Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Pigeon Forge (Sevigeonburgville), Part IV

It's a good thing it was a short trip, or I would have forgotten everything by now. But it was a short trip, and not a lot happened. So I remember the interesting things *vividly*. And wowzers, was Sunday night a trip! This is the nailbiting part of the trip report. If you are easily frightened, or if you have a particular affinity for ducks and ducklings, be prepared to avert your eyes. I'm just warnin'. Is all.

So, when I last stopped ranting and raving about freezing my butt off in Dollywood on that frigid Sunday morning, I was snuggling into my bed while my children were leaping into their swimsuits and heading out for the pool. The pool at the lovely Vacation Lodge is heated. But the air remained not heated. When I awoke, Woodrow was still in the pool; Emily was shopping for souvenirs (and spending too much money), and Wesley was lounging in a chair next to the pool.

Yea, verily, and I looked upon the pool, and I saw that the pool was good. I wish I had thought to take pictures from the balcony.

Without benefit of caffeine to help my brain awaken from the much-needed nap, I lost an hour or so while staring blankly at the television. The television was located over the fireplace, which I had set on "Hellishly Hot." (I'm not saying it was toasty, but I think I saw demons dancing around in the back of the fireplace. I'm just sayin'. Is all.) I shivered there next to the fireplace and tried not to watch CNN. That chick in Georgia had just been found in New Mexico, and everyone was ranting and raving and stomping around about how inconsiderate it was of her to take off days before her wedding. I didn't mind the ranting and raving. I'm kind of *partial* to ranting and raving. But they kept showing the SAME TWO PICTURES of the chick, and her face was eerily frozen in the same smile in both pictures. I keep thinking if I ever meet her, she's going to have that same frozen, wide-eyed smile. How does she *talk* with her face set in stone like that?

Just FYI; I'm originally from Georgia; we don't all look like that. Most of us have a whole *array* of different facial expressions. Also, I don't know anyone who bolted from her wedding and set off a massive manhunt for the missing bride. It was just *that chick*.

Anyway, Wesley came inside first, and he decided to get a nap now that I wasn't snoring. Then Emily came home with too many souvenirs and not enough change, whereupon I lowered the boom and confiscated the one souvenir she wanted the most. She'll get it back when her room is clean. And it's two weeks later, and that stuffed wolf is still hidden. Miss Em, if you're reading this, get offline and CLEAN YOUR ROOM.

Then Woodrow dashed in from the pool, shivering and shaking water in all directions. I cranked up the fireplace from "Hellishly Hot" to "Smelt Copper."

After Woodrow was dressed and bundled up in front of the roaring fireplace, watching some sort of Japanese anime cartoon, my cell phone rang. It was my sister Yamy!!!! Wesley groaned and rolled over, so I grabbed my jacket and went outside to talk to my sister. We had a marvelous conversation, at the end of which I said, "Wow! We need to leave for dinner! Wesley's still asleep? Weird."

I got off the cell phone and shook Wesley awake, telling him we needed to leave if we were going to meet Mike and Lisa for dinner. We were going to meet at the Alamo Steakhouse. We went there last year and had a *fabulous* meal in an empty restaurant. It was by far the best meal of last year's picnic experience, even better than Bennett's Barbecue, and we were all eager to experience it again. Wesley got up and seemed a little groggy, but I was busy telling the kids to put on clean shirts and find real shoes and things like that. By the time we got *in* the car, I started to wonder if perhaps Wesley's blood sugar was a little low.

Ahhhhhhhhhh, life with a guy with diabetes is *so* exciting.

As Wesley pulled out onto the first road, I asked, "Sweetie, is your blood sugar a little low?"

"No," he said, and he sounded so reasonable that I foolishly *believed* him.

We were supposed to turn right after that -- going by the backroads again, dontcha know -- and Wesley barely swung around onto the street. Then he proceeded to drive very sensibly, stopping at every stop sign and not once scaring me until we reached the road that would have taken us directly to the Alamo. As Wesley drove straight through the intersection, Emily yelped, "Daddy! That's our turn!"

And Wesley said, in the most implacable, calm, unflappable voice, "Yep."

And he drove straight on.

My emotional state very rapidly changed from "sorta sanguine" to "genuinely alarmed." When Wesley has low blood sugar, you just don't know how he's going to react. He isn't reasonable. I was quickly trying to weigh my options. Thank heaven he wasn't driving 70 mph on an interstate -- but even 25 mph on a winding little road is scary enough when the guy behind the wheel isn't in control of his faculties.

AND THEN!!! I looked ahead on the road, and way off in the distance -- I'm farsighted, y'know -- I saw some smudges waddling out into the road. DUCKS!!!!!! There were five ducks innocently trying to cross the street without any idea that a madman without enough sugar in his bloodstream was steadily driving their way!!!!!!!

I opened my mouth to say something calm, like, "Hey, here's a driveway, why don't you pull over here," but I was cut off by both of my children in the backseat, who had suddenly spied the ducks and started screaming at the tops of their lungs:


Oh, yeah, *they* really know how to make a bad situation worse. Well, they're kids. I think that's why children were invented in the first place. It makes life more interesting.

All that screaming in the backseat seemed to make Wesley feel as if he needed to prove them wrong. He gets contrary like that sometimes. While Emily's screams died down to whimpers of, "Duck... duck... baby duck.... daddy's gonna ... kill... the baby duckies," and Woodrow's shrieks became so piercing that dogs began howling in the distance, Wesley continued his slow, unswerving, abiding trek toward those innocent, unseeing, unaware, pedestrian ducks in the middle of the road.

I did the only thing I could do. I intoned in my most authoritative, deep, impressive, I-am-not-scared-of-you voice, "Wesley! Stop the car this instant! I insist you stop the car right now!"

Scant inches from the oblivious, unhurried ducks' heads -- they were literally so close that I could not see them in front of the hood of the Camry -- the car came to a smooth halt, whereupon I reached over, put the car in park, pulled the brake up, and pulled the keys out of the ignition.

Then I jumped out, walked around to the driver's door -- shooing ducks on my way -- and ordered Wesley to get out and go sit in the passenger seat. He followed all my orders without comment. When he was safely in the car, I turned on the vehicle and turned it around. Yep. Right there in the middle of the road. As I've mentioned, it was a back road, and it was Sunday evening, so there was no traffic the whole time those ducks waddled slowly toward a parking lot near the red-roof outlet mall.

Whipping back around, I hollered at Emily to call the last number used on the cell phone and tell Mike we were late and Wesley had low blood sugar. She *very* nicely did just that. As I drove past the front door of the Alamo, I rolled down a window and hollered at Mike and Lisa, "DO YOU HAVE ANY CANDY????"

Why am I so poorly prepared in situations like this? You would think I would've learned by now.

I parked the car, and as we all entered the restaurant, a hostess greeted us, whereupon I snapped, "My husband has low blood sugar and I need some candy or a Coke or orange juice or SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!!!!!" She handed over three after-dinner mints. They were the good ones, too. Chocolate, wafer thin, with the thinnest layer of minty creamy filling.... Mmmmmmmmm.... Wesley wolfed them down like they were no better than Pixie Sticks. Harumph!

While Wesley was waiting for his brain to return to his control, we were seated in the non-smoking section and began perusing the menu.

To be *totally* honest, if I described the meal in detail, you would be bored stiff. I don't have nice things to say about it. I don't have *terrible* things to say about it. The service was adequate, but the food was... eh. Ordinary. Compared with the sublime meal we'd had last year, it was a terrible disappointment. Besides, Emily didn't feel completely well. I ended up leaving early to take Em back to the hotel so she could lie down, and going back later. I got no dessert. They make good desserts at the Alamo. But I didn't get any. Harumph, harumph.

Between worrying about the traumatized ducks, Wesley's blood sugar, whether Emily was going to faint from illness, and whether Woodrow was going to yell about the ducks again, I really couldn't enjoy the whole thing. Even Wesley said later that it wasn't as nice as last year, though, so it wasn't just me. The Alamo's standards are slipping. Not highly recommended. We'll try a different place next year, I suppose.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at the grocery store and got some Advil for Emily, and then headed back to the room. The rest of the evening is completely dull. I was finally warm, but we did keep the fireplace going -- just, cuz, y'know, it was our last night and all.

I ate a raspberry jelly Krispy Kreme for dessert, and I am sorry to confess that I have lost my touch with jelly doughnuts. I dribbled quite a lot of bright pink jelly all over my shirt and jeans. I'm glad I didn't have to go out after that -- I'm sure the cops would have thought I had murdered someone. I fixed a lemon vodka and Sprite cocktail (the insomniac's best friend), and by 1:00 in the morning, I was snoring away happily... only to be thwacked a good bit and told to stop snoring. *Sigh*.

Monday -- packing! Leaving! Breakfast!!!! And home again, home again, jiggety jig!


At 16/5/05 2:20 AM, Blogger Thena said...

So glad you were all ok including the ducks!


At 17/5/05 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bay, i just wanted to hop over here as well and give you {{hugs}}, i'm so sorry you lost your sweet guido.

At 6/2/07 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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