So, I LOVE when someone in our family has a birthday or some type of party or family reunion or really anything where we "have" to pack up, get out of town and head their way.  It always gives me a great excuse to travel...yay!!!  This past weekend, Ironman and I headed up to Knoxville to celebrate our niece's 1st birthday.  Since Knoxville is such a neat city, we decided to get there a bit early on Friday and give ourselves some time to explore!  Every time we drive up there and hit the twists and turns and tunnels of the mountains, I feel like we are going to another land...like the way through the mountains are my own version of the Narnia closet!

First stop, Market Square.  This is basically like an outdoor mall.  There are some cute shops, lots of places to eat, plenty of outdoor seating and even a stage with live music!  Right next to the square is a little art park with benches and tables to rest in the shade.

Just around the corner is the Mast General Store...one of our favorites!  I love looking at all the fuzzy sweaters, comfortable shoes and Burt's Bees products.  This time I skipped the old fashioned candy and was pretty proud of myself.

After walking around a good bit, we ended up thirsty and wanted to sit down and have something cold to drink.  The Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain looked unique, so we decided to go inside.  I think that we were expecting it to be like a little snack shop where you walk around and pick up things you want, like at a gas station.  But, as soon as we stepped inside, someone was right there (like seriously, one step in the door and BAM, there they were like 1 foot away) and asked if we wanted a seat and before we knew it we were sitting down and looking at each other like we were helpless and didn't know what just happened.  

After looking over the menu for like 20 minutes and the waitress coming over 3 times, we awkwardly got up and said sorry to the waitress as we ducked out.  Honestly, this would be a great place for a fancy date night or even a big afternoon snack when you are really hungry.  It's just not what we were expecting.  Everything was pretty pricey and seemed like enormous portions of sugar, so we ended up just going into Subway around the corner to got 2 bottles of water.  However, we look forward to coming back to The Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain next time we come to Knoxville and when we have bigger appetites!

In these photos above and below, you can see Market Square.  The benches, tables and chairs, outdoor seating at restaurants, plenty of trees for shade, little shops and all.  You should really plan a trip to Knoxville and visit this area!

And be sure to check out all the downtown art just like me :)

After we got our fill of Downtown Knoxville, we headed over to Nick's brother's house to hang out and get ready for the little baby birthday party!  Reynolds couldn't wait for Uncle Nick to get to his house and even called to talk to him on the phone.  Apparently he decided that Uncle Nick is his best friend...it's so sweet!  Aren't they adorable?

Reynolds and Uncle Nick
 After a great weekend, it was time to head back home to South Carolina.  However, we decided to make a spontaneous stop with Nick's mom, his sister and our niece!  I do love last minute adventures.

Once we crossed over from Tennessee into North Carolina, we headed to Sky Top Orchard to pick some apples!

I've never been to an apple orchard before and was shocked at how many trees there were and how many apples were just laying there rotting on the ground.  Also, there were bees EVERYWHERE and I was stung within the first five minutes...ugh!  I haven't been stung in a long time and forgot how much it hurts.  Luckily, I had my essential oils with me and they helped big time with some of the pain, swelling and itchiness...always be prepared, right??!?!

Ironman was very particular about getting the best apples for us :)  We walked around the orchard and found the areas that not many people had visited.  Plus, he is taller than most, so he could reach apples where other people couldn't.  Honestly, I was a little freaked out to pick any apples after I was stung.  But, Ironman found a good one that I could reach and then documented me picking my very first apple...here I am below, making history.

It didn't take us long to get our basket filled about halfway...

Then we headed inside to get it bagged and stand in line to pay.  They had everything apple that you could imagine.  Apple fudge, apple caramel popcorn, caramel apples, apple donuts, apple cider, apple jams and jellies...

Isn't my side kick, aka munchkin, the cutest?!?!

Abigail with Aunt Emily
After all that work, we knew we needed some lunch and ended up down the street about 5 minutes at Flat Rock Village Bakery.  Remember I said in my August goals that I wasn't going to eat pizza for those 31 days?  Well, I broke my pizza fast with this delicious piece of pie.  I have no idea which one it was, though.  I saw someone eating it while we waited and it looked amazing so I asked what they ordered and they just said "the special".  So, here it is and it was special...haha.  I love pizza and I'm so glad to be done with my 31 days without it!  Never again.  Just kidding.  Well, maybe.  Not.

So, that was a fun weekend, right?!  Playing tourist, seeing family, baby birthday, great food, picking apples for the first time and breaking my pizza fast...

I have a TON of apples and would love to cook a pie or something to impress Ironman...do you have a great apple pie recipe (or something else delicious) that you could share with me???  Let me know what I should do with all these apples sitting on my kitchen island!

Oh and make sure you are following us on Instagram!  We are headed out on another adventure tomorrow and would love to bring you along.  Can you guess where we are going?

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