This past Sunday, I went to Dollywood with my wife Megan, my parents, and my older sister and her family. Megan’s dad runs a non-profit production company, and he has performed a one-man show called â€œThe Whittlin’ Manâ€ for the past seven summers. Ash’s show is the best thing going at Dollywood, unless of course you count all of the things below.
Ash procured complimentary season passes for Megan and me. Dollywood isn’t the DMV; the people on the other side of the window don’t care in the least if you look ridiculous in the picture on your ID. In fact, they’re too polite to say, â€œGive me a real smile.â€ For all they knew that was really the way I look. I’m pleased with the end result. I think the look of my face looks like a delicate blend of constipation and confusion.
The fun continued from there. We weren’t inside the park for ten minutes when I thought I smelled sewage. Judging by the way a boy in front of me was walking, I’d say he had soiled his britches. He was doing the side-to-side waddle that minimizes contact between one’s legsâ€”dead giveaway.
This sad, hilarious happening set the tone for the rest of the day. What follows is a journey in pictures. I hope you enjoy it.
Dollywood is indeed the site of amazing phenomena. I can guarantee that you will see and hear things which you can’t explain.
Those things include Dolly herself. Apparently, the woman hasn’t aged in the last fifty years.
And trees made out of plastic candy.
My nieces Emery and Merrill lost no time in asking for candy.
Of course, meltdowns were inevitable. Merrill was too small to go on a ride. The old man running it had let a boy her same size on the ride just moments before. The injustice!
It was easier to let my mom and older sister set the itinerary. Which mind-numbingly cheesy shows would the kids enjoy? (I’m thankful for smart phones.)
At least my mom was willing to get her picture taken with this cracked-out bear. I think the plastic poncho she’s wearing adds a nice touch.
Now, we’re getting into the good stuff. Check out the cheeks on that child.
…and the close-up.
Let me paint a picture for you: the girl farthest to the left in the picture barfed three times. Nothing says fun like the sound of vomit hitting pavement. A Dollywood employee grabbed a shovel and threw sawdust on top of it. That’s the way we do it in East Tennessee.
Megan’s dad, Ash Ashburn, has the best show at Dollywood. Here he gives the characteristic Ashburn Nostril Flare. It is also know as â€œThe Moneymaker.â€
A man with a curly mullet.
Another perspective on a man with a curly mullet.
Back sweat and tattoos.
A close-up of a tattoo of a butterfly with a wolf in each wing.
Mild thrills. Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Quality time on Amazing Flying Elephants.
Muffin tops peeking out.
Muffin tops peeking out while the owner tries to win a gigantic plush banana with one red tooth.
Wasting money trying to win a giant green frog. The attempt was unsuccessful.
Bored employees watching people play skee ball to win a plastic alien.
Winner’s remorse? After you finally win the giant pink crayon, you have to carry it around all day.
Diaper changes in public. And sometimes not just babies.
Sleeping boys with boobs.
A very rare sighting of a double wedgie pick. No comment on his t-shirt.
A wedgie that should have been picked but wasn’t.
That about sums it up.
An ardent supporter of high-calorie foods.
An endearing illustration of the edible parts of a hog.
The Barnstormer at Dollywood
A family on the Barnstormer at Dollywood.
A little girl’s mind being blown while with her family on the Barnstormer at Dollywood.
A little boy on a leash.
A second little boy on a leash.
A third little boy on a leash.
A bald eagle in a cage.
A teenage boy’s hair that never should have happened.
An entire rotisserie, one per person, at a Dixie Stampeded dinner.
Thanks for spending a day at Dollywood.
Just in case you were wondering, that privilege will set you back $57.