January 2016
  • Day88

    ... in Winnipeg

    April 5, 2016 in Canada ⋅ ❄️ 0 °C

    After an uneventful 3 day drive we arrived home safely. Not surprisingly, as we crossed into Canada at the Emerson border we encountered snow and somewhat slippery road conditions. There is an inch of snow in my yard and more to come. How cruel Mother Nature can be!

    * 88 days
    * 8,772 km
    * 12 timeshare condos
    * 6 hotel stays
    * 1 bicycle mishap

    I'm grateful for my travel companions.....Linda, Gailene, Janet, Ed, and John.....who made my winter getaway much more enjoyable. Adding to that enjoyment was time spent with RVers, Kathy and Blaine. I'm not sure where I'll be next winter but it won't be in Manitoba.

    In the meantime, looking forward to real signs of Spring!
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  • Day85

    ... in Dandridge

    April 2, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    In order to get a break from traffic and crowds, we drove 25 km East to the Bush's Beans Visitor Centre. Who knew that there would be such a huge processing plant, museum and restaurant that served up delicious food. It was a very interesting look not only at the history of the Bush family business but also the history of canned food and supermarkets. With a full belly, John was in a playful mood!

    On our last day in the region we drove along an 8 mile loop that is home to the largest group of independent artisans in North America. I couldn't resist bringing home some treasures. We also went to an entertainment district called "The Island"....rides, restaurants, shops and more moonshine. We did enjoy some bluegrass music but I couldn't get that high nasal twang out of my head for the rest of the evening!
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  • Day84

    ... in Gatlinburg

    April 1, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Spring has arrived in the Smoky Mountains. One afternoon the GPS took us on a narrow, winding backroad. Off the beaten track we discovered a mama bear with her 3 cubs.

  • Day83

    ... in Gatlinburg

    March 31, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    A most amazing hike we did was Clingmans Dome. The hike was less than a km but the incline was steep with a 300 foot elevation gain. The trail, which felt like a highway, is paved and heavily used. John, and many others, took advantage of a few rest stops on the way up. At 6643 feet, it is the highest point in Tennessee. Since it was a clear day we could see a mountain peak that was 160 km away! John said, "I almost died going up". He was much happier when we got back to the parking lot.Read more

  • Day82

    ... in Gatlinburg

    March 30, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    One of the scenic drives we took was on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. Our intention was to hike to Grotto Falls, a 3 mile moderate hike. When we got to the trail head the parking lot was full and the closest spot available was a mile or so up the road. We both scrapped that idea, not wanting to add another 2 miles to our hike. Instead we did two shorter hikes that took us to some historical buildings from early pioneers. There are over 50 of these scattered throughout the park that have been restored. The doorways are so low that John smashed his head into the frame of the first building he tried to enter! The temperature was 22 and it was sunny....a great day to explore the park that is the most visited of all national parks in the US.Read more

  • Day81

    ... in Gatlinburg

    March 29, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    To get to the main attraction, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, required us to drive through all three towns. This week is Spring break so the traffic has been horrendous. Entrance to the park is free and there are several scenic drives along narrow winding roads. The park is beautiful even though the trees are only beginning to bud. We learned that the "smoky" appearance is actually smog that drifts in from industries in the West and North that are hundreds of miles away.Read more

  • Day80

    ... in Pigeon Forge

    March 28, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    There are 3 semi-connected towns in this region....Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. All three are tourist-oriented and reminds us of a combination of Branson and International Drive in Orlando. There are music shows, water slides, Dollywood amusement park, outlet malls, moonshine distilleries, and more. I wasn't expecting this as I thought we were going to experience nature. Surprise!Read more

  • Day79

    ... in Sevierville

    March 27, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    March 27 - April 3rd

    Our final vacation destination was the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, an 8 hour drive NW. Along the route we saw beautiful flowering trees....no leaves, just white, pink and purple flowers (an Eastern Redbud I later learned). At the Tennessee Welcome Centre we heard a lot of southern drawls as well as taped bluegrass music. Yee-haw!!

    Our 2 bedroom condo, Wyndham Smoky Mountains, is very modern and spacious. It is located in Sevierville, which is the birthplace of Dolly Parton. Our patio overlooks a glade where I have seen cardinals and other unidentified birds. We have encountered one new problem this time....the "elephant family" that lives above us. They walk heavily, jump, and drop things so that we hear thumping and rattling of the light fixture and ceiling fan. And this goes on until 2 a.m. most nights. I don't want to complain because I fear repercussions. I hear that concealed weapons are common.
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  • Day79

    Historic District - North

    March 27, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    John's enthusiasm perked up when I suggested dinner at the Crystal Beer Parlor, a local favourite that is a little off the beaten path. It is Savannah's second oldest restaurant that opened in 1933 during the Great Depression. I drank wine of course, not beer as the photo shows. JS ate shrimp and crab cakes, while I had typical pub food....fish & chips. The fellow in the orange shirt insisted on being in the photo. I think he might have had a few too many brews. By the end of our meal, the pub had become so busy that our table was surrounded by people standing and imbibing one of the more than 80 beers, 26 on tap. A fun way to end a very good day.Read more

  • Day79

    Historic District - North

    March 27, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    We also explored the River District, an area of century old cotton warehouses that have been converted to hotels, shops, restaurants and brew pubs. Across the Savannah River is the state of South Carolina. Although the temperature was only 23 C, the humidity was 95%. We had to stop at one of the pubs as JS's energy level was dwindling!Read more