On the road at 649 am Friday June fifteen with Casey Anderson on the cd player. Crazy run in at the Mexican Restaurant for breakfast. I looked up to see an old care provider from my last job offering us his newspaper. I couldn't quite think of his name at first and it was obvious he didn't recognize me but just as I was about to set him right, he starts asking if we live around here and what the main employment is around here and what the economy is like around here. OK. Obviously it isn't my dude. Then he explains that he is 86 and still working and tells about his invention to make gasoline go further so obviously it IS my guy...acting like he's passing thru town and knows nothing about it when he has lived here and owned bussinesses here for decades. Hmmm.
Coda was a little upset when we sprung the haircut on him near the end of the trip, but then he decided to work on a "Jaret doo" and liked it a little better
We went to the Jack Daniel's Distillery for a free tour on Saturday after Ron spent from 3 til 10 pm at Diamond Jack's casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi on Friday. The whole place smelled like whiskey! It was really sickening in the place where it drips through the coal or whatever it drips through...smelled like rotten bananas. We really wanted to buy a used barrel to make a table out of but it costs as much to ship as it does to buy and it weighs 500 pounds so we couldn't take it ourselves. Whaa. Sunday we went to Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the Incline Railway. After all the walking at that cavern, it was a surprise that we were willing to do it again the next day but we went to The Lost Sea Adventure and really enjoyed it. We have never been in a cavern with huge rooms all the way through before and we got to ride on a boat in the underwater lake which is the largest in North America and second largest in the world. They actually have the largest underground lake in another area next to this one that is twice the size but they can not afford to open it up to get there...they know it's there because of a scuba diver going through an opening the size of a bicycle tire. They also stock the lake with huge rainbow trout. They put them in as an experiment to see if they could find the way out and now they have to feed them during every boat trip so they jump out to get to the food. Right after I ordered macaroni as my side dish at the bbq place in Sweetwater, Coda was asked what he wanted as his side order and the poor kid asks if they still have macaroni. I still get a bit hysterical over that one...no young.man...after mom gets her macaroni, we'll be totally out. Sorta silly, the things that set me and the boys off.
This is not Ruby Falls which is underground, but it is at Lookout Mountain.
Then we made a huge mistake if you ask Ronbo. I wasn't driving so it wasn't so bad for me. I put in the address for the Ripley Aquarium before the place to check into the resort since we planned to go to the aquarium first. They have a huge area where the sharks and such are swimming over your head as you are on a moving sidewalk in a see thru tunnel. To get there we had to go through Pigeon Forge which is like Las Vegas now with all their crazy buildings and such and then pay to park in Gatlinburg and then walk to get everywhere there. After the aquarium, we found out we had to go all the way back to the other side of Pigeon Forge to check in to the resort...and then BACK to the OTHER end of Gatlinburg to get to it. And we had to be BACK in Pigeon Forge at 1230 pm the next day for the presentation. Coda is supposed to be on the Pepper Palace web page for trying their 2nd demension super hot hot sauce that requires parental permission if under age 18. He tried it twice so they put him in a fireman hat and took his pic and I bought him a shirt "I ain't afraid of no ghost peppers!"
Tuesday, our first morning waking at the resort, was fun for both me and Ron. He woke me with a jab to the rib and the screech oof a red tail hawk that we learned at Rock City is used for every single flying creature on tv, commercials and movies...and I woke him with one of those three stooges slap fests where even after I realized he wasn't part of my dream, all was safe, and I was actually awake, I still gave him about five more slaps for good measure. We were a few minutes late for the presentation cuz we were riding a helicopter (On the helicopter, the pilot pointed oout the damaged windshield in front of me was from a bird flying in the week before)...when we got out, my camera had been on the whole time so I was camera-less for Cherokee.
It's funny that even knowing this, we were surprised to find that I had a four gig video of the inside of my bag with aidio of the helicopter roters to the excuse we were going to tell for our lateness, to ninety percent of the boring time share presentation. Ron made us get gas for $3.38 on the reservation even tho it's $3.09 in town but i figgered it's for a good cause. Ron was already asleep when we found out about our video but the rest of us were loopy over it. Ron went to the casino while the boys and I shopped, then we went to the Cherokee drama Unto These Hills, hit a slight roadwork delay and then found that Gaatlinburg is still hopping close to midnite.
I guess that is why nothing opens til ten am. I talked Ron into it anyway for Wednesday so he went to the most expensive parking and we still had to walk over an hour before stuff opened...but I DID get my hunnert proof Tennessee Moonshine AND taste tested about six of the twelve varieties. Then back through Cherokee and through some small towns to bypass Atlanta etc to try to fimish the trek home on scenic coastal Interstate 10. Of course we had to stop in Cherokee again so Ron could pan for gold and gems...we ended up with a big bunch of cuttable gems so now I'm out ANOTHER $300 to cut, polish, and set ONE of the three karat emeralds that Zackary found. We're holding onto the rest.
Friday. The last big driving day. We went to the battleship USS Alabama in the morning and then drove. Ron had been talkong about going to our cabin on the way home but no one really took him seriously. As we neared it , though, the thought of relaxing for awhile was awesome...all the way until Zack had the bright realization that I hadn't brought the cabin keys at the last big town before ours. Talk about stress. Luckily, Ron knew all the tricks. Can you imagine finishing out an eight day vacation through Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina with WORKING on the cabin?!?!?! Ron says because we cut the trim for the doorways and windows, we can put in the floor next weekend. We ALMOST completed the same epic vacation me and my sister did in 1987 except Ron wouldn't go the fifteen miles or so to New Orleans and I didn't mention in time we should stop at the ocean cuz for some reason, I thought Ron would figure that part out...sorta like he thought I would figure out about the need for keys, I guess.
It's silly, I know, but it always seems to be a good omen when I hear Counting Crows on the radio and when I walked in the door at Home Depot the put on Hanging Around. They also played Mr Jones my last work day and although they were still having five to ten 911s daily at the beginning of vacation, the haven't has ANY in about three days!!! Austin, I Still Lpve You was playing as we drank coffee waiting for breakfast. Never heard it before (since I don't listen to country much) but somehow I became interested in the lyrics and by the end was teary eyed. I knew that Ron noticed but kept looking around the room pretending to be a normal person...until I accidentally did lok at him and he laughed out loud causong me to laugh too...at the same time as I was TRYING to take a sip of coffee...and spluttering it all over the place.
My library books always disappear before I am through and when I am away from the net but I recommed a short book called It's All About The Moon When The Sun Won't Shine. It took me thru most of the 1500 mile vacation just praying for this poor guy to get a clue about his user fiance and womdering if he ever will. A few more random notes...Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup tweeted "Seems like a Counting Crows "depressing songs playlist" kinda morning that will turn into punk rock after lunch. Let's "Long December!"" on a day we listened to CC all am and BFS all pm. 561-463-5521...on 6/21/12 they called at 621, 641, and 550 pm after I put them on reject list. On 6/22/12 they called at 1017 twice, 1047, 1147 am, 114 twice, 137, 245, 246 twice, 327, 506, 507, 538, 653, and 656 pm. OVER TWENTY TIMES in TWO days!!! If you google them, it's a call center for payday loans where they get paid by the number of calls, not sales. Jerks.