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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Friday: Tripps and DAVE'S

On Friday, Jana and I left Gatlinburg and headed to Ashville/Hendersonville, NC. We stopped in Ashville to eat at Tripps. Everything again was good - the atmosphere, service, the food. However, it wasn't something that I thought was a "gotta go back there" type of thing. They have locations in North and South Carolina as well as Virginia. 4 out of 5.

However, the next place we ate wasn't an eating establishment at all! However, it was probably the best place we ate on our entire trip. There was nothing formal about this place and we basically ate with our hands, but this is something that I really want to do again! Below are the 40 halves of chicken being prepared for the evening.

While getting our instructions from Kaye at Clear Creek Cabins, she informed us that her friend Dave had a pavilion just down the road and that he loves to feed, meet and entertain guests there. She also noted that he had been to Wal-Mart that day and she knew he had chicken for the evening and suggest we might want to go down for part of the evening. With a little coxing, we decided to go to "Dave's". Were we glad we did! Dave and the entire group was so inviting and gracious to both Jana and I. I had "pumpkin butter" for the first time in my life. Dave made 40 halves of chick for about 15 of us and two batches of biscuits - both of which were fabulous. They even had Diet Mt. Dew! We sat around the campfire and talked and listened to stories about WWII and so much more. We made new friends that we hope to visit again. Below, Jana and I pose for a picture which Dave took for us. 4.9999999999 out of 5 (remember, no one is perfect).

Dixie Stampede

Thursday evening we ate at the Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge. The entertainment was great and the food and service was even better! I am sure many of you who have been to the Stampede knew that there are no utencils to eat with. However, the soup, the chicken, the pork loin . . . everything was really, really good. The only mediocre item was the corn, and that was even okay. I would go back again just for the meal. The show and pre-show were fun and entertaining and I would go back again. I give the meal 4.9 out of 5 (no one's perfect) and the entire evening a 4.5.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Alamo Steakhouse & Saloon

Wednesday night we headed to the Alamo. As you can see, the steakhouse was voted best restaurant in Galinburg. I am not sure if it was the best, but, it was definitely better than most. I wasn't really impressed with the atmosphere but the "Oak Fired, Black Angus" steak I had was really good. I got it blackened while Jana doesn't like spicy foods and elected to have hers prepared regularly. Jana had been sick all day and had to take her steak home in a "doggie bag". We ate her steak the next night and it was almost as good the second night as the first. The service was top notch that night which made up for the atmosphere.

If you are going to Gatlinburg and want good steak, go to the Alamo. If you want good atmosphere, go somewhere else. I give it a 4 our of 5.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Jana and I needed a good camera and decided to take some of the gift cards we received for our wedding and buy a digital camera. We decided on a Canon Powershot A1000. Jana was familiar with this camera and we thought it would serve the purpose. To do this, we had to travel about 40 minutes from our cabin and decided to have lunch at a place called Aubrey's in Maryville, TN. Their slogan is "Real Food. Real Comfort. Real Good." They did okay with most of that. The atmosphere was okay and the service that day was really good. They had the shelves around the dining room lined with #10 cans of vegetables and sauces, which was a bit unique to both Jana and I. The Steak I had, the center cut sirloin, was better than most. Jana had some really good pasta - the Haystack. It was the second day in a row that I ate creamed corn however, neither time was it as good as Aunt Thelma made. I could recommend Aubrey's to anyone but I don't think it would be first place on my list. I will give it a 3.5 out of 5 - which is above normal.
Remember: You are the reason for the Season . . . Christ came to take your (and my) punishment!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mrs. Rowe's Country Buffet

This is the first of a series of posts about some new places Jana and I ate during our honeymoon. We determined to only eat at places we had never been before. Below you can see that we stopped just below Harrisonburg, VA for our first ever meal together as husband and wife. The place with that distinction is "Mrs. Rowes Country Buffet".

Being a buffet, we obviously had many choices. The item that stood out to me was the carved beef roast. While everything else was good, I went back the second time specifically for the beef. We obviously took a chance at this out of the way buffet, but the home style cooking was a good starter for both of us. It was nice but I wouldn't say I would drive out of my way to eat there again. I will give it 3 out of 5.

Places We Have Never Eaten

Jana and I took pictures of all the places we ate during our honeymoon. We tried, and accomplished, to only eat at places we had never eaten before. So, over the next few days I will post some of those pics and possibly comment on each. For now, we have to travel back to Central PA and get ready for Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Honeymoon Update - Not That it is Any of Your Business

A quick update . . . Jana and I are both feeling much better and have moved on to Clear Creek Cabins close to Ashville and Hendersonville, NC. We spent a fun evening with Dave and the gang eating and meeting new friends on Friday night. Yesterday we did some touring of Lake Lure, Castle Rock and Bat Cave (where the motto is "Bite Me!") and a little shopping. Today we went to First Baptist Church of Hendersonville and then to Square One Bistro for brunch (We have made it a goal NOT to eat at any restaurant we have been to before - so far, so good). We both checked our email and facebook pages while sitting in front of the Living Room Coffeehouse & Cafe and look forward to a quiet afternoon at the Cabin in the Woods. We begin our trek home tomorrow but not before we check out the Biltmore House in Ashville. We will only travel part way home on Monday and expect to be home to open presents at my house between 4 and 5 PM. Neither of us is looking forward to getting back to the real world but know it's reality.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jana's Turn!

I feel MUCH better today, however, now it is Jana's turn to be sick and now it is my turn to take care of her. I am glad we decided to take 10 days for our honeymoon as opposed to a week. I think the extra sleep we got/are getting is probably a good thing. Too bad we are getting the sleep because of illness. Anyway, we had a really nice day yesterday and we both are looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of our time away.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not the Wedding . . . The Honeymoon!!!

In my last post, I talked about getting sick for my wedding. Thank God I didn't! However . . . Monday on my honeymoon was a different story. I slept most of the day while my wonderful wife took care of me. I am not sure which is worse, getting sick for my wedding or getting sick for my honeymoon. You tell me. Comment if you would.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Everyone around me is getting sick! I can't get sick! That would be awful for Saturday. I sound like a girl. Suck it up Joel and deal with it! Either way you will be married.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pre-Marital Counselling.

Today I have to go to pre-marital counselling. I have really come to appreciate this time. I enjoy learning about myself, Jana and our life together. However, the more I learn, the more I am responsible for. Just a thought.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Group Picture

What a great group of teens, young adults and leaders! Thanks for a stress-free week!
OCC 2008