...and trying to figure out how to get the dozen or so pitiful cell phone pictures off the cell phone and onto my computer (It's a very old, very basic flip phone).
The battery on my actual camera died before we even got to our destination and I'd forgotten to bring the charger. Lesson learned.
Actually, we went to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg with the leaders from our girls and boys ministries at church for a getaway. We had a fabulous time and did things as a group that I don't think I'd ever have tried on my own.
For the sake of not tripping internet searches, there is a famous female country western singer/actress who's made quite a brand for herself in the entertainment industry that I'm going to refer to as 'Polly'. Her name, face, and trademark are all over that part of the country.
I'm not dissing her; she's been very successful at what she does and I applaud her business savvy. And there are some very worthwhile charities that benefit from her business savvy. So more power to her.
Anyway, we did spend some time at some of Polly's entertainment ventures...namely, the theme park and the horse show dinner theater.
The amusement park was very nice; we'd been there before, years and years ago, and been very impressed with the artist/craftsman areas and with the eagle sanctuary. Plus, My Sweet Baboo is quite a steam engine enthusiast, and there are a couple of historic steam engines that pull the 5 mile excursion train. So we enjoyed our day at the park.
The horse show dinner theater...different strokes for different folks, I guess. A number of our friends who have been say it's really good, and most of the folks in our group agreed. I must be a rarity in that I kinda don't find food eaten in a barn with animals moving about and...well, doing what animals do...all that appetizing, even if it is roasted game hens and cream of vegetable soup and other yummy stuff. But I'd barely eaten all day, and we saw the late show, so I was HONGRAY. I tried to ignore the fragrance in the air and ate anyway (in all fairness, a number of folks in our group expressed surprise that they hadn't noticed the, um, fragrance. I had a headcold...and I noticed it. It wasn't strong, but it was there).
I'm not really comfortable in large crowds, either, and the show looked to be sold out, or close to it, so there was a CROWD to manage. In a weird way, it was fascinating to see how they marshaled everyone about and then served up the food from buckets and huge pans. And the folks there are really good at squeezing the dollars out of the audience! (yes, we bought the photos because the only way to get the nice picture of the entire group was to purchase the whole $20 package. But perhaps the photos of MSB and I that were also in the package will be enough incentive for me to get serious about the weight loss thing...).
But I will say this about the show...the animals were amazing to watch, and the costumes were really fabulous. Especially the ones that lit up. The costumers are obviously very talented and very busy, with 2 - 3 shows a day. So I'm glad I've seen it...once... ;)
MY high point (that's a pun...) of the trip was our spur-of-the-moment decision to accompany the group that went up to Clingman's Dome. We *barely* had enough time to make the trip, but 8 or 9 of us in two vehicles wound our way 20 miles into the park and up to the parking lot at the Dome. I wandered around drinking in the amazing views, and then pointed to a paved path heading past the gift shop.
'Where does that go?' I asked MSB.
'That goes up to the observation tower,' he replied, just as I spotted the sign that said the tower was .5 miles up the path.
'Well, let's go!' I said, 'It's only half a mile! We can do that!'
Um, what I didn't process in my glance at the path was that it was about a 30 - 45 degree slope for that whole half mile. We started off at a good clip, then slowed and slowed and finally sat down a bit a couple of times to catch our breath. But we made it to the top and climbed the observation tower for the incredible 360 degree views. Wow wow and wow. We took some cell phone pictures then quickly went back down to the parking lot, where the rest of our group was rather anxiously waiting for us to return (we had dinner reservations to make).
One of the pastors had purchased Clingman's Dome patches for us, saying we'd earned them...LOL.
I wish I'd had time just to sit and look out over those mountains for a while...they were beautiful.
You don't want to hear about the incredible bumper-to-bumper traffic we had leaving at noon yesterday so I won't mention it. ;-)
All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed hanging out with our co-workers in the ministries very much. I'd like to take a trip again sometime, when we actually have time to stay until we're ready to come home.