Friday, June 21, 2013


Today was the official opening of The Island in Pigeon Forge, located between traffic lights 3 and 4 in the heart of Pigeon Forge, TN in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

The focal point of the complex is the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot-high observation wheel. The views of Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains are terrific, and you can see new developments like the Leconte Convention Center and the beginnings of the Pigeon Forge baseball complex.

We ate at the Timberwood Grill which is decorated in a mountain lodge theme and offers a little different twist on offerings like Bison Burgers, fried Macaroni and Cheese and Hillbilly Whine. Yes, that's the way they spell it. It was a great experience sitting on the patio in the shade, a nice breeze blowing, people walking by, music playing, a real festive setting.

In this first phase already opened are Arcade City, The Flying Horse Carousel,The Euro-Bungy Dome which are mini-trampolines, Great Smoky Mountain Wheel Gift Shop, Mellow Mushroom restaurant and Dude's Daiquiris, and several other snack shops like Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Island Yogurt and The Fudgery.

There are many building ready to be occupied by retail shops and a hotel, and a sign promising "The Island Fountain Show", which is a lighted fountain display and show, all to open in the spring of 2014.

The Island In Pigeon Forge is brand new and looks like it is off to a good start. It is a good experience to visit The Island, ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, shop and eat and drink. We are looking forward to spending an evening shopping in one of the unique stores then sitting on one of the restaurant's patios, enjoying a meal or drink, listening to music and watching the sun set over Pigeon Forge.
The Island in Pigeon Forge, TN

Monday, June 17, 2013


It was a great show Friday night at the Country Tonite Theater as Jimmy Fortune and T. Graham Brown performed at the Celebrity Series.

Any show at the Country Tonite Theater is a great show - the theater is beautiful, the sound and lighting is fabulous, and the people at the theater are great hosts - but the Celebrity Series allows them to spotlight some of Country music's finest classic performers. And two of country's finest performed at the Country Tonite Theater on Friday, June 14, 2013.

Jimmy Fortune was the opening act. Jimmy was with the Statler Brothers for over a decade until they retired eleven years ago. They called him "the little guy on the end". Jimmy not only provided the clear, sweet, multi-ranged voice, but he also wrote several hits including Elizabeth. When my wife met Jimmy backstage she said to him, "I didn't know that you wrote Elizabeth. He said, "I did, but she never wrote back". My wife and I burst out laughing which was his intent as he is a gracious, engaging man in addition to being a talented singer/song-writer.

Jimmy's voice is as clear and strong as it was when he was singing with the Statler Brothers, and now that he has a solo career, he has added new songs that he has written to a few standards from the Statler's and a couple of gospel tunes including a powerful rendition of How Great Thou Art!

When T. Graham Brown came out on stage I told my wife that he looked like a cross between Nick Nolte and Kenny Rogers. His voice was closer to Kenny Rogers with good range and strong vocals. One of the nicer things about the Celerity Series is that performers feel right at home on the Country Tonite stage, and they open up about their lives on and off the road. T. Graham told stories about George Jones, Little Jimmy Dickens and Minnie Pearl, all to the delight of the audience.

The $35.00 price per ticket is a real bargain in this day and time and believe me you get way more than you pay for. The next show is July 5th with Sawyer Brown and believe me, we'll be there!
Deb with T.Graham Brown

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


The options for trail rides in the Tennessee Smokies are as varied as the number of horses in a corral. All rides come with great scenery because the Great Smoky Mountains are the background. Some rides go along wide, flat trails, but most of the Smoky Mountain trail rides involve climbing hills, crossing streams, and riding through primitive forests. And the wildlife is as varied as the trails – deer, turkey, hawks, herons and eagles are a few of the forest creatures that you might encounter.

At the stable you will receive some riding instruction and safety tips from your guide, then you will mount up and follow your guide down the path. Most guides will point out places of interest along the way, identify trees, flowers and wildlife, and occasionally tell a tall tale or even break out in song!

But the best part of a horseback ride in the Smokies is enjoying the scenery. You get a different perspective from the back of a horse and the gentle swaying motion of the horse adds to your relaxation and peace of mind.

Once the ride is over and you return to the corral, you feel like a cowboy of old who has just completed a cattle drive down to the Rio Grande. And you will have lots of stories to share around your ‘campfire’ when you get home.

Horseback Riding Coupons
Horseback Riding in the Smoky Mountains
Horseback Riding in the Smoky Mountains

Monday, June 3, 2013

 One of the most relaxing things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains, is to float down the Little River in Townsend, Tennessee, on an inner tube. This is not your ordinary inner tube, but a large, colorful, heavy-duty inner tube constructed to transport you safely and comfortably down the river. Several Tubing companies are located in Townsend, which bills itself as The Peaceful Side of the Smokies, and you will find peace floating down the river on a sunny day in east Tennessee. The companies will supply the tubes, life jackets for the little ones, a ride from the exit point of the river back to the departure point, and usually unlimited trips down the river.

Your journey starts by wading into the Little River and plopping own on the tube. You can sit on it or lay on your stomach, the choice is yours. From then on the current will float you down the river and the trees on both banks of the river provide a canopy of shade. There are a few long drops in elevation which provide for a mini-whitewater adventure that shoots you along and spins you around gently for a fun ride.

 At the end of the hour-and-a-half ride you pull yourself and your tube out of the water and board the bus that takes you back to the beginning. There you can choose to jump back into the river for another ride, or towel off and seek new adventures.

Tubing in Townsend TN
Smoky Mountain Coupons