Friday, August 12, 2005

Back from Vacation Into a Heat Wave


I'm back and will be posting my regular kind of stuff again shortly. But tonight, I'll just share a bit about where I've been these past few weeks. We've come right back into the middle of a heat wave here in the NYC area, and temperatures are suffocatingly hot --in the 90's-- but add to that the famous NY humidity and bad air quality and you can imagine how miserable it feels here-- except when you're inside, camped out under the AC. Well, I'm thankful we had a chance to breathe fresh mountain air up in the Smoky Mountains for almost a week and a half.

We were at my wife's family reunion, whose primary hosts were the Fees (Gordon and Miriam Jean). They were kind enough to let us stay at their mountain condo--situated between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg-- for our entire stay. With a pool right outside the door, a lovely view of the mountains from the terrace, good air-conditioning, fresh air and lots of quiet, it was a very relaxing place getaway. Thank you Gordon and Miriam Jean!

The Fee's son, David, is rather a well-known name in Pigeon Forge. He owns and manages a couple of entertainment businesses -- The Comedy Barn and Black Bear Jamboree, as well as a restaurant called Happy Days Diner. Since he owns them, we were invited to see these shows and eat at the diner afterward free of charge. We also went to a couple of other popular shows, the Dixie Stampede and Dollywood, as guests of the Fees. Thanks again!

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are interesting towns-- together they comprise kind of a smaller, family-oriented Las Vegas, with entertainment featuring "hillbilly" humor, bluegrass, gospel, racing carts, and amusement parks, and with tons of places to eat. Gatlinburg seems to have more shops and art galleries, while Pigeon Forge was marked by its central "strip" featuring the various entertainments mentioned above.

Traffic on the strip moves along at a stately 35 miles an hour-- it seems the pace of life is a bit slower than that of New York. So it was nice to get away, though I did get a bit tired and stressed at times from all the driving.

Anyway, it's good to be back home. If you visited my blog while I was away, I hope you found something that blessed, or at least entertained you.

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