Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Annual Chaplin Family Road Trip - Day 7 & 8

Day 7 - Gatlingburg, TN - Boone, North Carolina via the Blue Ridge Parkway - 18th July

After enjoying a lazy breakfast on our last morning at the Buckberry Lodge, we packed up for our day's adventure of travelling through the Smoky Mountains, along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway to Boone, North Carolina.

The weather so far in our road trip has been great, but today it was very hazy, cloudy and raining, not great weather to be traveling the Blue ridge parkway as the scenery is beautiful.

After leaving Buckberry Lodge, we headed down the mountain to the Sugarlands Visitors Center so the girls could complete their Junior Ranger badges for the Smoky Mountains. We stopped for photos along the way, including a great family photo.

On arrival at the Sugarlands visitor center we discovered that we'd have to wait a while for the girls to complete their ranger guided tour as part of getting their badge, the guided Ranger walk took us on a walk to a waterfall and along the way told us about the inhabitants and early settlers of the area.

Once the walk was complete and the Ranger signed off the girls booklets, we went and got those badges, the girls had to do the Junior Park Ranger pledge and after this they were presented with their Junior Ranger Badges and certificates.

After this we headed to the Oconaluftee Visitors Centre for a look around, a spot of lunch and to start the Blue Ridge Parkway, that would take us too our next pit stop for the evening.

As the weather was dismal, driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway - we did not see a thing on this first leg, except cloud, which most of the time we were in or above and rain, we knew in all that cloud that there were magnificent views to behold but alas today we were not going to see it.

After a long, winding drive, and a bout of car sickness from Tilly we finally arrived at Boone, NC and keeping it real we enjoyed a good old dinner of take out pizza and a bottle of red.

Day 8 Boone, NC to Lynchburg, Virginia - 19th July

After the disasterous weather yesterday, which was only slightly better today, we set off to Lynchburg on the highway, rather than the Blue Ridge Parkway, after crossing the border into Virginia, we stopped at the Virginia Welcome Centre. Virginia is known as the State for Lovers.

After stopping at the welcome center and due to the backlog of traffic that had built up we decided to continue our journey to Lynchburg via the Blue Ridge Parkway, as the weather had perked up too we got to see some of the beauty of the Parkway we missed the day before.

As we were meandering through the parkway we came across this great Mill, Mabry Mill, which happened to have a lovely cafe so we stopped for a late lunch and wander around. Mabry Mill is one of the most photographed sites on the Blue Ridge parkway and it's appeal is so great, you can find pictures of Mabry Mill on postcards representing the rural life of other states besides Virginia.

After our late lunch we continued along the parkway until we reached our exit for Lynchburg, found our hotel for the night and caught up with Grannie & Grandad.

The girls enjoyed a swim in the pool - always their reward for surviving long car journeys.

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