So...we went shopping! Now, Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge aren't "our" kind of places, actually. They're best for young families...the kind that have kids who enjoy lots of miniature golf, dinner shows, Wonderworks, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not, etc. But, Gatlinburg does have an 8-mile loop off of it's main road that is called Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community that has about 120 artists from the local Appalachian Mountains. Wonderful drive and terrific artists! We found a great wedding present for our nephew and his bride-to-be this fall. I think something "hand-made" is so much more special than what anyone can buy at a commercial store, don't you? All the artists were in homes, tucked in along the creek & trees, it was a lovely drive and so nice to be away from the main road that screamed "tourist $$!"
|Outside one of the artist's shops
Our next visit was to Knoxville. Very different! It was so much more metropolitan, and no "screaming tourist $$!" at you! Nice. Hard to find parking tho...But we managed. We had read about a noon radio show being broadcast at their Visitor Center downtown, called the "Blue Plate Special", so we headed to that as soon as we got settled. Good thing we got there at 11:30, because the place was filling up fast! Two groups were playing that day, both bluegrass groups (we love bluegrass!) but get this, one was from Sweden and the other from Iceland! I guess "the world" loves bluegrass! Each group played for about a half hour, and they were each great! What a treat! Jack spoke with the banjo player from Dunderhead (Sweden) and asked him what got him interested in playing bluegrass & banjo, he said he heard Earl Scruggs when he was 7 years old, and after that, started looking for a banjo in Sweden! Wow, amazing, huh?
|Arstioir, from Iceland
We also made a stop at the Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville. They had a wonderful exhibit called "Voices of the Land" that had everything from the Civil War with a cabin you could walk into, right up to an 1800's trolley and pharmacy with a soda fountain you could walk into. Lots of recordings of people and experiences, crossing through the Cumberland Gap, the music, just about everything. Very nicely done.
|Virginia Road Wagon
|"Betsy", David Crockett's First Rifle
|"My People" (sister, niece, brother, cousins)
|Dolly's "coat of many colors" in her Chasing Rainbows Museum
|The make-up spot in Dolly's Home-on-Wheels
|Dolly's Childhood Home
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/