Today our whole division had to get up really, really early to go to a retreat for the day. I was really cranky about it this morning, since I had to get up at 5:30 and I was about ready to stab someone, but it turned out to be a lot more fun than last year’s retreat, which was long and boring. Last year’s retreat was also my first day of work here, so I guess today was kind of my anniversary.
The conference center was nice, even if I did have to truck all the way out to Pigeon Forge for it. We had pork barbecue for lunch, the speakers were all pretty informative, the topics were actually interesting (the after lunch speaker, from the medieval history program, gave us a really good lecture on “The Da Vinci Code”), and the people at my table were a lot of fun.
The best part for me, though, would be the drive through Pigeon Forge. It’s such a weird, strange tourist trap of a town that I just want to drive up there some weekend and walk around with my camera, doing nothing but taking pictures. Some of it is very typically touristy, like the Wonderworks:
It’s kind of like a “Ripley’s Believe It, Or Not!”, with exhibits and stuff inside, and I’m told it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of stuff like that on the main strip in Pigeon Forge, but there’s also a lot of stuff that is fun and touristy without the slickly professional packaging and veneer, like the Gorilla Fireworks stand:
There’s really nothing I can say. If you don’t understand why a hot pink concrete gorilla selling fireworks is awesome, I can’t explain it.
Beyond the touristy stuff, though, there are also side trips into the bizarre:
You have to get out of the car for both of those, right?