Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dollywood

PB110094 We got an assignment ! Our company has picked up a new park in Mocksville, NC and the othePB110093r team in that  area can’t squeeze it into their schedule so we will add it to our schedule. Sure beats sitting around and we like North Carolina….this way we’ll be able to see our friends in North Carolina each year if we keep this job in our schedule. Since we’re leaving in the morning and don’t know if we’ll ever get back this way again, we figured we might as well bite the bullet and go to Dollywood. Our friends, Hugh and Dianne have never been to Dollywood to see the holiday lights so we knew that we wanted to do that. Dollywood is running a special till the end of the year that if you get a day ticket, after 6 p.m., you can get in free the next day. The four of us went Friday night and then Linda and I went back today to take in more of the park that we couldn’t cover in just three hours Friday night. Dollywood boasts having four million lights up for the holidays….wow, is it gorgeous at night !
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The blue tree above had what looked like white shooting stars throughout the tree…really neat. A beautiful array of lights AND a full moon made for some nice pictures. We were able to get in three of the shows while we were there Friday evening. They have a “Christmas on ice” show, which combined singing with ice skating, and lots of other shows….everything from the southern Gospel group, “Kingdom Heir” to An Appalachian Christmas. Seems odd to hear Christmas music and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet but it sure starts to get you in the mood for the holidays.
Today, we went back and everything sure looks different in the daylight. Linda and I rode the carousel, the scrambler (after the ride got cranked up and my head was spinning, I remembered why I don’t do those twirly rides anymore :(   We enjoy the carousel at a Pennsylvania amusement park, called Knoebels, cause you can reach out and try to get the brass ring. It’s alot of fun but we have since to find another carousel that has it. The “southern” tradition must be yelling “Yahoo” at the top of your lungs when you go by the ride operator’s booth cause everyone was doing it. Twice the operator would return the southern holler…not sure if it was truly him or a recording. Note to self: rebel yell when riding carousel in the south next timePB100090
Speaking of surprises, I have to tell you about one we had Friday when we were out and about. We were approaching an intersection, in our  car, and we hear this scraping noise. In unison with the lady in the car next to us, I turn and look at her and she at me. The look on her face was priceless….as if to say: “It ain’t us so it’s got to be you”. I wasn’t sure where the sound was coming from but once they pulled away and it isolated the noise to us,… yep it was us. I pulled off into a gas station parking lot and get under the car. A big chunk of metal was hanging, by a thread, from under the car and dragging on the ground. After kicking it for a bit, I got it off and threw it in the back of the car. I think it’s the heat shield that covers the muffler….I kept thinking about the look on that lady’s face and it made me chuckle all afternoon.
PB120096 We got to tour Dolly’s old tour bus. It cost her $750,000 back in 1994 and is a Prevost bus.It’s 45 feet  long, 9’ wide and 13.5 feet high. They got 7 m.p.g with it and had enough fuel on board to be able to go non-stop from Nashville, TN to Las Angeles, CA…2050 miles in 32 hours. They made more than 100 of these non-stop trips. The bus was retired with over 600,000 miles on it. She bought a new bus in the last year or so at a cost of 2.2 million. There were three bunks on board, in adPB120090dition to her bedroom and two bathrooms. Good darn thing there’s two bathrooms on board with all those non-stop trips. There’s bound to be a potty stop needed over all those miles !



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Had lunch at Red’s Drive In….not really a drive in, more like a diner. This restaurant is in an area of the park PB120100 that’s set up like an old town. Remember these old metal type Christmas trees. One of my favorite childhood memories is of the red cellophane wreaths, with a light in the middle of them, that my mom used to put in the windows. I always thought they were so pretty and I’ve never seen them again. Nothing like smothering your burger with sautéed mushrooms and onions, pickle and the works. Wow !
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Had a great day….so glad we took advantage of the opportunity to hang out with our friends until we got a new job assigned to us. Had a great time visiting Dollywood and other area attractions. Got to meet up with Froggi Donna and Stu and get to know them better. One the things that we heard said today, in the museum on Dolly Parton’s career, is that “life is about the experiences we have in our life”. That is so true and we’ve been really blessed to be able to travel and gather lots of these experiences.
Dolly seems like such a neat lady, very insightful and generous. Some of the information we put in our campground guides, for filler space, is on the Imagination Library (set up by her foundation). Dolly feels that all young children learn so much from reading and being read to and that they deserve to have books,  in their developmental years. Her foundation gives one book a month, from the day the child is born up until their fifth birthday. The child will receive 50 books ! She started this here in Sevier county for the children and it has caught in various communities across the country. What a great cause and one that our company helps to promote by putting information in vacant spots in the guides. Click the link above for more information.
That’s all from Pigeon Forge…heading out in the morning for Mocksville, NC. Back to work we go….

1 comment:

Movable Book Lady said...

Great photos of Dollywood, and Dolly Parton is one of my favorite people. And don't forget that "Sevier" is pronounced "severe." Have a good time in Mocksville, back in your old NC stomping grounds.