Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gatlinburg Tennessee!

 Happy Spring!!! I disappeared from the blogisphere for a while..LOTS going on. I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend's house in the mountains on West Virginia. We're not together anymore, so now I'm free to travel again (roadtrip'n wasn't his thing...we wouldn't have lasted anyway). Shortly after the breakup, my mom told us she has stage four lung and brain cancer. That was right before Halloween....November was full of radiation treatments and stress. About everything. Lots of emotional issues happening. Anyway, so all of this led up to my son, Bailey and me, running away from home for five days to one of our favorite places, Gatlinburg Tennesee!! We LOVE it there. We went the first week of December. I got an awesome deal on a beautiful condo at the very top of the mountain. For five days it was around $287.51. There were hotel rooms available for $29 a night,which would have saved a lot of money, but being as it was just me and kid, I opted for safety and comfort :). It was well worth it!!! I found it on, the property number is 2466 Serenity. The owners are GREAT!! I love the way it was decorated. I wanted everything in there. I forgot to return my redbox movies when I left, and the cleaning staff dropped them off for me. So nice.
 Since we were up at the very top of the mountain, it got real foggy and very dark pretty early. When the driving conditions are dark and foggy, it's very hard to see the road signs...We had been using the other houses as landmarks for where we were and needed to turn...but once it got dark, we couldn't see. I drove around the mountain one night for an extra 40 minutes, and I have no idea how we found our place lol. So, we tried to be back by before dark (around 5).
 So, when you go to Gatlinburg, you will more than likely be paying for parking. Unless you're staying at a hotel IN town, you'll need to drive there and park in order to explore all the cool stores and restaurants. Parking was $8 for all day, and the machine takes credit cards.
 The first day we parked, and ran down  the street to get food. It was getting dark, and I needed to be back at the condo to get some things done. So we ended up getting a steak and cheese and a big ass sausage from this off the sidewalk food stand. It was kindof expensive, and not the best. I was thinking it was going to be like fair food....which is awesome. Then we went to this 50's style place, and got bacon cheese fries and a chocolate shake for the boy. It was tasty! And reasonably priced.
 The next day, we went over to Cades Cove. If you ever go to Gatlinburg, you HAVE to go there. It's a very early settlement. There are cabins, churches, farms, hiking trails, and a little museum to explore. It's beautiful, and you see lots of animals!
  In the spring and summer there is so much to here. Outdoorsy things. We couldn't do any of that, even though it was usually warm, b/c some stuff was closed for the season, but also because it pretty rained everyday we were there. So, we pretty much shopped and ate. We had breakfast at this place called Mel's Diner. It was the BEST breakfast we had all week, the people are so nice, and the prices are awesome. 
 We had lunch at this Old Mill Cafe (I think that's what it's called), and I had a fried green tomato BLT. Holy crap that thing was good. Both of those places are in Pigeon Forge. Oh, there is also a Krispie Kreme!! We had our first HOT DONUT! We had BBQ at this little cafe off on a back road somewhere (we just drive around and find stuff). It was good, and the lady who was working was he sweetest person!! I can't remember the name of the place, but it was attached to a primitive country decor store....if that helps lol.
 In Gatlinburg, there's a store called Camp David. Good look'n guys work there, and they have great "Gatlinburg" shirts. They don't look like typical souvenir type clothing. I bought a long sleeve dark great vintage style shirt with a hoodie type pocket on the front...$30. Normally, I would never pay that much for a shirt, but I love it, and wear it a few times during the week.
  We went to Ober Gatlinburg, the ski resort. We went ice skating (first time ever and I didn't fall!), and we did the ski lift up to  the top of the other mountain. Ice skating for the both of us was $19, and the ski lift for the both of us, I think, was $12. You also have to pay for parking up there.
 On the way home, we hit an ice storm. It sucked. I hit a mountain, then slid on down the guardrail...messed up my car. But, it's still drivable, and we were fine!
 We can't wait to go back! We'll probably go at the end of summer. We plan to zipline, hike, raft, fish, Dollywood and go horseback riding.

Other things to do in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area are:
 Believe It Or Not museums and aquariums
 Ski lift in town
 HUGE ski lift in town
 Indoor Flea Markets, thrift stores, and antique stores
 Bass Pro Shop <3
 Ziplines & Areal Obstacle Courses
 Helicopter Rides
 SHOP! There are outlets, and locally owned stores everywhere.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Washington DC, May 4th

After a night of debaucheries (firefighters night), Veronica and I woke up and decided we wanted to take a road trip to DC for the day. She had her 2 y/o nephew, William, and of coarse Bailey (my kiddo) was with me.
 We left the hotel, picked up the boys, and met up in Front Royal at the park & ride, and carpooled to Vienna. From Vienna, we took the Metro (woo! a train!). Those ticket machines at the metro are confusing as hell....but, the people who worked there were very helpful, and nice. We took the blue line into DC. We got off at the Foggy  Bottom station, and walked about a mile to the Harbor. Yes, we took a boat ride. The boat ride was around 2hrs long (45 min both ways). I think for me and Bailey it was $20. Children 1 and under are Free. Here's some of what we saw from the boat:

After that, we walked back up to the city, and went over to the National Mall. We were too late to go to the museums...everything was closed...But, we still got to see all of the memorials! The WWII memorial was a new one for me, and it's beautiful!! The Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument were as breathtaking as ever....Here's pictures from our walk to the Mall, and the memorials (all free).

 I have more pictures, but they won't load...I'll add as I can :)


Apple Blossom Festival, Winchester, VA May 3rd & 5th

 So Friday night my friend Veronica and I went out to Firefighters Night for the Apple Blossom Festival. It was super fun...We drank, we mingled, we had a good time :) It's SUPER crowed. The parade is really long, it's a bunch of firetrucks and rescue squads and loaded with good-look'n guys in uniform!!! Jepp Robertson and his wife, from Duck Dynasty were the stars of the show. The parade is great for kids.
 The mid-way mostly for adults. Which is why I left my kid at home, and finally had a grow-up day!! Woo!! The mid-way is a pedestrian mall downtown. It's on the parade route. It has lots of bars. The prices are jacked up, but it's once a year right?? Anyway, we had a great time!!
 Tip: Bring cash, ID, and wear comfy shoes! You'll be walking a lot!
                                                             Here's me and Veronica:

We skipped Saturday's festivities (that's the next post!).
Sunday, Bailey, my friend April and me went to the Bluegrass Festival!!
My beloved Steeldrivers were there <3. They are the most humble and down to earth you'll ever meet.
They sell their own merchandise lol They take pictures with everyone who wants one, and they're just really nice. Oh, and their music is AWESOME.
The other two bands was a gospel quartet. The lady sounds a lot like Tanya Tucker. The other was the Grascals who are also amazing!
There were three bands. They each played two sets. Tickets for adults were $25 each, 12 and under were free. It is well worth the money!! They had a 50/50 raffle and a Fender Banjo raffle!

The Steeldrivers with my son, Bailey!!! This made his day!!!

These tasty HUGE thing of bacon cheese fries from the food truck made him happy too :)bacon
I won that banjo raffle!!!!!! Now I need to learn to play it!

Love the Bloom <3

Tips: Bring a jacket, a seat cushion, cash, and wear comfy clothes. They had a a nice cafe type table set up with scones, coffee, drinks, baked goods, sandwiches...good stuff!!
The bands were selling tshirts and CD's.
There was a little farmers market type table set up (mmm tomatoes!)
Food truck outside selling hot food. I think it was Country something....Great BBQ and hot dogs!
The bathrooms were the big porta-potties on top of a flatbed truck/trailer thing...they weren't bad. Coming from me, that's a lot (public bathroom phobia) lol.
I believe they were even selling beer :)
 It was a great time! If they have good bands again next year, I'll be there :)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heads Up!

Wooo!! It's finally getting warmer out!! And that means I'm more inclined to go outside and do stuff. I hate winter.
 Anyway, I wanted to give a heads up for this Saturday. In Woodstock, VA at W.W Robinson Elementary School. It's done through the Woodstock Police Dept. There will be the National Guards 25' climbing wall and Rolling Thunder. They'll be etching VIN numbers onto the kid's bikes, and onto your car windows if you like.
 There is going to be so much to do, and it's ALL FREE!!! Donations are accepted though.
Here's the link to the WPD's Facebook page with the info.

Upcoming places I'll be headed to:
Harpers Ferry, WVA (of coarse, b/c it's my favorite place)
Kayaking the Shenandoah in Front Royal, VA
Color Run Marathon in Roanoke, VA
Gettysburg, PA
Gordonsville, VA for a visit to the Civil War Exchange Museum (again, it's a cool place!)

That's all I know 100% for now. But we pick up and go, so you never know where we'll end up!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Fantasy Land Playground, Front Royal, VA

 I hate Winter. Everything but the cold is so limited. I haven't really been anywhere due to Old Man Winter, and I had surgery.
 Anyway, so Saturday ended up being a really nice day!! My son and I met up with my best friend of 20 yrs and her kids and husband in Front Royal, VA. We went to Applebees, which wasn't busy at all considering it was noon on a Saturday...Afterwards we went to the Fantasy Land which is next to the Bing Crosby Baseball Stadium. We stayed on the playground side of the park, so this review doesn't cover the baseball side.
 Anyway, as soon as we get there my kid hauls butt straight into the woods. We follow, because I'm not letting my kid roam around the woods alone. Plus, we all like wondering around and exploring! We're walking along, we end up finding blankets, pillows in trash bags, candles....a tube of lip gloss. My son, Bailey (12), and my friends middle daughter, Kassie (9), get a little ahead of us. Jennifer is like three months pregnant, and we're dragging little five year old Khloie, and I just had surgery, so we're moving slow. Those kids were fast!
 Bailey and Kassie get up to the part of the river that is closest to the park first. They stop, they're yelling at us, and pointing at the ground. We hear, "dirty needle!!!". We're screaming at them to not touch it and get away! We make our way over there, and there it uncapped dirty syringe. Used for God knows what.
 After that, we went walking up the grass (out of the woods now) along the river, and to the bridge. There's a fountain there, that doesn't work. It used too! Maybe it's shut off for Winter?
 We wandered over to the playground. They have a newer part, that's all medal. It's pretty fun.
The old part is wooden, and is huge, but there are things missing! A lot of the things that are used to climb up onto the towers and platforms (where the slides are), are gone. Some of the swings are gone. And some of the monkey bar type things are gone.
 Unfortunately, what was there, were a couple of perverts! Jennifer and I were standing at the top next to the slide, when she pointed it out. I looked over, and this dirty old man (sugar daddy?) had his hand up this younger woman's shirt! I'd say he was around 60, she was in her 30's. There are kids standing there talking to them while he's doing this. Really?????
  The funniest part of the whole thing were these kids digging for worms, and daring each other to eat them. Nobody ever took the dare, but it was still funny :)
 Now, I lived in Front Royal from ages 14 to 20, so it's not like I'm a stranger coming into town. I spent many days as a teen during the Summer hanging out at this park, and it was awesome. Sadly, things change. My brother comes back fairly often, and his friend takes his kids there still. When I told him (my brother) about what we saw, he said he's not surprised. The homeless population there has grown, they live in the woods. The drug users are worse, they hang out it in the woods. The wooded section of the park is not huge by any means. maybe about 50-75' deep until you hit the river. The other side of the river are houses. Also, there are NO signs posted saying to stay out of there. So we were not breaking any laws by going in.

 My advise if you happen to find yourself here:
-Stay out of the woods. Apparently there are homeless people and drug users.....if you want to wander around the woods, go to the other side of town and explore Skyline Drive. They have great hiking up there :)
-When you see perverts, make loud comments that you see what they're doing, they'll get embarrassed and either stop or leave. *awkward*
-They have lots of picnic tables, so bring a picnic!
-Bring mouthwash and Wetwipes, just in case your kid actually takes that dare, and eats the worm.

Happy Travels, Candi

Friday, November 30, 2012

Halloween Fun!

 Like 2 months late....sorry 'bout that. I've been working like crazy!
Anyway, so really other than Trick-or-Treating, the only thing we were able to do was our favorite
haunted house attraction, Darkwood Manor in Luray, VA. Every year they have a different theme, and it's always AWESOME. I've been taking Bailey, for the last three years. He loves it. He's 11 now, so I guess as far as being "kid-friendly", it depends on how much your own kid can actually handle. There was another 11 y/o with us, his friend Drew, who was scared to go in, but I pulled him in, and he loved it and wanted to go back in! My friend's 11 y/o went, stood in line, and at the last minute wanted no parts of it, and wouldn't go it all depends on the individual.
 So this year while standing in line, we had the good fortune of meeting, BEETLEJUICE! He was awesome, very entertaining. There was also a little (in stature) girl...She was like a doll or zombie or something. She was pretty cool too. They definitely keep you entertained while you're waiting to go in.
They got all hi-tech this year, and had a big projection screen going outside, and a few digital effects inside.
  Here are a few pictures:
Beetlejuice, Drew, Bailey, & two of our cousins in the back.

Drew, Bailey, and the zombie doll girl.

This is my good friend Stacey from school and me!
I made this from ONE trashbag lol.

My pumpkin.

These boys are CRAZY lol. We were in Target waiting for everyone to meet up to go to Darkwood Manor.
The next day I took them to the Alamo drafthouse. They do this super cool Saturday morning cartoon thing. This time is was Halloween themed old cartoons!!! Animaniacs, Bugs Bunny, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, etc...for 2 hours, and for $4!! And, they have have all you can eat cereal!! :D

After the Alamo, we met up with my mama and grandparents at he Golden Corral. This isn't really a special place, extactly....I just had to put these crazy boys antics on here lol. They had a cotton candy machine and a chocolate fountain. Which they put the two together.
They had this stuff EVERYWHERE. And it wouldn't come off!!! They had my Papa laughing so hard :D

The more Drew wiped, the worse it got lol

Oh, and after that we went to the Halloween store in Manassas....where a Zombie tried to bite me. I kid.... I kid..... It was a fake bahahahahaha

We had such an awesome weekend!! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coke Zero Brownies & 5 Ingredient Banana Bread

Found the diet coke brownies on Pinterest (freakin' love Pinterest!). The recipe was found on this blog:

 Anyway, the recipe calls for Diet Coke, but I used Coke Zero.

 Low-fat Brownie mix
 Coke Zero

 In a bowl, pour coke over brownie mix, stir w/ a fork or whisk. Grease the pan. Pour in the mixture, and bake for about 15-20 (until a knife or toothpick comes out clean when you poke it). The time depends on what type of pan you are using. I used a standard brownie pan (specifically said brownie pan on the label), and a mini-muffin pan. I checked them after 15 minutes. If they're not quite done I let them bake for another 2 minutes at a time....If they're really not done, I'll do 5 minutes at a time.

This is the BEST Banana Bread you'll ever eat!


3 bananas (should be turning brown)
1 box yellow cake mix
walnuts, chopped (like a handful)
chocolate chips (about 1/2 a cup; more or less)
2 eggs

Directions: Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees
 In a large bowl, mash up the bananas (mashed potato masher worked great!). Add in the other ingredients, and mix with a fork. Spray the pan/s with PAM. Pour in the batter. Bake for about 20 min. Do the knife/toothpick trick again like you would for the brownies.

 I made four mini loaves out of this mix.
Original recipe found here:
Hopefully, this weekend I'll make it to one of the Valley's Haunted House attractions!!! That post will be coming on Monday! :)
                                                               All The Best, Candi