Sunday, November 29, 2009

Times are Tough

For the past almost 20 years, our favorite vacation venue has been the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area. Not only for our family, but for our Inlaws as well. During that time, we have visited the area as many as four times in one year. We currently own a time share there and have done everything from numerous camping trips, cabin rentals to quick weekend getaways at a last minute motel. The trip this weekend was a spur of the moment trip that was special. For one thing, November is our Anniversary month and I spent this years Anniversary time in Florida due to a work assignment. Aditionally, we had not been to the mountains in two years due to our incredibly busy schedule what with all of B's hore shows and ball games/practices, etc. Anyway, the point is, having not been to the area in two years, we were very much unprpared for what we found. Pigeon Forge has always been the shopping mecca of the free world (at least to us). We were greeted, however, by front row parking at lots that had been previously full to capacity regarless of season or day of the week. Malls that had always provided endless shops of every genre known to man, now sit with well over half of their spaces vacant. The state of the Factory Outlet Mall, better known as the Red Roof Mall on the Parkway, was the most shocking. If you've ever been there you know that only a few years ago there were dozens and dozens of shops with everything from tools to towels or dishes to Dolly dresses. Of the sixty some shops that used to make up the mall, only fifteen are currently occupied. A number of those are in the midst of going out of business sales with many isles stripped bare. We found it really sad and depressing to see these places, with so many memories wrapped in them, left to waste, awaiting better times that may, or may not come.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Varsity Debut

B had her first varsity bball game tonight. As a freshman playing on the varsity team, I think she understands well that she is in a rare position and that playing time will be minimal as she develops and adjusts to the many challenges of a step this big. ECHS opened the season tonight at home against North Brunswick. One thing that surprised B (and us) was the size of the crowd. By the second half of the game, the gym was around 3/4 full, and getting hot. The ECHS Gators took a strong run at the Scorpions late in the game, after falling well behind early. In the end, the Gators came up on the short end of a 62-54 decision.