Tag Archives: tennessee travel

Renaissance Festival Fun

In my previous post, I told you about Murfreesboro and all the great food and drink we had there. Now, it’s day 2 and we are finally going to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival.

Breaking our Fast

We spent the early morning with coffee and Abby (old dog) in the sweet garden at the Childress house. I found a book on the historic homes in the area and found our Airbnb in the book. I love little details like that. On the way out of town we stopped at Coffee Fusion. They had so many great treats, it was hard to choose just one. I got a biscuit stuffed with eggs, cheese, and I don’t remember what else. But it was gooood.

Entry

We made our way to the festival, after a slight traffic delay. We got there at exactly the same time everyone else did. But traffic moved fast and we were inside the faire in no time. Pro tip: buy your tickets online. The will call line was completely empty so I was ready to enter the faire in no time. But my friends had to wait in line to buy their tickets. The good thing is the line moved quickly and we were in the gates, ready to faire.

©Sharon Popek
My friend and I as we enter the Faire

Travelers of all kinds

What I love about the Renaissance Festival is that it is full of travelers. It’s a safe bet that most of the people we saw have never been on an airplane or out of state or maybe they’ve never even left their home town. But when you visit the Faire, it’s like walking into a completely different world. People are dressed up as everything. There are knights, princesses, queens, peasants, elves, aliens, everything imaginable. The vendors are artisans. They make what they sell from jewelry to clothes.  I bought a staff and the man offered to put my initials on it. I thought I’d leave it and come back. He said, “it won’t take long.” (see pic below). It’s all there and most of it is handmade. We drank some lovely dark ale and ate giant turkey legs as well as pretzels. We watched several comedy shows. And yes there is jousting.

Time to go back to the real world

 

After we had Ren faired ourselves to exhaustion, we headed out. But before leaving Murfreesboro, we had to stop at The Green Dragon for one last ale and a snack. It’s a hobbit’s life for me.

 

A visit to Murfreesboro, TN

It’s May, that means it’s time for the Renaissance Faire in Middle Tennessee. The Faire takes place in Arrington, TN on the grounds with an actual castle. It takes place each weekend in May. My friends, S and P, introduced me to this awesome event!

Arrington is located between Franklin and Murfreesboro, TN. It’s a 3 hour drive for us, so we spend the night in Murfreesboro, so we are nice and rested for the Faire.

The Green Dragon Pub and Brewery

We drove to Murfreesboro on Friday afternoon. We stopped at the Green Dragon for pints and snacks. The Green Dragon Pub and Brewery is an homage to Tolkien’s works. The owners are true Tolkien fans and it feels exactly like I image a pub in Bywater would be. We love it! They always have great beers and the food is perfect. It’s not bar food. It’s real food.

Our Airbnb

After drinks and snacks we went to our Airbnb called Childress House: The Gardner.  This was my first Airbnb and I’m pretty sure it was a perfect way to start a new trend for me. Our host was Sandi, a sweet lady who lives in the downstairs of the historic house. In addition to our full apartment, we were given access to the Parlor, a lovely outdoor garden area, and the large porches. Sandi also provided cream twists for snacking. Oh, and there was a Keurig in the apartment with coffee.

Around Town

The Gardner was located within walking distance of downtown, so off we went. Murfreesboro has a thriving downtown with bars, restaurants, shops, barbers, salons, and some friendly people. We had a pint at Liquid Smoke, located on the main square. The smoke was too much for me, so we sat outside and did some people watching.  Some great signs from downtown.

We had a reservation for dinner at Five Senses. It was too far to walk, so we got a Lyft to the restaurant. Where we ate some of the best mushroom soup I have ever eaten. There may have also been a stop for a pint at a nearby bar. We Lyfted back to the Gardner where we had those cream twists awaiting us.

Down to the garden we went for dessert. We were greeted by dear pup Abby and a couple other dogs which were a bit too timid to visit with us.  We also enjoyed our morning coffee in this quiet back yard.

After our first rounds of coffee and Abby pets, we were off! Renaissance Faire details in the next installment.  I’ll give you a hint, there might be some drinking and eating.

 

Tuesday Trekkin’ Burlington

We’ve been having a hard time getting out of Knoxville the last few Tuesdays. It seems Tuesday has become errand day. Maybe after the holidays, we can get started up again. Today’s gallery is from the Burlington area of Knoxville, TN.

Burlington is east of downtown Knoxville. It is currently full of empty and run down buildings. But there are quiet a few people trying to rebuild it and bring new life and prosperity to the area.

Tuesday Trekkin’ – Norris, TN

Tuesday Trekkin’  – November 7 – Norris, TN

We changed plans several times for this Tuesday Trek due to weather concerns. We were originally going to go to Norris, then on up to Rugby. After checking the weather and the rain possibilities were looking good, we decided to just go to Norris, since nothing in Rugby would be open anyway. Apparently Tuesday is an off day for everybody! This morning we got up and it was a pretty steady rain, so we decided would stay in Knoxville and maybe go downtown for lunch and an afternoon movie. We’ll have a leisurely coffee and hang until about 11am then head downtown for lunch. Uh, yeah, the coffee pot is broken. So, my packrat husband found his grandma’s old percolator and we made coffee with that. It was fine coffee, if not a little messy.

 

After a bit, the rain stopped. So, we debated whether we should try for Norris or stick with the movie plan. We decided to go to Norris, skip Rugby, and go to a movie when we get back into town. On the way to Norris, we stopped at a place called Rural King so the husband could buy some oil for his car, he likes to change his own oil. We were taken with the place, but didn’t buy much. I did have to drag my husband out. We finally made it to Norris. I found a little cafe in town that was supposed to be great, we went straight for it. They had some interesting appetizers, trout cakes with butter cabbage (?) and a pecan cheeseball, on the menu that we wanted to try. But guess what? They were out of both. No worries, we ordered some sandwiches. I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak and Walt ordered the grilled cheese with bacon and pickles (blech). The philly was fine. He liked the grilled cheese okay, too. We haven’t hit any home runs in the food department of Tuesday Trekkin’. But I think Tuesday seems to be an off day for most places. We will keep trying.

After lunch, we walked around the small town square for a few minutes. We found a museum connected to the library. So, it’s only open on Tuesday and Thursday, but it doesn’t open until 2pm. It was 1pm. We had to laugh about it. We left town to go to see Norris Dam. On the way, we spotted the Norris Musuem and around the corner an old Grist Mill and Barn with a thrasher, both moved piece by piece from other locations. The museum was closed, of course, the mill and barn were locked but we were able to walk around and get some great pics!

We finally made it to the dam where we met a nice man showing off East Tennessee to his visiting family. I had to take some pics of the visitor center with it’s midmod architecture. We made it back in town in time for Walt to take a quick nap before heading out to the movie, Thor 3: Ragnarok. The movie was great! It was patently ridiculous and silly, but I loved it. Afterward, we picked up pizza from our favorite pizza joint, Dazzo’s Pizzeria. It was perfect!

Prints are available here.