Today was the type of day we hoped there would be plenty of on this tour- we had a great show, but we got to see and do so much in addition to that! Last night, we decided to surprise the kids. One of our favorite places IN THE WORLD is Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We take a trip there virtually every year. This summer, with us being on the road non-stop, we had to skip the Gatlinburg visit. Well, last night's show was Johnson City, Tennessee, and today was Cherokee, North Carolina, so we decided to drive on in and spend the night in Sevierville, Tennessee. That would allow us to see Gatlinburg for a bit before the North Carolina show.
We arrived late to the hotel when everybody was asleep, so no one had any clue where we were (the phrase "We're staying somewhere tonight in the middle of 'insert state here'" has become quiet common). This morning, we got up extra early and started the remaining 10 miles to Gatlinburg, It was so much fun to watch the kids' faces as they slowly realized that the area seemed familiar. Clay finally asked "Hey- are we where I think we are?" and they were thrilled!
Here's a long-time fixture in the town. There's a "Ripley's Believe it or not" museum (and it's really cool, definitely worth seeing), and out front as a crowd draw, there's this thing. It's a giant granite ball that weighs more than 12,000 lbs., yet it's suspended by a tiny flowing layer of water, and can easily be spun in any direction:
It was time to head on to our show in North Carolina. Along the drive through the mountains, we saw a huge Elk!
*By the way, sometimes you come up with things to do on the road that you wouldn't think of otherwise. Silas, because of his spot in the Jeep, is often the guy who has to hop out and toss some trash in the trash can. So, Faith and Clay came up with an idea- they secretly saved every plastic bottle for more than an entire week until they had collected a huge pillow case full. Yesterday, when Silas made his usual trash run, they waited until he got back in, and then surprised him from behind by completely burying him in a huge load of plastic bottles.