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minikin

Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife


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More from the hills of Tennesee
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minikin
Thursday

No cut, since I'm only writing about one day.

I got up early today, by vacation standards - out of bed before 10! And, not feeling nearly so miserable. I'm probably getting bed-headaches. Sigh.

The boys and I finished Rail Baron. I was right in my prediction. Tigger "declared" and returned home with no competition from us. He was in New York, his home city was Cleveland, he had somewhere around 8K to spare for rail fees, and Critter and I were both stuck in the Southwest. It would have been pointless if we had even been in the Northeast with Tigger -- he declared, rolled up his alternate destination, then rolled for movement with his Super Chief bonus die, and got to Cleveland in one move. He owned the NYC, so his rail fees were a mere 1K. At no point was anyone in serious danger of going bankrupt for rail fees, and in the three times that anyone was close, there was a way to make a short trip on their rails without undue pain to one of the rest of us. It was a very fun, so terribly NOT cut-throat game. :)

We left the house before lunch today, but by the time we got to I-Hop I was starving. I think hunger sharpens one's sense of smell, and sensitivity to ugly odors like fresh tar. They were laying down new asphalt on the parkway, so traffic was slowed for the single lane that was open. Bleh.

We went to the new I-Hop, a block or so north of the Krispy Kreme in Pigeon Forge. Too new. Our waitress was just learning the ropes, and apparently we were her "how to listen to the customer" object lesson. She brought Christopher a plate of eggs "with all sausage" rather than one "without sausage." Say it out loud -- it *is* kind of subtle. She had this rather confusing conversation with me, wherein she kept trying to call the "country fried steak" "chicken fried steak" and even though I order my "country fried steak" while I was pointing to it with my finger - in her view - she brought me "country fried chicken." And third strike, during the ordering process, Timothy said three or four times "I want the pigs in a blanket." Yet, after taking the other orders, she actually said, while pointing to Timothy, "I still don't know what he wants." We ended up taking her step by step through how she had not been listening to us when we ordered, and talking to her supervisor, AND then had to endure a "good will" visit by the manager. At one point, when he asked if there was anything else we needed, it was all I could do, to keep from saying "yes. LESS hovering."

After the I-Hop, we toured some of the outlet malls. In Pigeon Forge, we found a really cool game store in the Belz outlet mall: Game Depot USA.com. They were packed with cool games, of the variety to call Wolf and offer courier service. Wolf selected Attack! extension. We got Risk 2010, Gargon and Gobblets, a board game, a card game and a coffee table quality strategy game, respectively. I predict more playing of games tomorrow morning.

Then we checked out the Tanger outlet mall, decided that the Sevierville location had better choices, and drove there. Mom got the boys each a new pair pants and shorts, and got Tigger a polo shirt that should fit next year's dress code.

After that, we drove even further north in Sevierville, to find the movie theatre and watch Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. I liked it better than the first one, but that may have had something to do with the presence of Seth Green.

Our next stop was Wal-Mart, because I broke my watchband yesterday. We almost forgot the watch, by the time we got down buying new underwear and socks, pants (for me, this time), more food (we are eating in the room a lot), and some kick-ass spatulas. I don't remember seeing such high quality ones in the Lex. Wal-Mart, so I didn't want to leave them behind. Anyway, we got back out of the check-out line to look for my watch, and Mom also picked up a copy of the 12th book in the Left Behind series. I predict Mom will be reading tomorrow morning, while we play games.

We'd already missed one day of mini-golf, so today we played at the indoor course in Gatlinburg. We parked almost directly behind it, which was really cool. We will probably try to park in the same lot tomorrow, when we drive in for shopping. It's a flat $5, and we'd spend $4 on trolleys if we don't drive, so we've decided to leave our one trolley adventure an unrepeated memory. Plus, if we go back to the same mini-golf course tomorrow, we'll get half-price rates. Woot!

When we got home tonight, we had english muffin pizzas for dinner, then Mom went to bed early, and I came to bed to read LJ and chat with Wolf and Sydb and Ro.

Tomorrow, we plan on gaming in the morning, mini-golf and souvenir shopping in the afternoon, and relaxing in the room in the evening. We'll probably leave packing until Saturday, since we're leaving the day before check-out time. ;)

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Maybe by the time I'm in Pigeon Forge at the end of the month, they'll have hit their stride... but there are SO many good places to eat around there that I'm not gonna bother. :-) Heck, there are three Cracker Barrels, never mind the Log Cabin (I think) over in Gatlinburg.

Did you get out to Cade's Cove at all? Well worth it on your next trip, if not.

Our goal was to make this a Very Low Budget vacation, so we were buying groceries and cooking in the timeshare. We ended up eating out three times more than I expected, which is actually pretty conservative for my mom.

That's one of the reasons I love the Mainstay Suites in Pigeon Forge... each room is a suite with a full-size refrigerator and stove. We always do at least one big group dinner cooked in one of our hotel rooms, sandwiches, etc.

But the Log Cabin in Gatlinburg (gotta check the name before you go looking) is CHEAP breakfast, and WORTH IT.

When we were in Gatlinburg, we "toured" the outlet malls by driving in the parking lot of one, looking for one store (can't remember which), didn't find it, and left. I bet if he'd known there was a game store, we would have been looking for more stores. ;)

As for waitresses who don't listen, that was pretty bad. Last night, our waitress listened, but I still ended up with a double order of refried beans and no rice, instead of a double order of rice and no refried beans, and Wolf's mom had to ask THREE TIMES to get some onions to go with her burrito.

Of course, Roo paid her back by throwing up all over the table. ;) I have no idea what kind of tip was left (we didn't pay, they did), but had it been ME leaving the tip, I would have left plenty, even with the mediocre service, because of Roo.

As for waitresses who don't listen, that was pretty bad. Last night, our waitress listened, but I still ended up with a double order of refried beans and no rice, instead of a double order of rice and no refried beans

Sometimes, though, the waitress listens and writes it down just fine, but then the cook screws it up by not filling the order correctly.

Of course, I'd think that the waitress should be responsible for checking that the order is filled correctly, but I don't know if they do that or not.

Anyway, just my .02 cents. :)

Sometimes the waitress gets screwed by the kitchen staff.
But not in this case.

That's true, but in this case, it was definitely the case of the waitress Not Hearing. She wrote down "all sausage" she wrote down "chicken fried steak" (Meaning in her head "country fried chicken"). She said she still didn't know what Tigger wanted.

I'm pretty sure the people two tables down already knew what Tigger wanted.


I'm pretty sure the people two tables down already knew what Tigger wanted

I'm sure you're right about that! I think that in addition to the waitress Not Hearing, sometimes adults want the parents to confirm, "Yes, and he'll have the Pigs-in-a-Blanet," especially with the younger set of kids. (I know, Tigger is 10 now, but he's smallish for his age and so looks younger, so the waitress was probably wanting confirmation from you that it was okay for him to order what he was wanting.)

I *had* confirmed. Each time. She wasn't listening.

We drove past storefronts in the Belz mall, to find this game store. The website shows locations in TN and FL and that's it, so I'm pleased we found it.

We also stopped in the Tanger outlet mall, where I found a map brochure of the Tanger malls in both Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. It was quite helpful in determining that we really wanted to be at the Sevierville location, where we shopped at Old Navy.

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