Friday, September 21, 2018

Fall 2018 Theme Park Trip-Day 2

Well maybe day 1.5? I left on a Thursday. My usual shuttle company that I have used before went out of business last year so I was left scrambling looking for a new company. With such short notice, I used Uber. With tip is was still cheaper that one of the shuttle service one way charges.

My trip started with a long overnight flight from HNL to EWR or in other words Honolulu to Newark. When I arrived at EWR, it was on a Friday hence what really to call the day. Although, the start was very reminiscent of another trip that I took in 2010 which ended up with major repercussions for me. They said they were needing 124,000  lbs of fuel for the flight. Unfortunately, we had a slow pump. We were supposed to be taking off and we were at 27,000 lbs and still trying to get more. We ended up moving gates to get a different pump. They sent out two updates via text. Eventually we left almost a full hour after we were supposed to. I had 1 hour 45 minutes between connections and the new landing time cut that down to 25 minutes. Fortunately they were able to push a bit and get us there and gave that to about 25 minutes before the boarding began.  Even though the gates were are away, made it there 15 minutes before boarding would start. Praise be for minor miracles!

As someone who has a license, but not a car, I'm spending all sorts of time fooling around with the car trying to figure out what's where and how does it work. All these new fangled  doo-dads.
So it's trying to figure out how to adjust the wing mirrors, adjusting the seat, adjusting the steering column, trying to find if it has a USB port, trying to find how to wash the windshield, how to pair the car with blue tooth and finally, how to pop the hood to be able to check the window washer levels. The USB in the car wouldn't charge the Pixel faster than the battery would drain while using GPS.  Also challenged to control the volume on the device or pause the playback without having to pick up the phone and fingerprint in instead of  dealing with the lock screen.

With the GPS, I finally made it to Dollywood about 12:30. It was hot and humid. I got to the parking lot and changed from jeans to shorts because it was so hot. Once inside the park, looked for the first sit down place so I could plug in and get a bit of charge on my phone. Finally after 15 minutes the phone was charged enough that I started my day at the park.

I was so excited to be there. Being on In The Loop we had Pete Owens, the PR Director of Dollywood, on a number of times talking about the park. It was wonderful to be there to finally experience it myself. My first ride, Thunderhead, a fairly small compact woody. I use a fanny pack at the park and decided to keep it on. I was worried the whole time as I had so much packed in it. After I got off and went to my next ride, they have cubbies there where you can place your items. I used it. OMG, I felt so much better knowing that I couldn't lose my fanny pack. As I was impressed walking around the park and the quality of the staff. I felt like I was in a concierge level service location.Instead of just acknowledging you being there, they asked questions. When I responded, I ended up getting in several conversations with the staff. It was fun! When I go back tomorrow, not sure how crowded it will be as I guess Tennessee is taking the Florida Gators and many people will stay out of the park to watch the game.

Tomorrow will be more focused on the shows as I was able to get most of the rides done with many of them being walked in. In many ways I think Dollywood is like Knott's Berry Farm in that they have lots of historical cultural information to share and I want to take in those details as I also plan to do with my return trip to Knott's.