It was just wonderful to get away from work for an entire week and not have scheduling headaches, budget concerns & lay-offs, and a nagging co-worker who spends most of her day hanging over my desk tattling on her co-workers and griping about the job EVERY SINGLE DAY. UGH. Don't even get me started. Let me just say that, as I 've stated before, this particular person is at the top of the list of why we play the Mega Million. Yeah, seriously. Oh I know, someone is thinking, "why don't you just get another job?" Well, I have a state job and I'm not giving up my benefits. Even if I could find another job working at the university (and allowing me to keep the benefits), I would not find one that allows me to set my own schedule around school and such. (I work a really odd schedule). SO...I can only hope for now that she quits (oh please, oh please, oh please) OR I win the Mega Million. I figure they both have about the same chance of happening so it's a toss-up.
My vacation was sooo wonderful. I know many people who say "how can you keep going back to Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg....there's not that much to do there". Well, not being a Dollywood person or liking country music, I could agree with you. But we've actually gotten to know some locals and we like seeing them every so often (which explains our day-trips out of the blue). And being a crafty kind of person, it is FULL of all kinds of shops that specialize in whatever craft you're looking for. I think you could find a shop with just about anything. I tend to migrate towards the needlework (needle punch/sewing), decorative painting, and just handmade home decor. I could LIVE in the 8-mile-loop Arts & Crafts Community. Yeah, really I think I could. And of course, it has my favorite little bistro/tearoom THE WILD PLUM with Kacy and all the girls. Did I tell you my husband is taking me there for Thanksgiving dinner this year? I am so excited! And not just because I don't have to cook! OK, and not because it get also gets me away from the in-laws. :) AND we're going back for Christmas dinner again this year on Dec. 12. (A combo of being a birthday/early Christmas gift for me).
Our cabin, "Splish Splash", was about 2 miles off the Pigeon Forge Parkway, behind the Dixie Stampede Dinner Theater. It has an indoor pool and great Smoky Mountain views since you have to drive uphill to get to it. But it's close to downtown Pigeon Forge too, just off the main highway, so you're right at town & close to anything. Yes, if we win the Mega Million, we've decided we're buying one of these places to own. Perfect size for just a getaway. I love the hot tub & I think ours here at home is the best thing we've bought, but I spent most of my time in the pool. Your very own pool in your cabin....how cool is that!
We had planned to eat our anniversary dinner at The Old Mill like we did last year, but the volume of food there is just enormous (even if it is delicious and yes, it is worth the 2 hour wait). So instead we went to PF Chang's in Knoxville. I LOVE PF Chang. I wish we had one around here, but the closest one to us is probably the one in Charlotte NC which I had eaten at before. My husband was in for a treat as he had never eaten at one before. It really is terrific food (even if pricey) and has a lovely atmosphere.
I couldn't believe how beautiful the trees were so early in October! Usually when we go down, the leaves are just turning a golden yellow and maybe some orange, but this year there was just a beautiful array of colors and crimson red too! Really, really beautiful driving through the Great Smoky Mountains!