Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer's Rollin' Right Along

Who do I need to talk to about making sure that Independence Day never falls on a Thursday again? Dragging myself into work the next day was, well, a drag. I guess I could have taken a vacation day, but I have a vacation coming up so I don't really have the extra hours. My need for leisure exceeds the allotment, I guess you could say.

Our 4th of July wasn't too rowdy (the most important detail about the day is that I completed several levels of Candy Crush Saga). I got up and went to yoga class at 8. When I got home, the power was out so, realizing that my time-wasting options were more limited than usual, I did some gardening. After lunch, the kid and I did a little shopping and then headed to a pool party at a friend's house. Well, she swam and I sat by the pool and ran my mouth and drank some Mike's. I didn't swim. I had already taken a shower after yoga class and I'm way too high-maintenance to shower twice in a day.  Plus, me in a swimsuit?  No one really needs to be subjected to that.

Later, my sidekick and I headed downtown for the fireworks. We parked at a friend's house and walked a few blocks to a decent viewing location. P had to work so he wasn't with us. As usual, my daughter started asking about the grand finale as soon as the fireworks started. We got home at around 10:50 and I went straight to bed because I had to be up at 5 for work. Happy birthday, 'merica.

In case you wondered how I am expending my precious vacation days . . . we are headed to Gatlinburg in a couple weeks. I have never been to Gatlinburg, or even Tennessee for that matter.  There will be thirteen of us in one cabin (fourteen if my teenaged niece brings a friend).  The crew will include me, my husband, both of my sisters, their significant others, and a whole slew of kids. We'll either have the time of our lives or we won't be on speaking terms again until Christmas requires it. I'm certainly hoping for the former. 

We chose Gatlinburg because it is a drive-able distance for all of us. One little bonus is that we'll pass through Lexington, KY, which is where P's sister lives. So, we'll stop and have lunch with her before proceeding to Gatlinburg.  I've been poking around some various tourism sites to see what's what in Tennessee. We make fun of Dollywood, but the thirteen of us are actually thinking of going. The national park appears to have some great ranger programs and whatnot for the kids.

Personally, I'm not sure I can resist going to the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum. As kids, we went to the one in Myrtle Beach. P and I went back there on our honeymoon, too. I still have the print-out from the fortune-teller machine advising us that we were incompatible. I'll bet if we broke up tomorrow, after 21 years together, that machine would be all, "See?! I totally tried to tell you!"

Anyway, we may need to limit some of our touristy activities because of vacation budgets not being unlimited. Plus, with such a large crew, we have to think carefully before planning an excursion. I'm guessing there will be some days where the adults will just shove the kids outside and lock the doors. Another added bonus related to driving vs. flying: we can bring our own alcohol and plenty of it.

I'll leave you with a photo from my garden, since I'm blathering on about summer. I am not much of a gardener. In fact, I suck at it. But, every so often, I plant something and it actually comes back the following year.  Thank you, stargazer lilies, for humoring me.

1 comment:

radioactivegan said...

I grew up in east TN and lived in Knoxville for ten years for college (and I'm moving back there in a few weeks!), so here's some unsolicited vacation advice.

I really recommend Dollywood (if it isn't raining). There are some fun roller coasters, but nothing crazy. And there's a really fun ropes course thing .. I think there's a kid version, too, if A is too small for the full thing. They've got a train you can ride around, but wear sunglasses - you'll get soot in your eyes. There's also a water park (Dollywood Splash Country) that I've never been to ..

There's a museum called WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge - you can't miss it; it's a big upside down house. That was pretty fun, and also had a ropes course inside.

I've not been to the Titanic thing, but my grandmother's husband took his family once. He said it wasn't really worth the visit, so I recommend you skip that.

There's a petting zoo in Sevierville that's good for kids, if you don't mind petting zoos. I think it's Smoky Mountain Deer Farm and Exotic Petting Zoo .. or something like that.

Finally, you can go to Ole Smoky Moonshine and get samples of about a dozen different moonshines. You might even been able to drink some straight out of a mason jar, for added authenticity!

I hope you guys have a great time. It's been raining in Knoxville all week .. but surely that's going to clear up soon.