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Archive for June, 2009

Angelina's Italian Market and DeliAfter we ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway we like to sit down, relax, and get some food to take back to a cabin (remember… when in Rome, stay in a fancy hotel… when in the mountains, stay in a cabin and really breathe it all in). So we always stop at Angelina’s Italian Market and Deli

Angelina's Italian Market and DeliIt’s quaint, right off Main St and has plenty of parking (unless they’re busy, then sorry..). They have deli items, home-made desserts, coffee, bottles of wine, gourmet food, coffee, the BEST lasagna ever, and coffee. Guess which is my favourite?

You know, we drive all day with stops in between, we do our usual picnic lunches, but at night for dinner… we do sometimes gussy up and go out to eat but there are other times we just want to relax. So we go to Angelina’s, buy a prepared tray of lasagna and go to our cabin to cook. Paulette prepares the lasagna and you have to bake it. It’s SO nice to go to the cabin and not have to leave again for dinner or worst yet – actually cook.

Angelina's Italian Market and DeliWhile you’re getting a lasagna, go ahead and get a bottle of wine, a dessert, and really make a night out of it.

They also offer a cafe that has free wi-fi, a coffee shop, and adding on soon is a gift shop. Last time we went there it was coming together nicely. You can also stock up on deli items for the next day road trip picnic.

Check out our Flickr set for more pics of Angelina’s and surrounding areas! More pictures added with each new blog post!

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The two houses of Ocoee Mist

The two houses of Ocoee Mist

We travel with our 4yr old all the time and while we do enjoy staying at hotels, we do change it up a bit and recently we stayed at The Ocoee Mist in Benton, TN. And let me just tell you, it has to be one of my favourite places on Earth. From the location, the surroundings, the peacefulness, the accomodations, and the farm animals.

Wait. What. Farm animals? Oh yea.

13 llamas
2 camels
1 horse
10 donkeys
1 peacock
24 goats
4 geese (maybe 5 now? They had an egg when I was there)
6 parrots
6 cats
5 dogs

Heh. Llama butt.

Heh. Llama butt.

I know it sounds a lot, but Kevin and Carol have a lot of land and those animals have plenty to roam. The animals do not stay in your room nor do you stay in their stable. There is 2 wonderful houses (one house has two rooms and the main house is for the overflow of guests). The animals are extremely friendly and the owners are especially kind enough to allow us to walk around and get near the animals. I have never heard my daughter squeel has much as she did while we were there. This really is a family-friendly environment and I can’t recommend it enough. If you want to have a great time rafting on the Ocoee, they are only 5 miles away from it and then you can relax at Ocoee Mist.

Ocoee Mist is located in Polk County, Tennessee near the Ocoee River and the Hiawasee River. They are 2 miles from Lake Ocoee, 2 miles from restaurants, and 5 miles from downtown. The view there is wonderful, even when it rained we were happy sitting on the porch watching Mel the Camel impatiently wait for my husband to pet him again.

Mel and my husband

Mel and my husband

The breakfast was amazing (the dining room is awesome!) and I can’t talk highly enough about the owners. Very sweet, down to Earth, and wonderful people to talk to. Your family will never forget the experience, I promise. Our daughter still talks about “Daddy’s best friend, Mel the Camel”

For more pictures of Ocoee Mist Farm B&B, check out our Flickr set.

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I don’t think The Monkees were singing about Clarkesville, GA, but hey… the name fits. Today, it’s all about Habersham County. A small county in North Georgia that packs a punch.

Tallulah Gorge

Photo by _megan_

Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. Visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks, or they can obtain a free permit (limit 100 per day) to hike down to the gorge floor. There is a suspension bridge there for you to walk across and take in the beauty, and because it is a state park there is plenty of places for picnics, camping, and photo opportunities.

Clarkesville, GA has a quaint downtown area, festivals, cabin rentals, a lot of recreation opportunities, and a big recommendation for their Walking Tour.

Habersham County also has Scenic 197, an old moonshine highway (more on that later), the Old Clarkesville Mill, and Scenic Lake Russell.

They also have a very active community theatre, Habersham Community Theatre.

That’s the great thing about Southern Highroads, all you have to do is hop on it, find a spot you like and then you have something to do for an entire weekend. It’s what we do when we feel like getting out of the city and experiencing something different.

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Road Trip Picnic Tips

When we’re on the road our family only eats in restaurants (rarely fast foods) and consider it a “treat”. Typically we bring our own picnic food and snacks, also a cooler, and this limits us in our food budget so when we do go out to eat, we can splurge a little.

Here are some basic road trip picnic tips:

Don’t rely on fast food to satisfy your hunger – bring healthy meals along on your travels, in a picnic backpack or cooler! We all know that fast food is unhealthy – it’s loaded with fat and empty calories, and if we eat it too often, our health will almost certainly suffer. When you’re on the road, you may think that you have little choice; nibbling on crackers or peanut butter sandwiches just doesn’t seem like a satisfying meal. The drive-through offers convenience at a low price, and more often than not, we give in to immediate gratification for our rumbling stomachs rather than make a healthier choice.

Don’t give up on making wise meal choices while on a road trip. There’s an easy way to keep your hunger satisfied while you’re on the road, without breaking the bank or harming your health. Prepare healthy meals ahead of time, and bring them along with you in a cooler. Today’s picnic coolers and backpacks provide stronger, higher quality insulation than ever before, so your meals stay cold longer. Plus, it’s an item you will use again and again for many other purposes – you’ll end up bringing it along to the beach, the park, sporting events, and many other places. The ideal cooler will have enough room for the amount of food you need to have on hand, and will stay cool with an cold pack rather than requiring ice. Be sure there’s enough room in the cooler for several meals, depending on how long your road trips normally last. Getting yourself a portable beverage container is also a good idea – a vacuum flask thermos can carry hot or cold liquids such as coffee, tea, juice, smoothies, and soup.

Some good ideas for food that travels well include fresh fruit and vegetables, vinegar-based pasta salad, sliced deli meats and bread, cheese, and individual packets of condiments. You could even pack some of last night’s leftover casserole into a reusable plastic container, and plan on eating it cold. Choosing snacks that pack a lot of protein will keep you feeling satisfied longer than sugary, processed treats. Don’t wait to eat until you’re starving – you’ll have a tendency to crave fatty foods loaded with carbs, which will leave you feeling lethargic after you eat.

Taking a short break from driving is important – it will help clear your mind and relax your body so you’re able to focus better when you get back on the road. This is the perfect opportunity to stop at a rest area, park, or even on the side of the road to enjoy your meal. Don’t eat while driving – not only will you not enjoy your meal as much, it can put yourself and others in danger. Keep a picnic blanket in the car so you can get out and stretch, and enjoy a real picnic meal wherever you are. Portable blankets with shoulder straps or carrying bags are the perfect choice for this usage.

Due to our ever changing product offering, not all products listed in these articles may still be available. (via Picnics For Fun)

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Rafting on the OcoeeOne river flowing through two states, Georgia and Tennessee. In Georgia it’s the Toccoa River and in Tennesse it’s the Ocoee River. Today we’ll be focusing on the Tennessee side with the Ocoee River.

Photo by daneen_vol

Photo by daneen_vol

The Ocoee River was host for the whitwater slalom events in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. You can still ride the Ocoee, and there are plenty of places for rafting on the Ocoee. A lot of these places are right along side the actual Southern Highroads Highway, so there’s no traveling off the beaten path. The drive alongside the river is absolutely spectacular.

For some extra information in regards to visiting the Ocoee River area, visit the official website… Ocoee River Area.

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