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» Saturday, November 16, 2013Wings and Things
A great combo: a comfy bed! pillows that are actually perfect! What's to keep us from sleeping? Post-nasal drip, of course. Can't win. Several times in the night I also heard the dog's collar jingling. However, we discovered when the alarm went off at 8:30 that she had used the pee pad, and had not escaped (we put the crate backward in the doorway of the tiny bathroom, blocking the door, so she'd have some room. And this is the larger of the two bathrooms! This is definitely a small cabin.
We'd planned a slow day today, and decided to go over to the Tennessee Museum of Aviation after breakfast. There was a little diner just past the overpass near the entrance to where the cabin is located (we aren't isolated like last time; we are in a row of little cabins on a gravel road; the backs of the cabin face a little creek, with the buildings from Jack's Market in view through the mostly bare trees, and then the diner beyond that) where the local folks eat, Trish's Place. Small place, not even a dozen tables, and we spent part of our time watching the television perched in a corner showing an old Brady Bunch episode where Marcia gets braces. (Goodness, that child could whine!) Breakfast was delicious. I had French toast and three rashers of bacon with a glass of milk; it was cinnamon bread, light as a feather, and not heavily battered, with thin drips of maple syrup, and the bacon wasn't raw or burned, but just right and flavorful. James had biscuit and gravy and steak and eggs with hash browns. I had a little of the steak and it was very flavorful; he said the rest was quite good. We'll probably stick with that place for breakfast, except tomorrow, when they are closed.
The designated route to Sevierville is what we call "Glitter Gulch," the main drag through Pigeon Forge, which reminds me of International Drive in Kississimme: a long line of stores, restaurants, motels, play parks, and other tourist traps. Lots of cars and lots of traffic lights. Instead of going left and proceding via that route, we turned right, and then turned again on Tennessee 339, which was a pleasant country road with either farms or homes with large yards (some with chickens), and the occasional country woodcraft shop. Four miles longer, but much nicer to drive, with the mountains around us, and cows and horses grazing in the fields. And it was a lovely day after yesterday's rain, the clouds heading into the distance, leaving the sky washed bright blue with puffy white clouds.
We'd been to the TMOA back in 2007, but they had several new planes, including a Grumman Albatross painted in its sponsors' livery (Red Bull), in the hangar, along with several vehicles including a halftrack, a 1967 and 1958 Corvette (the '58 was a much classier looking car) and a 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe in a sea green. Very pretty car! This is the museum that has the exhibit about the Four Chaplains, which tale is told here, in an exhibit about the chaplain's role in wartime; unfortunately only the standing part of the exhibit was still in the museum; the actual artifacts are on loan to another museum. Naturally, there is large coverage of Tennessee participants in the military.
We finished via the gift shop ("it's a state law") after 12:30, and headed for lunch. We remembered eating at the Woodfire Grill Buffet last time, and that we had liked it (after we paid we realized, yeah, but it's really expensive!). They have a big variety of foods, including Asian and Hispanic, and an okay dessert bar. I just had some cake and brought my cookie home because I was full on pork and beef.
We had talked about going to WonderWorks, but reading more about it, it looks like it is really more for kids. Instead we found a flyer for somewhere called Parrot Mountain that is located right behind the parking lot for Dollywood. We asked the GPS the shortest way there, and boy, did it take us, up this curvy, narrow mountain road that would have given my Aunty Viola fits before we made it to a two-lane highway. Parrot Mountain is indeed on top of a mountain, and Twilight can attest to it. James had to nose the car on to an incline that looked like a seesaw in the down position, and then curve back and forth on the road up. The parking lot was on such a slope that when we got out of the car, we automatically stumbled a couple of steps downhill and had to catch ourselves! In fact, that's how the man who founded the place ended up with the land: no one wanted it because it was on such a steep slope!
What it is is a bird sanctuary for injured, surrendered and abused tropical birds, from cockatoos to macaws, all sorts of parrots to lorikeets, even a few finches and doves, and a small flock of peacocks. There is a little flight cage called The Secret Garden that you can walk into that has several kinds of birds, about half that I couldn't recognize; there was a kookaburra and a secretary bird, though! You could have your picture holding one of the big parrots or cockatoos in a central area, or could feed the lorikeets, but that cost extra and I didn't want to strain our budget. You could tell the birds who had been pets because they often talked or made human sounds, and some of them fluffed pleasantly when I talked to them, but except for the birds that posed with you or you fed, you could not touch them. At the very end they have some baby birds you can handle (after sanitizing your hands, of course), and I hoped they adopted them carefully after seeing that special on PBS earlier in the week (Parrot Confidential)! A cockatoo demanded that both James and I pet him (another one saw James petting him, so I had to pet the second one) and then I had a little parrotlet fascinated by my glasses and then crawling up my arm! Parrotlets are almost as cute as budgies.
And that was it, except for the gift shop ("it's a state law"). Most of the stuff could be found elsewhere, but we got a fridge magnet, and James bought me a photo frame that is three budgies and a Quaker parakeet (how he got in there, I have no idea) for my birthday. We finished by talking to the quartet of birds near the tables for the tiny cafe, and then we were lucky that one of the employees gave us a ride down in their cart, or we would have had to come down the steep hill we'd had to ascend to get in, a gift James was glad to accept.
It was only about 4 o'clock, but James was tired after coughing last night, so we headed back to the cabin. We had set up Willow's crate a little differently this morning, hoping to give her some more room, but when we opened the door, there she was wandering about. We didn't see any indiscretions, and she had used the pee pad again, so good for Miss Willow! James washed out the pad while I took her out, first around the back "yard" which is mostly unnavigable slope down to the creek, and then down the driveway to walk up and down the gravel road a bit. By the time we were done, James was too. We had a bit of a rest while looking for something to watch--is there nothing on Food Network but Guy Fieri?--and finally landed upon Coast Guard Alaska, which we watched while having some of our rotisserie chicken from Kroger along with rice pilaf and corn. For dessert we had some fudge cookies, and watched the end of The Spanish Main with Maureen O'Hara and Paul Henreid. Now going on to The Women, at least until James objects. :-)
[Later: We did watch The Women. I hadn't seen this in many years and had totally forgotten the color fashion show sequence. Really, who was going to wear some of that stuff, especially the "beach" clothing. Is this all rich women used to do, gossip about each other, get their nails done, exercise under a martinet, get their face done, and look at clothing? What a joyless, useless existence!]