Seeing Knoxville through the eyes of visitors: we looked pretty fantastic this weekend!

Our weekend visitors: Tabatha Mallette, left, Jimmy Moxley and Tess Richard on the Star of Knoxville.

Our weekend visitors: Tabatha Mallette, left, Jimmy Moxley and Tess Richard on the Star of Knoxville.

Does this ever happen to you? You have out-of-town guests and suddenly, while taking them around your hometown, you kind of see your own city through their eyes?

That happened to me this weekend — and let me tell you: we looked great!

The occasion was the visit of my brother, Jimmy, his wife, Tess, and her 25-year-old daughter, Tabatha, who were visiting from Gulf Shores, Ala. They picked a wonderful weekend.

See if you agree that Knoxville came out looking fantastic!

First of all, when they arrived on Friday afternoon, we took them straight to Market Square. Since it was First Friday, the Square was hopping.

An assortment of buskers were out. Here is David Burns and his dog, Buddy.

An assortment of buskers were out. Here is David Burns and his dog, Buddy.

The drum circle folks were out in full force in the grassy area of Market Square. I'm told several of them come from Asheville.

The drum circle folks were out in full force in the grassy area of Market Square. I'm told several of them come from Asheville.

About a dozen hula hoopers were sharing the grassy area.

About a dozen hula hoopers were sharing the grassy area.

And then there was this fellow. He identified himself as "a toy warrior visiting from the future." I kid you not. My visitors took it in stride.

And then there was this fellow. He identified himself as "a toy warrior visiting from the future." I kid you not. My visitors took it in stride.

After a great dinner at Cocoa Moon (no, I had not heard about their latest Health Dept. score when I selected our dinner spot!), and a drink at the Downtown Grill and Brewery, we headed over to Bistro at the Bijou to check out some live music. One of our favorite groups, The Johnson Swingtet, was playing their fun mellow old-timey favorites. (Kukuly has a sexy new look, by the way!)

The Johnson Swingtet at the Bistro last Friday.

The Johnson Swingtet at the Bistro last Friday.

Tabatha and Jimmy take to the dance floor at the Bistro.

Tabatha and Jimmy take to the dance floor at the Bistro.

Saturday seemed to dawn pretty early, but thanks to our friend Gay Lyons, we had been able to secure a table at the Biscuit Festival’s Biscuit Brunch catered by Blackberry Farm. The four-course menu was out of this world. Buttermilk biscuits with Benton’s smoked sausage gravy and Blackberry Farm jams, house-made butter, Blackberry Farm field greens with herb vinaigrette, beignets made with Singing Brook cheese and Benton’s country ham, roasted pork and fresh bacon with ramp-grit custard, and Cruze Farm buttermilk pie with vanilla cream.

Market Street was re-named "Biscuit Blvd." for the day!

Market Street was re-named "Biscuit Blvd." for the day!

Bartender Drew Galyon was a popular man at the start of the Biscuit Brunch, which was a sellout.

Bartender Drew Galyon was a popular man at the start of the Biscuit Brunch, which was a sellout.

After our late Friday evening, I was happy to see the beautiful Bloody Mary that was placed in front of me.

After our late Friday evening, I was happy to see the beautiful Bloody Mary that was placed in front of me.

The Bloody was garnished with a fresh radish, which I thought very clever!

The Bloody was garnished with a fresh radish, which I thought very clever!

Here’s a peek at some other folks in attendance.

Mary Constantine, left, the food editor of the News Sentinel, sat with Peter Acly and Ellen Robinson.

Mary Constantine, left, the food editor of the News Sentinel, sat with Peter Acly and Ellen Robinson.

City Councilman Marilyn Roddy and hubby, Patrick, made the scene.

City Councilman Marilyn Roddy and hubby, Patrick, made the scene.

WBIR's Erin Donovan was judge of the Mr. and Miss Biscuit Contest -- and she dressed for the occasion!

WBIR's Erin Donovan was judge of the Mr. and Miss Biscuit Contest -- and she dressed for the occasion!

My good friend Susan Brown, right, joined our table. She had an out-of-town guest of her own: her college roomie Deborah Smith who was in from Atlanta.

My good friend Susan Brown, right, joined our table. She had an out-of-town guest of her own: her college roomie Deborah Smith who was in from Atlanta.

Musicians Sarah Pirkle and Jeff Barbra provided entertainment while we waited for the final prep of the food.

Musicians Sarah Pirkle and Jeff Barbra provided entertainment while we waited for the final prep of the food.

Sam Beall of Blackberry Farm was the emcee for the brunch.

Sam Beall of Blackberry Farm was the emcee for the brunch.

Allan Benton was a delight as he explained how his phenomenally successful Benton's Smoky Mountai Country Ham operation got started. He gave major credit to Blackberry Farm.

Allan Benton was a delight as he explained how his phenomenally successful Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Ham operation got started. He gave major credit to Blackberry Farm.

Alan Carmichael digs into the main course: "forever" roasted pork and fresh bacon.

Alan Carmichael digs into the main course: "forever" roasted pork and fresh bacon.

This band, Black Bottom Biscuits out of South Carolina, couldn't have been more appropriate! They played on the Market Street Flatbed Truck Stage provided by developer David Dewhirst.

This band, Black Bottom Biscuits out of South Carolina, couldn't have been more appropriate! They played on the Market Street Flatbed Truck Stage provided by developer David Dewhirst.

After some shopping on Biscuit Blvd., we all headed home for much-needed naps. We had to rest up because at 6 p.m. our friend Susan Brown joined us again and we headed over to the Knoxville Zoo for the annual Zoofari fundraiser! Whew.

The best thing about Zoofari is getting to see the animals during cocktail hour. This elephant was occupied playing with a log.

The best thing about Zoofari is getting to see the animals during cocktail hour. This elephant was occupied playing with a log.

Is this fellow black-on-white or white-on-black?

Is this fellow black-on-white or white-on-black?

I think this chimp liked Tess and Tabatha as much as they liked him!

I think this chimp liked Tess and Tabatha as much as they liked him!

Tabatha took advantage of the opportunity to feed the giraffes.

Tabatha took advantage of the opportunity to feed the giraffes.

This creature led the 506 guests into the huge party tent.

This creature led the 506 guests into the huge party tent.

Because the theme of the event was "Year of the Tiger," the organizers went with an Asian theme. Copper Cellar provided a very good steak and lobster dinner. A real challenge when you are feeding this many!

Because the theme of the event was "Year of the Tiger," the organizers went with an Asian theme for the decorations inside the tent. Copper Cellar provided a very good steak and lobster dinner. A real challenge when you are feeding this many!

Two of our guests, Carolyn Pointer and Rodney Neil must think we only invite them to events that are going to be swelteringly hot! They were featured in an earlier post on this blog when the temperature was an issue. Councilman Duane Grieve was under the weather an unable to join us, but we were happy his fun wife, Marsha, was able to make it.

Carolyn Pointer and Rodney Neil

Carolyn Pointer and Rodney Neil

Susasn Brown and Jimmy Moxley

Susan Brown and Jimmy Moxley

We slept soundly Saturday night and awoke on Sunday ready to hit it again! On the spur-of-the-moment, we booked passage on the Star of Knoxville down on Volunteer Landing.

And guess what! Mark Twain happened to be on board, as well! Actor Kurt H. Sutton was on his final performance as author Samuel L. Clemens reciting witticisms and leading the crowd in sing-alongs!

And guess what! Mark Twain happened to be on board, as well! Actor Kurt H. Sutton was on his final performance as author Samuel L. Clemens reciting witticisms and leading the crowd in sing-alongs!

It was a beautiful day for a boat ride. Here is Tabatha as we were starting out.

It was a beautiful day for a boat ride. Here is Tabatha as we were starting out.

And here is Alan as we were returning to dock.

And here is Alan as we were returning to dock.

We went home to take some more naps before finishing our day on the patio at Lakeside Tavern.

This mother and duckling sat right beside our table at Lakeside Tavern.

This mother and duckling sat right beside our table at Lakeside Tavern.

What a sweet ending to a wonderful weekend. The relatives left this morning. We already are planning their return visit! Great job, Knoxville!

13 Responses to “Seeing Knoxville through the eyes of visitors: we looked pretty fantastic this weekend!”

  1. Good lord, woman, do you ever get tired?!

  2. Thanks Cynthia and the entire Blue Streak staff. What a great day!

  3. Good Lord woman, I am headed to take a nap after reading this. I nominate you for mayor of Knoxville.

  4. We had such a great time in Knoxville! I can’t wait for our next visit!

  5. Now you’re really trying to make me homesick! I’m forwarding this to my brother, Jeff, who can’t get enough of Benton ham. My arteries hardened just reading about the Biscuitfest!

  6. Thanks for coming out to support the Biscuit Festival. I hated to miss Zoofari, buit I was at the Square Room for the final BF event–a sold out performance by Leanne Morgan who was so hilarious I didn’t mind standing. (OK, by that point, had I sat, I wasso tired I might not have gotten back up.) Glad we were able to show your family a good time!

  7. We really enjoyed our visit. We are looking forward to our next visit. We had a blast!! Thanks for everything!

  8. Tess, Jimmy, Tabatha: we hope you come back soon. Tabs: bring hubs, Jason! Bill and Gay: you all did such a great job — I just couldn’t believe how gr8 everything was. Carol: We are trying to convince you to move back — and tell Steve we need more environmentally sensiive architects around here, so he needs to take a look!

  9. I always loved Knoxville since I walked all over UT with my daughter, Susan, when she first came to Knoxville! It has the best of everything! Restaurants, places, and especially people like you, Cynthia and Alan!!! Thanks for the great pictures!

  10. Mrs. Brown! So excited to see your comment on this blog! Thanks so much! Hope to see you on your next visit to Knoxville. P.S. Greenville is pretty neat, too.

  11. Sounds like a fun event. Allen Benton is The Man on country ham. I had some of his wonderful stuff two weeks ago here in Boulder, Colorado.

  12. K town is one of my favorite places to visit. Enjoyed showing my family your blog and all the great photos. Thanks for the Blackberry Farm biscuit festival invite – very delicious and memorable!

  13. Glad you caught Kurt Sutton’s Mark Twain impersonation. I’ve attended his performances in several cities over the past five years, and I never tire of it.

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