General stuff, with the details behind cuts.
I've either got killer allergies, or I'm coming down with something. My throat doesn't hurt as badly tonight, but this morning I could either croak or whisper. last night I had trouble sleeping for throat pain/tickle.
We're staying in a timeshare called Bent Creek Golf Resort, which is 12 miles east of Stoplight 3 in Gatlinburg Tennessee (yes, the stoplights have handy numbers next to them, for directing tourists) as the road curves. This may be as close as 5 miles, as the crow flies.
Or, as the carpenter bee buzzes. We had what I call "bumble bees" at the foot of the stairs when we arrived and were unpacking. Maintenance called them "carpenter bees" and assured us that they don't sting. I have apparently completely outgrown my childhood phobia of bees, and was able to protect Critter, who has it in spades (and has either been stung once, when he was still a toddler, or never at all, but I can't remember which). Critter, who is taller than me, and stronger than me, and in some areas more technically up-to-date than me, needed me. I think I came through okay. I would have done better to recognize that it was real fear and not melodrama earlier, rather than later, though. We brought lots of stuff with us, and after three trips up the stairs, I was ready to have Critter and Tigger handle the rest. Critter couldn't deal with going near the bees by himself. Tigger, on the other hand, "just looked down at the stairs instead of at the bees." There was one box - the one loaded with games and books and crafts, that was too big/heavy for Tigger, so I ended up getting Critter to help me with it, and promised him that he wouldn't have to go past the bees alone again.
My parents own timeshares in two different systems (in terms of networking for trading weeks). Banking an owned week generates points, which can be used anywhere in a system. Mom and Dad's timeshares are worth lots of points, AND this resort was having a special for this week. So we (Mom, Critter, Tigger and I) are in two adjoining rooms, which each have: a bedroom with queen size bed, bathroom with jacuzzi tub and separate shower with doors to the bedroom and hall, a great room with large dining table, queen-size sofa bed, and full galley kitchen. There are four TVs total, and two boombox sound systems. The kitchens are stocked with lots of useful supplies, and we've stocked the cabinets and fridges with lots of food. And yet, the boys think we should leave the room every day. ;)
Wednesday I personally spent the whole day in my pajamas (yay!) For those who like pictures, the ones here, except without the frog slippers and the fanny pack. Because ...
My piece of crap GSM cell phone doesn't work in these here hills. Grump grump. think about the rollover minutes I'm accumulating
Today I slept until noon, skipped breakfast entirely, had tuna salad sandwich with chips and a banana for lunch, a fruit smoothie for a snack, and a casserole thrown together from leftover chicken chow mein ingredients, plus butter, cheese, milk and chips, but minus the soy sauce.
We played a round of Groo, which Tigger won, and Mom didn't remember at all how to play -- so we (Critter and I) just gave her lots and lots of strategy advice, freely screwing over me, at any rate (Critter was never really a contender), and at least getting her assistance to keep Tigger from winning earlier than he eventually did.
After that, we started a round of Rail Baron. We're a few hours into it, and have acquired all the rail lines and Super Chief engines for each of us, so we've arrived at the money building part of the game. There are only a few choke points where any of us is forced to pay the other rail fees, so this game is likely to end tomorrow with someone actually arriving home, rather than the losers going bankrupt, which has happened often in the past.
After dinner we watched tonight's Disney Channel movie about a school dance team. One of the child stars was the protagonist in Real Women Have Curves. Disney channel movies are reliable family entertainment, but predictably sappy with happy endings.
Mom and I went to our separate beds for Law and Order and the internet, respectively, and it's taken me just under three hours to read LJ before attempting to write this huge vacation missive.
Tuesday In the afternoon, we drove to Pigeon Forge for Professor Hacker's Lost (Hidden?) Treasure mini-golf. Tigger wants to play mini-golf every day, but I just wasn't up to it on Wednesday. We had a short stop at the grocery for only a few items while we were out.
In the morning, Mom took Critter and Tigger swimming while i stayed in the room (thinking that swimming would not ease my sore throat or whatever it is). We had ham sandwiches with fruit and chips, while the boys had lunchables.
For dinner, Tigger helped me make Chicken Chow Mein (with fettucini) from his recently acquired cookbook. After dinner, Mom and Critter and I watched Runaway Jury while Tigger watched Cartoon Channel.
After the movie was over, I got online for a chat to replace my weekly bath/phone call with Wolf.
Monday I made breakfast for everyone, having brought my omelet pan. I even made Mom a one egg omelet, which I can only do in a really good pan. After breakfast, Mom and I took Tigger swimming while Critter stayed in the room, and then we had sandwiches and fruit and chips for lunch while the boys had lunchables. Mom and I are eating fairly healthfully, but letting the boys have treats that I don't often put out the bucks for at home.
After we'd had a nice lunch, we ventured into town. We decided we wanted to try the trolley system, so we bought a roll of quarters from the front desk, and drove to the free park and ride. The trolley drivers are very friendly, and helpful about the best way to get places. We played Hlll Billy Golf, and then shopped for frozen foods for the room after we retrieved the car. (The free park and ride is right across the parkway from the Food City.) We decided that the trolley system is convenient, but involves waiting. We might use it for the days we want to shop in Gatlinburg, since that will involve parking and lots of walking anyway.
For dinner on Monday night, we had doctored Jeno's pizzas, since we got back to the room late and too tired for "real" cooking. Mom and I were going to watch Runaway Jury together, but she got tired and went on to bed, so I watched it by myself.
The drive here on Sunday was uneventful. We left the house in time to stop at McDonald's for breakfast on the road, then successfully found our way to Cozy Mel's, west of Knoxville. I had printed out maps at home and left them on the printer tray. Lunch was yummy, and the portions were generous enough to provide dinner that evening in the room.
Traffic is not up to the normal bumper-to-bumper load that I associate with Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, so the drive in from Knoxville was easy. The parkway from Gatlinburg to the resort is very winding, but the scenery is nice.
Affter we arrived, we had the excitement with the bees and unpacking, but mostly just settled in to be lazy. Our main goal is to relax on vacation.
And, that's about as far back as I can really go at this point, it being almost 45 minutes since I started typing all of this.
I remembered to take pictures on Monday, exhausted the camera battery on Tuesday, and hope to remember to take more tomorrow and the rest of vacation. When I get back home, I'll organize them to share.
Reading, but barely writing....