Friday, October 19, 2012

Saying Goodbye Saturday

The countdown to our move to Florida is quickly ticking by.  It seems that everyday is filled with last times and goodbyes.  Last times and goodbyes to not only friends but also local sights and scenes.  We decided that before we move we want to make sure that we see and do as much as possible in the local area so that when we get to our new home, we don't look at each other and say, "Gosh, I wish we would have (fill in the blank) before we moved away!".  No regrets of  "I wish we would have eaten there", "I wish we would have seen that", or most especially "I wish I would have spent more time with them".  So this weekend we took a break from packing and organizing for some Fall sightseeing and fun. 

Saturday was devoted to the sights and tastes of Cherokee, NC.  Cherokee is located about an hour west of Asheville, NC and is the home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. There are cultural sights and attractions, outdoor activities, lots of shops, restaurants and a huge Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Hotel. 

Welcome to the Cherokee Indian Reservation

Our first stop was the amazing Museum of the Cherokee Indian.  The artifacts and exhibits in this museum are first class; detailing the story of the Cherokee from the Paleo Period thru the Trail of Tears.  I'm so glad that we made time for this visit as it not only taught important lessons of history, but brought the stories of real people to life.  Do not miss this museum if you take a trip to Western North Carolina!  The best shopping for locally made arts and crafts is right across the street at Qualla Arts and Crafts.

We drove around the area looking for a restaurant that called our name to eat lunch.  We thought we found the perfect spot at Granny's Kitchen.  There were lots of cars out front and people were streaming in and the smells that wafted from the door were very tantalizing.  However, the wait was just a bit too long for our growling tummies.  We needed food quick!  Harrah's was just a short distance up the road and we knew that they had several restaurant choices on property.
My husband, the mystery diner!
Round One at the buffet!

Let me tell you, we hit the buffet jackpot!!  Did you know that the first lady of southern cooking, Paula Deen has a restaurant in Cherokee, NC?  She sure enough does and let me tell you it is fabulous!  It's called Paula Deen's Kitchen and the fried chicken was life changing!   Oh, and my husband couldn't get enough of the fried catfish.  There were so many sides to choose from: macaroni and cheese, green beans, hoe cakes, roasted potatoes, pinto beans and more.  We could have chosen an entree from the menu, but why pick just one thing, when you can have a taste of so many types of delicious foods? 

See, half my plate consisted of vegetables!  I admit to a second plate, but that was just for small tastes of things that wouldn't fit on the first one.  

As you can imagine, we needed to do a bit of walking after this meal, so we explored the rest of the hotel and casino.  Harrah's has a very large selection of slots and table games and was quite busy on the day that we visited. 

We took a more scenic route on the drive back home and had to stop to take in this breathtaking view of where we had just came from.  I will never, ever get tired of scenes like this.

NC Hwy 19 / Old Soco Road

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