Category Archives: Travel News

Whitestone Country Inn “A Sanctuary for More Than Your The Soul”

Bob & Barb Epstein “On The Road Again” and Stopping to Smell The Roses”

American Press travel News–5/19/18-“On the Road Again”—We travel far and wide to experience and bring you to places that are just off the beaten path and this week we have a special treat that’s just down the road from the Glade.

The Whitestone Inn  (just down I-40 towards Knoxville) sits on some 360 acres of prime country land in Tennessee on the shores of Watts Bar Lake (stripers-big guys and dolls, walleye, bass, huge cat’s and a dozen other fighters). Surrounded by a wildlife and waterfowl refuge, the Inn is close to all East Tennessee activities and attractions such as DollyWood , the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg to mention a few. Yet this Inn is still far enough away for you to find sanctuary and relaxation in the tranquility of God’s creation-nature in all her abundance. This Inn has been voted one of the “Ten Most Romantic Inns in America” by America’s Historic Inns Group. More than a few weddings have been held here at their chapel and gazebo overlook. Huge Belgian horses offer up wagon and hay rides and just looking over the paddocks and landscape can be a major breath of fresh air and excitement for every member of the family.

The Innkeepers are the Chambers family; all 8 of them, and they offer what has become to be known as the “Brigadoon Experience” where one guest (Bobby Scobey) says it all “Whitestone is the only place I’ve ever been homesick for other than home and Barbara and I after spending just one night, reluctantly left after a breakfast we’ll never forget with that same feeling. To say that the Inn has comfortable rooms and terrific décor would be an understatement. We slept in one of their rooms with a view that wouldn’t quit, eagles flying by our windows as we relaxed in our bathroom Jaccuzi bath, giant king size poster bed-we just didn’t want to leave!

Watt’s Bar Lake is a fisherman’s paradise, striped bass are a big draw here and just about every freshwater warm water fish can be taken in these prolific waters. The walking trails through and around the Whitestone property are absolutely terrific. The views just go on and on and on-a landscape of special treasures all around you.

The food at the Inn is also quite excellent. So wonderful that guests kept requesting the recipes so the owners published a book titled “Favorite Recipes of Whitestone Inn.”

We loved the poached eggs on potato cakes and blueberry stuffed French toast. We are now spoiled so we can’t even think of just a bagel and cheese anymore-just kidding!

The hardcover recipe book full of their charming Tennessee recipes and pictures of the Inn, with dinner meals and breakfast meals is available by contacting the Inn at www.whitestoneinn.com or calling 1-888-247-2464. You can of course make reservations to stay or just visit for dinner by contacting these numbers and e-mail address.

An interesting note for you RV’r’s wanting to drive into the Inn you cannot. The entrance is through an authentic barn-right through the middle of it. So you would have to park your unit at another drive area entrance and walk over. Naturally you can drive your tow car through the barn and that’s how we visited.

Get in touch and make a visit to the Whitestone Inn, you cannot be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 

Country Auctions Are Memorable Events 

Muddy Pond, TN.—May 15th,-What is it that drives so many of us towards wanting to spend a day, or night looking at, and bidding on someone else’s old stuff? Bargains I guess, but I believe it’s a lot more than that. From dishes to tractors, rusting tools, old water pumps, to an automobile, lamp or roll top desk, or even a house and land, auctions are a great way for many folks to quickly dispose of their earthly goods, and get some cash.

An auction is a special happening. Watching other people bid on items, is interesting, entertaining and fun, you can also learn values of your own items at home, too! Getting something at a perceived “good” price just plain feels good.  

We know of the big guys like Christie’s and Sotheby’s that sell items sometimes in the millions of dollars, the top end of the auction sales dollars scale. However, for every one of their auctions, there are thousands of auctions all around the country selling beds, old clothes, books, gold jewelry, silver, copper and brass sundries, furniture–you name it, they sell it!  Hands go up, a tip of the hat, a flip of the finger, and buyers number cards are flashed for a bid, many bidders wait for the very last minute to when the auctioneer counts down “going once, going twice, going three times” slams the hammer down and says “sold.” In our area there’s Pages Auction on RT. 127, and there’s an auction just across the street from the Chronicle at Little Angels each Friday night. But in just about every burg in Tennessee, there will be an auction to go to, as well.

There’s usually a food vendor selling chili dogs, burgers and soda pop, and sometimes, as I found at a recent fund raising auction for the Muddy Pond volunteer fire department, The Mennonite community ladies had pie selections that even now are making my mouth water just thinking about them. I passed on the burgers and dogs, and settled on the pies.  I can still savor the shoofly, blueberry and coconut cream pieces I sampled for lunch that day, on my palate, and in my mind.

Hundreds of folks showed up for this yearly “happening” that featured horse tack, new hand made playhouses and sheds, electric tool and knife sharpeners (I bought one too) wagon wheels, wagons, furniture, lamps, vehicles, farm animals and equipment-even a mule, some ducks, chicks and rabbits. I was happy to buy some tomato and pepper plants-I passed on the mule! Everybody loves the moveable feast of an auction.

Auctions that have variety in their diversity and a colorful auctioneer, draw big crowds. The Muddy Pond, a farming community that prides itself in fine home and shop crafted items; the whole feeling was old country communal and charming. The event made for a very enjoyable occasion. I know people that have completely outfitted their home or apartment from auctions at 10-percent what would have cost them list price new.

 

 

Haywood Smokehouse In Dillsboro, N.C.

A smorgasbord of barbecue. Smoked meats ala king! The best!!!
Kajol, our waitress was terrific!
Dessert for dinner? Here it would work!
Carol Booth not only made the desserts, but she is much of the oil that keeps the wheels of this Smokehouse work so well!

American Press Travel News-May 2nd-Dillsboro, N.C. “Bob & Barb On The Road Again” at Haywood Smokehouse. Mm. good Brisket, Saturday night Rib Feast. Heck, we had ribs and brisket, naked pork, fine swine, smoked chicken, Andouille sausage, smoked turkey, beans ,salads and garlic bread. Check out the image, we truly pigged out, but we did not finish the big food layout, had take-home for another day. The deserts were incredible too. Haywood Smokehouse has it down to a science. I viewed their big rotating smoker that employee, friendly and knowledgeable Shamus showed us. The humongous smoker can take a thousand pounds of meat products, and rotate these items through their smoking cycle until the end product is perfect barbecue. The ribs and brisket were quite terrific! Actually, we had a chance to sample every item they offered. All, including the chicken and turkey were spoilers! Their desserts brought out by their baker, Carole Booth, were a treat that would be hard to beat! Carole has been a fixture at the Smokehouse. Brownie and ice cream, true Southern Pecan Pie and a Banana Pudding finished off a spectacular barbecue dinner.  Kajol, a delightful young gal who had recently graduated college, with a personality as good as the offerings, presented our meals professionally, and with a huge smile. Give a call, although there are no reservations usually needed to 828-631-9797, and their other location is in Waynesville, N.C. 828-456-7275.

Kostas Family Restaurant in Dillsboro, N.C.

Best Calamari to start our meal, ever! Delicious and properly fried! Finished the plate between us. Usually don’t as too much breading and so-so sauce. Not at Kostas, promise they are first rate!!
Baklava is a perfect Greek dessert! Sweet and a great topping off of a great meal!
Barb was much pleased with her chicken dish, so was I, I finished it the next day. So much food, so good that why not take it home too!
A Basa fish specialty! All Greek to me!

American Press Travel News–May 1st, Dillsboro, N.C. at Kostas Family Restaurant.  Just heading into this little “burg” there are two terrific restaurants. First up-Kostas Family Restaurant. The staff was spectacular! From the tall-glass-of-water-owner to the wait staff and even the register gal, you felt that their name was apropos-Kostas “Family” Restaurant. Every diner who has visited a Greek owners restaurant knows about the Greek Salad. We both had one as part of our main dish platters. Decent amount of Greek Olives, tomatoes, greens and onions. The salad dressing was Mediterranean delicious. Grilled Basa fish topped with Feta Cheese, Spinach, onions and tomatoes with rice Pilaf. Together with fresh, hot Pita Pocket breads-WOW! Besides all the actual Greek specialties the restaurant had Italian dishes and all American ribs and meats too! Barb opted for a pasta dish with grilled chicken Parmesan, covered in real mozzarella, and oven baked with spaghetti. We finished off our meal with honey, nutty-stuffed Baklava and mom’s rice pudding! When you get over Dillsboro or Silva, N.C. way give a call, no reservations necessary most of the time: 828-631-0777  Visit them at: www.kostasdillsboro.com