An Isolated Incident. Recently finished: Country Comes to Town, Do You Want to Know a Secret?, and She’s Come Undone. To my great surprise, She’s Come Undone was better than I remembered it. I still think I Know This Much is True is better, though. Maybe I should reread that, just to be sure!

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So yes, we’re back from Gatlinburg! We left early Thursday morning, got there at lunchtime, and then left for home Sunday morning, getting home at lunchtime. It was a last-minute decision, spurred by the fact that we needed new Corelle dishes, and there’s a Corelle factory store in Pigeon Forge, and another in Sevierville. Plus, I was flat-out looking for an excuse to go to Gatlinburg. We couldn’t go over Memorial Day weekend, because my friend Liz will be visiting, and I remember that the year we went over the 4th of July, it was miserably swelteringly hot. So I looked at the calendar, picked a weekend, and harassed Fred until he agreed we could go. We rented a house this time – we were going to rent a room at our usual motel, but all the suites were taken – and it was absolutely perfect. It was a small house with two bedrooms, a hot tub, a two-person whirlpool tub off the living room, another (smaller) whirlpool tub in the master bedroom, two bathrooms, a sauna, and an absolutely kickass view.
The view from the deck.
I highly recommend staying at that house if you’re looking to rent a chalet in Gatlinburg. If you need more than a 2-bedroom, I highly recommend Mountain Rentals. We’ve rented from them three times so far, and it’s always been a good experience. The only downside is the scary drive up and down the mountain, and that you have to drive down the mountain and pay to park if you want to spend the day walking up and down the Parkway in Gatlinburg. The first thing we did when we hit Pigeon Forge was have lunch at The Alamo. While I was eating, I glanced up and saw a creepy sight:
If that ain’t something to have nightmares about, I don’t know what is. All through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, there were these huge, fat bumblebees hovering. I mean, they were EVERYWHERE; I almost ran face-first into more than one. It was fun to watch the people walking down the street and then see them dance around, trying to get away from the bee.
I took ten thousand pictures of the redbuds on the road between home and Gatlinburg because I was going to post the best, and ask y’all what it was called – we see them every Spring and talk about how pretty they are – but when we got home, Fred did a Google search and figured it out. On Friday, we visited Pigeon Forge – we always spend part of a day in Pigeon Forge – and walked by The Mill.
From there, we walked down the street to the Smoky Mountain Cat House, where we petted a bunch of kitties, looked around, and bought some toys for the cats. I got pictures of some of the cats inside, which I’ll put up eventually, but the best picture I got was of a cat hanging around outside.
He was a very sweet and friendly guy. While we were in Pigeon Forge, we went into the Corelle factory outlet to look for new plates. I knew that Corelle carries yellow plates and that’s what I thought we’d get, but my GOD, the PRICES on those plates! We opted, instead, to get a set of dishes that were on clearance because they’d discontinued the pattern.
I wasn’t all that disappointed to not get yellow dishes, because I like the pattern on the plates we got, and we do have a set of yellow Fiesta plates and bowls. Which we never use, because I know that either the spud or I will drop a plate – or several plates – on the floor and will find glass shards for years and years to come. But the blue is pretty enough, and it’s a nice change from the black-and-white dishes we had before. (And no, the old dishes aren’t going on the giveaway page, because I am NOT going to deal with trying to ship the fuckers.) Saturday morning we left the house pretty early, and drove the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. We actually drove it on Friday morning to check it out, and decided to go back Saturday morning when it would be sunny and we could get good pictures. I took about ten thousand pictures, some of which I’ll put up on a separate page at some point in the next few weeks, but I’ll share some of them with you today. Parts of the road were very very VERY scary, because they were so narrow, and on one side there’d be a steep hill, and on the other there’d be a seriously frightening sheer drop, and Fred drives LIKE A MANIAC, and I thought for sure we were going to go driving over the side and we’d all end up dead and y’all would never know what had happened to us.
This picture doesn’t do justice to just how scary the road was, believe you me.
And those pictures don’t even come close to doing justice to how beautiful and peaceful it was on that motor trail. We were watching The Corporation Saturday night – good movie, but long as hell; we still haven’t seen the last half-hour yet – and this guy came on the screen. I said “Hey look, baby! That guy has my eyebrows!”
And Fred guffawed for ten minutes straight.
There’s apparently a Fuccy Hauling Incorporated, and this truck had “Fuccy” on one side of the back of the truck, and “Fuccy” on the other side, and so every time we saw a Fuccy truck, Fred or I would say “Look! Fucky fucky!” Yes, we ARE 10 years old at heart.
This good ol’ boy was riding in the back of a truck. He kept going from one side of the truck to the other, looking happy as hell, his ears flapping in the breeze. He was adorable. And that is my account of our trip to Gatlinburg. I left out the ten tons of candy we ate, but you can fill in that part on your own. Our big discovery this time was Bennett’s BBQ. We stopped there for lunch on a whim Friday, and liked it so much we went back Saturday. I highly recommend the pork shoulder and the fried green tomatoes. We also gave Texas Roadhouse a try, and the rolls and honey-cinnamon butter were VERY good. You can check out Fred’s account of our trip (and pictures) here.
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“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m glad to have you home. Whatever.”