Smoky Mountain School of Cooking Appalachian Store & Cafe – a new experience

Always looking for new experiences, I came upon this cooking class and signed up for it during my recent trip to Tennessee.

With an ever-changing menu, I attended the class with one other couple and learned to make Bananas Foster French Toast, homemade pork sausage patties and an omelette with ingredients of our choosing. We each got a chef’s apron to take with us.

Stephanie Foley, the owner and instructor was delightful and the class was interactive and fun with the added enjoyment of consuming the delicious food we prepared. I’m now planning to sign up for a class whenever I’m visiting the Wears Valley area.

Rocking Chair Farm – an interactive Alpaca experience

I’ve vacationed in Tennessee for years and am so in love with the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, the kindness and hospitality of the people, southern food and the endless fun things to do there.

This trip I sought out new experiences and happened upon Rocking Chair Farm. Located in Corryton, it was an easy 30 miles drive from my Sevierville cabin. A cool day with a possibility of rain (which didn’t happen) it was perfect for a tour of this special farm run by David and Christine Rogers.  I was their only customer for the 10 a.m. tour and got to have lots of interaction while learning about and feeding these adorable animals.

The herd is comprised of Huacuya and Suri Alpacas guarded over by the couple’s four livestock guardian dogs. Before we entered the first of three pens, David and Christine went over a number of rules for my safety as well as the alpacas. I was told there are some that are really friendly and if there were those who didn’t approach me, not to worry.  I learned how to feed them with a flat, open palm; it was the sweetest feeling as they gently nuzzled my hand.  There is a gentleness about them, their personalities and curiosity is endearing.

After the tour we visited their gift shop. David designs and makes the lovely hats, scarves, gloves using yarn made from their alpaca’s wool and there are a number of other quality items to choose from. Given the opportunity I’ll visit again – this was an experience I’ll never forget!

Best friends

For the last week things have been busy and I’ve had a lot of company. It’s different than our day to day life which is pretty chill and quiet. While Biscotti was his usual outgoing and entertaining self, my guests caught only glimpses of Reo as she is shy…

This morning it was back to the three of us and this photo montage was taken as my fur-babies snuggled on my lap.


Lost Spirits Distillery -Las Vegas

My sister, brother-in-law and I experienced a most unusual and memorable evening at Lost Spirits Distillery.

Lost Spirits is a world class show, set in an immersive theatre, surrounding a working rum distiller, tickets include 4 rum tastings. The atmosphere is wildly creative and charged with a sense of fun and unexpected moments as you enjoy the talented performers and fellow guests.

As you walk through a maze of softly lit hallways to intimate spaces with small stages you’re treated to acts including burlesque, tango, vocalists, acrobats and aerialists mere feet away from where you’re standing. I’ve included videos at the end of this post which capture a few incredible performances.

Immersive Van Gogh Las Vegas Exhibit

Experience Awe-Inspiring Exhibit Of Vincent Van Gogh’s Art Projected Over 500,000 Cubic ft. From Creators Of Immersive Blockbuster Show

Last week my sister and I visited the incredible immersive experience featuring the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being inside the art as it changes moment by moment. I’ve tried to capture the experience and encourage anyone to see it in person.

Even the gallery gift shop was fabulous!

Puzzles, over the last year

My love affair with puzzles continues though I haven’t posted updates in awhile. 2022 was an incredibly eventful year and as I searched out these photos of completed puzzles I’m surprised I had done this many. It goes to prove regardless of how busy and overwhelmed I get by life, I still seek out the solace and focus of putting on a playlist and doing puzzles.

Awakening at the Wynn

While in Vegas I went to “Awakening”, the newest show at the Wynn.

From the Wynn Las Vegas website: Awakening, the new show at Wynn Las Vegas, invites the audience to join the quest of our beautiful heroine and her two fellow travelers as they seek to restore beauty and love to the world. Travel with them and experience worlds never before seen on their journey in a 360-degree theater custom designed for Awakening. Infused with modern day myth and magic, Awakening comes to life through a combination of dramatic choreography, technology, fantastic creatures, and a custom sound system designed to showcase its breathtaking original musical score.

Conceived and created by a world-renowned team of talent behind some of the most iconic moments in entertainment, Awakening features the voice of Anthony Hopkins.