Tag Archives: Dillsboro

Gorgeous Sky & Choo-Choos SWF + CTST Vol. 2

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Hello, Kittens and Dawgs!  Last week, I started sharing two of my regular Friday segments, Skywatch Friday and Celebrate the Small Things on Thursday as a way to make the content more enjoyable for all who stop by.

In my Skywatch Friday section today, I’m taking a look back to our December day trip to Bryson City and Dillsboro, North Carolina.  These two towns are about 30-minutes apart.  We had a lovely time strolling around Bryson City and shared some of those photos here and here.

We were in these mountain communities in the middle of the week and there were no worries of crowds or traffic.  When we got to Dillsboro, we decided to swing by to see the left-behind movie scene props from Harrison Ford’s hit flick, The Fugitive.

I photographed this last in late fall 2013.  The angle and exposure were not the best in those shots, so I was glad to have another chance for a do-over.

This time I zoomed in more for a better view and in the below picture if you click to enlarge you should be able to read Illinois Dept. of Correction on the side of the bus.

It was a splendid day for early December to be outdoors soaking up the sunshine even with the occasional wind gusts.

After we got done in Dillsboro, we stopped off to see the Balsam Mountain Inn and as the veil of night fell, we venture to Pigeon Forge on our way home to enjoy the lights.

Today, I’m Celebrating the Small Things include…

I know I’ve said it before but I’m celebrating living in a place I love and can have many do-overs on photo-ops or moments to just soak up the beautiful mountain atmosphere.  I know there are some who visit may only have that once in a lifetime experience or perhaps an annual trip to this part of the country that we call home. I count us truly blessed to live here and do not take a moment of it for granted.

What are you celebrating?

See what others are celebrating this week and if you want to join the linky, then visit Lexa for details!

Tomorrow, I invite you to join me for some social media fun and your weekly dose of laughter with Friday Sillies.













Dillsboro Luminaires #WW

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Friday,  (if you missed that post, then you can catch it here) I mentioned heading to Dillsboro, North Carolina for their annual luminaires. Hopefully, I got the spelling correctly this time. My good blogger pal Janie Junebug who is a stickler when it comes to grammar informed me of my wrong spelling. Thanks, my friend! 😉DSC_5729

It was a gorgeous day ~ rich blue skies and moderate temps in the low 50s; by the time the sun sunk over the horizon it turned chilly fast and there was a light breeze making the air colder.

Earlier in the day, we were in Bryson City. We bought chocolates from two shops: The Chocolate Shoppe an independently owned shop by a husband and wife team. The wife makes most of the candies and the husband with the help of his nephew to run the storefront and Madison’s on Main is a small boutique who sells Maggie Lyon truffles (a chocolatier from Atlanta).  In the above photo, to the left of the church is Dillsboro Chocolates. We bought chocolates from them a few years ago and decided to buy  a chocolate assortment here, too.

Before the lighting of the luminaires, DH and I waited in the car sampling the three chocolates. This is how the contenders stacked against each other:

  • Our least favorite were the Maggie Lyon truffles from Madison’s on Main. The biggest problems the center had little flavor and the outer shell was too brittle. I think they were stale. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and am open to trying them the next time we’re in Atlanta if it’s convenient. They were certainly beautiful.
  • Next in line is Dillsboro Chocolates. Everything tasted really fresh. The truffle centers lacked flavor, the chocolate covered cherries (both white and dark) are nothing special, and the turtles didn’t have enough caramel and were too stiff. The only thing we liked there were the dark chocolate salted caramels. They changed it slightly making the bite-size caramels a lot thinner than the first time we got them. The flavor is good, but we prefer a thicker caramel. The sea salt granules garnishing the top of the caramels are a bit too coarse. A finer grind is needed in my opinion.
  • Our #1 pick is The Chocolate Shoppe. The truffle was a creamy, full-bodied raspberry flavor, the turtles sweet chewy caramel cradled pecan pieces and then nestled in smooth chocolate (milk and dark), the dark chocolate salted caramel was superb in taste and size, the dark chocolate maple nut cream was delectable, and the dark chocolate raspberry cream was our least favor piece. The raspberry was too fragrant to suit our taste.

Disclaimer:  I’m offering my 100% unbiased opinion to my readers and did not receive compensation from any of these businesses. The links provided are solely for your convenience only and I will not get a single penny if you click on them.

Thanks for joining the fun. I hope you’ll decide to visit a few of my favorite #WW shutterbugs link ups!

This certainly isn’t us, but it has gotten down into the upper 20s a few times already and it’s not even winter yet.

winter humor bro in fl

Have a fototastic day!




Skywatch Friday Polar Express

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Last year this time while on a blog break, we took a day trip to Bryson City, North Carolina and we plan to do a repeat visit this afternoon.


Take a peak at more of images I snapped of the Smoky Mountain Railway.

~All images captured with my big girl camera ~ Nikon D7000 & preferred lens Nikkor 18-105mm zoom, unless otherwise noted.~

Our weather forecast is calling for sunny skies and mild temperatures (low to mid 50s), so I expect it’ll be a spectacular day.

I encourage you to can join other Skywatch Friday photo enthusiasts here and now, it’s time to play along with Lexa in Celebrate the small things.

I celebrate…

  • kick starting the Christmas season with my homemade Maple Nut Fudge!
  • sharing another freebie with my readers. If you need Christmas design templates for your return shipping address, check out these 6-designs by Avery, here. I have used these in the past.
  • finding cool Christmas inspiration and freebies on Pinterest.
  • going to Dillsboro, NC tonight for their annual luminaries display. You can visit the streets of Dillsboro from our trip two Christmases ago here.
  • finally getting a chance to make home-made peppermint marshmallows for the first time in many years. This is a fun, easy, recipe that puts that extra festive mood in my cup of hot chocolate and the timing is perfect with our forecast lows this weekend dipping into the 20s. The recipe at the bottom. 😉

Life should be celebrated, even when it seems like you have no reason to celebrate. Just look around, I bet you’ll see something good! What are you celebrating?

One way to celebrate is with  Friendship Friday and Friday Features Linky Party, where you’re sure to make new friends and get lots of inspiration to boot!


It’s only marshmallow fluff at this stage. I’ll share photos after the marshmallow dries per the instructions. It looks pretty good like this, though, doesn’t it?

Home-made Peppermint Marshmallows


2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

NOTE: The original recipe calls for pure vanilla. I substituted LorAnn Peppermint Oil in its place, but I got too much in my batch. I think next time I will add 1 teaspoon until desired pepperminty taste. UPDATE: I made second batch after making this suggestion and found that 1 teaspoon is still a bit too much. Next time, I will start with half a teaspoon and adding more, if needed.

1. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.
3. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244° (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
4. Use a mixer on low-speed to slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
5. Generously dust an 8-by-12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners’ sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust top with confectioners’ sugar; wet your hands, and pat it to smooth. Dust with confectioners’ sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Turn out onto a board; cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2-inch squares, and dust with more confectioners’ sugar.


I’ll be running late with my visits, but I will hop over at some point this weekend or early next week. I invite you to join me for Monday’s Music Moves Me for a month of rocking around the Christmas tree and a lot of fah-lah-lah. Thanks for visiting and get out there for a fototastic day!



A night sky with Christmas lights and luminaries #SWF

Good-morning, kittens & dawg! It’s Christmas time and it’s the first weekend in December. And…what does that mean to me, you ask. Probably nothing at all unless you’re familiar with Dillsboro, North Carolina. Unfortunately, we’re experiencing a rainy weekend and we have an unfavorable chance of going to see the luminaries. Last year, we visited and I took lots of photos. Lucky for you coz today’s Skywatch Friday contribution is one such image I captured!


Image captured with my iPhone5s

Don’t let the rain discourage you, enjoy Christmas in Dillsboro, North Carolina from the comfort of your home. That’s a shoot! Thanks for stopping by. Until we meet on the other side of the lens next, have a foto-tastic day!

#WW: Christmas in Dillsboro, North Carolina

Thank you for joining for another week of not-so-Wordless Wednesday.  This week, I am sharing with our Friday outing to the beautiful Smoky Mountain foothills community of Dillsboro, NC.

You may recall last week’s post that I took you to see The Fugitive bus-train crash scene. Today, I want you to witness Christmas in Dillsboro through my eyes and that of the camera lens.

Join in on my linky party fun below!

After tonight, I am pretty much outta Blogosphere until December 30th. Let me say, as always it is so nice of you to come by & I hope you’ll decide to make it a repeat visit each week to share in  my photo ops.  I’ll be hopping over to see you soon! Meanwhile,  if you wanna make me or someone else happy, then be sure to leave a comment! Have a very Merry Christmas!


For more WW fun, join these fine bloggers’ link up….