Monday, May 12, 2008

We're back!

What a perfect vacation! Dh and I celebrated our 13th anniversary by taking a long weekend trip -- sans children -- to a lovely little cabin in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. We prefer the types of vacations where you don't run into many other people so we opted to stay in Cocke County rather than closer to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. We chose a cabin near Parrotsville, Tennessee at a small resort called Meadow Creek Mountain Rustic Resort. Our cabin was great. Cozy, with a fireplace and a hot tub on the back deck. And best of all, glorious views everywhere you look. We worried a bit about staying in a cabin *so* very far out but it was great. Despite calling itself "rustic", the resort offered all sorts of amenities. The cabins aren't "roughing" it at all. ( Here are some pictures of our cabin.) We could have stayed for an entire week and still not had enough time to do all we wanted. They will shuttle you to the top of a nearby mountain so you can mountain bike back down to the resort. They also have horses and miles and miles of forest trails to ride or hike. There are white water rafting trips and kayaking excursions. Plenty to keep you busy.

The most exciting thing was the resort restaurant. Considering how "rustic" the resort was, I was so not expecting much on the dining front. How wrong I was! The Barnyard Bistro, even though it was decorated in early barnyard style (lots of chickens and barn wood), offered quite gourmet fare. Once the server started explaining the daily special: Sesame Encrusted Chilean Sea Bass with Soy-Citrus Glaze, I knew the food front was not going to be a problem. Of course I had to order it and I was not disappointed. Perfect, tender, flaky fish in a crispy seasame coating and drizzled with a soy-citrus glaze. Tasty food. Beautiful presentation. And the best Creamed Spinach with Wild Mushrooms I've ever had. ;-)

Dh had the Meadow Creek Filet, which was a "country fried 8 oz. Black Angus tenderloin with pepper gravy center. Dh says it's the best steak he's ever had and even convinced me to try a bit and I must say, despite the fact that I hate beef, it was pretty good. ;-)

Next time I want to stay for a week and try something new every night. Dishes like Chicken Velvet Pot Pie (chicken breast, wild mushrooms, puff pastry and tarragon gravy), Skillet Chicken ( sauteed butter-flied chicken breast coated in bread crumbs, herbs & cheese & pan fried. Served with whipped Dijon mustard sauce) or Atlantic Salmon Filet with Lemon, Garlic and Dill Sauce will give me plenty to choose from.

We had a great time and hope to get back to Tennessee again soon. Maybe even later this summer so we can take the kids along. And maybe by then I'll be in good enough shape to actually *run* while I'm down there. We'd planned to start our running program back up while we were there but after the first *walk* up the hill to the resort office, we didn't seriously consider trying to run. It's amazing how quickly you can lose your fitness. And how seriously un-fit you can seem when you are trying to run up a mountain after running through flat cornfields!

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