Archive for June 2016

Gatlinburg, TN – Part Two Vacation 2016

This vacation was spent mainly relaxing and just enjoying the fact that I did not have a schedule to keep or plans.  We hit some of the highlights (mentioned in the first post) and after that we just spent time bumming around the little shops, eating, and relaxing in the motel room.

We spent Thursday out and about.  We went through the motor tour around Gatlinburg (stop light #8), that went through the mountains.  We were attempting to do a little hiking to see Roaring Fork Falls.Did find out that to get a spot to park along the trail, it will need to be something accomplished earlier in the morning.  There were people EVERYWHERE!!  No place to park or get off the road in order to go hiking, though some cars were just randomly off in the woods…hopefully they were able to get out when they were ready to leave.  The drive was beautiful, we did one stop at a look out that had a spot available, and the rest we just drove and looked for bear — didn’t see any <sad face>.

Things that were learned.  If you get to Gatlinburg early enough you can park along the back street and not have to pay for parking.  They do have parking lots available, and you can leave your car there all day (from 6:00 am – 2:00 am), the lots range from $5-$8 per day parking.  The strip is easily maneuvered and you can walk everywhere.  The pedestrians have the ‘ride-a-way’ when you’re driving but be extra careful when walking because not all cars abide by the rules.

Thursday (6/23) we had Five Guys and then went back to Luigi’s for Gyro’s that night.  Picked carmelcorn up at the Carmelcorn store. <hehe>  The patrons of the store were not very happy to be serving the public, maybe they had just had a crazy day; I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and go back when we visit again.

Friday (6/24) morning dawned bright and clear, though there had been a rain storm the night before – evidenced by the high muddy river running in front of our motel.  We hit the Donut Friar up for some more glazed croissants and Bavarian pillows.  The Donut Friar was located in an area called “The Village“, a very neat grouping of little shops that was across from our motel.  Then of course it was Starbucks to the rescue for some caffeine.  The guy taking our order told KJ she would be able to cover the cost of our $968 (random number…I didn’t need that much caffeine) order because of the NBA or washing the dishes, she gently rolled her eyes and asked later why her height made people think she played basketball.  And also verified that out of the two options she would be washing dishes <hehe>.   We then started our trip home.

We (meaning I) did research prior to the trip and found a list of restaurants from the Guy Fieri Food Network Show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  We picked Cafe Rakka in Hendersonville, TN to stop on the way home and grab some lunch.  WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!!  The food was amazingly good.  KJ was making comments about how they don’t advertise that Guy had been there…I gently pointed out the massive poster hanging on the wall.  We then noticed a “Guy was Here” signature by the door.  The atmosphere was good and the staff was friendly.  Well worth the stop.

Made it home, after going back over the creepy narrow bridges just east of Sikeston, MO.  It was a great time, and very relaxing.

Gatlinburg, TN – Vacation 2016

This year I scaled back some on my vacation plans, 2015 I went across Utah and Arizona, this year I opted to go within driving distance and still see some mountains.  The mountains are vastly different, they are green with trees on them; whereas last year it was all brown and stark.

Since we are/did drive, me and google maps are working on our relationship.  Sometimes she thinks she is funny when she states things such as, “You are on the fastest route despite traffic”.  But then she often tells me to have a good day.  At least I have kept cell service and radio stations throughout the vacation…unlike last year.

So far we have had a travel day, with a stop at a very sketchy gas station that had coin machines on the wall with an array of items.  They have either banned these machines in MO or I haven’t been in such fine establishments lately. <hehe>  KJ opted to stay in the car with the doors locked.  I do give kudos to TN for their rest areas, they are large, well lighted, and have a lot of information.  They make up for the questionable gas stations along the way…they just need to put gas pumps in so you can get/do everything in one stop.

Wednesday we spent the day bumming around Gatlinburg.  We went to the aquarium, I loved it!!!  They have a tunnel that you walk through that allows you do go under all the fish and see them up close and personal.  There was a window washer, washing the inside of the glass in a scuba suite. (LOL). It was well worth the money, and we went early enough that there was somewhat of a crowd, but not overbearing.  Me, nor KJ, are fond of crowds and we can only enjoy being around people for so long at a time.

After the aquarium, we headed down the strip and went to the Star Cars Museum.  KJ is a car lover and this did not disappoint.  They had cars that were well known enough that anyone could enjoy the museum, but cool enough that those that are really into it were impressed.

We then took in Ripley’s Believe it or Not, it was interesting but not recommended for small children.  There was a lot of reading required, not just something you can walk through and grasp without reading several plaques with a lot of info.  The last couple of rooms were interactive and a lot more fun than the first half.  I of course stepped on a bridge that ‘collapsed’ and gave everyone a good laugh.

We relaxed in the motel then walked around the village that is across from our motel picking up some donuts at the Donut Friar, then ice cream at Kilwins, where they make their own ice cream.  Yelp is my friend!

Yelp also helped us find our pizza place for take out our first night here, Luigis.  They had quick delivery time and the food was very good.  KJ had a gyro that she deemed “as good as the place across from the Fox theater”.  My pizza was tasty and made for good left overs.

It’s been a great relaxing time away so far.  Looking forward to today and getting some sunshine time in.  Our motel has a private balcony that looks out over the mountains, very relaxing and nice place to stay.

Until later…ERM

Old…fat…learning to be

So many things have happened over the past two months.  I had a birthday on April 19, I’m getting very close to the middle age status and have yet to accomplish much.  I have a goal to lose weight before my next birthday, and it is proving to be a lot harder than anticipated.  Since hitting 35 it has become harder and harder to get weight off…though I eat fruit and veggies and exercise, it still plateaus.  I am going to need to have my jaw wired shut. <hehe>.  My neurologist is not going to be happy with me, I’m getting close to my six month check-up and our goal was that I would be exercising three times a week, not happening. <boo>  I’m attempting to be a better patient.  Learning to be and make time for myself to become the best me that I can be.

We had a visit from CMS (Medicare/Medicaid)/State the past couple of months…it’s amazing how often you are required to wash your hands when dealing with a patient.  I will need a second layer of skin.  But hey, we passed inspection!!  Through it all I was learning to be the best person possible, and how to give the best patient care possible.  I worked on the floor for four days straight, I haven’t worked the floor “full time” since July 2014.  It was interesting and different than the ER.  I love the continued patient care and interaction with families.  But through the stress of working the floor, that I haven’t been on for over a year, and having state watch my every move…I was learning to be.  Learning to be the best I can.  Learning to be the person I need to be.

Summer has hit hard and hot.  We had a great spring, with rain and cool temps, then we woke up this week and it’s hot enough to melt your face off.  Attempting to be outside more than five minutes can cause one to turn into a puddle of water.  That’s hard on an old fat person…being able to move, breath, and function can be a challenge. <LOL>

So many things have happened.  So many things that I have had to roll with.  Learn from.  Do I always succeed?  NO.  I have a ‘scapegoat” that I vent to, go off on, and whine to when things do not always go as I think they should.  Is that right?  NO.  I am trying to be a better person, learn to roll with the punches and just be.  I don’t always portray the perfect christian attitude, I can sometimes be found without a smile on my face.  I owe this person my kidney basically…or something of equal or greater value.  She deserves it and so much more.

This is a major Hodge-poge of “things”…but it’s what is on my mind as I sit at home on a Friday night after an eventful day.  Life is good…though I’m old, fat, and learning to be.

ERM