ in the Smokies, is located on the former Christus Gardens property, on River Road in Gatlinburg. Apparently there was such an overflow of letters and complaints that followed the closing of Christus Gardens, that Christ in the Smokies was opened. 

To begin, you are first seated on pews in a small room and watch a short video about the tour. You then walk through about 12 different scenes from the life of Christ. It's very dark inside (and wonderfully air-conditioned in July!) and you stop at each scene. It then "comes on" and talks about the scene you are viewing with bible verse and music. Then when the light goes off, you move onto the next one and it lights up and narrates the scene before you. If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you will not enjoy this. Jeff couldn't understand each scene. It is actually word-for-word scriptures they read for each scene. It would be nice if they had it in print on a plaque at each scene for those who can't hear it.

At the end of the tour, you end up at a greenhouse with flowers & trees and the Jesus sculpture that they are known for. It is a bit eerie how His eyes follow you across the walkway. :) We were disappointed in the tiny garden area with very few plants.

It was very quiet and nice and then bright into the sunlight.  There is then a room with displays of ancient coins and precious gems from the days of Christ & also an original page from a 1611 King James bible. You then walk though a room with pictures of Hollywood movies made about Christ. Your final walk takes you through the gift shop. It takes about 40 minutes to tour.

After the first scene, I did notice there was atleast one bench in every room for those who have problems standing for a short amount of time. There was plenty of scooter space and everything is accessible except for the New Testament Theatre which you can see into when you first enter the building. Because it was originally built about 50 years ago, the restrooms are not handicap accessible. If you are on a scooter and are able to walk a few steps, you can access the two small stalls. Those in wheelchairs will have no is a very small bathroom. It could be renovated to make a handicap stall, but it was originally built before ADA laws.

You are not allowed to take pictures in the museum at all. You are allowed to take pictures in the garden. We thought there would be more to it, and perhaps it was just a tad overpriced for what you got. (Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $6.00 for children). We also thought there would be more gardens (since it is advertised as a museum and gardens), but it is just pretty much the one little greenhouse part. Reviews online range all over the place, but after seeing for ourselves, we would have to say it was nice overall (even if a tad overpriced and smells a bit musty in have to remember it is over 50 years old.) If you have allergies to dust and mold, this is NOT the place to visit. I suspect it has to do with the age of the place and the fact that it sits on the Little Pigeon River.

They do have complimentary parking for museum patrons OR they also have $5 parking all day for non-guests which might be nice to remember if you're visiting Gatlinburg. One note we have to make is that the staff was very friendly.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smoky Mountain Brewery

We try to find new places to try out and find out about their handicap accessibility. Since we had never eaten here, we scanned the menu outside the door and found they have a small vegetarian section. Oh yay! Let's try it out.

From their website: "We have an informal area on the ground floor which seats up to 35 guests. This area is open to the lobby and kitchen service window. The main dining room, bar and lounge are located upstairs on the second floor."  Translation: If you are handicap, you will be sitting on the bottom floor where you enter the restaurant which looks into the kitchen. You will literally be sitting next to pallets of "barley & hops" for their beer-making which they do. I expected to see that where they make the beer in the back, but not sitting next to the dining tables. We would have loved to have seen the main dining area and the decor, but it is upstairs. Well, ok, atleast we have seating in the restaurant.

We ordered our drinks and looked over the menu. As we waited, and it did take quite awhile for the waitress to come back with our drinks even though this was right after lunch and they weren't that busy, we could see into the kitchen. Now you know what they say...if you could see into any restaurant kitchen you would never eat there again! I would love to say that this was the exception to the rule. But no. The cook coughing over the food was bad enough, but not the worst. I don't know what the health code laws are in TN, but I'm thinking VA must be stricter. For example, people with long hair have to have it pinned up and/or in a hair net. Not the case in TN I'm guessing from what I saw. I don't know about others, but hair in food grosses me out just as bad as anything. You're not going to believe what we witnessed. Our waitress brought a pizza back to the kitchen from upstairs and told the cook he put some topping on it that wasn't supposed to be there. She then proceeded to pick it off with her bare hands, told the cook to throw some cheese on it to cover it up, and she'd serve it back to them. Ok, we were grossed out by her hands all over the pizza, but I'm thinking about the poor person who ordered it. What if they're allergic to whatever she just picked off? The residue is still on there, even if it is now covered in more cheese to hide it.

Yeah, we zipped out of there before you could say "holy smoky mountains!" We left our drinks and ran!  Yikes. I hope this was some freak isolated event, but it doesn't matter to us. We will never eat here after what we saw. Oh, and I didn't even get to find out if there were any restrooms on the bottom floor for the patrons there. I don't think there was.
Really? I think not.