eating well on vacation

So really, when I talk about eating "well" while we were on vacation in Gatlinburg two weekends ago, I mean two things - letting myself freely enjoy the different places we went for food and snacks while also being smart about how often I was eating, and how much.  Because, since I came home from Cuba, that whole idea of portion control (or, as my favorite former Housewife Bethenny Frankel puts it, "tasting everything" and avoiding the "clean-plate club") has made a lot more sense.  So if something looked tasty during our vacation, I let myself have some.  Some.  Not all.  And it made me feel good - both while we were on vacation, and when I checked my weight on Monday morning after we returned.

Having said all that, here's my slightly overdue look back at the delicious foods we ate (or didn't eat) during our long weekend away...
 (Prime example of something not to eat in huge portions - this really yummy, but full-of-processed-ingredients smores snack mix that I found at a local bulk foods store.  When I saw it earlier in the summer, I knew it would make great road trip food, and indeed it did.  But I also ate it in small handfuls instead of eating the whole bag in one drive. That's progress!)

(After discovering a great pancake house in Pigeon Forge during our visit in September, we went there again for lunch when we arrived on Friday.  Hilariously, they sat us in the exact booth that we sat in last time.  Wildcat Guy's biscuits and gravy were good, although the gravy was a little on the salty side...)

 (...but my chocolate chip pancakes were delicious - just as delicious as last time.)

(This was one of the many, many candy shops on the main drag in Gatlinburg.  We stopped in to watch the taffy being made...)

 (...and ended up wandering around trying not to drool over all the tasty-looking treats.  There were racks of caramel apples and case after case of homemade chocolate candies.)

(Friday night, the entire Wildcat Family went to dinner at a restaurant that specializes in steak and seafood.   My swordfish was decent - I went with a simple butter sauce that didn't add much flavor, but my white cheddar mashed potatoes were awesome and bursting with flavor - mmmm.  I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone interested in going out for a nicer dinner while they're in Pigeon Forge!)

 (Saturday afternoon, lunch was a homemade affair, with burgers and hot dogs cooked by Wildcat Guy himself - who knew he grilled?!)

 (My burger was perfect, and my leftovers from the night before made great sides.)

(So when I mentioned that, if I saw something tasty, I let myself have some?  This is a great example.  Friday, when we were walking around Gatlinburg, we'd found a place that served fried desserts.  Saturday afternoon, when we realized we wanted a sweet type of snack, we just happened to be around the corner from there, so that's where we went.  Because a funnel cake sounded delicious - and with cinnamon sugar on top, it was, indeed.)

(This is Wildcat Guy's fried Twinkie...which I didn't try, but which he proclaimed quite tasty.)

(On Saturday, we also stopped into another candy shop.  This one had a slightly smaller inventory of homemade candies...)
(...but quite an assortment of cylindrical lollipops, of which Wildcat Guy purchased one.  I was surprised at how uninterested I was in buying candy at any of the shops!  Very unusual for me...but maybe my practicing restraint is starting to sink in.)
(After a late night at the Aquarium, we decided to stop here to pick up a salad and pizza.  There was some drama happening when we got back to our cabin, though, so in the midst of that, I forgot to take pictures of our pizza.  I liked it...Wildcat Guy wasn't as thrilled with it...but certainly unique - if slightly overpriced.)
 (True story - Friday, before we got to lunch, I'd joked around that, since we had multiple coupons for our favorite pancake house, we could eat there multiple times in one weekend.  Then, Sunday morning, one of his sisters mentioned that we should all go to a pancake house for brunch.  And then - the restaurant was right at the spot on the main drag in Pigeon Forge where the road from our cabin exited.  So we suggested going there, and everyone said okay.  This time, Wildcat Guy went for the pancakes - stacked high with berries of all kind!...)

(...while I opted for the french toast.  Yum!  I don't think they know what it means to serve bad food there.  Definitely a place we will continue to visit when we vacation there!)
(And okay - so this isn't food.  But food-related, so I'm including it.  Apparently, on our way into Pigeon Forge on Friday, Wildcat Guy saw a sign for this outlet store (which sits very close to the interstate)...but I completely missed it.  Thankfully, as we were driving out of Pigeon Forge on Sunday, I saw another sign. I was so surprised at how enthralled both of us were with the cast iron cookware and accessories sold here...and impressed that we exercised such restraint!  However, it sounds like we'll definitely be adding to our cast iron collection in the future.)

Where I am: Orlando, FL
What I'm reading: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (slowly but surely)


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