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Journey to Tennessee (Part 1- the first 5 days)

What happens when 6 ladies decide to venture to Nashville and Pigeon Forge for 2 weeks. Let me tell you we had fun. First we chose to drive which took a couple of days (come on its vacation relax) with an initial stop in Kennesaw, Georgia. Lovely location with many restaurants, hotels, and stores to drop by on your way through. We had the good fortune to stay in a Marriott Fairfield Suite and get an upgrade to three 2 bedroom suites for the same price. Incredible free breakfast foods prior to our departure made for some full tummies for the drive.

I had the great opportunity to visit a great restaurant in Chattanooga on the way through. I must mention that this is owned and operated by some of my family but I do love to show them off. The Mean Mug serves an amazing breakfast and lunch menu with spectacular baked goods. The quiches are outstanding and for a person that does not much care for crust I ate every bite. My friends were delighted with the fare and stocked up on scones, muffins and cinnamon rolls for our trip.

Finally we arrived in Nashville! Across from our resort we found the Opry Mills mall and Opryland Hotel as well as The Grand Ole Opry. On the mall property is a Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen with outstanding family meals.

Saturday was a bit drizzly so we opted to wander the Gaylord Opryland Resort and enjoy their gardens, music, and food. Some place we almost didn’t choose but the weather chose for us and we enjoyed immensely.

On our way back from the Gaylord Resort we had to make a stop at Cooter‘s Garage and Willie Nelson’s General Store. Relieved a lot of our past and had some laughs here.

To finish up our Saturday we were entertained with a journey down the Cumberland River on the General Jackson Steamboat. The food was great starting with warm rolls and salad moving to an entrée of shrimp and grits with braised short ribs that melted in your mouth. Finally our dessert was a lemon poppyseed cake with lemon custard and raspberry compote served in a small mason jar. Then our entertainment amazed us with the Legends show which showcased Tennessee’s great artists performed by 7 outstanding performers. All of this with the river rising under heavy rainstorms!! We were not able to travel the entire river because of this but it was a smooth and enjoyable trip. I would recommend this to everyone.

The next morning we sought to avoid flooded areas and headed to Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen for some lunch. This is served family style and you choose 3 entrees and 4 sides which they are delighted to refill for you. I happen to be an avid okra eater so I did add those as an appetizer and enjoyed everyone’s faces as they tried it and found out that they REALLY liked it when cooked correctly. The only food you are allowed to take home is the dessert which makes sense because you cannot get another bite in. Your choices are fruit cobbler, banana pudding and ooey gooey chocolate or butter cake.

After this a few of us headed to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and visited our music history. During the walk through visit you are looking into the eyes of some remarkable replicas and might be a little overwhelmed.

So tomorrow I will be talking a little about our trek into downtown Nashville and the exciting places to visit.

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