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Perfect Weather Weekend

What happens when 5 dietitian friends get together for the weekend?

“Eat bowls of leaves” was The Boy’s idea. This, of course, is related to the fact that we enjoy our leafy green vegetables, and prefer them in salads to the nutritional-weakling that is iceberg lettuce.

But no, salads were not the mainstay of this weekend.

Friday Night:

Sheff and I spent the afternoon getting the house all nice and clean, ready for our guests. Steph was the first to roll in around 6, having the easiest drive from Nashville. We met at the nearby Kroger and picked up ingredients for an easy tortellini soup.

  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 3 cans seasoned stewed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans cannellini beans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1-2 packs cheese tortellini
  • parmesan cheese and toast to serve with

Elena, coming up from Mississippi, made it here around 9:30, as did Laura – who won the prize for finding the farm in the dark by herself! I had met Elena and Steph 10 miles out, and then let them follow me back, because the dark country roads are very difficult to navigate. Laura also brought her 2 little dogs, who enjoyed Sheff and our big backyard. Kathy finally made it by 11:30pm. Most of the evening was spent catching up over soup and baked goods (Laura brought some decadent brownies and baklava. Nothing low-fat or nutritionally advised! So yummy….)


Those of us on Eastern Time Zone, and/or owners of dogs, found ourselves fully awake and drinking coffee by 8am. The other 2 were awakened by 10:30am. The agreed upon plan was to hit up the outlets at Pigeon Forge, a free round of Mini Golf (thanks to the millions of extra tickets I have), dinner at The Tomato Head, and then a fire at home with s’mores and hot apple cider. ‘Twas a great day!

I will note that the Pigeon Forge outlets were absolutely crazy packed, like it was the week before Christmas. We had to fight for a parking space, stand in long lines in stores, and dig through piles of clothes strewn all over the place. By the end of the afternoon, we had many bags to carry back and our feet were sore.

But not sore enough for Mini Golf! And somehow, after 18 holes, I manage to win, coming in 5 under par! haha. My prize?

Delicious dinner at The Tomato Head. I had the Kepner Melt again: a toasted sandwich of baked tofu, monterrey jack cheese, walnut pesto, spinach, herbed tomatoes, pineapple and red onion. Amazing! We also scored a free large cheese pizza, after our order (half cheese, half mushroom) confused the kitchen staff.

The fire, smores, and cider were all wonderful. We had The Dark Knight playing in the background, which I tried to ignore and enjoy the conversation with my friends instead. I can’t see that Joker face right before I go to bed!!


Again, the Eastern Time Zoners were up by 8 for coffee, and enjoyed cold pizza for breakfast. The others were up by 10 with no problem. It’s been so nice to catch up and see each other face to face after all this time. I feel like we’re much more grown up than we were just this time last year, now out in the working world, with a lot of learning experience under our belt.

We had wanted to get a hike in this weekend, since the weather was beautiful and in the 70s both days, but the girls needed to hit the road by lunchtime to get back to their respective cities.

After everyone left and I got the kitchen cleaned up, Sheff and I headed out to Knoxville’s Ijam’s Nature Center for some hiking and outdoors time. It was an easy 30 minute drive, and we had the company of many many other families and dog owners. I’m always a little skeptical of hiking or trail-walking by myself, but it was a gorgeous day, and I didn’t feel alone out there on the trails. We enjoyed a couple miles, then returned to the car for water and almond butter sandwich / milkbone, and drove back.

Now we’re out on the back porch, soaking up the last of today’s sun, before it’s time to start the next week.

Next Week:

  • Get the garage door fixed
  • Clean up / wash sheets from weekend visitors
  • Prepare, pack and plan for Nashville weekend road trip!

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