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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
Is this fellow black-on-white or white-on-black?
I think this chimp liked Tess and Tabatha as much as they liked him!
Tabatha took advantage of the opportunity to feed the giraffes.
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 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
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!
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.
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.
What a sweet ending to a wonderful weekend. The relatives left this morning. We already are planning their return visit! Great job, Knoxville!
Filed under: Downtown, Events, Knoxville, Music