Thursday, July 23, 2015

Driving... both a car and some horses

East Coast Driving Trip 2015 - Day 14

We were able to sleep in a bit today.
Check out was at 11, but we were on our way before that. With a quick run into Starbucks to make up for yesterday's complete lack of coffee, we hit the road.
Our drive today takes us just north of the South Carolina state line... until we hit Tennessee.

(Did I mention we were in South Carolina yesterday? Well, you know if you saw the post about the park being on the boarder... but I got our "official" welcome to sign picture to prove it....)

Back to today :)
We are in the Smokey Mountains to go to Dollywood... shocker I know. Most people who know us would never think this was a must see place for us. Truth be told it wasn't, but it's a state none of us have ever been to and the park (Dollywood) looked interesting. It fit well into our trip, sooo.. why not?

Not long after we entered the state we were met with crazy rain.. I mean, we know rain, and this was serious, nothing gets out without being drenched kind of rain. We slowed down significantly and many drivers turned on their hazard lights. But we arrived at our destination just fine.

View from an overlook
Rain.... this wasn't even the worst of it... those pictures didn't show anything. 
We lucked out in that our room for the next few days was ready early and we were able to throw our bags in the room before we left for our early dinner engagement.

The room is awesome, by the way. Again we have a condo type setting with a full kitchen, two bedrooms and two baths and the always loved WASHER and DRYER!!!! Yay!
The layout is surprisingly similar to the Williamsburg unit, but bit larger.

Master bedroom
living room area 
Real, honest to goodness Ginsu knives!!! They aren't just a TV joke. They exist! 
view from our balcony
For dinner this evening we are doing something very unique for us... a dinner show. Dixie Stampede!
Again not something I would have ever guessed I would go to... but I loved it! Full of pomp and cheese the show was just fun.

Ready for dinner and a show
The arena before it all begins
a pic from the early part of the show
Seating was in tiers around the indoor arena. And we all sat along a long bar type table. Everyone eats the same thing and its brought to you as the show is happening (with a vegi option). The regular menu offered creamy vegi soup, a cheese biscuit, a WHOLE chicken (small, so probably a cornish game hen), bbq pork, corn on the cob, and half a potato. For dessert an apple turnover. Oh, and NO silverware... you eat with your hands people... this was a stretch for me.
At a young age I was taught how to eat a Cornish Game Hen without embarrassing myself or my parents.... and tonight I was presented one (in a mostly dark arena) without any utensils.... Ummmm??? It took me a minute to shrug off my manners and go for it.... turns out its easier with your fingers ;)
(Did you pause when I said soup and no utensils? I was at a loss until my neighbor picked up her bowl and drank it... Ah ha!) [Editor's note: It did have a handle...]

The show had horses, bison, chickens, and pigs.. oh and some very talented riders. A fair amount of audience participation for those so inclined. And it ended on a very patriotic note, which was the best part according to our son - who didn't like this idea at all, but then said it was ok. We all enjoyed the show and the little cowgirl in the family came home with a few (very reasonably priced) souvenirs.
We also took a short drive around Pigeon Forge to get some groceries, and boy is this town hopping. My favorite search engine indicates the town isn't that heavily populated, but this evening the main drag was packed. Lined with tourist trap stores and attractions... crazy go cart tracks seem to be very popular here. Along with lots of mini golf and ferris wheels. We were a little in shock. Our resort, despite being only two blocks away from all the crazy, feels like a secluded retreat.

previously mentioned crazy go cart track... yes, a spiral ramp. 

Based on the number of people in town we have NO idea what to expect for crowds tomorrow at Dollywood.

Another You Are Here Mug!!!

Look! A train on the front :)

Miles today: 213
Miles total: 1687
States Total: 10 (+Tennessee)
Starbucks Mug Total: 5

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