Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala

Left home 3:30pm. Forgot Lewis razor. Ran into knots of traffic. Rebekah watched 12 dancing princesses after trouble with the DVD player. Dinner at woodys bbq in wildwood. They had mustard sauce and terrific turnip greens. Got in at 9am.

Left at 9am. Collecting license plates. Saw Alaska twice!

I-75 & GA-401, Valdosta, GA 31601, USA

10:30am reached Georgia. Stopped at visitors center.

Next we stopped in Tifton to see a berry farm. They didn’t have any fruit this time of year but we saw the chickens, goats, turkeys and the muscadine grapes getting ripe.

1pm stopped for lunch at Cook Out in Cordele GA. \240Lots of good and good burgers. Then checked out couple of stores. Saw ducklings and baby chicks. On way again at 3.

Got up late. After breakfast we went to Old Cardinal gemstone mine. Rebekah had fun finding rubies and sapphires - small ones!

Then we visited historic downtown Franklin. Most shops were closed but we found a beautiful public garden.

Next we went to the Sheffield mine. It was featured on the travel channel 10 years ago. Found a few small rubies and sapphires. Also got lots of big crystals from buckets that the mine salts for people who want to find stuff.

Got lunch in Georgia then wandered around an old fashioned shopping center.

Went back to the hotel to relax for a few hours. Got dinner then went to bed.


Left the hotel at 8:30. Foggy out. We can see the clouds sitting on the hills.

Drove up the 28 towards Bryson City and Cherokee. Really saw the Smokies but the road was VERY winding.

Reached Cherokee and toured the living history village.

Ate lunch at a KFC buffet in Cherokee. After we went tubing on Deep Creek. Lots of fun but I kept getting stuck and I got dunked in the river THREE times!!

Went back to the hotel after tubing for a couple of hours.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Left Franklin for Gatlinburg. Saw the clouds on the mountains. Very foggy and cold.

Drove into Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitors center. Saw the working settler farm.

Stopped by the grist mill.

Drove over the Newfound Gap and saw the Appalachian Trail.

Got in to Gatlinburg and checked into a VERY nice hotel on top of a hill. Our room was on the 13th floor with a view of the mountains. Took the trolley into Gatlinburg for lunch.

Waited for the trolley outside Ober Gatlinburg. There was a restaurant with an amazing lily pond that overflowed into a stream and a lower pond.

Drove into Pigeon Forge to see the Christmas Store. Back to Fatlinburg for dinner and to ride the tram up to Ober Gatlinburg and back.


Woke up early to get to the aquarium. Took the trolly and got there when it opened. Had the place to ourselves for about half an hour.

There was a very large area with tons of fish and sharks. Saw the divers cleaning the area. They even had a tunnel through the tank you could walk in. Saw sawfish resting on the tunnel.

Saw penguins. One was falling asleep.

They had a shipwreck exhibit.

Saw mermaids in one of the tanks.

After lunch we took the Anakeesta ski lift to the top of Anakeesta mountain. Very beautiful but could see signs of the 2016 fire.

Went back to the hotel to rest then took the trolley into town for dinner. Still had our wristbands so we went back up Anakeesta mountain to see the lights.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Leaving Gatlinburg. Rebekah is getting one more time in the pool before we go.

Went back through the Park to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Saw Cataract Falls.

Drove the Blue Ridge Parkway for a few hours before we had to go back to the main highways.

Got to Mt Airy by 5 and had dinner at a local diner - Olympia Diner. Pretty good.

Mt Airy

Going into Mt Airy to see places and things from the Andy Griffith Show.

Saw the house where he grew up. It’s available for overnight stays now.

Went to the museum about his life.

Ate lunch at Snappy Lunch. Explored Main Street and the stores. Went down the street to Wally’s Service.

Left Mt Airy and went to Greensboro. Went to the farmers market and got some wonderful blackberries and apples. Stopped by a pond builder and saw some great ideas - also bought some iris.

After we went to a working mill and bought some flour and cornmeal they milled.

Had dinner at Arigato Japanese Hibatchi - a place Lewis liked when he worked for Amex and had to go to Greensboro.


Left a little after 9. Stopped at Mill Creek General Store and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. FINALLY got going a little after 10.

Stopped for lunch outside Charlotte at one of the few Jack In The Box places on the east coast. Had some of their tacos.

Reached South Carolina and stopped at the visitors center.

Going home today. Expect to be back in the early afternoon. We’ll see if that happens!

Made it to Florida! Stopped at the welcome center at 9am.