Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Road trips and pancakes and whatnot

We made it to Gatlinburg in one piece. We left home Friday afternoon and then dropped dogs off all over the place before hitting the road for the long haul to Gatlinburg. We had a hotel reservation in Louisville. However, I somehow failed to realize that we'd have to switch to Eastern time. Derrrrr. Sometimes I focus on the wrong details. Anywho, we arrived at the hotel at 2:40 a.m. (EST). And, as luck would have it, the only rooms left were those with a king-size bed (I was hoping for two queens). My husband and I love our daughter more than words can say, but we are fairly unenthusiastic about sharing a bed with her. Search my blog for terms like "the beast of a thousand knees" to see previous entries about the world's most active sleeper.

We lived through the night (my husband got the worst of the kicking) and then drove to Lexington for lunch with my sister-in-law. Then we finished the drive to Gatlinburg. The drive went smoothly until we got to Pigeon Forge. If you haven't been, Pigeon Forge is like a tacky beach town, but without the beach. Lots of mini golf, gift shops, and pancake establishments. Don't get me wrong - I'm totally planning to drive back there and partake of the tacky. I just didn't feel like sitting in traffic like that. It took about an hour to go ten miles. On the bright side, we had plenty of time to take a look at everything. We passed a knife store and I briefly had a fantasy about buying some knives and taking out the 5,000 drivers in front of me, one by one. Traffic makes me surly.

Eventually, we arrived in Gatlinburg and took some steep, winding mountain roads to the cabin we'd rented (along with my sisters and their significant others). It was great to see everyone and to have all of the cousins together in one spot. I have one nephew I hadn't even met yet (my wee baby sister's youngest son). We have 13 people in total. Fortunately, the cabin is pretty spacious and we all fit in it comfortably. A is sharing a room with her 14-year-old cousin (and, apparently, asked her cousin, "Since you're 14, you already have boobies, right?") We warned A not to kick her cousin too much at night. L is pretty skinny and we're afraid that A might break her bones and whatnot.

For our first full day in Gatlinburg, we didn't do much. My middle sister and I went to a grocery store in Pigeon Forge. Between the rain and the traffic, it actually took several hours.  On Monday, a bunch of us went to the Smoky Mountains National Park and then walked around in Gatlinburg for a while. We took a sky tram up a mountain. We ate ice cream. Typical vacation-in-the-mountains stuff, I guess. So far, the main observation we've made about Gatlinburg is that it is possible to get married, get a tattoo, and eat pancakes - all in the same day. Seriously, what's with all of the pancake joints? Periodically we shake our fists at the sky and shout, "If only I could find some way to get a pancake!"

Today, we are planning to go to Dollywood. Don't judge.

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