Friday, July 10, 2015

Flashback Friday: Gatlinburg

July, 1985:
Since my uncle had married the previous year, and I had not met my new cousins, a family vacation was planned.  We traveled to Gatlinburg, TN and spent an enjoyable week with my grandparents, aunt and (favorite) uncle, plus Aunt Gerry's kids, Harold and Kelly.  Our hotel was right across the street from an arcade/bumper car place, and Harold and I soon bonded over the game Punch Out, plus rode the bumper cars.  We also toured the city and played Hillbilly Golf; got our pictures taken in old-fashioned costumes (my sis and I were saloon girls, ha ha!); visited the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum; went in a Haunted House; took the tram to the top of a mountain; and had a great time on the Alpine Slide, though I was somewhat responsible for my sister's accident.

In my defense, even though we decided to race each other 'full throttle, no brakes', you had to brake SOMEWHAT on the curves!  But W took me at my word....and about halfway down, her empty sled shot past mine, then my relatives were running UP her side.  When I finished, I discovered her sled had flipped on one of the first three turns, and she was suffering road rash, as well as severe scratches on her legs.  All four of us were scolded and told 'no more racing' down the mountain.

We also toured a foam house, 'Xanadu, House of the Future', and watched the 4th of July parade and fireworks from my aunt and uncle's balcony.  One day, we went to Silver Dollar City, which became Dollywood a year or two later.

We noticed Grandpa moving slower, but simply attributed it to his advanced age.  Two weeks later, after calling Grandma to wish her happy birthday and being picked up from watching the movie St. Elmo's Fire, the phone rang.  Grandma had returned home from her evening out with friends, kissed Grandpa goodnight, and watched him go upstairs.  Two hours later, she went up to find him sprawled across the bed, and gone.

Dad had taken off for Colorado, and since we didn't know his exact route, Mom called the state police to track him down.  We joked Dad was wanted in five states, ha ha!  Grandma and my other Florida relatives flew up, and Grandma laughed when she told us the news:  "Grandpa used to say, 'in order to get to Heaven, you have to change planes in Atlanta'....well, Grandpa had to change planes in Atlanta!"

For the second time that month, we spent time with relatives, then Mom, my sister, and I returned to Florida with Grandma, to help her go through everything.  To make matters worse, the townhouse had just been painted, so everything was boxed up and shoved into closets.

Wendy and I were able to take a bus trip to EPCOT and spent an enjoyable day riding the attractions.  We brought back a small Figment figurine, as well as an EPCOT tape.  Mom and Dad had bought a new station wagon, which included a tape deck, and on the way home, we'd always start off with singing along to that tape.

Grandma had let her driver's license lapse, due to Grandpa driving her everywhere, so we took her to get it renewed.  I also got my permit:)

Next Month:  Returning To College

Present Day:
Due to the rain, our exterminator appointment has been postponed until Monday.  I'm still trying to get as much as I can boxed, bagged, and sent to the storage unit.

Karaoke Songs:
I Will Remember You-Sarah McLachlan
Baby I Lied-Deborah Allen
I Will Survive-Gloria Gaynor
If Anyone Falls-Stevie Nicks

Have a great weekend!

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