Saturday, May 2, 2015

Slowing the Pace

 When my parents retired and moved to Tennessee, their dearest friend Bernice came for her first visit.  My mom was pointing out the beauty of the mountain views which were lost on Bernice.  Being a gal who loved to be where the action was, she looked at the mountains and said "half an hour of that view and I'm done."  She thrived on the constant activity going on near her Florida beach home.
I often think of that little conversation when I am gazing at the mountains.  This past weekend brought just such a moment.
A short getaway into the Smoky Mountains brought us to our home away from home for the next couple days.
Upon reaching our destination, we happily spent a few moments checking out our new surroundings.

 It was hard to resist the lure of the front porch rockers.
Particularly when the view in front of us looked like this:

Hills, valleys and the Smoky Mountains all combining into a beautiful, tranquil landscape.
In the foreground the croak of the bullfrogs could be heard loud and clear.  
The greening of the springtime earth was evident as far as the eye could see as was the sound of the birds singing their sweet melodies.
 Definitely not a fast-paced place, but that was just fine with us.

 A walk around the garden revealed that the irises were the star of the show at the moment.
Little hand painted ladybugs were hiding in amongst the plants courtesy of one of the innkeeper's granddaughters.

 The story of how this inn came to be is one that is best told by the owners.

Twenty-Seven years ago the idea of owning a bed and breakfast inn began to grow in the minds of Norman and Sarah Ball. Sarah, an elementary school teacher, particularly was intrigued with the idea. The 60-acre farm where she had grown up would make a perfect location. Once the idea turned to passion, she quit her job. Norman, an educator himself, was also an architectural draftsman and started drawing the plans for a Victorian-style farmhouse to sit on top of a hill overlooking the rolling hills and mountains. (He kept his job.) The inn opened in July 1987, when Norman and Sarah had a daughter in college, a fifteen-year-old son, and a five-year-old son.

And this in reference to the "blue mountain mist" part of the name :

The mist rises from every hollow and ravine, and the hills and mountains appear layer upon layer—their hazy-blue color giving meaning to the Cherokee phrase “Shaconage” (land of blue smoke). This land has a wonderful, mysterious, magnetic pull. The lush vegetation, varied wildlife, and spectacular views have an appeal that attract the Smoky Mountain visitor.

Each morning the tables were beautifully set.
Unfortunately I didn't think to take pictures until the meal was over and the tables were cleared.  Oops.  Guess I was too busy enjoying the scenery and the mouth watering food.  Speaking of food, it was all prepared by one of the sons, served family style and extremely delicious.
On this weekend they had a full house.  We shared breakfast with another couple who were about our age.  While making introductions, they told us that their getaway was a Christmas gift from their kids who think that they have too much stuff :).  We smiled and said that ours was a Christmas gift from our son who thinks we need to get away more often.  We all could relate to this stage of life where vacations may be more about a change of pace and scenery than visiting the local tourist attractions and purchasing souvenirs.    If however one was interested in that, Dollywood and Gatlinburg are just a hop, skip and a jump from here.  Since we had been there before with our kids when they were younger, we opted to avoid them this time.

Each evening homemade desserts, coffee and iced tea were set out at the "Temptation Station".  Did I manage to get a picture of the chocolate cake or the apple cobbler?  Of course not... but, trust me, they were scrumptious (and also made by one of the Ball's sons).

 All too soon it was time to head down the stairs, past the little frog pond and bid farewell to the Blue Mountain Mist Inn.
Pulling away from the picturesque country setting I felt thankful for the decision Norman & Sarah Ball made all of those years ago to share their land, home and gentle southern hospitality.
Also thankful for a thoughtful son who made it all possible.


  1. What a lovely place to get away. You live in such a beautiful part of the country!

  2. That's a ten million dollar view right there! How wonderful to get away and enjoy it. Hope that all the stresses of life were eased away with the view, the food, and the warm hospitality.

  3. So glad you were able to slow the pace and share with us, Kim, what a beautiful place to visit! Personally I am a mountain girl, not much for beach vacations!~smile~
    Thanks for sharing the link, dh and I are long overdue for a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains!

  4. How fun! What a sweet destination. I'm glad you had a nice time.

  5. What a wonderful getaway and the perfect present. I'd love to spend a weekend there. Everything is so green and beautiful. I love the mountains!!

  6. What a lovely post, was almost like I was there. That's one beautiful house, and it's so wonderful to hear a story of a dream come true. I'm glad you had a wonderful time.

    Blessings for more relaxing times,
    Marianne xo

  7. Enjoy! I sure can't imagine a view like that! Amazing~

  8. Oh Kim, I am adding this to my Wish List for a getaway. It looks and sounds fantastic.

  9. That sounds like so much fun. :) I would love that view from the rocking chairs.

  10. Loving your pictures and the simple, honest way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

  11. Kim, today I went to "comments awaiting moderation" and I found so many comments from you that I had not yet seen via my email/publish feature. I'm so sorry about that! You always leave such sweet comments and I am not sure what's up with my email that causes some comments to NOT come through. Ack! Please forgive me! I published all of them today, but I'm going to make sure I do it on my dashboard each time I post, too! Have a great week!

  12. Now that looks like a delightful place to spend some time! I can almost picture where you we passed near there on our road trip a short time ago.

  13. Looks like the perfect getaway Kim! Sometimes you just have to take the time to enjoy and relax.
    Thanks for sharing that part of your country since I'm not familiar with it. A thoughtful son indeed
    Have a great day

  14. The best part of your getaway, was that you shared it with us. What a lovely place to visit! I like how they used the yellow and blue on their tables. You must have felt right at home. Those rocking chairs are still calling my name. I am so happy you had time to sit and unwind. A special gift to you from your son.

  15. What a perfect vacation spot. I, too, am looking for an easy relaxation time rather than the touristy places. This seems perfect.


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