A Day with Papa, South Carolina Botanical Gardens and Geology Museum, Clemson, S.C.

A day out with my grandfather, with local history, a great variety of plants, and even a stuffed mountain lion, it literally rocked as toured the Botanical Gardens and Geology museum–an extra nice perk? The venues don’t charge admission but do take donations (which are well worth giving!)

There is so much more to do and enjoy in Clemson, beyond going to a football game, and there is ample parking! The parking lot abuts to the gardens and is easily accessible, and most paths are handicap/scooter friendly for those who desire to go with some assistance.

Old Elkmont Cemetery, near Gatlinburg, TN

Yes, it’s true, I am a lover of beautiful masonry work and old stones– an appreciator of etchings and engravings and any opportunity I am offered, I enjoy a good cemetery crawl. Sometimes, more often than not, a “good” one is often off the beaten path and takes a little adventure and finagling to get there… and it’s always worth the effort!!

Fortunately, I had a bit of aid in locating/finding this particular older cemetery near Gatlinburg, Tennessee as a person briefly posted on a photo forum of Elkmont Cemetery and I had to use google mapping to get me there…the cemetery is quite small but hosts an elaborate amount of carved lambs on the headstones, those that are marked any way.

An interesting factor that I haven’t personally seen before… coins were left on certain graves… any one know the history behind that?


Swinging Bridge & Great Smoky Mountains,Townsend, Tennessee

A Sunday drive (albeit on a Monday) was a true delight!! Just taking the whim, before heading home, to enjoy the last day of our vacation was worth winging it in Tennessee!!

The Great Smokey Mountains (yes, the home of infamous Dolly Parton) are well worth visiting!! The natural overlooks are fabulous and well maintained. While the Smokies are not actually on fire (it’s the fog that rises that make them look smoky.) Absolutely stunning views!!! I admit, getting “lost” in the forrest is truly a delight.

We started driving from Sevierville, Tennessee, area and headed out , We enjoyed taking a pit stop in the tiny town of Townsend (which, by the way, hosts a Post Office with wonderful, helpful staff, and yes, I dropped off quite a few postcards and the clerk was able to help give us some local pointers.)

River Stone Family Restaurant, Townsend, TN

A Sunday drive proved very delightful as we stumbled upon this gem, River Stone in Townsend, TN.

It’s affordably priced, which is awesome but even more outstanding, is the food is so good and the portions are large. The waitress was also super helpful and we really enjoyed the experience. I really appreciated how clean and tidy the whole restaurant was (and yes, I used the bathroom, which were also super clean!)

Such a wonderful treat!


A triple ride… at Dollywood Theme Park

There are theme parks all over the place but until recently, I didn’t have a clue that Dollywood Theme park was a “thing” and that it was so close to where I live, within just a few hours drive from home. I hadn’t been to a theme park in ages—and if my memory serves me correctly, I hadn’t been to one since going on an activity bus on a “date” in college, to the Halloween themed one at Carowinds in college—but I am not going to date myself on that one!

Dollywood Theme parks sent out flyers, which is initially is what the idea going, offering tickets at a big discount for “Essential Workers”, which I qualified for, working at a mental health facility–and having some time off, We (my sweetheart and myself) decided to take advantage of a package deal he had purchased (3 nights, 4 days in Pigeon Forge through another venue) . And off we went….

Dollywood Theme park was between “festivals” and it being a Sunday, the park was pretty slow, which suited us just fine as there weren’t any waiting lines for the roller coaster, finding parking was a breeze and the staffed was not stressed or rushed, which was so awesome.

The biggest winner of the day, though, besides getting to hold hands all day with my sweetheart and riding coasters and laughing at the funny pumpkin scenes? I got to mark an item off of my dream list (I don’t want to call it a bucket it list because I am not kicking the bucket–plus, what did the bucket ever do that someone thought it needed kicking?) I have always wanted to ride a ride, a roller coaster, more than once without having to get off the ride and go around again and wait in line… and the dream came true!

As I said, the park was having a “slow” day and when I got on the “log ride”, which goes by another name but I can’t recall, again, as I had already ridden it a couple of times during the day, the operator let me ride it again without getting off, not once, but twice! So, yeah, I got to ride the ride 3 times back to back without disembarking in between!!! Yes, I left the park looking like a half drowned rat from being splashed, oh by the glory of it all!!