Shopping and Fun – Smokey Mountain Style

We will be spending the next several days in and around Pigeon Forge goofing off and being tourists.  The heat and humidity are high, so air conditioning is at a premium.  My lovely GPS is taking us around the back roads and byways so we are getting to see more of the rural lifestyle as well as test out the rental car’s steering and braking capacity.

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The first order of the day was, of course, shopping.  I was quite impressed by the shops we stopped at.  This is the tourist capital of the south so I was expecting overwhelming amounts of new stuff.  The shops we went to, however, were primarily vintage with a really good selection.  Primitive, modern, cheap, expensive, classy and tacky were all represented.  We managed to buy enough to fill a box this time, but nothing really outstanding.  My favorite item of the day is this Horse Breyer Ding Co.  I have seen many misspellings of Breyer over the years, but it is a challenge to misspell ‘molding’.

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We did one outdoor flea market – I don’t know how those vendors can handle it int the heat and humidity!  It was mostly made in China junk, but there were a few vintage vendors.  Most disappointing was that the vintage stuff was all outside under the shade of a few roofing overhangs.  Not much to buy, but the inadvertent juxtapositions could be hilarious.  Elvis being attacked by a dinosaur could really describe much of this area in general.

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After a quick lunch and a top-secret meeting, we were on to some true tourism.  Goats!!! On The Roof!!!  Is a multi-enjoyment business where you can feed goats, buy souvenirs, pan for gemstones, eat shave-ice and ride an amazingly fun gravity coaster down the mountainside.  Whoever came up with this idea was crazy-good.  The place had a constant parade of people through, and everyone had to do several of the activities available.  We had so much fun we rode the coaster twice!  We also found some can’t leave behind souvenirs (great prices) and enjoyed the porch swing and shave ice relaxation.

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I had a very hard time picking a picture for this activity.  I have read many so-bad-its-good reviews of the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, and being a fan of kitschy stuff it sounded right up my alley.  Well, it may have fallen from grace of late, because evidently they no longer have enough money to light the gol-dang dinosaurs!  We spent at least 90% of the ride in complete darkness.  I understand the need for low, dramatic lighting to hide some of the ticky-tacky cost-cutting measures, but this was beyond the ridiculous in poor showmanship.  I was ready for a hilarious bad time, and just ended up bored.  Unless they can replace some light bulbs, I advise skipping on to the next tourist trap.

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To end on a brighter note, two thumbs up to the Pottery and Christmas Super Outlet Store!  I loved their signage to attract attention and bring people in (Dolls!!! Knives!!!).  They had an amazing back room with new-old stock plastic serving pieces from the 1980s with the eye-searing color combinations of pink, teal and purple with deco alligators, sunglasses and suits with shoulder pads galore!  Dinner at Shoney’s (of course) and back to the room to prepare for another fun-filled day tomorrow!  See you later, alligator!

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