Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sevigeonburgbille, Part II

Sunday, May 1st -- Morning

When last we saw our erstwhile heroine, she was staring at the ceiling in the lovely Vacation Lodge motel, located in beautiful downtown Pigeon Forge, anticipating a day of fun and frivolity at the lovely Dollywood "theme" park. Join us now for the second installment, which we like to call: Hell Freezes Over. OK, that was a little snotty of me. Still. I'm a fairly snotty person sometimes. Especially when it comes to freezing my tush off at a company picnic. I'm tired of it. I'm too old to freeze this much.

Anyway, back to the point. I eventually went to sleep, so of course Wesley spent the rest of the night thwacking me about the head and shoulders trying to get me to quit snoring. I know, I know -- delicate Southern flowers such as my glorious self aren't supposed to confess that they snore. But I do. Oh, yes, I do. So does Wesley. The difference is that I sleep like the dead, whereas Wesley is a very light sleeper. So while I snooze happily through both his and my own sonorous noises, Wesley wakes up and thinks that I'm the only one making all that racket, and then he expends tremendous amounts of energy trying vainly to make me stop.

At home, y'know, he wears ear plugs to bed. He forgot the ear plugs for Sevigeonburgville. :::sigh:::

So I didn't get much sleep because not only didn't I go to sleep at 10:00 (geez), when I finally *did* go to sleep, Wesley woke me up and told me to stop snoring. Insert vicious cycle here. Go to sleep. Snore. Get thwacked and reprimanded. Roll over. Go to sleep. Repeat. Ad infinitum.

Finally, the cruel people let me wake up. Wesley had gotten up, taken a shower, and had gone to Krispy Kreme for coffee and doughnuts. He brought two humongous boxes of doughnuts, too. And he got me some real half & half for my coffee!!!! He's a keeper, even if he thwacks me a lot when I'm trying to sleep.

For those of you who are still new to Krispy Kremes, I'm sure you'll be shocked and disgusted to learn that I actually prefer cake doughnuts to original Krispy Kremes. I grew up with Krispy Kremes. They're too sweet for my taste. So I was delighted -- no, *ecstatic* to discover that Wesley had wrangled some plain cake doughnuts just for me!!! He also brought a dozen classics, three raspberry jellies, three lemon jellies, and three chocolate-frosteds. I spent about an hour drinking my coffee, nibbling a cake doughnut, and trying to protect the two remaining cake doughnuts from my kids, who have inherited my preferences in doughnuts, much to Wesley's dismay.

As a result of my laziness, the morning got totally away from me. I still had to shower and put on makeup, not to mention getting dressed and ready for the day, and that's when I discovered The Great Tragedy of The Picnic of '05: We didn't bring a hair dryer with us.

I have thick hair. I have LONG, thick hair. I have masses and masses of long, thick hair that takes hours to dry by air. Heck, even with a hair dryer, it still takes forever to get it dry.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, the clock taunted me. The park was opening at 10:00. Anyone with half a brain can tell you that in order to make the most of your day at a theme park, you need to get there an hour before the posted opening time. I'm not a morning person, but even I recognize the value of this advice. Most theme parks will open a half hour *before* their posted opening time. You have to get there a half hour before then to get a decent parking spot and a good place in line at the gates. Last year -- even in the freezing rain -- we were there an hour before opening and were the second family in line, which meant I got a lot of thrill rides under my belt before anyone else had even traipsed into the park, for cryin' out loud!

There was nothing I could do about it this year, though. My hair was wet and the morning was frigid. The Weather Channel was predicting a high of 64 degrees. OMG. Disaster. I finally just pulled myself together and pushed the kids out the door so we could get started on our day, even though my hair was still wet and I was going to freeze even if the temp climbed to 78 degrees.

We got to Dollywood about 10:15. Maybe a little later. So of course, we were parked 'way out in section C. We had to wait for a *tram*. Geeeeeeeeeeeeez. This is not going well. It didn't improve.

While standing in line for a tram to the park, I thought, "Maybe it will warm up enough... maybe it will.... maybe I won't freeze!" While I stood there in the sun, I really thought I was going to catch a break.

I was wrong.

After riding the tram to the park and running to the front gate (past throngs of people getting their tickets), we passed a couple wearing dragon shirts that Emily pointed out to me, because the woman's shirt was just like the one that I wouldn't let Emily wear that day. See, I'm deluded. I'm always thinking I'm going to get one decent photo of the whole family at the comp'ny picnic. So as of last year, I make everyone wear a white shirt. That way, we cannot possibly clash with the garish backdrop of the park *or* each other. I also always yell at Wesley to take off his [expletives deleted] sunglasses. He *always* wears sunglasses or eyeglasses, and you can never see his eyes in pictures. I'm a freakin' scrapbook artist, and I can't get ONE decent picture of my own husband because of his [many foul expletives deleted] sunglasses!!!!!!

So I was wearing an old white polo shirt of Wesley's, Wesley was wearing a new white polo shirt (with a stripe across the chest), Woodrow was wearing a white polo shirt, and Emily was wearing a white shirt that she had found in the Young Men's department at Kohl's. It was white with grey and black dragon embroidery. Someday I'm going to understand the whole dragon thing. Right now, it sorta eludes me.

Once inside the park, we made our way to the Country Fair section. This has always been our first stop. It has changed *immensely* over the last year, though -- they tore out the log flume and have replaced it with a bunch of new Disney-rip-offs. There's the "Flying Elephant" ride. Hmmmmmmm.... can you say "Dumbo"? I can. I can also say "Mad Tea Cups." There's the Lemon Twist ride for that one. And the beat goes on.

Woodrow wanted to ride the Tennessee Twister, which was the old Tilt-A-Whirl ride. However, it bit the dust along with the log flume in favor of some new kiddie rides. Woodrow was *incredibly* disappointed. So was I. I loved the Tilt-A-Whirl. Yeah, it's lame and easy. It's still fun, and the line was always short.

By this time, I was freezing. So I found a bench in direct sunlight, and the Loftis clan dispersed to ride various things. Woodrow and Emily headed first to the bumper cars. I have fond memories of the bumper cars at Six Flags Over Georgia when I was 9 and 10, so I tried to get some pictures.

Now, the rest of the morning is something of a blur. I was just cold. I spent my time trying to find patches of sunlight that were protected from the frigid zephyr that was blowing through the park. If the breeze died down, it might have gotten as warm as 65 degrees. I can't swear to that, though, because my brain had frostbite. We headed up to Crafter's Holler, or whatever it's called. It isn't a holler. It's a hill. As we passed a theatre-type area, I noticed that the Caribbean steel drummers were supposed to start a show in five minutes, so I opted to stop there and watch.

[Note: See, Dollywood is ripping off the World Showcase from WDW, and they have the International something-or-other Festival in April & May now. It's not anywhere near as cool as the World Showcase. Go to Epcot if you want to see how a theme park can do international stuff. But I was really cold and my brain wasn't working properly, and I kept thinking that I was going to experience something remotely international in flavor.]

Mistake. The theatre was covered. I bet it's lovely in June and July when the park is warm. On May 1st, with still-wet hair, it was FREEZING. The Jamaican steel drummers were bundled up in parkas. OK, I am exaggerating. But they were wearing longjohns under their colorful Caribbean-style garments and jackets over that.

The steel drum show was a HUGE disappointment. I'm sure the musicians are sublimely talented. Unfortunately, instead of playing lots of glorious calypso music, they played American standards on the steel drums. I had absolutely NO interest in hearing "Route 66" on the steel drums. If I want to hear "Route 66," I'll go to a big band concert and hear it played properly by aging white American musicians. From hip Caribbean musicans, I have higher expectations. My horizons weren't the least bit broadened by the show. AND I froze the whole time. I'm surprised anyone could hear "Route 66" over the chattering of my teeth. Geeeeeeeeeeeez.

Are you catching a theme here? The rest of the day goes pretty much like this. Bay freezes. The rest of the Loftis clan can't decide what to do because Bay isn't making decisions for everyone. Bay freezes some more. At some point I broke the ice out of my hair and stood with my family for a digital portrait, and the little photo-takin' dude tried to get us to hold out our hands in little cups so they could digitally place butterflies on our hands. NO. I wouldn't do it.

Lunch was scheduled for 1:00, and I was looking forward to it, because I could see the lunch pavilion was now a covered building, which I assumed would have heat. I was right. Also, Wesley had said that he'd heard the food was improved this year. Unfortunately, he was wrong.

Next installment: Lunch!!!! Afternoon frivolity!!!! NAPTIME!!!!! And dinner!!!!!!!!


At 10/5/05 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bay, your blog is absolutely hysterical. I have it bookmarked now! BTW, I like cake donuts too. :)

At 10/5/05 1:03 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

Hahahahaha!!!! I don't like Krispy Kreme donuts, either. Too "commercial tasting."

At 10/5/05 1:04 AM, Blogger Sue said...

Bay - don't feel bad :) I don't track the hits on my blog but I did not get any comments after posting on that thread either.

Another cake donut person here too - I despise KK donuts - ech!!

You blog is very funny - I have bookmarked it too so at least you can get the occasional comment from me :)

Hope you figure out the software problems!!

At 10/5/05 1:13 AM, Blogger Thena said...

Bay, I love your blog but I love everything you write!!!

At 10/5/05 1:14 AM, Blogger Jennifer Lynn said...

Thanks for helping me give my monitor a soda bath!

I've been to Sevierville more times than I care to admit. Since no one else can answer the question, I have to ask... what is the deal with the "private balconies" advertised on every freaking motel sign? I've traveled to 46 states and 30 countries and ONLY in Pigeon Forge do you ever see that listed!

Thanks for making me laugh tonight!

At 10/5/05 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

woo hoo!!! Look at you now!

What a fun blog...glad I saw it...

Teri :)

At 10/5/05 5:47 AM, Blogger nic said...

OK I'd love a krispy kreme donut just to figure out if I thought they were too commercial tasting LOL. Bring ON the krispy Kreme! Send them fast post to New Zealand, baby!!!!

At 10/5/05 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh have a blog! I had no clue!! I've got some catching up to do! Now you're bookmarked. ;) I LOVE your writing!!! I'll be here frequently. ;)

At 10/5/05 8:23 AM, Blogger Christy said...

Hi from a fellow southerner. I'm in South Carolina and have had several experiences in the wonderful "holler" that Is Dollywood. I have not however been in cold temperatures. I don't think I will attempt that after reading your blog!
You're a fabulous writer Bay. I'm an English teacher and I say you're an A++++ student. :)

I think we "met" over at Cropper's Cottage too. I'm on the DT there.

You've inspired me to go update my stale Blog!! LOL

Christy McKay

At 10/5/05 2:27 PM, Blogger staceykingman said...

Me, too! White shirts when we go places! Cuz what if you get the bestest, most awesome picture EVER and the kid (or whoever) has an ugly (or just clashing) shirt on? I thought it was just me...


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