Sunday, August 20, 2006

Home Safe

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We made it home around 1:00 this morning. The boys roused slightly as we delivered them to their beds, but were up bright and bushy tailed at 6:45 excitedly talking about when they could once again play the computer and video games they missed while we were away. M-0-m-m-y needs c-o-f-f-e-e.

I slept through most of the evening portion of our drive, but awakened with a start just blocks from home. I opened my eyes and got a glimpse of some tail lights and thought we were about to crash. Nothing big or important flashed through my mind, just a hysterical "Oh, shit!" I kinda freaked DH out. Maybe the mountain air affected me, but I had odd dreams throughout our vacation- like one in which Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor e-mailed me to suggest that he was possibly my father. I remember sorting through facts like that I resemble my brother and well as my father's mother and e-mailing Mr. Keillor back that I doubted he was my father, but perhaps he would like to check out my blog.

After a dreamy and dream-filled week in the Smoky Mountains everything sort of blurred together, but I can share some details of yesterday's drive from Gatlinburg.

On our way from Gatlinburg to the interstate, we stopped at the World's Largest Knife Shop and Craporium. They have knives for every occasion- whittling, fish gutting, deer skinning and maybe more nefarious acts. Like some of the cheesy Gatlinburg shops they also sell a variety of swords, all of which the boys coveted. However, the Gatlinburg shops also sold things like bongs and brass knuckles. The Craporium may have had knuckles too, but definitely no bongs. It's a family-friendly shop with an extensive housewares section (presumably for Mom) as well as a kids section with more than just play guns and cute stuffed animals (shooting targets?).

Neither boy left with the object of his desire- an amazingly shiny and affordable sword (starting around $10), but Smartypants did get a "beginner knife." He is going to use his pocket-knife for whittling, a hobby he is embracing as eagerly as the knife itself. In fact, inspired by the many and varied Smoky Mountain Artisans, he may open up shop. For $10 he will whittle the branch you provide into a pencil like pointed object, or at least scrape it free of bark.

On the way home, we got a whiff of Kentucky's Bourbon Trail arriving at our selected distillery just 10 minutes too late for the day's last tour. Still, we got some background on the bourbon-making process as well as a taste of the drink and, more importantly to a super-taster like me, a sample of bourbon candies.

Then we headed to southern Indiana, just minutes before the day's final tour of the Squire Boone Cavern. This cave (technically a cavern) has several impressive features- most notably an rushing underground waterfall.

From there, we headed to our only real meal of the day-- Quiznos (see a brief review at the CAKE). A few gas stations and many hours later, we arrived safely at home.

Now off to the store to fill the fridge-- after a quick a stop at the drive-through Starbucks.

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