In case you haven't had a chance to check out Carrie's fabulous button down on the sidebar, today is the day that I point it out. Cute, right?
Turns out Carrie has a great book giveaway going on right now, so be sure to head over to Carrie's Busy Nothings for a chance to enter to win!
Without further ado, I'm handing over the reigns to my talented friend and co-worker, Carrie so she can share a little bit about why she loves where she lives.
Thanks Molly, and hello readers of A Foreign Land! It’s an honor and privilege to share a bit about my little corner of the globe. I met Molly two years ago, shortly after I started blogging at Carrie’s Busy Nothings. I never would have guessed that our meet-up on a random blog hop would one day lead to being teammates at Weaving Influence, but the world is a crazy place and you just never know what’s going to happen!
My immediate and extended family hail from Oklahoma, my husband is a missionary kid from Peru (and son of a Dutch immigrant), I attended college outside of Boston, we honeymooned in Chicago, and then traveled the world for 4.5 years. However, it’s the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in the tiny north east corner of Tennessee that we call “home”.
If you equate Tennessee with Memphis, you’re missing out! We’re 500 miles from Graceland, but we’re only 20 minutes from the North Carolina and Virginia borders, 4 hours from Atlanta, and 6 hours from the coast. Known as the Tri-Cities, we’re home to over 1 million people spread out over three cities, and several smaller towns, like Elizabethton (pronounced “Eee-liz-a-beth-tun”).
Once home to a number of German factories, Elizabethton was known as the “City of Power” because of her location on the Watauga River. Visited by Presidents and politicians, even providing parachutes for our soldiers in WWII, Elizabethton experienced great growth before her eventual decline in the 1960s. Factory after factory left or burned, and things were looking bleak for the county.
However, in early 2000, laws were passed that helped turn the town around, and we are once again seeing growth as a city. We play host to a classic car show each Saturday night from April through October in the downtown blocks, experience Overmountain Men encampments/reenactments at Fort Watauga, and share our beautiful covered bridge with everyone during the Covered Bridge Festival in June.
Want to catch a game? We may not have the White Sox, but we’re home to the Minnesota Twins farm team, and on Sunday nights, you can get into games for free with a church bulletin (this IS the Bible Belt after all). In fact, they’re often found playing the team from our neighboring town, the Johnson City Cardinals (farm team of Molly’s beloved St. Louis Cardinals).
If you’re into hiking and camping, this is certainly a great destination as we are only minutes from the Appalachian Trail and about an hour from the Great Smokey Mountain National Park – the only free National Park in the United States. Locally, we have several sites of historical significance, including Rocky Mount Living History Museum, and Jonesborough - Tennessee’s oldest town and capital of the former State of Franklin (also host to the annual International Storytelling Festival).
Think all Southerners eat greens and grits? Think again! In our little mountain region, you can find authentic German Bratwurst and fantastic Indian curry. There are three outstanding Thai restaurants within 15 minutes of our house, including Thai Am – blink and you will miss it! Totally known through word of mouth, this little Thai restaurant is famous enough to draw visitors from several hours away. Plan to get there early, there are only 5 tables and when the food runs out, they close up shop.
Interested in where the locals eat? Make sure you visit The Firehouse Restaurant – so named for its location in an old firehouse – which offers delicious pulled pork bar-b-q, homemade sauce, and an in-house chocolate chip dessert that melts in your mouth. Our favorite home grown spot is a hole in the wall called Cootie Browns, with the best Key Lime pie we’ve found in all of our travels.
All this, and more, can be found right here, in beautiful East Tennessee. Come see us!
Thanks so much for sharing a little bit about your town, Carrie!
If you'd like to share about YOUR town next month, shoot me an email and we'll chat.