so, we are back from our adventure in gatlinburg. the events that occurred during our stay have to be shared with you. they are pretty incredible.
it's monday morning at the lamb household, and of course everyone has waited until the last minute to pack. the washer and dryer are going and we are all scrambling around trying to find our stuff. mom has informed us that we are to leave by 11. HA. dad starts loading the van around 11, i think. pops tries to tell us to "consolidate" every time we travel. somehow that never quite registers and we end up with numerous bags that are half filled. oops. i will say that mom's suitcase, referred to as "big red", trumps all by taking up THE MOST SPACE. but somehow dad gets it all in two cars and we prepare to begin our journey. i think its around 12:30 by now.
we all elect to pass the time in different ways. not quite sure what pops and bro do in the "man" car, but i think that's better left a mystery. here is what my sisters choose to do most of the way:
this is how i choose to keep myself occupied:
our different options worked quite well for us, and we were all happy and content.
stopping at a cracker barrel has become a must on our family trips. i think we have the menu memorized. but cracker barrel is much more than the food. here are a couple of reasons why this store entertains me so much:
where else are you going to find a crazy looking stuffed duck, a frog driving a tractor, and a bronze pig with a butterfly on its nose???
after a great lunch, we all pile back into the cars and continue our journey. i hadn't been to gatlinburg in a while so i'd forgotten how windy the roads can be. slight nausea in the back of the van, people. had to put the mags down. AND BREATHE.
we arrive at our destination sometime in between 8 and 9 pm. the quaint little streets of the town are still filled with tourists and we are captivated by its overall cuteness (in spite of the rainy, cold weather). our hotel is filled with vintage and retro "charm". not at all like the places we are used to staying. one again, its an adventure.
the next morning we wake up to find it still wet and chilly. oh well. the adults (and bro) decide to go eat and tour the city while the sisters and i opt to stay in. free internet will keep us busy for a while. however, around mid afternoon, we decide that is crucial for us to find a tanning bed. so i get on the internet and call a few places. all of the numbers have been disconnected. UGH. not to be daunted, i go up to the front desk. the guy working there draws me a map to a local salon, and the girls and i head out (in the mini van) to find this place. we drive up to a shopping center next to food city only to see a dark building that looks vacant. there is a restaurant and a beverage store next door. we have to go in one of them to ask if the tanning bed is still open. we don't want to go into the restaurant because we aren't ordering anything, so we choose the beverage store. eeeeeeeeekkkkk! hoping that no one sees us go in, we dash inside, ask the lady behind the counter, who informs us that the tb has been shut down, and scamper back out. whew. mission accomplished. still determined to find one, we head up the road to pigeon forge. after a few more unsuccessful stops at gas stations to ask where one might be, we grab some mcdonalds and call it a day.
i mentioned earlier why we were in gatlinburg: the 2010 international santa claus convention was being held there and we were the entertainment. none of us new quite what to expect.when we headed over for the sound check, we started to get an idea of what this night was going to bring forth. but none of us were ready for the amazing outcome. here are some of the different santas that were in attendance:
isn't that incredible? have you ever seen that many santas in one place? and that wasn't even a fourth of them. there were around 500 santas that came to the convention!
as we are waiting backstage, the excitement is mounting. a room full of jolly old saint nick's AND their mrs. claus was almost surreal. when they announced our name and we walked out on stage the room erupted with "ho ho ho's" and bells jingling all over the place. i knew then that was going to be a night to remember.
the concert was a tremendous success. the interaction between us and the audience was electric. it's so much fun to be able to feed off of the crowd's energy. and boy were they into it! i wish i could put it into words, but it was truly indescribable. everyone was moved to tears. after the concert, all the santas wanted to take a picture with us. now i know what its like for them every christmas! they were so kind and gracious, and about two hours later, everyone had their picture.
during the photo session, the dj that was hired for the event started playing some tunes. this was, afterall, the jingle bell ball. have you ever seen santa do the "cha cha slide"? i have. have you ever seen santa dance to "play that funky music white boy"? i have. have you ever seen santa slow dance with mrs. claus to "lady in red"? i have.
after the concert we were wound up. the emotional high was unparalleled. i kept thinking to myself, i don't deserve a life as great as this.
i didn't forget the mask. i'm telling you, this stuff works great! here is a little visual:
on the way home, i decided that i needed something else to keep me busy. once again, cracker barrel came through:
dr. quinn, sully, and i had a very nice trip home.
God has blessed us far beyond what we deserve. the opportunities we have to share our music are once in a lifetime experiences. the santas touched our hearts in an unforgettable way. their love for the people around them is inspiring. we all need to be more like santa.
song for the day:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe1ScoePqVA