Friday, May 4, 2012

Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, Lunch w/the Mayor,+

     0n Monday we went to the to the Rainforest Adventures Zoo in Pigeon Forge. It is a small mostly indoor zoo with many small animals. There are a few larger animals outside. It was ok. Then we traveled about 2 miles to play two rounds of miniature golf. We played at Old McDonald. It was a lot of fun and a nice sunny day to be outside.
      On Tuesdays we went to Biltimore with two bus loads of Dollywood employees. Dollywood had a deal where we paid $20. each for the bus ride and entry into Biltmore. Biltmore is about 80 miles from here. The cost of entry is $69. or an online special for $59.  So the $20. deal was super, it would take almost that in fuel to drive there and back. What a fabulous "house", if you can call a place with 255 rooms a house. It was the greatest house we ever toured. We could not get over the opulences of this house. It sits on 8000 acres of land that the Vanderbilt's owned. Today it is still owned by the family. We were told it takes 1800 employees to maintain the estate, gardens, tours, advertising,shops, dinning, shuttles from the different parking lots etc., etc.We were disappointed that we could not take any pictures inside. I could see why, as there were 100s of visitors there, and if each one stop a few seconds longer to snap a picture it would really slow things down. We did rent the audio tour headsets, which were great and explained a lot about architecture and the art work in the house. This is one of those great experiences you can't explain. It's like seeing the Grand Canyon or the giant Redwoods, you have to see it in person to truly feel the experience. There is also a winery there that had some excellent wines. According to their sign, it is the most visited winery in the country. We only got to spend about 15 minutes there, but did have time to sample a few wines.
   The following day we had several hail storms. Wow is it loud in an RV when pea size and slightly larger hail is hitting the roof. About 6-7 miles from here, in Gatlinberg  they had tennis size hail. On the news that evening they showed many pictures of busted windshields in cars. We are glad for the pea size hail after seeing those pictures.
    on Wednesday we took a trip to Knoxville. We went to the Knoxville Zoo. There were many empty exhibit with sign saying the animals were elsewhere. The place is somewhat in need of much updating. The walkways had a lot of uneven surfaces due to tree roots growing under them. This is unsafe walking for anyone. they are doing some renovations and adding some new features. They need a large endowment from someone. First off we parked in the lower parking lot with NO signs directing you to the entrance. We walked around with several other people looking where to go. The tram wasn't running, and when we found the path to take, it was at least a 1/4 to1/3 mile uphill to the entrance. I felt bad for all the young mothers pushing strollers up that hill. Next we went to a Barnes and noble so Linda could download some book. She is a very avid reader and reads at least 1 or 2 books a week. She downloaded 10 books and used up the last of her gift cards. We do use our hometown library to download some books, it is a great deal.
     Then we had lunch with the Mayor of Knoxville. It wasn't planned and just one of those things when you have to be in the right place at the right time.  We went to  Palace Pizza shop that was featured on Dinners, Drive ins and Dives on the food network. We enjoy that program and when in a new area we go to the Triple D website and see if any of the featured restaurants are in that area. It is a drive-in with only 8 seats inside. The seats are at a bar looking outside. A well dressed group of men came in after we sat down and ordered and one of them sat in the seat next to Linda. Turns out he is the mayor of Knoxville. Unfortunately for him, he didn't carry on much of a conversation with us, he was to busy conferring with his associates. It was his loss. Back to the Palace Pizza shop. It was a very good pizza, made from scratch. Been there for 50 years with the family secrets for their sauce etc. It was overloaded with cheese and very good. I can't say it was the best pizza we ever had, but a new triple D restaurant we can cross off our list. They  said the pizza was made from scratch so Linda spent several hours the next day looking for "scratch" in several grocery stores. Oh well.
     We hope you like the look of our pictue collages. If you click on them, they will enlarge. On our computer they enlarge to the size of the screen without cutting anything off. I was told on some computers they enlarge greater then the screen and you have to scroll  either left to right and up and down.
Dressed  for Success
 The Pizza Palace



  1. You both look too cute in "dressed for success" and yes, it sure was the mayor's lose not to open a conversation with you guys.

  2. I'm so glad we did Biltmore back in 1994. As great as the place is, and as much as we enjoyed it, I don't think I can justify that $69/person entrance fee; especially since no photos are allowed inside (they weren't back in '94 either).