A trip to Gatlinburg, TN. This could go either way…………………………………..
As always, first the chronology:
10/1/17 – Sunday – Up early and picked up Gary for church. Home and had another bagel and coffee while reading the paper. Kathy came home and I went to my room to do the blog. Finished and got geared up and left early on the motorcycle to go to Gary’s. Had the weekly get together. Left and took the long way home. Julie and the Grand Kids where at the house on my arrival. I spent some time with the grand kids. Julie and kids left. Kathy and I went to Taylorsville for Chinese food then to pick up some yogurt for Kathy at the grocery store. Home and finished packing for our trip tomorrow. Down to my room for some computer work and play radio awhile. To bed and sleep. No Big Bang tonight.
10/2/17 – Monday – Up and out to the post office to stop mail delivery this week. Home and packed the truck. Kathy took the dog to the kennel and ran some other errands. On the road to Gatlinburg a little after 11AM. Stopped in London, KY for lunch around 1PM at Big Boy. Got to Gatlinburg a little after 4:30PM. Got checked in and took a walk around town. Went to Calhoun’s for dinner. Back to the motel and did some planning for tomorrow. Tried some HAM radio repeaters to no avail. Watched a movie on TV and to sleep.
10/3/17 – Tuesday – Didn’t sleep well last night. Up late, cleaned up and down for breakfast. Then down the street to the Aquarium. Saw lots of fish. More fish than I knew existed. I was exhausted by the time I got out of their. Walked back to the Inn and stopped at a leather shop for a fanny pack to carry things tomorrow for our trip up the mountain on the chair lift. Came back to the Inn and changed to shorts. Then down the street to Cooter’s from Duke’s of Hazzard. Then over to the transportation center and caught a tram out to the art’s and craft’s area. We were a little disappointed as it was really just a bunch of retail shops like in town. Only got to see them make some pottery. Came back to the Inn and took a nap while Kathy went down and sat in a rocker on the front porch. Then out for more shopping and dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Did some more shopping and back to the Inn. Some computer work, TV and sleep.
10/4/17 – Wednesday – The day started great. Down for breakfast and out in the truck. Decided to drive up through the Smoke Mountain National Park. Saw a lot of trees and some beautiful sites. Stood on the line between Tennessee and North Carolina. Met some very nice people on motorcycles. Went down the other side of the mountains to a Cherokee Indian Village. Walk through and saw some interesting things. Total round trip was only 30 or 40 miles but the speed limit was 25 to 35 mph so it took us all morning. Came back and went up the mountain the opposite direction to the October Fest. Saw a German band while having a late lunch. Then down to a Christmas store Kathy wanted to go to. Then stopped for ice cream and pastries on the way back to the Inn. Got back to the Inn. Kathy got all her stuff out of the truck and I got my things. We got to the room and Kathy wanted to go pick up some hats she ordered and had monogrammed yesterday. She got back and we went to a fish place for dinner. Then down the street to find the pancake house she wants to have breakfast at tomorrow. Walked on down to Cooter’s for her to buy a T-shirt for Todd. We went back to the inn. I did computer work and watched TV. Again, no Big Bang tonight.
10/5/17 – Thursday – Up and out to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. First time I ever had to stand in line waiting to get seated for breakfast. But the food was delicious. Then to the convention center to browse the craft fair that started today. A very amazing place. Then back to the room to re-group. Went to the Christian Museum which was fantastic. Down to Johnny Rocket for lunch. Then to the transportation center to catch a tram to the Davy Crockett miniature golf and played 18 holes. Then caught the tram back to the transportation center. Back to the Inn. Rested then out to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company for dinner Back to the Inn to rest up our trip home tomorrow.
10/6/17 – Friday – Up and down to breakfast at the Inn. Kathy ran across the street to buy some fudge for Mike and Julie. I got a cart and took it up to our room and started loading things. Kathy came to help finish up. Then down and checked out. Then to the truck to load things. Then off on our return trip. I filled my travel mug with coffee so I was good for the trip. Kathy and I decided to just drive on through as I had enough gas and we really weren’t hungry. Got home a little after 3PM. Kathy rested and was off to pick up Bella at the kennel. I unloaded the truck and put my stuff away. Then I laid down till Kathy got home with Bella. We made a list of things we had to get at the grocery store then took off for a simple light meal at Dairy Queen without desert. Then to Country Mart for a few groceries. Home and to my room for computer work. To bed, some Star Trek and sleep.
10/7/17 – Saturday – Spent the day winding down. Did a lot of catch up with mail and email. Renewed some subscriptions that were ready to expire then upstairs for lunch. Was nice to have some simple grilled cheese sandwichs for lunch. Then back to my room to try and get a disk drive working. No luck. Backed up my laptop. To bed early, some Star Trek and sleep.
Now the particulars:
The first thing that amazed me this week was the difference in packing between Kathy and myself. I was going to throw some clothes and goodies in a backpack and head off. But I was advised I would need some extra things so I ended up with my backpack and a clothes hanging bag. Her’s was a super large suitcase with at least 4 or 5 bags full of stuff. I guess that’s simply the difference between genders.
Well, I was a little disappointed in the whole adventure. I was thinking of Gatlinburg as a nice little settlement where you could go and see people making things. It certainly wasn’t. Downtown Gatlinburg is a large tourist attraction with a lot of retail stores selling anything and everything. Most were run by people that were never native to Tennessee. It was all commercialized. But, it was interesting to walk around and look at things. Definitely some interesting sites on the street. The center of town is very congested. No on-street parking. Most of the lots I saw was $10.oo for 3 hours. The Inn we stayed at was in the center of town and provided a parking area. And everything was more expensive than it would be anywhere else. But I guess that’s the price you pay for getting away and seeing something new.
Tuesday we went to see Ripley’s Aquarium. I saw more fish than I knew existed. It was an amazing place if you are into fish. I saw as many as I need to see in the first 10 minutes. But we spent a good couple hours there. My legs were killing me when we got out of there.
After the aquarium, we decided to take a tram out to the Arts and Crafts area. We thought we would see more people making things. Surprise, another commercial retail area. Only thing we got to see them make was some ceramic cups. We had lunch out there and walked around. Then back to the tram stop to wait for the next tram.
Wednesday we decided to take the truck out and ride through the Smokie Mountains. It was beautiful. But it reminded me of my motorcycle trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s all national park and it all looks the same. Kathy enjoyed it and she took a bunch of pictures. I think if she finds the right place she could get some prints made in large size that would make some excellent pictures to hang. We traveled over the mountains to the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina. We stopped at the top of the mountain on the state line so we could get pictures of us standing with one foot in Tennessee and the other in North Carolina. Met a bunch of folks on motorcycles that made me miss mine even more. Would have been great to have ridden down there. Also stopped at a Griss Mill. We bought tickets to get into the Cherokee Indian Reservation and looked around. That was interesting. On the way back we decided to drive up to the October Fest so we didn’t have to take the chair lift because Kathy was afraid of it. We got lucky and got up there a little after 1PM and the German band started playing at 1PM. So, we had a good German food lunch while we listened to a German band.
The Craft Fair was opening at the convention center in town. Kathy wanted to try the Pancake Factory for breakfast so we went there first then to the Craft Fair. Again, not much was there to watch. Most people were simply selling things that they made or had bought from someone. It was interesting and I got a CD with guitar music. Kathy got some gifts for Christmas.
Then we went to the Christian Museum. It was OK. You walked through it and each area had a depiction of the life of Christ starting from his birth to his being raised from the dead. All the figures where wax but it was very well done. As with every place we went, the only way you could exit the place was through the gift shop. So I just enjoyed what I liked and ignored things in the gift shop.
Keep in mind my legs are still killing me from Tuesday. But that didn’t slow Kathy down. We went to play miniature golf. She did cut me some slack and we took the tram out to the course.
All in all it wasn’t a bad trip but I’m not sure I”d do it again. We will see what Kathy wants to do next year.
Just to make things clear. I have re-written things several times to make it all sound neutral. I assure you that was not the case all week. But I survived so that’s a good thing.
I did try some HAM radio contacts while there but being that Gatlinburg sits in a valley between several very large mountains it was not in the cards for me to get out on 2 meters of 440 Mhz with an HT. So that didn’t happen.
OK, this is probably much more than you wanted to hear so I’ll stop for today.
Hope everyone had a super week last week and I wish you a better week to come.