I never go anywhere. I keep saying that, but in fact, I do get around. This past weekend instead of sitting around and doing nothing, we went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We knew we wanted to go in the fall and we really had no idea what the best time would be. We scheduled our trip around other obligations and things we wanted to do.

So, according to our calendars, this was the perfect weekend to go. We figured we would see some pretty trees and hoped for the best. We happened to pick the best weekend of the year. The trees were at their very best. The colors were vivid and the weather was beautiful. It was perfect.

We weren’t really picking our hotel for its AAA rating. We just wanted a hotel in downtown Gatlinburg so we could walk everywhere. The last time we went to Gatlinburg we had a wonderful cabin up on top of the mountain. It had a great view. It was horrible getting up and down the mountain because we thought we might go down the mountain really, really fast when we fell off the side of it. So, we opted for a more central location.

The hotel was centrally located and we were able to walk everywhere. I brought my computer because they advertised that they had Wi-Fi. The first night, I couldn’t get onto the network because they were full and too many people were trying to use it. The desk person suggested I sit closer to the window which was okay, but there were no plugs anywhere along that wall. At least I had the netbook which has a longer battery life. But I still couldn’t connect. I did manage to sometimes get online on Saturday.

There was a connecting door between our room and the one next door, but we had it securely locked. There were a bunch of kids in the next room. They were old enough to be loud but not young enough to cry and whimper all night. They tested the door to make sure they couldn’t move into our room to be loud, too. Luckily, they couldn’t.

There was lots of noise at the garbage receptacle during the middle of the night and I assumed it was garbagemen making an extra pickup or something. It disturbed my not sound sleep no matter what it was. In the morning we noticed lots of strewn trash and figured the garbage collectors were slobs. But no, when we talked to the woman at the desk, she told us that bears were looking for food. We don’t have that here at home.

We had a great day in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and walked about a zillion miles or so. The day was wonderful. I did notice that children who were not native English speakers and came from India or Pakistan or somewhere like that were very used to large crowds and had absolutely no compunction about pushing and shoving to get to wherever they wanted to be. I tried not to be too crabby about it and managed to never trip the little shits or push them back.

Back in our not five star hotel for a second night. We were once again playing Scatagories. Again, it was a bit difficult. There was a table and two chairs, but there was no lighting anywhere near it. There was no electrical outlet anywhere near where the table was. We pulled the table out, pulled the floor lamp over as far as the cord would reach, and we played our game in the glow of the distant lamp and the really neat gas fireplace. That was a nice touch.

After all our walking and shopping and being busy all day, we turned in early to sleep the sleep of the just. I had dozed off when this horrible racket from next door broke out. Because the walls were thin enough, we learned that the toilet had backed up and the repair guy was snaking out the toilet in the middle of our night. That was exciting, but he apparently got that fixed after 15 to 20 minutes.

Once again in the middle of the night, there was banging and clanging at the dumpster. There was also some growling going on. I was tempted to go out on the balcony and see if I could get a picture of the bear or bears looking for takeout. But it was too cold and I was too sleepy to get out of my nice warm bed and go out for a photo op.

All in all, our trip was a success. On the way home, there was one place where traffic moved slowly for about five miles or so. We never fully stopped. When we got the problem, there was a wreck on the other side of the road and we were going slow for the rubberneckers. A red pickup truck, a white pickup truck towing a camper, and a construction wall didn’t all agree with each other. The traffic on the other side of the road was at a standstill for several miles.

We had a great time. The weather was perfect. The trees were at their prettiest. Even today there were already spots where all the leaves had dropped. We managed to pick the right time and had a great weekend – all by chance.

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