Monday, April 14, 2014

National Park Week: Free Admission, extra events

National Park Week offers free admission and extra events at all national parks. From April 19-26, 2014, National Park Week gives visitors another reason to get out and explore the great outdoors.

Those who live in the East Tennessee area are fortunate to be in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the number one most visited park in the United States. People come from all over to visit something that we Tennesseeans already know and love.

Activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park go beyond the Cades Cove loop, great hiking and kayaking experiences or picnics. Park rangers provide a ready stream of educational walks, wildlife talks and history lessons.

The full schedule of events is on the National Park website.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation area is opening a new visitor center just in time for National Park Week. The Gateway to Big South Fork Visitor Center will have a ribbon cutting and open house on April 17. It will be staffed by the Chamber of Commerce and park rangers. What better place to begin your Big South Fork getaway?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How to plan a cheap road trip

You want to take a vacation but you aren't sure where to go. The big consideration is that it has to be cheap. In fact, the cheaper the travel is the more you will enjoy it. No worries. A cheap road trip is in your future. These tips can help you get there.

PT Cruiser Shenandoah Valley
Pick a destination that's reasonable. Consider the cost of gas and the mpg of your vehicle. How far can you afford to go? Draw a circle around your city with that in mind. Anything within the circle should be within reach.

Remember the budget
These days gas can be your biggest budget item. Your hotel bill may be next and then there's food. Sightseeing costs are usually last on the list.

It's about the journey
A cheap road trip is perfect for those who enjoy the journey. Choose a back road instead of the interstate and take a leisurely pace. Enjoy the sites along the way. Packing your own food adds fun and reduces the cost of any getaway.

Look for inexpensive points of interest on your getaway. Cheap things to do on your road trip can include:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Noah is a deluge of disappointment

There are many ways to ruin a great story and I think that the creators of Noah managed to hit all of them. In the generally accepted story of Noah and the Great Flood is that the world has gone evil and God wants a relaunch.

God chooses Noah and his family, tells them they better build an ark before it rains and sends the animals two-by-two to board the vessel. Rains come. Life as they knew it is washed away. The earth is cleansed. God puts a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His covenant to never again destroy all the earth. Noah and his family repopulate the earth. (Okay, I did say nutshell version. If you want the whole thing, look it up in Genesis in the Bible.)

I think that director Darren Aronofsky should be ashamed of himself for duping us into thinking his rendition is anywhere close to the source material. It is expected that "artistic license" will be taken with any Hollywood movie. I get that. Really, I do. Seeing the movie drove that point home.

Noah movie creators took the story line, tweaked it and then vomited it up onto the big screen.