Monday, September 25, 2006

Smokey Mountain Parrots

The first weekend in October usually finds us in Gatlinburg. We love going there. We call it our "happy place" because when we go there, we leave our cares and concerns at home. Tennessee time is for relaxing and unwinding.

We have a routine. Breakfast at the Donut Friar (a must) for the best donuts around! Let people line up around the block for pancakes, I'll take a Donut Friar eclair and coffee instead every time! The Donut Friar is located in The Village, a little enclave of shops off the main thoroughfare that has the feel of an Old World town. This was purposeful intent on the part of the designers who brought in architectural pieces to create this village with a feeling of oldness. There are plenty of flowers and sitting areas (for my favorite pastime - people watching).

We make a trip to Ober Gatlinburg to race each other down to Alpine Slide. We play putt-putt at Davy Crockett Mini-Golf (mainly so I can hear one of the animated bears say, "I'm in honeybee heaven!" Makes me giggle every time!) We drive through Cade's Cove at dusk to watch the deer and, on occasion, other critters as well.

We try to do new things every time we go. We even tried "Earthquake- The Ride" once - Ugh!

One of the newer attractions we've tried in Pigeon Forge is a place called Parrot Mountain and Gardens. On our first visit, we didn't know what to expect and were very pleasantly surprised! It is a white colonial home on the top of a mountain. A large variety of tropical birds are in outside cages (think more accurately mini-cabins, very spacious). There's a large cage you can enter and feed colorful Lories who land all over you and fight for your cup of nectar! There's the Baby House where you can see a variety of birds in various stages of development. At the end, they have Macaws, Cockatoos, Parrots and more sitting on perches all over the final garden area where you can have your picture taken with the birds and generally play with them. Staff are available to supervise and answer questions.

The best part is this is a Christian business. You visit the birds by winding through a beautifully landscaped garden replete with appropriate Bible verses. And, unlike many Christian ventures, there isn't a hint of a "cheesy" taint to the presentation. We love this place!

No comments: