May 03

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

by in North America, Tennessee, United States

Colleen called Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge “Hillbilly Vegas” and I think that’s pretty spot on. Dollywood is here! Dinner shows on the Pigeon Forge strip include Hatfields & McCoys, Lumberjack Feud, Dixie Stampede and Biblical Times. They even have a massive Titanic museum in the shape of the ship, because as we all know the Titanic sank off the coast of Tennessee – okay, that’s unfair, regular Vegas does this kind of stuff too. Truthfully, this place looks like a lot of wholesome and affordable fun for a family or group. I particularly enjoy go karts and mini golf and there was plenty of that around as well.

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Fun times for the entire family

We wound up not doing much other than walking around. We both agreed we were seeing more obese folks the father South we drove. This shook us because we were headed that way. Would the South obesify us?!?!? To counteract the pernicious fattening effect of the South, we went for a couple of hours hike in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Colleen in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A day earlier we had dinner at Texas Roadhouse, a popular restaurant franchise. There is a pail of peanuts at the table when you sit down. As I dug into them, I wondered what I should do with the shells. Colleen told me it was permissible to leave them on the table or even drop them on the floor, and indeed I saw other people doing this. At this moment, a Stewie Griffin voice in my head exclaimed “How delightfully provincial!” Yes, the South definitely has its moments. For the record, I also love it when waitresses call me sweetheart, sugar or darling. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Northern waitresses, you just got served!

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