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PTR: Dave & Falafel Go To Dollywood!


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Before we begin, let's review the Dave's Rules Of Engagement For His PTRs:

 

- I like to write, earn a living from it, and think more people should read. So there will likely be more words than you are used to. Think of it as an educational opportunity.

 

- I will likely say something that will confuse and/or offend you during this report, unless the same random crap that rattles around inside my head all day long as does it in yours. In the immortal words of Tom Servo, "deal with it, pink boy!". Anyway, I apologize in advance.

 

- I suck at taking pictures. However, Falafel is quite good at it. So if you see a good picture in this report, Falafel took it. If the picture looks like it was taken by a sea monkey full of crack, then it's mine.

 

Anyway...let's begin!

 

So Falafel (aka My Partner In Crime) and I spent much of the winter discussing taking some trips to parks. Most of these are local, but we decided that we'd like to take an extended trip, as it would give us more time to be idiots together (trust me, nothing entertains us more. As she has said "nothing cracks up Dave & Falafel like Dave & Falafel!"). We wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had ever been before, and we settled on Dollywood. This is a park that I have wanted to visit for quite some time, so I was cool with this. We decided to make a long weekend out of it, and check out some of the other stuff in the area. For a time, I wasn't sure that this was going to happen, as Falafel has a social schedule that rivals many global leaders, and I spend much of my time visiting doctors in an attempt to be able to see properly again. But we finally were able to do this the last weekend of May.

 

So after getting up really early, meeting at the Baltimore airport, and enjoy a breakfast of champoins (Auntie Anne's soft pretzels), we flew down to Nashville. We drove from there to the Dollywood area, amusing each other with random stories and spotting of odd roadside attractions. Oh, and breakfast at Cracker Barrel, which TN seems to be full of.

 

Hours later, we arrived in Gatlinburg, which is an interesting town. It's a lot nicer than I thought it would be, and is full of all sorts of tourist traps, many of which have the name "Ripley's" attached to them. The area is also full of sword and knife stores, which endlessly fascinated me (seriously, how many places do you need to buy swords from?!?). Our main objective was Ober Gatlinburg and the alpine slide, but we found some other cool stuff to do.

 

Anyway, enough of my yammering, let's go to the visuals!

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Returning to the bottom, where we will head for out next adventure! But what will it be?!? Well, you'll have to stay tuned for the next update, which will happen later tonight, as I have to head out to assist someone at a book signing, which should hopefully involve alcohol at some point. Thanks for viewing!

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Going back down the mountain. We pretty much just did the alpine slide, got some drinks, and moved on.

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More scenery

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Wait, we can be eaten by bears?!? Why the hell are we riding the alpine slide?!? Honestly, the slide is not all that great. It was fun, but I doubt I'd go up here again. This whole place is kind of strange, with a bunch of odd attractions that don't seem to go together, like live bears and ice skating. Though bears with chainsaws ice skating and chasing kids would be kind of cool.

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Why use nature when you can use a machine? (yes, this is one of those things that will make no sense to anyone. Just move along to the next one, i say).

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We totally thought about buying this house, since we could put up random signs to delight and confuse people riding past. Or put on shark-related puppet shows for them on the deck. We're always thinking of ways to entertain America!

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Some random houses in the mountains

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Falafel fulfills the fantasy of all the "part of the window in the photo" enthusiasts out there with this picture. You can thank her by sending me money. I promise to use some of it to buy her chicken nuggets or something. Seriously, I really will...

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That crisis averted, let's return to the scenic views already in progress...

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Here's Falafel enjoying the ride up to the top of the mountain, and...HOLY CRAP, THAT CRAZY OLD WOMAN IS GOING TO SHOVE HER FINGER INTO YOUR EAR!!! RUN FOR YOU LIFE!!!!

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To get to the alpine slide, you need to take the cable car to the top. This gives you lots of great views of the Smokey mountains and other cool scenery.

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After a long drive and breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we have arrived at our first stop: Ober Galtinburg! Falafel is excited to be here! Actually, she's just happy to get out of the car and not hasve to listen to my pointless yammering for a few minutes...

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Second place was the Gold Plated Hard Drive. Because your gigs of spam emails and goat porn cannot be housed in anything shabby like a regular hard drive...

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And the winner is...a clock that tells you the day of the week! Yeah, this says a lot about our society. Sadly.

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So what to do on the plane?!? Why look through the Sky Mall magazine, of course! And not only look through it, but play my favorite airplane game, "Find The Absolute Dumbest Thing In The Sky Mall Magazine". Which can be challenging, as it's full of useless crap.

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Southwest to Nashville. I haven't been on Southwest in awhile, and the new line up policy is about a billion times better than the old one. Seat assignments would still be better, though.

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Crappy pic that Falafel took showing what ungodly hour she had to get out of bed. But she was meeting up with me, so that should have made it better, right? Right?!? Yeah, I'm amazed she showed up too...

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These Gatlinburg are awesome! Most people stop in Pigeon Forge and never go through the wild hairpin-turn-ridden journey to Gatlinburg!

 

Ober Gatlinburg is a "been there already" place. One time is more than enough. I describe it as being an A.T.T.S.S. (Advanced Tourist Trap Stuck in the Seventies).

 

Nice trip report.

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Before we begin, let's review the Dave's Rules Of The area is also full of sword and knife stores, which endlessly fascinated me (seriously, how many places do you need to buy swords from?!?).

 

What you do not know is that there is a large ninja population that hideout in the Smoky Mountains and lets face it, ninjas love to bargain shop.

 

Seriously, I have no clue while there are so many of those stores. You don't hear a lot about crimes associated with throwing stars or numchucks on the local news here, so I don't know who is supporting these businesses.

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Tell me you went to the fudge shoppe. The fudge shoppe rocks. Oh! did I mention they make their own fudge?

 

FUDGE i TELLS YA! FUDGE!

 

Oh, way funny trip report! Nice of you to let Falafel out of her social calender every once in a while.

 

I anxiously await Pt. Deux.

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*wipes tears away * christ on a bike it's true. no one cracks up Dave and Falafel like Dave and Falafel. I thought i was gonna be a goner for sure with that old lady in the sky-trammy-thingy. Dave forgot to mention that the house we wanted to buy to put on shark based puppet shows is in fact a full size re-creation of the Barbie Dream Home. Only i hope not a straight up recreation, because i'm pretty sure that That one was a three story house with only one bathroom that only had a sink and tub in it anyhow. Of course, as someone pointed out, why would a person with no genitals need a toilet?

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Yeah, Ripley's seems to pretty much own Gatlinburg. They're in Williamsburg too, and I fully expect them to own the entire world by Christmas.

 

Any TR with Dave and Falafel bears watching, especially by bears with chainsaws.

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hanks for the comments so far. They are appreciated. Don't worry, there will be more references to carnivorous bees and other awesome stuff as the report goes on. And people that are intrigued by shark-related puppet shows really need to pay attention to our nonsense. That's all I'm saying...for now.

 

OK, time for Part 2 - Random Fun In Gatlinburg!!!

 

So after conquering Ober Gatlinburg, we decided to walk into town and check out some stuff. Falafel had done some research on two different mini-golf places that looked interesting, and one of them was not far from our current location. While walking there, we spotted a chairlift, and decided that we had to ride it on the way back to the car (we both are chairlift enthusiasts). Hmm, maybe we should make an organization, American Chairlift Enthusiasts (ACE). We could charge people money for an outdated magazine, hold overpiced conventions, have buffets with cannons that would shoot gravy at you while you're riding chairlifts during ECT (Exclusive Chairlift Time) and collect money for a Chairlift Museum that we really, seriously, oh so honestly swear we're going to build someday. In Ohio. Since Ohio is filled with mountains and all. But I digress...

 

Anyway, the evening was filled with mini-golf, a chairlift ride, nature, and some surprises, which I'll get to below. We had a really good time in Gatlinburg, and we would like to go back there some time and spend more time in the Smokey Mountains National Park.

 

Anyway, enough of my yammering, let's go to the visuals!

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And before retiring for the night, it's time for some awesome cuisine! Thus concludes Part Two of our amazing adventures! Up next: our day at Dollywood. Thanks for viewing, and while waiting for Part Three tomorrow, why not enjoy some tasty cheese? I personally am going to be enjoying an ambien in a few minutes, but that's just me...

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It's The Miracle Theater! We didn't see this, but since the bible has all sorts of stories about Jesus loving the show tunes, I'm sure it's awesome entertainment. Especially if it includes the part where Jesus fights the penguins, which is often ignored by biblical scholars...

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And what is this glowing building?!?

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Back to Pigeon Forge, for our first night at the awesome Holiday Inn Express. Had to make a couple of stops first. You know you're in a quality area when this is the sort of vehicle you park next to at Walgreen's.

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"About that time, the Duke boys had killed just about everyone in Hazzard county" - If you know where this is from, I will buy you a cookie (NOTE: said cookie can only be redeemed on a TPR trip that I am also on. Good luck!)

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Just down the road a bit is Cooter's, which we had to stop at so Falafel could buy some gifts. I will admit, when I first heard the word "cooter" this was not what I was hoping for...

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Overall, Hillbilly Golf was fun, but it seemed like the designers ran out of ideas about Hole #16 or so, as it pretty much became "hit the ball in a straight line" at that point. Still, it's worth a visit, because again...FUNICULAR!!!

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Through the wagon!

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Seriously, if you just added a milkshake machine to this place, it would really look like Joe's neighborhood.

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I include this photo to illustrate the fact that Falafel shot THE GREATEST GAME OF MINI-GOLF I HAVE EVER WITNESSED. Seriously, I think she got at least six holes in one, and in general just smoked me the whole time. I bow to you, oh awesomegirl.

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A hole based around some sort of dangerous farm equipment?!? It's like the designer speaks to my soul. It would be better if it was running and occasionally chased kids around the place, of course. Which totally sounds like something you'd see at Tokyo Train Station. Only with more fire and carnivorous bees riding on the backs of rabid badgers carrying flame throwers.

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Falafel is somewhat concerned as to whether or not I'll obey the sign, but she has nothing to worry about. Unless she starts professing her previously unrevealed love of American Idol...

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What?!? Really?!? Well, OK, then. I guess any club weilding maniac will be totally put off by these signs.

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Another multi-level hole that you get to shoot through a tree. And more stairs for me to fall on. Mini-golf rules!

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Not as well themed as the last place, but still pretty cool, with some challenging multi-level holes.

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So we drove down the road a bit to our next destination - Hillbilly Golf! This was another place Falafel had found on the internet before our departure, and it looked like it would be fun. Plus, you get to ride a Funicular up the hill to the course, so that pretty much makes this place kick ass already.

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Cool little creek area near where we parked out car.

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MySpace!

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Back down the hill for further adventures.

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One of the most stunning and amazing views ever. Oh, and the smokies are kind of impressive too...

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We managed to survive the groundhog-induced carnage, and took a photo to celebrate.

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This photo was taken moments before he fired up his laser eyes and layed waste to the place. Laser-beamed eyed groundhogs are just not to be trusted...

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OK, this is one of the many reasons why Falafel is the most amazing woman ever. We spot the groundhog dude here, and she immediately launches into "The Groundhog Song". Since she made it up at that exact moment, there's no way that she would be able to recreate it ever, but trust me, it was godly. I really need to carry a video camera with us at all times to capture moments like this. We could market a DVD series of The Adventures Of Dave & Falafel. It would kick the ass of the Time/Life Super '70's Explosion thing they're always selling on late night TV. And would likely feature more explosions...

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Falafel is most excited to be hanging out up here.

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There's a gift shop at the top (complete with knives), and an area to check out the scenic view. Again, lots of cool scenery at the top of these places.

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Random chairlift time!

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The last couple of holes were themed around the old Gatlinburg jail. This was the theme for the last hole. The ultimate penalty, I suppose...

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Another random shot of the place

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PENALTY! Seriously, she knocked her ball about three holes down. I was amused. Of course, I almost killed myself about a billion times walking up and down stairs, so she had plenty of opportunity to laugh at my misfortune.

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Falafel lines up a shot

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More random stuff on and around the course.

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Falafel and I love mini-golf. She can hardly contain her excitement. And she always wears awesome t-shirts too!

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So we decided to play another course while we were here. The place had two courses up on the hill, and we chose to do the more "fun" one. Besides being the normal mini-golf fun, each hole also had a plaque that told you a little history of the Gatlinburg area. So it was educational. And themed pretty nicely, as you can see here.

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Falafel approves of the shark-themed hole. Overall, this wasn't the greatest mini-golf course ever, but it was a fun gimmick for a nine hole course.

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Oh yes! The last hole requires you to shoot the ball into the shark's mouth. This is so awesome.

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I once knew a girl with a similar tattoo

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Octupus. Between being in my presence and this, Falafel was soooooo turned on. Trust me. She even thought about revoking her restraining order against me for almost a minute.

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Eel that really looks like he's wearing a fish as a hat. Perhaps he's making a fasion statement. And that statement would likely be, "I'm drunk most of the time".

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Mermaid. She has boobs. That's all that matters.

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Seriously, this place had better security than most banks. You had to go buy a token, then take the token over to another building, and then put the toekn in a machine, and walk through a rotating gate. This was almost more than the two of us could figure out. But at least they're likely keeping the secrets of their black light mini-golf out of the hands of random spies.

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OK, so first up was a mini-golf place that Falafel had found on the internet. It promised Black Light Golf, which according to the site is "the future of mini-golf". I'm not sure if it is indeed the future, since this technology is only slightly younger than Jeff Johnson, but it was still fun. Once we figured out how to get into the place.

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And this was our fine rental vehicle for the weekend (well, not this one exactly, but a google images approximation). We both found the name "Vibe" funny, and kept applying the word "anal" to the front of it, as it made it funnier. This is the sort of game you can play at home if you like. You have our permission.

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OK, first I have to take care of some business that should have been covered in the last part. First, a shout out to my GPS, which Falafel dubbed "Squawky", since it yells at you when you don't follow it's directions. Seriously, it says "recalculating" in such an annoyed manner, you'd swear we were related! It rules.

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"About that time, the Duke boys had killed just about everyone in Hazzard county"

 

Hmm--sounds like MST3K to me, but I can't place which episode.

 

The blacklight mini-golf looks cool. I can never convince my friends who live in the Smokies to do any of this stuff (mini-golf, Dollywood, etc.). But they always want to go, sigh, hiking . . .

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"About that time, the Duke boys had killed just about everyone in Hazzard county"

 

Hmm--sounds like MST3K to me, but I can't place which episode.

 

It is indeed a MST3K quote! Chuck wins a cookie. You can collect during the Europe trip whenever you see one. Or just steal one from Lou.

 

dt

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