Saturday, February 28, 2009

Headin' For The Hills + Glenstone Lodge Review

What is the best thing you can do for yourself after finishing the bar exam? Get out of town, at least for a couple of days. I decided to go to Gatlinburg, in the Smoky Mountains, because it is close to Nashville and a perfect weekend getaway.

I invited my friend P up to join me, and we were looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. Dinner at the Bubba Gump Seafood restaurant was good. The wait staff know how to take birthday celebrations a notch above.

Breakfast at the Log Cabin Pancake House was also good. You can never go wrong with pancakes, and like many pancake restaurants, this one offers any variety imaginable. Back to the hotel room to play on the computer and read a novel that has been on my shelf for too long. This afternoon we will go downtown and shop a little and find a nice steakhouse for dinner. Tomorrow we will leave at checkout and see what else we want to do before we meander out of town.

In other words, the perfect getaway after finishing the bar exam is to find a good place to do nothing. Some place that forces you to relax.

On the Glenstone Lodge: I stayed here many years ago and I have to say it is faded from its former glory. The centerpiece of the hotel is its great indoor two-level pool with a waterfall going from the top level to the bottom level. It is certainly wonderful, but like the rest of the hotel needs a facelift. Sitting in the hot tub connected to the pool you can see rust and chipped plaster (or whatever the material is) on the area right above the hot tub.

The lobby and hallways definitely need to be updated. There was a problem with getting hot water too. Twice I had to call the front desk and say there was no hot water to take a shower. The woman answering the phone told me sometimes you have to leave the water running for as long as 20 minutes before you get hot water. "Hmmm? "I said. "The $70 price tag for the room seems a little high for that." "But your room normally goes for as high as $110, and the hotel was built in the '70s," she answered. "Hmmm, even more so," I replied. "And a lot of hotels were built in the '70s, or earlier, and they don't have this problem."

Gatlinburg can charge high rates, especially in the summer, because a ton of people come here and want hotel rooms, so it is a seller's market. But Glenstone should take some of those profits and update the hotel so it is worth the money.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bear Naked Vanderbilt Alum Appears In Survivor Tocantins

I am always up for a big travel adventure and would love to go to the Brazilian jungle. But for 39 days? Hmmm. That might be a bit much with the temps over 100 degrees and torrential downpours and dangerous wildlife. But Brendan Synnott, Bear Naked co-founder and CEO, and Vanderbilt alum (class of 2000), is up for the challenge and is competing in this season's Survivor. It is hard to believe that this is the show's 18th season. As a fellow Vanderbilt alum and previous employee of the University, my bets are on Brandon. Wonder if he will get to sneak in any of his wonderful health snacks?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bonnaroo For You

If the chance of seeing the Beastie Boys and Nine Inch Nails doesn't entice you to Manchester, Tennessee, June 11-14, for the 2009 Bonnaroo Festival, how about Bruce Springsteen or Al Green. Merle Haggard, anyone?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How 'Bout Them Steelers? Getting To The Point

I am not a football fan, but I do love my Steelers. And boy did they shine tonight. (And wasn't Springsteen fabulous?)
But getting to the Point, do you know about the Point in Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh is my kind of town and it probably is your kind of town too. Click on the link to get to the Point. I have spent many an hour in the Steel City, and you should too.

Snowfall in Franklin, PA

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. I had to feature this photo from the Jan. 29 edition of the Derrick., the newspaper for Venango County, PA. It's a picture of the main street in downtown Franklin, PA, my old hometown. Isn't it wonderful? It almost looks like a painting.
Photo by Jerry Sowden