Road Trip – Southeastern Adventure Part One

Oh man! Why can’t I just be on continuous vacation?

Recently, my husband and I did some renovations on his dad’s old camper trailer. We needed to use up some of his personal days at work, so we decided to take the camper on a trip. I’ve never been camping in a camper-trailer before, so I was intrigued to see how I would fare. I should say camper again. We packed up and hit the road.

The past has no power over the present moment.

Our first stop was to see my sister and her family in Jackson, TN. We stayed there a few days, just to soak up the family time. They just got a new couch from  wayfair.com … how pretty is that!

IMG_5032

On Wednesday morning, we made a few adjustments to the camper and headed out again. This time we didn’t really have a destination in mind, just that we wanted to go southeast.

We stopped for a late lunch at The Aquarium Restaurant in Nashville, TN. This place was fantastic! There’s a giant cylinder aquarium at the front entrance. We knew it had to be good because of the 45 minute wait at 2PM. We didn’t mind the wait though, since we had no where to be. Since the restaurant is in the Opry Mills Mall, they texted us when our table was ready. This was a relief because baby girl gets fussy if we aren’t moving around much so we just walked and shopped until we got the text.

1

Inside there is a humongous salt-water tank full of colorful and exciting sea life.  I don’t think there is really a bad seat in the house since the restaurant is built around the aquarium. The service was attentive and friendly, and obviously used to parties with kiddos. The food was good, and you get a proper amount. Financially it was a splurge for us, but totally worth it. I highly suggest you try it out if you’re ever in Nashville!

IMG_5061

IMG_5056

 

From there we traveled east and stopped at Southlake RV park in Knoxville. No big surprises here… just a regular ole’ campground – but quite cheap! It even came with a welcome committee…

IMG_5074

On Thursday morning we made our way to Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains. I had two major to-do’s here… to hike, and to pig out at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. We accomplished both! The stampede was worth the money – so much food and such good entertainment! The baby loved it, and our waitress was great. You aren’t supposed to video/photograph during the show so you’ll have to check it out for yourself. The riders are quite amazing and seemed like they legitimately enjoyed being in the show. It just made me love Dolly even more :).

oldmilltoo

As if I could eat any more after the stampede, we went out for dinner at the nearby Old Mill area. There’s this beautiful old water turbine that used to run the mill. It doesn’t work now but it’s still attached to the mill that has been turned into a restaurant. We ate at the smaller Pottery House Cafe in close proximity to the Old Mill. This darling little eatery was as delicious as it was beautiful. Here, they serve their own made-in-house bread on their own made-in-house ceramic plates. You can tell a lot of thought and love went into building this place… right down to the moss growing on the wooden shingles! They even took the time out to have a manager ask me about any wheat or nut allergies, since I had mentioned to my server that I didn’t want any nuts in my chicken salad.

OLDMILL

IMG_5099

IMG_5111

IMG_5108

Whew…. That’s a lot of stuff packed into one post! I have more to show, but we’ll just have to wait until my next post for now. Have a great weekend~!

 

Advertisements

24 Hours in Hermann, MO

2

*Disclaimer – I was in no way compensated to write this review and the opinions expressed here are my own*

Recently, I was blessed with the opportunity to have a little “girls night” with a few of my old college roomies! We all just so happened to have the same night off, and we decided going somewhere close would be our best bet. Two of us currently live in St.Louis and the other in Columbia. Hermann is about equidistant for all of us, and none of us had ever visited so it was an easy choice!

Hermann is known for its selection of wineries, a quaint downtown, and beautiful scenery. With only 24 hours to spend, we wanted to try and see as much of it as possible. We checked in at our hotel, the Hermann Crown Suites, which is situated within walking distance of several shops and restaurants. It’s a fairly new business, recently renovated, and good pricing for the amount of room we had! The building itself was erected in the 1800’s.

Just a short walk away, we ate dinner at The Black Walnut Bistro. This restaurant had 4 and 5 star reviews on Yelp, and we wanted a good place to sit down and catch up.. The food was excellent and the service too, but the price was a little expensive for me and the small room had terrible acoustics that made it difficult to have a good conversation.

After dinner we headed over to Sugar Momma’s, a cute little pie shop that was right next door to our hotel! It’s adorable windows were decked out and definitely enticed us in. I love a good window display (haha). We met Sugar Momma herself, Mrs. Tammy Bruckerhoff, who helped us choose our pie slices for dessert! There were so many pies to choose from, plus she had candy everywhere – we needed direction. Sugar Momma was so kind and welcoming, and she gave us some fantastic insider tips on where to go the next day. We said our goodbyes and headed up to our room to devour our precious pie slices.

1

The next morning we were up by nine (which is sort of ridiculous because we all love sleep AND it was raining). We walked (okay…ran) across the street to a little hometown donut shop called Battocletti’s Bake Shop for breakfast. We had heard some locals praising it, and it was pretty busy when we got there. The donuts are good, and cheap too – but be warned they only take cash. Luckily I had a few bucks in my wallet [not normal] and we got to indulge.

Adam Puchta Winery was our next stop. If it wasn’t raining so much, I bet there would have been plenty more visitors but we pretty much had the place to ourselves! They have a small tasting room, a big selection, and a very pretty outside set-up. There wasn’t a tour for us to take at this winery, so we didn’t stay very long.

One of the largest (and probably the most popular) wineries in town is called Stone Hill Winery. It was easy to find, had plenty of parking, and the hosts were friendly. We took a tour of the cellars and our tour guide was full of fun stories of the owners and what happened to the winery during prohibition. The winery cellars were once used to grow Portabello mushrooms! The main building had three tasting rooms, a live band playing by the atrium, and a huge store room where they sold bottles and cases.

2.jpg

My favorite meal of our trip had to be the lunch we ate at Stone Hill. The owners had transformed an old barn into a restaurant, and we sat in what used to be a horse stable. We were all a little chilled from the rain so it was nice to sit down and get some warm food – which was amazing! I’ve never really had German food before, and here it was a specialty. The white bean and sausage soup hit the spot. I had a grilled chicken salad on a croissant, and the girls both had the daily special – sausage stuffed onion on mashed potatoes covered with white wine gravy. They give huge portions, so we were filled to the gills by the time we were done. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone!

3

From lunch we had to part ways. For 24 hours, I think we did a fantastic job of getting the most out of our trip! I would love to go back again. I think a weekend trip would be perfect for a couple wanting a small getaway.

24 Hours In Hermann, MO

Have you been to Hermann, MO? Is there something I missed that I should add to my list next time I visit? Comment below and Let me know!

Stay posted for more travels!!