By: Deener Matthews
“Over the Christmas holidays, our family went over to Pigeon Forge to see the highly-touted Titanic. It is a WOW!”.
Crowds are controlled, so that you can really see the items he has collected. When you enter the museum, you are given a card with the name of a Titanic passenger. It is not until you exit — a good hour or so later — that you find out whether your person survived.
We had the opportunity to meet John Joslyn, the man behind this magnificent creation just before we went in.
We learned that we can save traffic time by driving over from The Swag on I-40 to the Maryville, TN exit. Titanic is on the near side of Pigeon Forge to I-40. Actually, it is a museum that really immerses you in the dreadful event without horror, but definitely awe.
So, for our Swag guests who want a richly rewarding experience, Dan and I give it a heads-up. I guess it would be best to go on non-holiday days, before school gets out. April, May, September and November would be excellent times to take a days drive over there.
It’s a chilly day up here at 5,000 feet! We woke up to a nice dusting of snow this morning, and we wish you were all here to enjoy it with us! This is our second snow of the season, and it’s only October 29th! Can you believe it?
If you’re spending this fall Saturday at home, why not bring a little of The Swag to your kitchen? With this cold weather, the kitchen whipped us up some Swag bars this morning and we’re all enjoying them warm, right out of the oven! It’s the perfect way to get warm and enjoy this beautiful Saturday!
Join us, won’t you? These treats would even make for a huge hit at your Halloween party this weekend! Enjoy! Be sure to share pictures of your Swag bars with us!! Oh, and a nice cup of coffee makes them even better! We’ve included The Swag Bar recipe for you below!
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
2 cups creamy peanut butter
6 cups crushed corn flakes
1 – 8 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate chips)
- Combine white sugar, white corn syrup and peanut butter in large heavy pan.
- Heat over medium heat, bringing almost to a boil, stirring constantly
- Remove from stove
- Add crushed corn flakes
- Mix well together
- Press into lightly greased/sprayed pan (9×13)
- Spread chocolate chips over the top and place in a warm (250 degree) oven
(just long enough to allow the chips to melt)
- Using a spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly as a topping
- Score into bars while still hot as they are difficult to cut when cool
Swag Bars can be wrapped individually and can be stored in the freezer. They are best served warm or at room temperature.
In the coming weeks, Swag guests have a couple of great opportunities to view the Elk down in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The first of these comes on Thursday, September 29, at 5 p.m. for a special, guided viewing of the elk with Friends of the Smokies. Space is limited, so Swaggers will need to respond by September 22 by emailing The Swag office at Stay@TheSwag.com. Unable to make the tour on the 29th? Not to worry. The Swag has added a special amenity lasting through the month of October. In partnership with Cataloochee Valley Tours, The Swag now offers tickets for Eco-Tours. The evening eco-tour consists of round-trip transport into Cataloochee Valley, a short hike, elk and other wildlife viewing, refreshments and a mountain sunset. The tour lasts approximately four hours.
The experimental release of elk into Great Smoky Mountains National Park began in February 2001. Each fall, during the breeding season, known as ”rut,” male elk make their legendary bugling calls to challenge other bulls and attract cows. Their calls may be heard a mile or more away. Large bulls use their antlers to intimidate and spar with other males. Most encounters are ritualistic and involve little physical contact; only occasionally do conflicts result in serious injuries to one or more combatants. During the rut in September and early October, dominant bulls gather and breed with harems of up to 20 cows.
The Cataloochee Valley is 17 miles from The Swag, about a 45-minute drive from the Swag House, or for the adventurous, a seven- mile one-way hike. More information about the elk in the Smokies can be found on the park’s website.
While ziplines and canopy tours have been modes of transportation and tourist attractions in other parts of the country, and around the world, the canopy tour has become the latest “Big” attraction. Over the last couple of years, several canopy tour companies have opened their doors for the high-flying excitement here in western NC. Adventure America Zipline Canopy Tours is the most recent to open in Asheville. Adventure America now has six different locations in the southeast, three of which are in NC and would be a perfect day trip from The Swag.
Innkeeper, Deener Matthews, take a zip at Navitat.
Just ask our Deener Matthews, our innkeeper. Recently when her family was visiting at The Swag, they all loaded up and headed to another fairly new tour operator, Navitat Canopy Adventures. Deener, and her family, spent over three hours hiking, zipping and rappelling at Navitat, located about 20 minutes north of Asheville.
So if you are looking for something a little more extreme that hiking to Hemphill Bald, think about one of the local canopy tours here in the beautiful mountains of western NC.
The Swag, celebrating its 30th season in 2011, has always valued our returning guests. However, in the early years, we didn’t really have a way to reward repeat Swaggers. Then, in 1991, The Swag became a member of Select Registry which had a loyalty program called the Golden Quill. This program has evolved over the years to provide repeat guests a loyalty reward of $25.00 on their fourth visit to a Select Registry property.
In 2011, Select Registry revamped the Golden Quill Loyalty Program making it easier and quicker to earn a reward. Now after only 12 nights, not stays, guests are entitled to a $100 gift certificate issued by Select Registry that can be used at The Swag, or any other member property. To participate in the Golden Quill Loyalty Program simply register on the Select Registry website and enter your nights after you check-out. With the program now being online, there are no more cards to keep track of and no more stamps to collect at check-out. It’s just that easy!
And if that’s not enough, this season The Swag joined Stash Hotel Rewards. Stash is a new hotel rewards program where members earn and redeem points for free nights at authentic, independently-run hotels across the U.S. Swaggers have the opportunity to earn five points for every dollar spent on the base rate which can add up quickly for free return visits to The Swag, or over 150 other unique independent properties across the U.S. Stash, which is just over a year old, continues to grow and has already expanded by 25+ properties since we joined in April. With Stash, there are no membership numbers to remember or cards to carry, your Stash account is tied to your email address. To join, enroll online at the Stash website or pre-enroll at check-in.
Whether it’s Golden Quill, Stash, or both, rewarding loyal Swaggers has never been easier. Collect the rewards you’ve earned and enroll today.