so we pulled into Pigeon Forge, TN late yesterday evening. we had been informed that we needed to stop at the welcome center here to pick up cheap hotel coupons, so that's what we did. there are welcome centers all over this place. so while we were initially dismayed that the first place was closed, it was no matter because the next one was just a half mile down the road. the welcome center was welcoming. and while they couldn't give us any kind of useful coupon, or even useful information, what they *could* give us was a crackpot scheme to help fund the trip. see... it's like this... the welcome center is really just a front for a time-share scam.
we gave them two hours of our time, and they gave us $100. easy. and yes, we are just crazy enough that we did it. first thing this morning, scoutie and i went and looked at a lovely time-share. it paid for our dollywood tickets and a little left over for parking and a snack.
but i digress.
since the welcome center didn't pan out for cheap hotels, we went cruising the strip. pigeon forge is like the worlds largest motel strip mall. every 20 feet, there's another one. and they all advertise rates of around $20 per night. which is, of course, just another great pigeon forge scam. there might actually be cheap-o rooms, but they are probably all booked up until the next millennium. we wound up choosing the Microtel, and are we happy we did! our now-best-friend Josh, the cute dude at the front desk gave us a good deal and a smile.
and, most importantly, this place has wifi! the Microtel is all suites, so for the first time this trip i can't watch scoutie sleep. we have a counter and a fridge between us, with a tv that swivels in either direction. we got food delivered and watched a little Law & Order and went to bed. where, we found we both couldn't sleep. like little kids on christmas eve we were just too damn excited!
this morning we woke up early, *again* skipped the coffee, and went over to meet up with the folks at BlueGreen Vacations. for two hours paul vandeboncouer (which, if i am translating correctly, might just mean "from the good heart") did his damnedest to convince us that vacations were just throwing your money out the window, and that over the next twenty years i was going to waste -- WASTE -- $24,000 on vacations. paul clearly didn't realize that scoutie and i travel in the cheapo fashion that we do. but why would he? as far as he was concerned, i was a well paid director of administration at a fundraising company. and that scoutie was an ice cream store manager. we both made gobs of imaginary money. and lest you feel too bad for paul that he was wasting his time on us -- the lying wasn't even our idea. it was the plan of the lady at the information center. it was her plan. everybody is pulling scam around here, including us.