Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Travel to Tennessee - Thursday night, February 17 to Fri. afternoon, Feb. 18, 2011

Long flights, ugh. Our flight left Hawaii Thursday at 7:10 pm and arrived in Houston, Texas at 6:30 am, a half hour ahead of schedule. (That's 2:30 am Hawaii time!) After a three-hour layover, we boarded our flight for Knoxville, TN. Arrival in Knoxville, TN was 1:00 pm (8:00 am Hawaii time). That meant we traveled for 13 hours.

I don't sleep well on planes, so I think I ended up with approximately three hours sleep in 13 hours. I admit I'm a map geek, so while I was sitting awake on the plane trying to sleep, I watched the little airplane on the overhead screen fly over the ocean, then the Salton Sea, Chocolate Mountains, Gila Bend, Casa Grande. It finally got light just outside El Paso, TX, so I could look out the window at the desolate scenery.

In Houston, there weren't too many choices in our terminal for breakfast. Bob didn't eat and I ended up with a scrambled egg and bacon sandwich on a sourdough bun. Not so good. Blah!

We were happy to get to the Tyson McGhee Airport south of Knoxville, get a rental car and be on our way to Gatlinburg. We made one stop in Marysville at AAA to get maps, brochures and discounted tickets to the Biltmore Estate in NC and the Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN. Travel Bug in her element!

I have to make a comment here about driving through Pigeon Forge, TN. I had been warned that Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area is a huge tourist trap. Ohmygosh, I had no idea.

Pigeon Forge is wall-to-wall attractions for about two miles--miniature golf, laser tag, 3-D rides, raceways, bowling, Zorb, roller skating, fun parks, dinner shows, pancake houses (never saw so many pancake houses in one place in my life), buffet restaurants, bumper cars, fudge, water slides, cotton candy, souvenir shops, magic shows, museums, gem mines, gospel shows, country western music shows, wedding chapels, and on and on.

At some point on Friday afternoon, we drove through the town of Gatlinburg just to see what was there. (Our timeshare was at the first turn-off, so we didn't see the town right away.) Gatlinburg is similar to Pigeon Forge but on a smaller scale--everything is crammed into a smaller area. There are a number of Ripley's Believe-it-or-Not attractions, including a large Aquarium. Ober Gatlinburg is a cable car ride up the mountain to another recreation area with an indoor ice skating rink. The town was packed wall-to-wall with people. Apparently a Christian convention was in town for President's Day weekend.

Once we got to our time share, we unpacked. We had dinner at a nice restaurant. I had salad and chili. Bob had a salad and teriyaki chicken.

After dinner, grocery shopping. I was exhausted. Bob was okay because he had no trouble sleeping on the planes.

For me, it was time to collapse in the room.

That was it. Day over.

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