So fast forward to Sunday. My mom took us to an AMAZING lunch at The Farmer's Table which is a restaurant that uses all local foods. We headed to the mountains from there and our first stop was at a chocolate factory... of course! We bought a half pound of fudge for us (that we still haven't touched yet... what in the world!?) and the worker gave us two pieces of fudge that weren't big enough to sell. We sat out on the double rocker and ate salted caramel fudge and maple walnut fudge.
After stopping at a local grocery store (we love those!) where we got a big ole pumpkin, we checked into the bed and breakfast. The owners are a married couple and the wife is from the Netherlands so there was a really cute European influence all through the house. She gave us a tour and showed us to our cute little room, which faced the woods in the back. The porch off of our room had a double rocker that we got a lot of use out of.
They had our names on the sign to welcome us!
Front of The Chalet Inn
Here is the back... our room is the upper left.
After we checked in, we walked around the grounds. They had a double hammock (also used a lot by us), double glider, campfire and pond, horse shoes and croquet, and 22 miles of hiking trails! Our room looked over one hiking train which was a really steep path up to see Clingman's Dome. We weren't dressed for a hike, but I wanted to see the view from the top so badly, so we went for it! There was a bench at the top where we rested and took in the views. After that, we rode through Cherokee and then over to Bryson City for Mexican food for dinner.
View of Clingman's Dome from the trail at the B&B
Monday morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the B&B. Both mornings, the food was EXCELLENT and you could tell nothing was just reheated or microwaved. The pastries were flaky, the juices weren't too sweet, and the jams were German. YUM! After breakfast, we went for a hike in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Our gps got us lost on the way there (and took us on some very scary mountain roads that were not paved) and then I got us a little lost once on the trail. We had a lot of fun finding water falls (3!), and seeing the leaves as the sun hit them at different angles. After our hike, we went back to Bryson City for an amazing lunch and ice cream dessert (custom blended pumpkin pie!) but we didn't stay too long because we were beat! We headed back to the B&B for a glorious afternoon nap followed by hammock time.
Around dinner, we got up and went to... this is so embarassing... the KFC buffet. My husband LOVES the KFC buffet and I didn't know they existed outside of his hometown, so we saw the sign and went. It was kind of grungy, and I don't like their chicken, but I did kill the sides. After that, we went to Harrah's to gamble. We were each going to spend $10, but they gave us each $5 to get started. After gambling for 2 hours, Steven had made back his $5 and I had earned back up to $1.50. So we cashed out and left Harrah's feeling really good that we got paid $6.50 for two hours of fun! We went back to the B&B and I enjoyed a glass of wine and he a seasonal beer on our double rocker with a book. It was a fantastic evening!
Tuesday, we headed out after breakfast. We drove towards the Blue Ridge Parkway, and stopped for a mini hike to Soco Falls. Once we hit the parkway, we stopped at most of the overlooks to see the beautiful scenery. For a month, the prediction was that it would be peak weekend. When we were there, it was very pretty, but peak was obviously the weekend before. There were lots of pretty colors, but also quite a few already bare trees. We drove on the Parkway until we got to Asheville, where we ate lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Fatz, and then headed home. It was an amazing trip with my husband, and I'm so glad I splurged and surprised him! He said I have upped the ante for surprises :).