Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Plans!

The super mild winter for us here in most of the United States meant that spring came a lot earlier.  For the Eastern and Midwestern part of the country, they have seen record highs and tumultuous weather in March.  As for me, that meant I got a glimpse of spring blossoms to brighten my mood and my first trip to the basement to use as a tornado shelter!  Both exciting for different reasons.  Ha.
Source: Dogwood Arts Festival
Last weekend as my landlord was making preparations for a garage sale to clean out the things she owned, it began to dawn on me that my time remaining in East Tennessee was short.  SO I decided that even though gas prices are sky rocketing, I need to make better use of my time here.  I'm going to go on some day trips during the weekend.  In fact, these places are so close they're hardly considered a day trip but I've never been super comfortable driving to new places, especially by myself because I get lost while I drive... a lot.  So for me, these short little trips might be equivalent to a typical person's day trip.  It sort of works out because with these places being so close, it saves on gas money, right? 

East Tennessee Spring Destinations!
  • One of the Historic Houses of Knoxville Crescent Bend's Tulip Time!  April 1 donation-based admission fees 
    • I was a huge fan of Tulip Time in Pella, Iowa from when I was in college, so I look forward to continuing my annual Tulip Time tradition
  • Norris Dam State Park Guided Wildflower Hike March 31 & April 7
  • Frozen Head State Park Wildflower Pilgrimage April 14 & 15
  • Oak Ridge Reservation Wildflower Walk April 15
    • Sponsored by the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • House Mountain Scenic-Recreational State Natural Area 
    • A couple from church is leading a hike right after church ends, I'm excited!
  • Dogwood Arts Festival Events from late March to late May
    • Dogwood Trails and Gardens April 11-30
      • I plan to drive and maybe walk through the Oak Ridge route where it was featured a few years ago.  Since dogwood is a tree, it should be relatively permanent and equally beautiful.  There are also two sites in Farragut that I'll check out.
    • Dogwood Art Detour April 28 & 29 visiting artists work spaces
      • There's a studio in Oak Ridge near my house so I plan on visiting that one.
  • Museum of Appalachia
    • A replicated village of about three dozen real Appalachian buildings plus a museum, sounds wonderful to me!  The restaurant also looks like it serves authentic Appalachian cuisine.  Double bonus!   Luckily I have AAA to save an extra few dollars.  
    • Sheep Shearing April 27 sounds... awesome!  Includes spinning and quilting with the fiber.  And, homemade ice cream and freshly squeezed lemonade.  Although I hear it gets majorly busy during special events, so I might want to avoid that instead..
And now, looking at all of these activities that I may or may not actually partake in, I feel less restless with my spare time here and cherishing my downtime even more.  Ha.  Wonderful!  Also, I should note that all of these places are less than an hour away, which for me is perfect! 

Anyone else planning to take advantage of nearby spring attractions?

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