Sunday, April 12, 2015

Continuing the Vacation That Wasn't

Florida was off the table.  My heart was crushed.  Even if I did understand why (you can read the first post by clicking HERE) we didn't get there, it didn't make it hurt less.  I was going to meet an MG friend I've "known" for years. I was going to see 2 old college friends.  I was going to meet my life coach Kristen and her family; our sons are pen-pals!

I was still recovering from being so sick when we arrived in Pigeon Forge, TN. Think Dollywood.  Think Wisconsin Dells.  Think tourist trap. 

When we arrived, there was about 3 inches of snow on the ground.  No biggie.  We checked into a hotel, kind of unpacked, and then we were off to see what there was to see.

{crickets}

There were more shops, businesses, entertainment spots, even restaurants CLOSED than open!  Now I understand that this (Pigeon Forge) is considered "the South", but WOW!  Having lived in Michigan my whole life I can't even FATHOM a business NOT opening for the day because of snow!  We arrived on Tuesday, and it was Friday (the day before we were going to leave to head to North Carolina) before nearly everything was open.  It was a total bummer.

Every afternoon/evening, I sat in the hotel room and rested while Doug and Jacob went to the swimming pool for a few hours.  Jacob LOVES to swim and play in the pool.  So do I.  But alas, too many kids splashing, too loud and echo-ey, and they had the heat set on "just shy of the surface of the sun."

Doug would drag me out lovingly encourage me every day to go out with him and Jacob to try and find some things that were open to see and to do, and I was still weak.

The absolute highlight was going to the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN. I would recommend it to anyone.  It was SO cool.  The only bummer is that Doug has to push me in a wheel chair through the whole thing.  There was NO way I could have walked.  I felt bad for making him push me all over, and I felt bad for Jacob having a mom in a wheelchair.  But at least he HAS a mom!

It was really incredible.  They had a whole section where you were "under" thousands of gallons of water.  A small people mover gave Doug a break from pushing. You could just concentrate on the amazing scenery.  Stunning tropical fish of every kind, sharks swimming right over your head.  A giant sea turtle gliding effortlessly above you.

It was tranquil and beautiful. I was awestruck.  Amazing.

The other 2 highlights were the amazing purse store there...OOOh-la la!  I got 2 new purses.  They had hundreds to choose from.  I could have stayed there all day!  And then there were Gigi's Cupcakes.  Oh. My. Delicious-ness.  Their frosting is OFF the hook crazy good.  Not too sweet, just perfect.  And they put a metric Cr@p-ton of frosting on it.  I would start picking at the frosting a couple of days ahead of time until there was the right amount to match the cupcake.

We seriously need one of those up here.  Oh yes we do.

SO. On our very last day in town Gigi's was open, we got our cupcakes and prepared to go from Pigeon Forge, TN to Avon, NC (on the Outer Banks), driving all day Saturday.

I was still sad about Florida, but was looking SO forward to our gorgeous oceanfront house on the beach... Couldn't wait to look for shells, walk the beach...and I KNEW they wouldn't be closed because of snow!!

Stay tuned...Did North Carolina turn out to be the saving grace of this trip?  Or did our fair heroine find herself in dismay once again???