Mom and I set out yesterday (6/15/15) for a few quick days in Gatlinburg before I leave for Poland on Saturday.   We arrived about 2:00 and set off in search of Rhododendrons, which my mom had been hoping to see in full bloom.  We drove a little ways up the mountain, but didn’t find the areas full of blossoms we were hoping for.  We checked out the chimney tops and headed back down to Dollywood.

100_4117We once again took the trolley from Patriot Park ($.50 each way!) and decided to check out the shows (Our favorite thing at Dollywood!). Our first show was Dreamland Drive-In.  This show features music of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s in the story which follows a group of classmates from their early high school years through reunions and eventually to modern times.  While I’m sure the show is especially enjoyable for those who lived through these times and for whom the montage of songs and pictures have special meaning, it is an enjoyable collection for any group.  The songs and dancing were both fun!

IMG_2329From the Drive-In, we headed to Country Crossroads by way of the Grist Mill to buy some incredible cinnamon bread to enjoy while waiting for the show.  This show features three men and three women and includes a number of country music’s greatest hits.  Though mom and I don’t “listen to country music,” we were surprised how many songs we knew.  One thing that impressed me about this show was that one of the singers was in a wheelchair.  That’s not the impressive part.  What was impressive was not only this young man’s beautiful voice, but also his ability to do all the choreography everyone else did.  Definitely an impressive performance and a reminder of Dolly’s commitment to provide opportunities to such a diverse group of people.

100_4125We had decided this would be the night to stay for the fireworks since it had the least prediction of rain, so we meandered through some of the shops on our way up to Timber Canyon.  Before the fireworks, Dollywood offers a Lite the Nite production.  This show boasts singers and dancers all in light up suits, in addition to a variety of street artists, jugglers, stilt walkers, etc.  They even choose a kid from the audience to “Start the fireworks.”  Definitely a fun way to start our trip!