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Saturday, April 3, 2010

spring break in tennessee

we just got back from visiting my dad and his wife in east tennessee. they live just outside sevierville, which is next to pigeon forge, which is the home of dollywood. always an interesting trip.

we fly into knoxville, which has a gorgeous neighborhood of old houses, and is also the home of the great yee-haw industries. it's a letterpress studio that has a awesome store in the front that sells all manners of letterpress magic. posters, cards, art, you name it. i got a cool t-shirt with one of their designs on it. they are worth the visit.

tennessee is hard for me. the landscape is beautiful. rolling hills, beautiful vignettes of rural loveliness. but mixed in to that is a bunch of not so pretty stuff. development at its worst. the main drag from sevierville into pigeon forge into gatlinburg is filled with fake fronted theaters, arcades, "museums", and restaurant chains. you can go to the miracle theatre and see flying angels and reenactments of bible stories. or you can go into a fake upside down mansion and play arcade games. how about the black bear jamboree or the elvis impersonators? maybe stop at the huge titanic museum, which is a half-ship crashing into a faux iceberg. (they say you can even renew your wedding vows on the grand staircase). it's sad to me. seems like everyone has sold out to the tourist crowd.

at least the trees were blooming, and the grass was tinged with green, and the horses were out in the meadows, and the farm houses still looked quaint when you got away from the craziness.

the sign in the picture struck us as funny. just had to include it.

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