Spring Road Trip, Part II

Hop in the car for another road trip in East Tennessee!

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We wrote last week about a few great things to do on a day-trip in East Tennessee. We could go on and on for days about all the great stuff there is to do and see in our area (check out our old posts for more information!)

But we thought we’d shorten it up, at least for now, and keep this series to just two. So join us for Part II of our East Tennessee Spring Road Trip blogs!

Knoxville

The East Tennessee History Center opened its exhibit, “In the Footsteps of Sergeant York,” in January of this year. It’s an experience not soon forgotten. Walk through the history of this remarkably courageous young man, including a replica of the trenches American soldiers dug and hunkered in during World War I.

The Museum is open 9-4, Monday-Friday, 10-4 Saturday, and 1-5 Sunday. Weekly admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, free for children under 16 and free for all on Sundays. And, if you’re a member of the ETHS, admission is always free.

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High Ground Park

This beautifully maintained park commemorates the location of Fort Higley, a Union fort built in 1863. Knoxville is working on a project, called the Battlefield Loop, to connect the Civil War battlefields by walking trail. Even if you’re not a Civil War history expert, this lovely park built on top of a ridge, just off Cherokee Trail, is a peaceful place to take a walk and a picnic. (If the weather cooperates!)

Oak Ridge

A little further away if you live in the five lakes region, but Oak Ridge is worth the drive!

Haw Ridge Park

This outdoor recreation paradise has it all: trails for bikers, hikers, runners and equestrians, miles of waterfront access for fishers and boaters, all the wildlife you could hope to see and even geocaching! It’s a beautiful outdoor experience!

American Museum of Science and Energy

For those fascinated by Oak Ridge’s important role in developing atomic energy, this museum is a great way to spend the day! Exhibits include a history of Oak Ridge, a more hands-on science section, and much more.

The museum is open 9-5, Monday-Friday and 1-5 on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-17, $4 for seniors.

Jefferson City

This smaller town is known for Carson-Newman University, but it has some great historic sites worth a visit. Glenmore Mansion, for example, is pretty cool! The house, built in 1868, is open for tours from May through October. If you visit, try this: count all the windows you can find on the outside, and all the windows you can see on the inside, and see if your numbers match up. Legend has it they won’t! Kinda creepy, huh?

Price of admission during the tour season is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12.

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Mossy Creek

This historic district in Jefferson City is an inspiring example of how people with big hearts and big goals can come together to improve their town. Visit this area for its great food, boutiques and a nice stroll down the sidewalk, but be sure to notice that it’s looking better all the time because the people who live here are working hard to make it happen!

Are you ready to buy or sell your home in East Tennessee? Start at DarleneReeves-Kline.com.

 

 

Spring Road Trip, Part I

Jump in the car and let’s go check out some great, local road trip destinations in East Tennessee!

Now that March is here, spring is just around the corner. You can probably tell by all our spring-themed posts that we’ve got spring fever! Now that we’re officially out of hibernation mode, it’s time to plan for some fun.

One of the most fun things to do around here in the springtime is go road-tripping. We’ve put together a few short day-trip itineraries for East Tennessee. Read on to plan your next local adventure!

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Morristown

Panther Creek Park Overlook

Even if the weather is bad, taking the drive to Panther Creek and getting a look at the magnificent vista at the overlook is worth it. Trees are already budding out, and bulbs are popping into bloom all over, which is all just icing on the cake. The view will still be lovely in the summer, but right now is a great time to get up there, because the bare trees mean you’ll get a much better view of the lake below.

And, as an added bonus: if the weather is good, be sure to take a walk in the woods on one of the many trails in the park!

Downtown Skywalk

Downtown Morristown’s Skywalk is in good company: Paris and New York have also recently put time and effort into fixing up similar pedestrian structures. This article in The Architects Newspaper offers a nice discussion on the history and significance of this famous structure—famous, at least, around here! Take an hour or two to wander the elevated sidewalks that rendered downtown Morristown a 1960s utopian dream.

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Tinsley-Bible Drug Co.

This old pharmacy has been in business since 1911. The lunch counter (and old-fashioned soda fountain!) is open Monday through Friday, and it’s a great place to rustle up a burger and dipped ice cream cone.

Douglas Dam

Even if you’re not a civil engineer buff, Douglas Dam (and Lake) is definitely worth a visit. Wildlife around the dam and water is prolific, including fish, birds, deer, turkey and more! And, of course, you can spend a great afternoon on a rental jetski or boat on the water.

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Knoxville

Sunsphere

The famous World’s Fair Park Sunsphere forever changed the Knoxville skyline in 1982. Today, its observation deck is open and free to visit, offering pretty spectacular views of the park and surrounding cityscape. Note: there has been an operational restaurant at the top of the Sunsphere at different times over the years, but it’s currently only available for special events. If you’re getting hungry, you can always picnic in the park or take a walk over to Market Square for a bite.

Market Square

In May, the seasonal Farmer’s Market gets underway, but until then, Market Square in Knoxville is still worth an afternoon of your time. There are lots of local boutiques and artisans with wares to sell, public art and great food—much of it local! Don’t forget to walk over to Gay Street and check out Mast General Store and all the gourmet restaurants there.

Ready to get a whole new home base in East Tennessee? Check out DarleneReeves-Kline.com to get started!

 

Still Winter, But Spring’s Coming!

What’s your favorite part about springtime in Tennessee?

It’s not quite March yet, but we in East Tennessee are starting to see the telltale signs of spring!

We know that one of the biggest reasons for people to relocate to our beautiful corner of the state is our four distinct seasons. Spring isn’t just a pass-through season here; it lasts long enough for us to really savor it.

Spring ain’t no wallflower in these parts. When she shows up, we know it! Spring around here blows in with vibrant flowers and moody weather, ecstatic frogs, singing bugs and happy people. We decided to celebrate the coming season by listing a few of our favorite East Tennessean signs of spring. Read on to hear what they are!

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Flowers Blooming

Buttery yellow daffodils are already springing open, and irises will come soon. Fall is famous for showing lovely red, yellow and orange leaves, but it’s not the only colorful season here! Spring in East Tennessee brings a riot of blooming color! You can visit this website to find out more about wildflowers in the Smokies, including rhododendron and trillium.

Gorgeous Sunrises

The days have steadily been getting longer since the winter solstice, and we’re finally getting to head off to work and school with the rosy glow of the sunrise! We know we’re about to have long, lovely days when we’re no longer bundling the kids into the family vehicle while it’s still dark.

Birds chirping, vibrant sunrise colors splashing across the sky … what a great way to start the day! No wonder spring puts people in a better mood!

Warmer Days (and nights!)

Some East Tennessee springs are chilly, it’s true. But so far we’re having 70-degree days and 50-degree nights, and that suits us fine! We know, we know, we’ve been around these parts long enough to remember that winter often comes roaring back in to give us at least one more solid freeze before the warm weather sets in for good. But that promise of spring feels soooo nice in a gentle, warm breeze in February!

Frogs Croaking

Frogs all over the place are coming out of hibernation and calling out to each other. Anyone who lives near a stream, pond or heck, even a puddle, gets the sweet, rhythmic serenade of springtime frogs.

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Late-Season Snowstorms!

We know that sometimes the sweet weather is too good to be true, and often the temperature soars up into the 70s, only to plunge back down within a day or two. It’s not at all unusual for at least one good snowstorm to blow through in March, dumping a few inches of wet snow on us. Luckily, all that snow is usually melted away within a couple of days.

Windy Weather

One thing all our springtimes in East Tennessee have in common: windy weather! Chilly or warm, snowy or sunny, the wind heralds the coming change of seasons. Make the most of it, and break out the kites!

If you want to see spring from the front porch of your new East Tennessee home, start at DarleneReeves-Kline.com.

It’s Time for Spring Redecorating!

Get ready for Spring in East Tennessee with these decorating trends!

Winter is still here, but warmer weather is creeping in. Here in East Tennessee, we’re having a few days of balmy temperatures mixed in with soggy, wet and windy days. It’s just enough to get that Spring Fever fired up.

Maybe we’d freeze if we tried to go out and enjoy the weather, but we can do the next best thing in preparation for the sweet spring that’s just around the corner: redecorate!

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Country Living predicted some great decorating trend changes for 2018. Here are a few of our favorites:

Colorful Kitchens

White-on-white-on-white has been pretty popular in kitchens for a while, but the folks at Country Living think people are craving color in their lives again. Set off your warm, inviting tones with wood accents. Also keep an eye out for darker, more daring sink options, like concrete.

No More Accent Walls

While they’re colorful and eye-catching, other trends are moving in, like wainscotting and “accent ceilings.”

Jewel Tones

Channel your inner East Tennessean Empress for this trend. Darker, subdued walls have been popular, but trends now are leaning toward Pantone’s selected Ultra Violet and Sherwin William’s Oceanside. If those tones are too overwhelming for your taste, try furniture, throw pillows or even walls painted in several shades lighter of the same palate.

Brass Fixtures

Farmhouse-industrial especially looks great with a brass finish. It’s a fun alternative to brighter gold or more subdued nickel finishes.

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Wabi-Sabi

This fun term is Japanese, and it’s the name of a simplistic, hand-made movement. Wabi-Sabi is all about making do with what you have, and living simply. It’s a nice way to think about decluttering and streamlining your home’s style. It fits really well with a lot of our East Tennessean cabins in the mountains; Wabi-Sabi celebrates handmade pottery and rough-spun linens. If you can’t really see yourself paring down to the extreme minimalism that some people still find intriguing, then consider using hand-thrown pottery with Oceanside-hued walls in your dining room.

Move Over, Tupperware Bins

Beautiful furniture that functions as storage is getting more popular. Sideboards, storage benches, hollow ottomans … we need our stuff to do more than just sit there!

Shapes

Remember those great lima-bean-shaped couches in gold or orange velvet? Well, don’t worry, those aren’t back. But more modern, subdued versions of shapely furniture are rising in popularity. Think curved backs and seats.

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Timeless

Florals are in, especially if you like the Bohemian flare. (Really, florals are never out if you’re into Bohemian style!) You can incorporate bright, bold prints with an accent chair or bedding for a pop that’s not overwhelming.

Black and White

Set off your jewel tones and bright florals with some simple, retiring black-and-white patterns.

As you can see, trends have become so eclectic that you’ll be able to find inspiration no matter what your personal aesthetic is!

If you’re feeling inspired to decorate your home for spring, check out some of the cool, local shops in downtown Morristown or Dandridge. You might find that perfect antique sideboard or bright piece of art to set the tone you’re looking for.

And, if you’re looking for a new home (or to sell your current home) in East Tennessee, check out DarleneReeves-Kline.com.

 

Winter House Shopping: Why?

Read our favorite reasons for buying a home in the winter!

We’ve posted before about the advantages of buying a home in the wintertime. It’s still a great idea, and we thought it was worth another look. Read on to find out some excellent reasons to go home shopping during the chilliest time of year!

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Yup, it’s cold. But the frosty weather is probably in your favor!

1. The seller is probably highly motivated.

Homes that stay (or show up) on the market in the winter are usually there because the owner really, really wants to sell. Reasons for this can range from someone relocating for work to getting married or divorced, or any other major life change you can think of! With this in mind, you (as the buyer) might have a couple of real advantages:

  • You may get a better deal.
  • Negotiations may be shorter.

Someone who just wants to sell and move will be far more willing to shave a little off the price, and won’t dither over small details in the contract. Just be careful that you get a thorough house inspection, and know for sure this is the house for you! You want to do some gentle probing of the seller’s agent to find out whether the seller’s motivation comes from a life change, or from something seriously wrong with the house. Don’t let your excitement for the house blind you!

2. There is less competition from other buyers.

There are good reasons winter is a less popular house-shopping season. It’s often cold and dreary, and many families have kids already settled into school. It’s much more comfortable to snuggle up at home and wait until the weather gets more cheerful to pound the house-shopping pavement. But this is great news for you! It means you’ll have a more leisurely shopping experience, and you’ll get more attention from realtors, who are possibly slowing down in the cold season. You’ll also have less competition in the form of other offers on your dream home.

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Just be sure to bundle up while you’re house hunting! A warm cup of coffee helps, too!

3. You get to see how well the house stands up to winter.

Poor insulation, leaky windows and roofs and inadequate heat pumps can make living in a house almost unbearable in the cold winter—not to mention extremely expensive. When you tour the home, you’ll be able to see how the heating keeps up, and check for leaks and drafts during the coldest part of the year.

Did you know you can contact the local utility company and ask for an average heating and electric bill for the house before you buy? That kind of information can be key in deciding whether to take the (polar) plunge on buying a home in the winter. Also, review our article about options for heating your home, and cost comparison on the different types, in East Tennessee.

4. You’ll love your house even more in the spring!

It’s true. If you find the perfect house when the weather is dreary and the back yard is barren, just imagine how delightful it will all be when the spring flowers bloom and the leaves fill out in the warmer months! And, since you’ll be all moved in already, you’ll have that much more time to work in the garden when spring is finally sprung.

Ready to layer up and get house shopping in East Tennessee? Start at DarleneReeves-Kline.com.

Brighten Up the Winter Blues

Read some of our favorite ways to brighten up winter days.

The holidays are over, and most of us have put away all our festive decorations. It feels nice to clean up the house, and tuck away the bright décor that seems, well … cluttery after the presents are opened and the New Year is ushered in. But this is also the time of year when the winter blues really set in.

The days are getting longer, but only a teeny bit at a time. The days are cold and the nights are downright brutal, so it’s easy to start feeling cooped up. Oh, and we’ve all probably fallen off the healthy eating wagon a looong time ago. It’s just so much easier to hibernate and snack and generally sink into the couch until we feel like one of the cushions! But none of that makes us feel better about ourselves.

 

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Don’t be sad! You’ll feel better if you share that pie with a friend.

 

So, maybe it’s time we dug ourselves out of the couch cushions and set out to beat the winter blues. Here’s how!

Go Outside!

Yes, we know, it’s been 8 degrees some mornings lately. That might be too cold for most of us, but when it warms up enough to feel bearable (with lots of layers on!) then go for a brisk walk. Sunshine and fresh air are very healthy and very uplifting! You don’t even have to stay out for all that long: twenty minutes or so should be enough to get your heart pumping.

Don’t forget about indoor exercise, too. Search for some at-home workouts if you don’t go to the gym. There are tons of easy (or difficult, if you want!) exercise routines on YouTube. And they’re free! And, if you do belong to the gym, then GO! Exercise releases those feel-good chemicals: endorphins. There, doesn’t that feel better?

Get Dressed Up

It’s easy to fall into the old, “Well, nobody can see my snazzy outfit under my winter coat, so why bother?” mindset. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good you feel about yourself if you put on those new earrings you got for Christmas, make a little effort with your makeup and fix your hair when you go to work, or even just Wal-Mart. Even if nobody else can see your cute outfit, you know what you have on! And your opinion is the one that counts.

Decorate

Just because Christmas has come and gone doesn’t mean your house should be bleak. Splurge on a cozy, snowflake-themed throw blanket. Get out some special winter mugs. Switch out the art on your walls. Make the cold season something to celebrate!

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Treat Yourself

Get a massage or a facial. Plan a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg with your best friend. Go to lunch at Blackberry Farms. Do something really nice for yourself, but with this challenge: make your treat an experience, and not just something to buy. It will feel a lot more meaningful, and your good feelings will keep coming every time you remember the experience.

Looking to buy (or sell!) your home this winter? Get started at DarleneReeves-Kline.com.

Beat Cabin Fever in East Tennessee!

Read about turning snow days into quality family time.

We’ve had a break from the bitter cold this week. We had a warm snap, true to the typical Tennessee weather pattern, where if you don’t like it, just wait a while. ‘Cause it’ll change. We’ve had darn-near tropical weather for a couple of days! Temperatures reached almost 70 degrees at one point. That’s a vast difference from last week, where lows dipped into the single digits!

But cold weather is blowing through again, and we’re predicting snow starting around Saturday or so. While the warm weather stretches are pretty nice, the bitter cold and even that mean, in-between weather, where everything is just slushy and slick, can keep us indoors. And you know what that means … cabin fever!

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We know that keeping kids home from school can get us all feeling pretty squirrelly, so we rounded up some great ideas to beat that itchy, cabin-fevery feeling. Read on to see some of our favorites!

1. Board Games

Snowed in? It’s time to break out Monopoly. Put the phones down and spend some quality time on the boardwalk.

2. Movie Marathon

Don’t just veg out in front of your smartphone or tablet. Get the family together and watch the whole Die Hard franchise, or all of Harry Potter. Make popcorn and hot chocolate, and spend a little family time with some classic entertainment. Bonus points if you make a game out of how many times a shoot-out happens or the word “Cowboy” is spoken in Die Hard! Or, for Harry Potter, keep score of how many times someone says “Harry.” You get the picture.

3. Clean Up

When you’re feeling cooped up, sometimes cleaning out the clutter can get you zen-ed out. Go through the kids’ clothes, go through your own closet, get rid of things that you don’t want or have outgrown. Hey, it’s a new year! Out with the old, in with the new!

4. Get Crafty

Start a scrapbook, or sew a blanket. Make a castle out of old cereal boxes. Attempt all those Pinterest ideas you’ve been saving for a … well, a snowy day! Get your kids in on it!

5. Get Cooking

If you’re like lots of families, your schedule is a tightly wound nightmare! Between school, after-school activities, work, grocery shopping … you barely have time to get a hot meal on the table at the end of the day. Take this enforced slow-down as a blessing, and do some things the slow, old-fashioned way. Roast a chicken. Try a new recipe you’ve had your eye on. Sit down with the family and enjoy a meal together.

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And, really, don’t sweat it. After all, we typically don’t stay cooped up for long here in East Tennessee. It’s one of the perks about living here: the weather is very rarely extreme! And if you are worried about the cold snaps, just remember: the really cold days bring down the annoying bug population. So a few cold spells here and there equal much more pleasant summer days!

If you’re in the market for your own East Tennessean cabin (without the fever, of course!) then check out DarleneReeves-Kline.com.