Thursday, November 28, 2013

Auto Touring in TN, NC and VA


Little Bear Climbing down the tree at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 469, in Cherokee, North Carolina

The smokies

Icicles along the Parkway

Near Milepost 176 in Fancy Gap, Virginia 

Pigeon Forge, Tenessee

   
My rental car..


Great Smoky Mountain is my 18th NP visited (out of 59 US National Parks).

Denali (AK), Redwood (CA), Lassen Volcanic (CA), Yosemite (CA), Sequoia (CA), Kings Canyon (CA), Channel Islands (CA), Pinnacles (CA), Joshua Tree (CA), Petrified Forest (AZ), Arches (UT), Zion (UT), Grand Canyon (AZ), Yellowstone (WY, ID & MT), Grand Teton (WY), Rocky Mountain (CO), Great Smoky Mountains (TN & NC) and Everglades (FL).

Antler's Hill Village


After touring the magnificent Biltmore House and the frosty Biltmore's Gardens in the snow, I drove to Antler Hill village to check out the Biltmore Winery.

The Farm

The Village in the snow

Wine Tasting



Biltmore's Gardens

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!  I am thankful for all I have, and the opportunities to travel solo this year.

It's a beautiful sunny Thanksgiving day in Knoxville, Tennessee.  
I visited the frosty Biltmore's Gardens in the snow after touring the gigantic Biltmore House yesterday.










The temperature went below 20 degrees at some point.  It was a snowy windy day.  The wind about to blew me away for a couple of times, then I realized that all other groups disappeared so I turned around right before the frozen pond.




I checked out this gardener's place on my way out.  Must be pretty in Spring and Summer.  Still looks fascinating with snow to me.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Biltmore Estate


America's Largest Home built by George Vanderbilt in 1889-1895.  
8,000 Acres.  250 Rooms.  65 Fireplaces.  47 Bedrooms.  
Oh, and 57 Christmas Tree for 2013 Holiday season (the Largest one is 35 feet tall)

The Parking lot is 2 miles away from the front gate.

Taking the shuttle from the parking lot to the Biltmore House.

The front door

Restaurants and Shops

No photography allowed anywhere inside the house.  A nice YouTube video here.  The house is decorated with collections from all over the world.  The basement is incredibly big.  



I wish I could stay for Candlelight Evening for Christmas celebration (Candlelight evenings Video on YouTube here), but I had to drive to my next hotel in Knoxville which is 2.5 hours away (it ended up taking 3+ hours with traffic in the snow shower).

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Tunnels on Blue Ridge Parkway


18 Tunnels in 13 miles!!
Driving on Blue Ridge Parkway was hella fun!  

I can imagine how facinating the tunnels would be with Fall Foliage, which is what this place is extremely famous for.  The yellow, red and orange colors are long gone..



All Tunnels have their names.  I can't keep up with all of them.  Too many Tunnels!



Mingus Mill





Mingus Mill is located near Blue Ridge Parkway MilePost 469 at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.


The temperature was between 25 and 40 degrees today.   I kept telling myself: I'm not going to hike alone anywhere in this trip.

It was a very short walk through the woods to see this astounding site.  And I was never alone.  There're other groups here and there enjoying what nature has to offer..

Monday, November 11, 2013

Daily Dash

50 warmup + 2  x 50 freestyle + 100 dolphin kick 100 finger tip drag + 150 freestyle = 500 yards.


Curl-Up
Mod Push-Up
Push-Up
11NOV13 swim lesson day 11 @AM 1000 yards
swim practice (28) @PM 
40--
12NOV13 swim practice (29)
2 mile run
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My blog hits 20,000 views today.  It was less than 1,000 in July 2013, when I came back to blogger (after no activity for 2 years).  
09JUL13
1,000 views
29SEP13 7,000 views
18OCT13 10,000 views
11NOV13 20,000 views

Day 46

50 warmup + 100 freestyle + 100 dolphin kick + 2 x 50 Backstroke 100 finger tip drag + 150 freestyle = 600 yards.


Curl-Up
Mod Push-Up
Push-Up
13NOV13swim lesson day 12---
14NOV13swim practice (30) 
30
20
10
16NOV132 mile run
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17NOV13
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20
2 x 20
10
18NOV13swim lesson day 13 
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24NOV13
Tennis
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25NOV13
2 mile run
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30NOV13
2 mile run
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Day 47

Day 48: BEST PACE FOR THE FIRST MILE.  7:23min.
BEST AVERAGE PACE.  8:42min.  Not too far to reach my running goal!


Day 49


My Fur Children