Friday, June 3, 2016

Back from Tennessee!

Hi Everyone!
I'm finally back home. I flew in late Wednesday night back to hot, dry, brown California. Ugggh. I really must admit that Tennessee is one of the prettiest states I've ever visited. Green, green everywhere!  Gorgeous mountains, lush forests, and tons of lakes and creeks.  It is so different from California and more in tune with the climate in which I grew up.  California has its great qualities, but the climate is more Mediterranean, much drier, and brown most of the time. The sun seems hotter to me for some reason.  Anyway, God planted me here, so I'll stop complaining. What did I do on my trip?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  And I loved it!!  My life is normally so hectic between managing a full time writing career, taking care of a house and husband, and watching my grandkids, I rarely have time to breathe. Every day is packed full from sunrise to sunset and I never seem to get everything done. But at my Mom and sister's cabin, I had nothing to do. And it was pure heaven.  I got up late each morning, grabbed some coffee and went out to sit on their porch. Here's what greeted me.

I sat, prayed, watched the squirrels, chipmunks and birds fight over the seed my Mom would put out. It was so peaceful. No smog, no sound of traffic, just the rustle of leaves and a gentle breeze.

Usually later in the day we would all go out to eat at some fabulous place.  Here's a few pictures. Wish I'd taken more, but I was too busy eating!  We went to Cracker Barrel, Cheddars, Harpoon Harrys (best deep fried oysters), The infamous Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg (best pancakes on the planet!),  The Pottery House with Bonnie Roof! and the Wild Plum (an off the trail Tea house that sits in the forest next to a creek--best Lobster Pie)

Bonnie Roof, My Mom, my Sis and me at the Pottery House

Me and my precious Bonnie Roof who drove hours to see me!

They sat us right next to this gorgeous waterfall

My Adorable Sis

Goldfish too!
Cracker Barrel! Yum

Me and my Sis!

My Sister's dog, Riley. A very sweet rescue dog who wasn't sure about me.
The best Onion rings at Cheddars
If you ever get to Gatlinburg, the BlueBerry pancakes at the Pancake Pantry are to die for!
Mom and Me with our ginormous fruity drinks!
Found this sign for my house. My grandkids call me Mimi. LOL
You may be asking yourself, Do they do anything else but eat? LOL Nop.  Not really. We did drive thought the Smoky National Park on the motor nature trail, which was lovely, peaceful, gorgeous and refreshing, but I come to see my Mom and Sis, so we just spend time together

It was a wonderful time and I feel refreshed and ready to get back to working on She Walks in Power, which I'm still hoping to put out in September, Lord Willing.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind me posting a bit of personal news.  I pray you all are well and ready to enjoy your summer!




  1. H there, my friend! :)) Welcome back! I've missed your posts.:)So glad that you recharged your batteries and you're ready to get back on track.:) Family pics are love, thanks a lot for sharing this info with us.:) I enjoy seeing happy/smiley families.:)

  2. So nice! What a great place to be able to go and relax and have a change of scenery. I'm happy for you that you could do that! :)
    Have a beautiful weekend!

    1. Thanks Caroline! Nice to hear from you! I hope all is well.

  3. As a Tennessean myself, I'm glad you enjoyed your time here and are feeling rested and refreshed. Thanks for sharing your pictures and restaurant recommendations (totally agree about the onion rings at Cheddar's---DELISH!). Anxious to read "She Walks In Power", so I hope your creative juices have been rejuvenated and we'll have it soon.

  4. O, looks like fun!! Happy to see a group of fine ladies!

  5. So glad your trip left you refreshed - I'm so looking forward to 'She Walks in Power'!!

    I'm glad you were able to experience driving the motor trail, both the trail and setting at the Pottery House Cafe are tiny bits of heaven - as is the setting at your mom's house. You must pay a visit to Ky. - it's a beautiful green right now also, has many beautiful nature sites to experience, numerous interesting historical sites, and many recreational lakes.

    I've enjoyed the food at each of the places you mentioned, with the exception of Harpoon Harry's - in fact, my mother and I enjoyed Cheddar's onion rings at lunch today after her appointment with the dentist and before flower shopping for our flower gardens and patios.

    It was such a delightful, wonderful treat to spend time with you, your mom and sister - I'm blessed by your friendship, thank you!!

    Love, prayers, and hugs!!

    1. P.S. In re-reading my comments, they read as if I've eaten at Harpoon Harry's and didn't enjoy the food, however, I've never had the opportunity to eat there, lol!!

    2. What a joy to spend time with you, Bonnie! Aren't those onion rings at Cheddars to die for? You would like Harpoon Harry's. :-)

  6. Dear MaryLu,
    It was good to hear you had a great and restful time with your Mom and sister. As I had flown to Georgia the 1st part of May to my son's in Georgia, we went to The Gatlinburg area over the Memorial Day Weekend. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in Seiverville (sic) and spent some time in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We ate at the --The Peddler . And The Apple Wood Barn. And also --Harpoon Harry's. Great big buckets of crab legs. Delicious!!!
    We might have crossed each other's paths in that beautiful area. I do know that we didn't cross paths at the Lazy River at the Wilderness Lodge. I went tubing with my grandson and kept slipping down in the tube-- then at the end in water up to my shins with the current pulling me -I could not get up and my feet kept slipping , my son came and trying to get me in a standing position -a blond haired lady with the sweetest face came running in the water to help . She held my arm and looking in my eyes kept asking are you alright. Like three times. I assured her I was ok, that I just could not get a firm foothold to get up. Walking away I turned to thank her and could not see her anywhere. An Angel!!!!????
    I love the area and plan a trip back soon.
    Glad you had a restful time. And I too am looking forward to ---She Walks in Power--
    Blessings to you and yours

    1. Elsie! I can't believe you were there too! I'm so sorry to have missed you. WE probably did cross paths at some point. I love the Peddler by the way.. have eaten there many times. I actually lived in Gatlinburg for 2 years when I was a teenager. It's such a beautiful part of the country!
      Anyway, I love your Angel story! I had a similar thing happen to me here in California.. A beautiful lady walking a gorgeous dog passed me on a trail and said "God Bless you." (nobody says that here!) So, I turned to thank her, and she was gone!

    2. MaryLu, I thought of you and wondered if we both were in the same area that was absolutely beautiful. I planned to go next year with my Georgia family. The Peddler was good and I enjoyed their salad bar. I loved the steak but I could have just gone for the salad bar.
      It is a special feeling when you know that God has placed an Angel in your pathway-- .you just know that it had to be God's doing. Glad you had a great visit with your Mom and Sister. I fly home to Boston Monday morning. Blessings to you and yours 😊😊😊

  7. You're making me want to move to Tennessee. It looks and sounds so calm and serene...oh well. Welcome back aboard, Cap' back to work, says I, that book isn't going to write itself. ;-)

    1. You would love it, Chappy. :-) Back to work? Hey, I'm the captain here and I'll be the one givin' orders. LOL

  8. Sat 4th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Finally getting on to your site, to see your wonderful pictures from Tennessee !!! Loved you sharing your personal pics with us ! And SO glad -- you just vegged out, and "ate" !!! Relaxing, peaceful, and a blessed family-time !!!
    Now the deal with 'Riley' ... all you needed to do MaryLu, was to open one of your novels, and begin reading to him. He would have been "totally captivated" by your voice, and your stories ... I'm quite sure, cuddling in right beside you !!!
    Today, I'm off to the annual "Princess Tea" at our Church. One granddaughter (Lyla - 5), and her Mom, and Lyla's friend Eva. "Hoping" to take lots of pictures.
    Hope the renewed energy from your recent vacation is aimed at "She Walks In Power" ... keep on writing, dear friend !!! We're all looking forward to this new release !
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

    1. Thanks Brenda! I wish I'd thought of that with Riley! LOL Enjoy your Princess Tea!!! Sounds like fun.

  9. MaryLu, I LOVED these pics and your family,--and Riley looks so much like my mini-dachs Lucy,who BTW, is doing better since we took her to the vet this morning and also laid hands on her for her healing.
    (: So glad you got a good rest. That's so important for us hardworking writers. And thanks again for reading my Summer of Deception which will be released in 2017. We'll stay in touch.
    ELva Cobb Martin Pres. ACFW-SC Chapter