Trip Reviews

Terra Nova Bed and Breakfast in Grove City

We have previously stayed at the Terra Nova Bed and Breakfast back in 2016.  We found the two room Collegiate Suite to be perfect for family travel.  This year when my Daughter was doing an overnight visit at Grove City College I invited my Mom to travel with us.  It can be so boring to travel alone and it is nice to have someone awake in the car to keep me company as I drive the hours to Pennsylvania.

Once again I was able to book the Collegiate Suite for our stay.

Terra Nova

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

The suite occupies the upper floor of the bed and breakfast providing two bedrooms and a bath.  The main bedroom has a king size bed, chair, tv and a dining table with four chairs.  The smaller bedroom has two twin beds.

Terra Nova Grove City

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

We walked to Nonni’s for another great dinner and did some downtown browsing.  Earlier in the afternoon while Daughter was still with us we did some shopping at the large Premium Outlets on the edge of town.

One thing I really enjoy about Terra Nova is the breakfast.  About a week prior to your arrival you are asked by email to select your breakfast.  I would rather know what I am looking forward to eating for breakfast so I love this arrangement.  Other places your choice is A or B, which is fine but I prefer this method.

Our breakfast choices were either fruit topped pancakes (choice of three fruits), a hash brown frittata, steel cut oatmeal (again could choose from fruits, syups, sugars, etc.) or scrambled eggs. Then add on either bacon or sausage, potatoes, fruit and either a bagel, toast or English muffin.  In other words lots of delicious choices!

My Mom went with the pancakes with blueberries.

Terra Nova Bed & Breakfast

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

I went with the hash brown frittata option.  Neither of us opted for breakfast potatoes since the main dish portions are large.

Terra Nova Bed & Breakfast

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

You can pick a 7:30, 8:30 or 9:30 breakfast seating.  And for people like me who cannot converse at such an early hour they have small tables for seating your party only.  You can drink your coffee before making eye contact with strangers. We had to be back at the college by 9am for Daughter so we chose the 7:30 breakfast time. We were the only guests eating that early which was nice.

More information can be found here: https://www.terranovahouse.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christkindlmarket Chicago Evening

I have wanted to visit the Christkindlmarket in Chicago for several years.  Somehow we never made to Chicago over the holidays.  Too much going on, too much snow, and too little time kept us from Chicago after Thanksgiving.  This year I was determined to make it to the Christmas market, it was the one thing I wanted to do on this visit.

We arrived in Chicago on a Friday evening just before the rain started.  We almost made it to the Radisson Blu (free Friday night stay thanks to their last fall promotion) when the heavens opened up.  Trying to crush through the crowd under the entry awning with luggage is no fun in the cold rain.

We enjoyed our room for a couple of hours and hit the business lounge for some snacking.  I was a little resigned that I was not going to be able to visit the Christmas market on Friday night. We were contemplating hitting the hot tub vs putting on pjs and ordering food.

Around 7:00 it looked like the rain was letting up.  By 7:15 I had convinced Daughter to put on the coat, hat and gloves to brave the weather.  The rain was down to a light drizzle as we walked to Daley Plaza past the window at Macy’s.

As negative as the weather seemed it was perfect for visiting the market.  The wind was not too bad in the plaza and the crowds were pretty small.

Christkindle Market Chicago

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Daughter hunted down the best deal for a souvenir mug of hot chocolate at a vendor as we browsed.  We could also smell the famous hot spiced wine from other guests as we visited the booths.  There were chocolates, butter cookies, brats, nuts, crepes and all sorts of holiday goodies to snack on.

Christkindle Market Chicago

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

There were so many booths to shop for Christmas ornaments.  We took a look at each shop before deciding on our ornament for this years tree.

Christkindle Market

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Christkindle Market Chicago

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Christkindle Market Chicago

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

We saw so many items that would make great Christmas gifts.  Nativities, clocks, carvings and chocolates.

Christkindle Market Chicago

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

It was a great evening to look around.  The rain ended and we spent over an hour looking at everything offered at the Christkindlmarket.  I would like to go back again next season, maybe make it a yearly event.

The Christkindlmarket is open November 17 – December 24th.  Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 8pm.  Friday and Saturdays from 11am -9pm.  They close early on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

More information can be found at their website here: http://www.christkindlmarket.com/chicago/

 

 

 

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting Cades Cove

On our trip out to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg I was really looking forward to visiting Cades Cove.  It did not disappoint!

We stayed in Townsend since we wanted an easy and less congested entrance into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  This area is perfect for accessing Cades Cove!

Arriving early is your best bet for wildlife viewing and to avoid other people.  We left at 7:50 for our twenty minute drive to the cove with very little traffic.  This was the least busy park day we would have on our trip!  There were a few light rain showers that I think helped keep the crowds away that day.

I was driving on Laurel Creek road almost half way to the cove when a huge bear darted in front of our car and up the hillside.  He was bigger than I thought local bears would be and he was running faster than I thought they could.  I was very glad I did not hit him with the car and it reconfirmed why the speed limit is so low in the park.  After seeing the size/ speed of him I was rethinking my desire to see a bear in the park.

Cade's Cove

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Once you reach the gate the road through Cades Cove is eleven miles long and while it offers a couple of cut through roads plan on spending at least a couple of hours on it.

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friendly Falls in Wears Valley

If you leave Pigeon Forge via Wears Valley road to Townsend you will have a very picturesque drive.  An alpine coaster, cabins, resorts and little shops line the road. Halfway to Wears Valley on the left is a little stop called Friendly Falls.

Friendly Falls

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Friendly Falls offers their location as a place to stretch your legs, enjoy a cold drink by the falls and you can even get married there.  We stopped on Sunday morning on our way to Townsend just before noon.  Usually I am about vacation on the cheap side, however there is something to be said about paying a small amount for some quiet time along a waterfall with a cold beverage.

Friendly Falls

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Admission is $2 for adults OR you can purchase something from the store and enter for free.  Cold pop is $2 and beer is $3.  They also offer items like hot dogs, chips, ice cream, or sandwiches.

You can wade in the river between the two falls, be careful the rocks are slick.  The water was very refreshing on a hot day!

Friendly Falls

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

They offer gem mining for kids in a flume, tables and chairs for relaxing with your food/drink and even a resident chicken. There are areas decorated with gnomes and fairies.  It’s cute and it is prefect for relaxing.  We spent over an hour people watching and enjoying our beverages along the river.

You can find more information here: http://friendlyfalls.com/

2135 Wears Valley RdSevierville, TN 37862
+1 865-429-2139

 

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cider Tasting at Mill Bridge Winery

 

After our very filling dinner at the Old Mill we did some shopping nearby to give our food time to digest before hitting the hotel pool.  We came across the Mill Bridge Winery and decided cider tasting looked funner than the hotel pool.

Cider tasting at Mill Bridge Winery

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pigeon Forge The Old Mill Dinner

I had read good things about the Old Mill for dinner and knew we had to try it.  For tourist places that do not take reservations we try to arrive a bit earlier than normal for dinner.  I hate to wait an hour so if I have to arrive at 5:20 to eat at a decent time so be it.

A round 5pm I said to husband I know its early but we should head out to dinner soon.  We crossed the very busy 321 at a crosswalk because that road was crazy busy!  Going one block from 321 put us on the very quiet River Road and a nice trail along the river.  People were fishing and wading in the water.

Old Mill Pigeon Forge

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super 8 Pigeon Forge

We recently spent a week in Tennessee this June.  To try to keep our trip lower cost I used hotel points for many of the nights we were on the road.  The Super 8 Pigeon Forge on Emert had good reviews and is in a good location.

If you have never been to Pigeon Forge I would describe to people as the Wisconsin Dells on steroids.  OMG!  Miles of mini golf, go carts, dinner shows and entertainment.  While there is a cheap/free (depending) trolley system this area is really not that walk able as things are spread out vs Gatlinburg.  I do not like to drive all over, I would rather walk to dinner so I was pleased to see our hotel was within two blocks of the Old Mill Restaurant.

If you do not walk to drive anywhere or really walk the hotel is behind Wendy’s, Arby’s, Ihop, Pizza Hut, Baskin Robbins, etc.  I would recommend you make the short walk to  The Mill and so did the sweet lady who checked us in.

The Super 8 has exterior hall ways and four floors with an elevator.  I had the option of booking a standard king room or a king room with a jacuzzi tub and fireplace.  No thinking needed there, I want the tub!

Super 8 Pigeon Forge

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Our fourth floor room was very spacious.  It offered a sofa pullout bed near the door.

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swamp Tour at Lake Martin

Lake Martin

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

We drove over to the Lafayette area specifically to be able to spend some time on Lake Martin.  I read several reports that I did not need to book ahead but to see how the weather was and then call that day to reserve a spot on a tour.  BAD ADVICE!  Do NOT do this!  It might be December but tours on Lake Martin are in high demand.  You can imagine my surprise when the first available tour was two days later when we were to be in Mississippi. This was not looking good!

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting Vermilionville in Lafayette

I had plans to spend around 24 hours in Lafayette on our trip.  We wanted to tour Lake Martin and then fill our time in around our swamp tour.  I gave the family the option to tour the Alexadre House, Vermilionville or the science museum.  They said they were house toured out and not up for thinking.  (Her words.) So we set off for Vermilionville.

Vermilionville is right near the Lafayette airport and situated along the river. The small village shows the life of Creole and Acadian historic life. They moved several original homes to this location and show life from the late 1700’s to 1890s.

Vermillionville

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wander the Garden District

Christmas morning saw us with no concrete plans.  Old me would have had something booked, new me polls the family now.  The vote was to ride the street car to the garden district and poke around until we were bored.  I knew we needed the St. Charles line and our Free Tours by Foot guide had recommended boarding at the corner of Canal and Carondelet street.  Boarding there gave us the best chance to get a seat and not have to stand for the ride.  $3  a person gives you a 24 hour pass or $1.25 exact change each ride.

Canal street

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

We rode the streetcar down to Washington Avenue. This would also be where you would want to exit for Commander’s Palace Restaurant.   Right across the street is Lafayette Cemetery.  Since it was a holiday the cemetery was closed but normal hours are 7-3pm daily.

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.