A place to share my poems and writings.
Swedish proverb: "Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow."
Maggie Kuhn: "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."
Disclaimer: no copyright infringement intended for Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Stephenie Meyer and all fan fiction authors. Where there is a specific source, credit is given. You all have inspired me. Thank you.
27 January 2015
Review and Report of Gatlinburg TN trip for Cullens' Winter Escape
a Twilight related event in Gatlinburg Tennessee advertised for 16 to 18
January 2015, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – Cullens’ Winter Escape with a
Christmas theme. The Olympic Coven was attending – the Cullens at least. Katie
Quinn Thornton, who plays Victoria, came as an attendee, but was included in
the OC group upon her arrival. It was good to see her. It was advertised as the
last appearance for Josh Goff as Jasper Cullen. With the cancellation of the
Olympic Coven in St Helens event, it was possibly the last event appearance of
the Olympic Coven as well. I was able to attend through the generosity of a
was actually only half day Friday and full day Saturday instead of three days
as advertised. If one read through the schedule one might have noticed no
activities planned for Sunday and only half for Friday, but one might have
thought that the schedule was still being finalized and Sunday would be
announced. An extra night of motel room was booked. The price of the event was
a bit much for half the time advertised. The extra time was well spent, but
would have preferred to have saved the money.
motel was Brookside Resort, www.brooksideresort.com. All the rooms have a balcony and one can see and
hear the brook. There is a fireplace in the rooms and the bathtub has spa jets
– be prepared to have a very wet floor if use the spa feature. There is also a
small kitchenette with microwave in the rooms. The event room was wonderfully
decorated for Christmas. The food served in the event room was good and the
service there excellent. There was a free breakfast available – three types of
cereal, oatmeal with toppings, biscuits and gravy, bagels, Danish, English
muffins, with jelly & cream cheese available and orange juice & milk to
drink. I ate dry cereal until bought some yogurt from market across the street.
The biscuits were really good. I should have gotten some cheese to have with
has a trolley system with about five routes – not all routes run year round.
There is a stop in front of the resort. While we were there the Blue route that
the resort is on ran about every 40 minutes. Some of the other routes have a
shorter time. What the run time is during the summer, I do not know. Downtown
Gatlinburg is a mini Vegas or Reno without the gambling, as is the main road
through Pigeon Forge. Bright lights, this and that show, this and that exhibit,
this and that souvenir shop. Thank goodness the surrounding area was pretty.
The bare trees have their own beauty. No snow while we were there.
welcome packets did not get to us and the TShirts were not delivered in time. The activities
the group planned came off well. Rather than a gift exchange, if one wanted to
participate you could bring a stocking and stuffers for everyone else. It
turned out 55 people participated. The stockings were overflowing and there was
not really room between the stockings to make sure the overflow did not get
mixed up with neighbors. I heard reports that not everyone got total of 54
items. That may have been deliberate on the part of the givers or security was
needed to insure items stayed in the stockings/overflow.
arrivals there was a gathering at TGIF for dinner. The two waiters did a
magnificent job of handling the impromptu large crowd. I arrived a little late
with Kim Cruz, Christilynn Swan, and Vee Cullen. Vee’s flight had been delayed. That did
give me some time to chat with Christilynn and then Kim and Vee as driving to
Gatlinburg. I was in awe that I was riding with two members of the Olympic
Coven. Christmas light decorations were still up as there is a Winter Festival ongoing
for January. Never did a night picture of some of the lights. :-(
morning I ended up walking to the Walgreens to get a couple of items I forgot.
Long walk and not flat. I walked by a sky lift that I was really tempted to do,
but decided I wouldn’t be able to move out of the way of chair fast enough
getting off. I did wait for the trolley to take me back. The Aquarium is the
one point all routes have in common. I waited about 20 minutes for first
trolley to continue its route and take me to the Aquarium. I then had another
30 minute wait for the blue route trolley. There is a nice visitor center next
to the Aquarium ticket area. I spent the wait time enjoying looking at history
of Gatlinburg through pictures and some artisans work on display.
scheduled event was a champagne reception Friday mid-afternoon. It was our
first look at the wonderfully decorate event room. A Christmas tree with lights
set up for us to decorate later. There was a table to place our ornament for
the exchange later. There was a table with bubbly drinks – champagne and soda
including the good Sweeps ginger ale. There were name tags up for each stocking
hanger. There were vendor tables set up in front of windows for National
Twilight Night and each Coven member to sell photographs and autograph them. I
didn’t complete my personal assignment of printing out some of my pictures for
them to sign. I did get their autographs at SMD 2014. The reception was a nice
time to talk and meet people. I noticed that more people seemed to go introduce
themselves than at the Stephenie Meyer Day celebration. The smaller group I
think helps facilitate that along with the quieter room.
evening dinner with a Cullen couple was too tightly scheduled. Time to gather
up car pools and travel to restaurant was not allowed for. The dinners were
signed up for before even leaving home. Jasper and Alice at the Alamo, where I
went. Emmett and Rosalie at a BBQ place. Carlisle and Esme at a Mexican place.
Edward and Bella at an Italian place. At least two places did not have room for
the full number at one table. Everyone was seated close by though.
table when we got back was mouthwatering. Pecan pie, carrot cake, brownies,
cakes and I can’t remember what all else. We decorated the Christmas tree. We
had the ornament exchange and the ugly sweater contest. I picked an ornament
from Salt Lake – salt crystals grown in shape of snow flake. Hope it arrives
home in one piece. There were four finalists in the sweater contest. Then we
voted with a dollar for favorite of the four until noon on Saturday. Alice was
then to wear the winning one Saturday evening.
Alice with the four finalists
a game of ‘gathering the witnesses’ for teams to work at. It was a scavenger
hunt with a twist. I choose to sit this out as involved going outside and I was
already starting to hurt from the long non-flat walk. It was a nice quiet time
to talk with some others also sitting it out. There were a few people dancing
while we waited for the teams to come back. There were questions so you not
only had to gather the clues but answer the questions correctly. The teams all
seemed to enjoy the romp. I enjoy the conversations.
Twilight Night took over for some games. This lady was a little tired and sore
and retired to my room. I am also not much of a party person especially if get
rowdy and part of the crowd was already a little rowdy for me. I know I’m a
stick in the mud. In the room I downloaded the pictures taken for the day. The
internet connection wasn’t too bad most of the time. Facebook was a problem at
times in not wanting to upload images.
really cold over night as there was frost everywhere and every morning you could
see your breath. Saturday was shopping with Alice in the morning. We joined the
group after getting another attendee a cane at Walgreens. She aggravated a
fractured leg with a fall Friday evening. Another attendee offered to drive us
down. Had a chance to chat with the driver while waiting for cane purchased.
She did right well after that. We joined the rest of group at a nostalgic store.
That was fun. One person caught me unawares of picture being taken. Someone
else got a posed shot as arranging car pool to go downtown. I was called on to
play photographer for some posed ones in a little red sleight with Alice,
Jasper, Bella, and Edward. That was fun and enjoy sharing pictures.
shopping and snow play time for some others, we had a catered lunch in the
event room. It was a buffet potato and soup bar. Good selection of toppings.
The chili was meat free and had rice. It was good, a bit different but good. There
was a break for naps and getting ready for the big Christmas dinner.
evening was a buffet Christmas dinner - turkey, dressing, mashed potato, green
beans, cranberry sauce, and desert. It was all good. Nice dinner conversation.
Alice made her grand entrance with the winner of the ugly sweater contest.
After dinner the stockings were passed out. There was one really impressive
handmade gift – coasters of the book covers done by Alexia Rodriguez. There
were lots of other neat things people made or wrapped pretty. I didn’t unwrap
and look at most until Sunday.
Alice wearing the winning ugly sweater
was undecorated. There were posed pictures with the Cullen Family. The tables
were all cleared off. Over flowing Stockings taken to rooms. After a little a
break the Josh and Travis VIP Party Down South event started. Dancing and drinking
and rowdy behavior. Josh and Travis each had come up with a special alcohol
mixed drink. They were in containers like the lemonade and iced tea or punch
containers on the other table. There was a nice selection of non-alcoholic
drinks available – sparking ciders or sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice. The
special drinks were not labeled alcoholic. From reports I heard, it is likely
one attendee got very drunk on the alcoholic lemonade looking drink. I stayed
for a while taking some pictures and talking to people. Conversation was more
difficult with the loud music.
the end of the Cullens’ Winter Escape event. Sunday I got a roommate, Lyndy Sue Shields. We
were going to hang out for rest of Sunday and Monday before taking me to
airport Tuesday morning. We went for a drive on Sunday and met two other
attendees at Golden Corral in Pigeon Forge. Good dinner and nice conversation.
Monday I finished packing suitcase to ship home. Arrived with three and too
many to handle. Stupid computer and stupid winter coat took up too much room.
Only wore the coat once and only to say that I did – am kind of glad it was
warm enough to just wear an additional layer with warm jacket.
lunner, midway between lunch and dinner, at Mellow Mushroom. Great pizza. Then
we walked around the other half of downtown Gatlinburg in the evening. Found a
suitable souvenir TShirt and we enjoyed the Hollywood car exhibit – Gibbs’ car
out in front.
It was a
great time. The Olympic Coven was fantastic as the Cullens and as themselves. I
really enjoyed the time to visit with the ones I did. Also the chance to meet
and talk with other fans was great. Big Thank you to the organizers! Best
wishes and superior skill and cunning in your personal and professional lives
to the cast members if this is the last time I get to see you. Thank you for
all your work and bringing to life the book characters. It may seem strange to
you because I don’t interact with the characters, but I really do enjoy your
work. I’ve enjoyed the time to talk with some of you as yourselves. Wish had
more time to talk with others. Tears come when words cannot adequately
express the emotions. I need some tissues now.
to organizers, the cast, and other attendees for a wonderful time.