Great Smoky Mountain Raiload 1940’s Style - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Great Smoky Mountain Raiload 1940’s Style


Happy Wednesday Ladies!

I mentioned on Monday, that while staying in Bryson City, NC, the main reason was for us to go on a 4.5 hour ride on a 1940s rail car on the Great Smoky Mountain’s Railroad. We took a lot of pictures, so I hope to give you an idea of what we experienced on the railroad, and I had to wear my 1940’s style Karina Dress called the Megan for the trip. What could be more apropo? If you didn’t get to read about our combined over night stay at the BNB McKinley Edwards Inn, read about it HERE.



Here comes the train!



Here is our train car, they are already seated! ^^^


Me trying to pose without the train occupants all looking at me. ( It was funny as we were the young ones!)


Looking pensive.


Taking requests for banjo songs. Not adverse to playing Ozzy Osbourne or Pink Floyd.


Our dining car.


One of the views of the river on the train.


Right in this area was a part of the Appalachian Trail. We saw a hiker go through here.


End of the ride, all of my makeup is off, my hair is a bit frazzled, I had a great time, but tired.



Hair accessory for the era.


You can really see the saturation of colors while taken inside the train.The Megan, my favorite style by Karina Dresses.


My hubby. all dressed up and a place to GO! Lookin sharp in his Macy’s Bar III fitted top and dark slim fit denim.


Heading back to Bryson City.



The day began early enough as me trying to get as much hot water out of the jacuzzi tub at 7 am as possible! We got a great rate due to the fact that the place is undergoing some maintenance. When we were there, I noticed that my first bath wasn’t hot, and a plumber was called out. Nevertheless, I thought I wouldn’t take chances, as this is a part of my therapy, let me tell you, to relax WITH bubbles in a jacuzzi tub with hot water! So, as much as I wanted to crawl back in bed, we began the day not too much later, having coffee in our rooms, feeding the pups, and then going out for a quick bite ,( bagels and more coffee) before we would later have to show for the train.

My hubby treats me so well, and bought first class seats on the 1940s rail car, as there were other less , lets just say, supportive and comfortable options ( the open air car : really neat but not at 60 degrees, the coach, also very interesting and compatible to it’s era’s design: however, how do I put this… ” My derierre would not be able to withstand a 4.5 hour trip on nothing but hard wooden seats!! ” ( Sorry, I have always wanted to use derriere in a sentence). The first class 1940s car was just that, what you would have ridden in such a time, little lamps hovered unobtrusively over our two person table. We received many complimentary items such as a substantial coffee travel mug, 2 stemless wine glasses, and the parting gift of a large tote to carry everything back with. Our train “swag bag” if you will.

We also, were given a meal of tilapia, creamed carrots, potatoes, and a roll. Of course, we bought a bottle of red wine for our trip. As we were beginning our journey, we noticed two people, a man and woman, dressed in southern attire from a bygone era, waving to us. Later, as we returned, what seemed to be a different couple in the same spot waving. My husband and I like to learn the history of things, so we purchased a book on the history of the Smokey Mountain RR. “The Wavers” as they are called do come out at certain times, noting the schedule of the train and it’s passengers. Could you imagine the conversation, waiting in line at the nearby, grocery store. ” Deep Southern Accent”  MAN:: “Honey, it’s gettin late. You KNOW we have a place to be, and people to be a’wavin’ for. ” WOMAN: ” You are so right, Earl, Who says we need bread and milk, when we NEED to be back for our 2:00 Pm Wavin’ TIme.”  Honestly, must make for good conversation, or perhaps they like the interaction with the people.

We heard a banjo player on board, and truly at the time, the only banjo song that came to mind was ” Dueling Banjos”. You all know the one from the movie, ‘Deliverance”. Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, dum. .. ( repeat..) Boy sitting on a bridge. I am sure you would know it if you heard it. So he took requests, of “Old Joe Clark”, many other folk tunes, and also told us he plays Pink Floyd. We did enjoy him and he was an excellent player.

As we went around the Nantahala Gorge, we did see kayakers, and also houses on the water that must now be permanent places to store belongings. We took many pictures, that I just didn’t have room to share them all.

I decided I wanted to dress in the era of the day. So I brought my new Karina Dress, the Megan, which is the 40’s style with the full skirt , v neck, and flutter short sleeves. THe print with the maroon and black caught my attention. Since the weather was cold, damp, and rainy, I didn’t imagine my hair would make it, even if I knew how to style my hair in a 40s style. I will need to study some Youtube videos to learn how to do this. Instead, I wore a black,beaded,  shiny hair accessory, reminiscent of the era, drop, earrings, and we were advised to wear flats, as there was an opportunity for us to drink, and also drink moonshine, I did not need something else to put me off kilter.

We truly had a good time, and spent the next day, visiting some of the local small shops, and of course, I came away with blackberry moonshine jam, soap, pictures of my husband and I in a frame I picked, as well as a pair of grey long gloves with buttons down the side. When you walk up and down the street and see everything, that tells you how small the town is.

This was something we wanted to do for about 7 years, after we moved here to Lake Norman, in the Charlotte area, Finally, we just did it, we really wanted to go for the Fall foliage ride, as it was beautiful to see the reds, oranges, yellows, in the changing of the leaves.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the week,

Jess xo

Dress C/o Karina Dress
Megan, Jewerly and Hair accessory ( Etsy), Shoes: Clarks ( Concert choir flats), Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff ( Wine)


  • Willfully Elegant
    Posted at 12:58h, 28 October Reply

    Ah, loved reading through look so lovely in the dress, so totally up my ally..I have always wanted to go back to Smokies..may be this will make me go soon, because I love rail road!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:01h, 28 October Reply

      Thank you , i am glad you enjoyed this! We had a great time and I had to dress in my 40s attire 🙂 jess xx

  • Lady of Style
    Posted at 16:05h, 27 October Reply

    You couldn’t fit in the scenery any better, Jess! Your dress is so beautiful and everything looks so colour coordinated! What a great experience you had.

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 16:09h, 27 October Reply

      Thank you Annette, we had a great time. Glad you like the dress. One of my favs from Karina. I even got my hubby to wear burgundy so we could match 😉 jess xo

  • Ada
    Posted at 06:20h, 27 October Reply

    What a pretty dress this is. Love that it looks a little vintage – such pretty flowers. Plus the colors on it are perfect for Fall. Great pictures by the train station. It looks beautiful. =)

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 08:40h, 27 October Reply

      Thanks Ada, we had a great time. It is a Karina Dress, and their style is more vintage like, glad you like it! jess xx

  • Debbie Stinedurf
    Posted at 11:48h, 26 October Reply

    What great shots! Sounds like so much fun! And that dress is so perfectly retro and beautiful. The color is stunning on you. 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:06h, 26 October Reply

      THanks Deb! I wanted to do 40s curls but it was raining and my hair wouldnt have held up. Glad you like the dress, one of my favs from Karina! enjoy the day!! jess xx

  • Lorna Mai (@LornaMaiLtd)
    Posted at 17:52h, 24 October Reply

    Sounds like an amazing day trip, your 40’s dress goes perfect with the steam trains. I love the style, sleeves and colours. You look great.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 18:01h, 24 October Reply

      Thanks so much Lorna, We did have fun!! I would have done 40s curls, but it was too rainy! Enjoy your weekend!
      jess xx

  • MIchelle
    Posted at 13:07h, 24 October Reply

    What a fun looking trip! And I love how you fit in with the time period.

    Hops and Style

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 13:08h, 24 October Reply

      Thanks so much! I tried to curl my hair 40s style, but the rain… take care, jess xx

  • Laura
    Posted at 21:18h, 23 October Reply

    What a fun trip! I love your dress!

  • Kiki
    Posted at 17:44h, 23 October Reply

    The trip looks so fun; there’s something so romantic about train travel even when it’s only a short ride. The 40s silhouette compliments that train romanticism perfectly. I also love your hair….truly, like a 40s movie star. If I was to be picky, I would pop a higher heel shoe, but I know that’s totally impractical for a trip so…well, don’t listen to me. 😉

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 21:47h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks Kiki! We had a really good time! I appreciate the compliments, we were told not to wear high heels as trains and alcohol.. it can be tricky I have an illness though where I cant wear high heels anyhow. jess xx

  • Shannon
    Posted at 15:03h, 23 October Reply

    You’re always having so much fun! Definitely loving this vintage look!! That dress is to die for!

    <3 Shannon

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 21:45h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks so much I love this style of Karina dress, it was a good time, jess xx

  • aasolheid
    Posted at 11:12h, 23 October Reply

    What a fun day! Love it. Beautiful dress! I need to get my children on a train and experience this too:)


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:38h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks so much! Oh yes, they would love it! jess xx

  • Ashley
    Posted at 10:10h, 23 October Reply

    Such a fun time- and you definitely looked the part! Chic!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:15h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks AShley!! We did have a great time. I wanted to learn to style my hair in 40s rolls, but it was raining that day, so I didnt attempt it. Glad you liked the outfit! jess xx

  • Ariella
    Posted at 10:06h, 23 October Reply

    Hi, Jess! This looks like a wonderful twin ride. Love your outfit and the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:09h, 23 October Reply

      It was so much fun! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for coming by, jess xx

  • Mary Murnane
    Posted at 09:46h, 23 October Reply

    Looks like so much fun! Love all the fall colors – the train, the foliage, and your fabulous dress 😉 Great choice for what looked like a wonderful time!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:50h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks Mary! We did have a wonderful time, had been wanting to do this for years. I love learning the history of things too. Glad you like my 40s style Karina dress, Have a wonderful week, jess xo

  • siembiedam
    Posted at 09:11h, 23 October Reply

    I love love love that dress! Very beautiful.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:25h, 23 October Reply

      Thanks so much! This is one of my favorite cuts of the Karina dress, the Megan, jess xx

  • eirinipapadopoulou
    Posted at 04:33h, 23 October Reply

    love your headpiece!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 08:11h, 23 October Reply

      Thank you Irene, I felt it fit the era 🙂 jess xx

  • anna
    Posted at 02:28h, 23 October Reply

    Love these pictures and this dress. Such a great print for fall. You look stunning, love. I’m merging collections on the blog today (Paper Crown + LC Lauren Conrad) I’d love to hear your thoughts when you get a sec. 🙂 xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 08:11h, 23 October Reply

      Hi Anna, Sure I will stop by later. We had a great time, glad you like the dress, I love Karina dresses. jess xx

  • cherie james
    Posted at 21:49h, 22 October Reply

    Jess, as usual your choice of colors is perfect for you. Loving the floral print on you. Looks like a great trip!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 23:58h, 22 October Reply

      Such a fun ride, thank you Cherie, you know I love your style as well. xx jess

  • Jacket Society
    Posted at 21:30h, 22 October Reply

    I love going on a train ride, last time I didn this in England country side with my husband who is english and it was so memorable. This looks like so much fun. I love the retro feel of your dress and it goes so well with the whole setting. Beautiful head piece as well. I have always love the 40’s. Great post Jess!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 23:57h, 22 October Reply

      Thanks so much Nora, it was alot of fun, I would love the English countryside. Glad you liked my outfit too! have a great week, jess xx

  • elb743
    Posted at 19:23h, 22 October Reply

    What a fabulous trip! Loved all of the photos, especially the ones of you stepping gingerly out of the train!
    Gorgeous print dress, and filagree necklace- also love the hair piece!
    Happy mid week!
    XX, Elle

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 19:29h, 22 October Reply

      Ah, yes I was trying to step gingerly so I wouldnt fall, not so gracefully LOL. Glad you like the dress, another Karina 🙂 Enjoy your week Elle!!! xo

  • marie
    Posted at 18:57h, 22 October Reply

    some really lovely train shots! perfect fall pictures.

    Marie @ In Our Happy Place

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 19:22h, 22 October Reply

      Glad you like them, I will tell my hubby! jess xx

  • Blaire Bingham
    Posted at 18:11h, 22 October Reply

    Beautiful views and great dress! Looks like you had a great time!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  • Morgan {California To Carolina}
    Posted at 16:57h, 22 October Reply

    What a fun way to spend the day! I love your red hair, girl! We stay up in the Blue Ridge mountains a lot in NC!
    California To Carolina
    The Gym Bunny

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 19:18h, 22 October Reply

      Thank you Morgan, my hubby and I love the mountains, and this was great! Thank you about my hair! jess xx

  • Linda Cassidy
    Posted at 16:11h, 22 October Reply

    what a pretty dress and so appropriate. That looks like a great trip, There is a train that goes through the mountains in New Hampshire that i want to try. One of these days…

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 19:17h, 22 October Reply

      Thanks so much Linda it was fun, I hsve wanted to do this for awhile. New Hampshire sounds lovely, jess xx

  • Beata B
    Posted at 15:50h, 22 October Reply

    Looks like a wonderful time ! You look beautiful in that dress 🙂 x

  • Happiness at Mid Life
    Posted at 11:34h, 22 October Reply

    This sounds like such a fun time! Your dress & is perfect for this fun train ride, I love the hair piece you added that has a vintage vibe to it too.


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:23h, 22 October Reply

      Thanks so much Alice. I have about 3-4 cloche hats I thought of when u wore them last week. We haf a great time, jess xx

  • Marta
    Posted at 10:07h, 22 October Reply

    Looks like such a fun time!! You look great in this pretty dress, love the red lipstick on you.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:22h, 22 October Reply

      Thanks so much! By the end of the day my makeup was gone, but I need to write down some of the makeup I wear. This was a NARS red i like, jess xx

  • Dawn Lucy
    Posted at 09:46h, 22 October Reply

    How fun! And what a pretty dress! So perfect with the train too! LOVE!
    Dawn Lucy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:21h, 22 October Reply

      Thanks Dawn, I wanted to do my hair in 1940s rolls, but it was too rainy, glad you like it!! jess xo

  • Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style
    Posted at 09:40h, 22 October Reply

    Gorgeous look, with the retro dress and hair accessory. And I like how you and your husband are wearing complementary colors! 🙂

  • Pam@over50feeling40
    Posted at 09:31h, 22 October Reply

    Such a fun outing…and I love this dress on you…great print, color and cut!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:37h, 22 October Reply

      Thank you Pam! It was a great time. I loved stepping back to the 40s and Karina strikes again with this dress, I love their dresses! Have a wonderful day, jess xx

  • Suzanne Carillo
    Posted at 08:42h, 22 October Reply

    What a fun thing to do.

    What does moonshine taste like?


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:36h, 22 October Reply

      I wish I had some but I was sharng a bottle of wine and didnt get to try it. I did bring back some blackberrry moonshine jam, so I will let you know what that is like. I know moonshine is a strong drink though! jess xx

  • KizzyDoll
    Posted at 07:19h, 22 October Reply

    So elegant, love trains like this. Looks like a wonderful time xx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 08:30h, 22 October Reply

      We did have a blast! I wanted to wear my hair up 40s style, but it was raining so it fell flat. It was a great trip. jess xx

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