We named the RV Dolly

Monday morning (July 5th) we woke up at 6 am in a packed RV park near Dollywood and got on the road to Kentucky. (We’re heading to Kentucky to visit a hemp “wood” processor.)

Dollywood reflections

Our Dollywood experience had been almost everything we’d hoped it would be:

When we pulled into the large parking lot, our loner tendencies kicked in hard. Did we really want to be around this many people? (Let’s just say, there were a few times while we were there, walking behind people who had who knows what for lunch, when the answer was a definite no. No we did not 🤢)

Underpinning my desire to go to Dollywood was that I imagined there would be a super kitschy gift shop and I would get to purchase a Dolly Parton bobble head to add to our dashboard guardians. I didn’t mention this before, but I named the RV Dolly for this trip (I told the owner we’d be naming her Dolly and he laughed and shook his head. It had never crossed his mind to give her a name. Pshh.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that one of Hazel’s road trip dreams was traveling the country stocked with salt water taffy from Ocean City, Maryland. We were sure we’d be able to find some at a food lion, or some small shop outside Assateague (there was no way we were driving Dolly to the boardwalk or anywhere near the main drag in OCMD.) But, because we rolled in to the beach late and left early, and even though we stopped at a few different stores, the only salt water taffy we found was neon-colored and tasted like artificial lemon (imagine chewy pledge). Hazel was really bummed that her imaginary stash of taffy wouldn’t be coming with us on the trip.

The road has many lessons for us all, the most prominent being: keep your expectations low and your ability to be open and be grateful for what you have high.

So, while the Dollywood gift shop ended up being more “Sunsations” (note: reference to OCMD tourist t-shirt, sweatshirt, and bathing suit chain) than kitschy promiseland, there was a taffy shop near the exit!

Hazel got to be the literal kid in the candy store. There were bins and bins of different kinds of taffy, including her favorite: black licorice. She filled two bags and left with the biggest grin on her face. Will the taffy last the whole trip? Highly doubtful. But for a little while she gets to road trip with her bag of taffy.

And, while I didn’t find my Dolly bobble head in Dollywood, maybe somewhere along this trip I‘ll find one when I’m not even looking.

Until then, Dolly the RV rolls on.

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