Friday, June 16, 2017

Sister’s Visit – It’s a Wrap!

Here are a few more bits and pieces from Laurie’s sister’s visit here in East Tennessee back in May.

First…a little shopping..!

As per a recommendation from the receptionist at Gatlinburg Tennessee’s Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, we left the center of town to search for Hemlock Village and its Highland Craft Gallery.  She told us that this gallery carried a selection of the best items made by local craft people. 

As per what little I could find about this gallery on line and from what I say, it features traditional and contemporary crafts made from metal, fiber, glass, clay, wood and leather, all handmade by select regional artisans.

The Highland Craft Gallery is located at 755 Buckhorn Road on Gatlinburg’s “Art Loop”.   This 8-mile loop has been named as a Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail.  It was established in 1937.  Artisans along the way whittle, paint, sew, cast, forge, weave and carve a plethora of items.  The photos from just this one gallery give you a good idea of what is available in the many stores situated along the art loop…

To learn more about the art loop, go to

I’m not much of a shopper…much less a buyer…but I do appreciate quality and creativity.  The Highland Craft Gallery’s selection is a couple of cuts above average in the area.  The sisters all agreed with everyone making multiple purchases.

The craftsperson manning the store told me that the huge destructive Gatlinburg fire came within a mile of her home.  She also told me that the area was really suffering financially…not just from a reduction in customer count but also from the fact that many of the homes and apartments that had served as residences for salesclerks and other workers in the area had either burned down or were now being occupied by area homeowners and business people who had been burned out.  Finding help to work in a store is now a challenge…and some places are paying up to $15.00 an hour for cashiers…

I couldn’t find a website or Facebook page for the Highland Craft Gallery but you can learn more about it by calling 865-430-8951.

I wasn’t with the sisters when they went to an Art Show in Tellico Village or when they attended a rehearsal at the Community Church at Tellico Village.  Our friend Jodie, who’s a choir member, had invited the ladies to stop by and watch the choir rehearse with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.  The sisters really enjoyed the experience!

To learn about this church, go to

We all joined Morrie and Jody for lunch at the Tanasi Bar and Grill at Tellico Village’s Tanasi Golf Course.  It was a fun time and Laurie was happy that her sisters met some of our friends. 

The Tanasi Bar and Grill is located at 450 Clubhouse Point in Loudon Tennessee.  It is open to the public.  Phone: 865-458-9392.  This restaurant is on Facebook at

While we ate out almost all of the time while Laurie’s sisters were visiting us, we did manage to eat at home on 2 occasions.  For dinner one evening our friends Linda and Norm were able to join us.  From the left: Karole, Linda, Norm, Bonnie and Laurie.

For this feast I grilled pork steaks, slathering them with Famous Dave’s Rich and Spicy BBQ sauce.  I “may have” cooked just a few too many giant pork steaks.  Everyone agreed that they were very good and I ‘unfortunately’ had 3 of them left over that I was ‘forced’ to eat over the next few days.  For our main side dish, Laurie made some of her special baked potatoes which are coated with Kirkland’s Steak Seasoning from Costco.  We also served a big container of coleslaw using Marie’s coleslaw dressing.

FYI…our source for these big pork steaks was Sloan’s grocery store in the Sloan’s Center that’s located on US Hwy. 411 in Vonore Tennessee.  Website:  

Linda and Norm brought a great dessert to cap off our little feast.  This beautiful cake was from our Turkey Creek shopping area’s Publix Super Market and it’s called a Raspberry Celebration Cake.  We all agreed that it was excellent!  

All good things must or at least do come to an end.  I took this photo of Laurie and her sisters by our front door just before we headed out to the airport.  One activity that they all really seemed to enjoy was digging through the trove of their family history with photos and letters that we have stored at our house… They spent hours just reading letters to each other that their parents had written to one another as far back as the 1930’s.

Bye! Bye!  Karole and Bonnie are welcome back anytime… We had a great time and I was even praised for my duties as a fine chauffeur and tour guide!

The sisters had flown in to Chattanooga but they flew home from Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport.  Their fare back to St. Louis was about 2.5 times more expensive than it cost them to fly into Chattanooga Tennessee.  The route this time took them from Knoxville to Houston Texas and then back to St. Louis.  Of course their flights were delayed & they didn't get home till late. Sad....

There aren’t any direct flights to either Knoxville or Chattanooga from St. Louis.  However there are direct flights to many cities across the USA.  These include: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare, Dallas–Fort Worth, Denver, Destin, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Newark, New York–LaGuardia, Orlando–Sanford, Philadelphia, Punta Gorda, St. Petersburg - Tampa Bay, Washington D.C.–Dulles and Washington D.C.–National.  To learn more about Knoxville’s McGhee-Tyson Airport, go to

That’s all folks!  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. Looks like you had a very good visit with the sisters and you were a fine tour guide.

  2. I love the tartan as well as the green top that Laurie is wearing, Dave! This looks like a wonderful time overall! And I am not keen on shopping, either, but I like the ambiance of the store you shared in your photos. And the food looks delicious! I enjoyed this tour very much, thank you so much for sharing.

  3. What fun and lovely site, I look beauty things, Im sure you and Laurie had a lovely time with the sisters!!