If you scroll all the way back to the last post, you can read my disappointment over not going to the beach for a few days. Wednesday afternoon the wife and I were trying to think of some day trips we could take instead of wasting my vacation days on yard work or staring at the TV. She asked me how far it was to Gatlinburg, TN. When I told her it was six hours she declared she could drive us that far. A few keystrokes later a room was booked using Hilton points.
Thursday we got up, threw some clothes in a suitcase and were on the road. We made it to the hotel just short of 4:00. I threw the suitcase down and headed out to walk around town. We spent our honeymoon in Gatlinburg more than three decades ago. We also visited sometime in the mid-1990s. Boy has the place gone to pot. Have you ever seen an attractive woman walking toward you and when you get close and realized there is no amount of make-up or cosmetic surgery that can cover the ravages of time? Yeah, the Smokey Mountain tourist areas are like that.
I remember the area was always a bit "touristy", but wow. The whole place is nothing but China-made souvenirs, old time picture shops, and candy stores. We walked up and down the streets. We played a round of miniature golf. We ate some perfectly tasteless fudge and had dinner at a decent, but not outstanding, BBQ joint. We ambled back to the hotel and ordered a couple of drinks at the bar and settled in at the hot tub patio area. There was a fire pit and comfy chairs. It was 9:30. I had booked us for two nights. The wife looked at me and said "do you really want to spend another night?". I didn't say a word but went to the front desk and cancelled the second night.
I don't remember the place being so cheesy. I suppose we found other stuff to do on our honeymoon. We spent a lot of time at pool, I remember that. There was a band and lounge in those days at the hotel. We went up into the park. We could have done that this time, but I've been there about six or seven times, including a couple of years ago as a side trip to a business trip. The wife isn't much thrilled by trees or scenery. I kept thinking we should have gone to Niagara Falls. A place I have never seen, but didn't mention it. Besides, that is a much longer drive.
So Friday morning we had a good breakfast then we packed the suitcase and hit he road. I was neither thrilled nor surprised when the driver veered into the outlet mall. I guess we found something to do all day after all. I quipped that I should have kept the hotel reservation. She drove us home, ignoring my offers to drive, and we pulled into the garage around 11:30 PM.
I was bored to death travelling as a passenger. I like road trips. I like travel, I do it for a living. I. Don't. Like. Riding. I read, I dozed, I watched the scenery, I offered to drive about two dozen times. I was rebuffed like a fourteen year-old on his first date with a maiden. I wish the wife hadn't gone with me to the doctor to learn how bad my vision has become.
In all, we had a good time. Who else goes to Tennessee to eat mediocre BBQ for their anniversary? We were cruising along, somewhere near Lexington, KY when the wife says to me " You know where we should have gone? Niagara Falls". I love that woman.