Monday, November 06, 2006

It Was . . . Nice

So, a couple of entries ago, the 'chick told you a little bit about the
trip to the Smoky Mountains. There's more. Isn't there always?

Because the 'chick's memory tends to be like a ginormous Swiss cheese
sometimes, she does write little notes to herself to remind her of the
high and not-so-high points of any given situation.

Redneck and Roadchick left on a Friday. Roadchick took the day off work
partly because it was her birthday and partly because she was going out
of town. In Roadchick's world, a trip means getting up, slinging
already packed bags into the car, and hitting the road. Redneck didn't get
that memo. His laundry wasn't finished. His bags were not packed. It was
raining and in Nashville, rain means people losing their minds and
completely forgetting that they actually know how to drive. He got stuck in
traffic in Nashville on the way to the 'chick's house.

By the time he arrived, the 'chick was doing the pacing thing...wearing
a path from her room to the dining room windows to see if he was
here yet. Y'all will be proud to know that she did NOT show her
impatience. She knows it's her thing and her thing is not necessarily
everyone else's thing. She does not know why not, but hey! there you have it.

Anyway, they finally got on the road around lunchtime. Not too long
after getting started, borth Redneck and Roadchick decided they were
starving and had to stop to get something to eat. A favorite place in the
Redneck/Roadchick world is Cracker Barrel. To waste time while waiting
for their names to be called to be seated, they wandered the gift shop.
Roadchick knows better than to smell the forty-eleven different
kinds of candles that they have but she gets suckered into it every time
and by the time she finally leaves, she's halfway between nauseous and
into a asthma attack. And, of course, not too long after leaving the
Cracker Barrel, nature called. And called Redneck who coined the phrase:
Gotta pee like a drunken midget. This cracked the 'chick up and she had
to ask - and that was when she found out that he had made it up on the
spot. It was used with abandon throughout the entire weekend. It is
still being used now. It may live on forever.

After a couple more hours on the road, they fnially reached the
Promised Land. You have to remember, Patient Reader, that the 'chick had never
visited Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge before. She had seen the commercials
on TV, she had read a couple of brochures, she had visited a website or
two. All about Gatlinburg. Nothing about Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge was
NOT what she was expecting. It was four lanes of bumper to bumper
traffic and wall-to-wall shops and dinner theaters. It was NOT like the
pretty little pictures on all the websites and brochures. It was Walmart on
the day after Thanksgiving.

Redneck asked her what she thought of it and she had to admit it wasn't
what she was expecting at all - but it was still nice. (You know, the
kind of nice that dinner with cranky old Aunt Hagatha
is...nice but don't let's ever do this again, hmmmm?) A few more miles down
the road and Redneck and Roadchick entered Gatlinburg. It was day and
night. This is what was in all the stuff that the 'chick had
read. This was European charm right in the Smoky Mountains of the
good ol' U.S. of A.

Y'all have already read about the room that they stayed in over the
weekend. The 'chick had another bout of insomnia. Lovely. In a motel room.
Trapped. Fortunately, Redneck is a pretty sound sleeper and the 'chick
was able to get up at the horrible hour of 3 a.m. and knit for awhile.
She had just climbed back into bed and fallen asleep again when the
infamous colonic infomercial scenario happened. After that level of
hysteria, sleep was no longer a possibility and no longer needed. Why, it was
as good as a . . . colonic!

After drawing the short straw - after Redneck has promised to
collect the morning coffee from the lobby (no trendy in-room coffee for
Ma & Pa Bates!) - Roadchick went to get it because she could not stand
one more minute without coffee. Ma and Pa Bates, not only didn't believe
in in-room coffee, they also apparently believed that coffee is the
devil's brew and saw fit to dispense it in dixie cups. Now, if it were a
shot of espresso, it would have been ok, but it was watered down stuff
and a dixie cup was NOT enough. Unfortunately, Ma Bates was keeping a
pretty close eye on the 'chick (since she's such a shifty character) and
there was not an opportunity to make off with the entire thermos.
That's right - the coffee was in a thermos. Apparently from home. And no
more than one cup per customer. Period.

Gatlinburg is the type of place that if you can't find something to do
- you just don't want to. There are thousands of things to do -
literally. There are all the big attractions like all the Ripley's stuff - the
aquarium, Believe It Or Not, a haunted house, a 4D movie theater
(whatever that is). There is shopping. Oh lawd, there is shopping. And
eating. Lots and lots of eating. People wandering down the sidewalks, all
chewing on something.

Really, the best part of the trip was on Sunday when the 'chick and
Redneck went to Ober Gatlinburg. There is a giant tram that will take you
partway up the mountain but that was skipped in favor of driving up and
then taking the chairlift the rest of the way up the mountain. The
leaves were changing and it was beautiful. And so quiet. Until they got to
the top to discover a bluegrass band, playing for tips as loud as they
could. Roadchick had a tip for them but Redneck made her keep quiet and
walk away. The music was disappointing because it could have been so
silent up there...just some birds and the sound of the wind. Instead,
everyone was treated to an off-key rendition of Tearin' Up My Old Clothes
For Rags.

At Ober Gatlinburg, they also have a few black bears that live there,
in an enclosure and the 'chick was able to get some really good
pictures. It was infinitely amusing to her and to Redneck that apparently, they
sleep like bears. Two of the bears were sound asleep, spooning. Awww.
TMI? Too bad.

It was a long ride home after that. Isn't it always? And when she got
home after one of the best weekends that she ever spent, what was
waiting for her? That would be the information packet she had ordered on

It's ok though - Redneck and Roadchick are planning a trip in the
spring and Rockboy and Skaterboy will be in attendance. And hopefully, the
entourage will manage to leave before noon the next time.


briliantdonkey said...

sounds like a great trip. Spooning bears, ummmmm yeah I think that may qualify as TMI.


Kim G. said...

Sounds like a pretty good trip all around. And a meal at Cracker Barrel - YUM! We're coming to Nashville to visit family this spring and we love to visit the local CB when we're there!