We buy season tickets to Dollywood for Christmas each year.

Jim and I don’t really buy each other a lot of presents we prefer “experiences” . We are at the age and place in life that if we want something we get it or plan for it and gifts are not our love language.


Have you read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman?

My Mr. Rogers love language is words of affirmation and my love language is acts of service, we also both enjoy quality time together and so after several gift giving experiments and a few gift disasters we found purchasing season tickets for each other is a win-win.

Especially at Dollywood. The work ethic, Love of her people and country and inspiration that comes from Dolly Parton is something we have always admired. The park is always clean, the staff is fun and friendly. The prices are reasonable, especially since they added the food truck and a few other affordably priced menus and the shows are always extremely entertaining.

We go for the shows.

We have ridden a few things, the Ferris wheel, the Carousel, the Train.  We love going their during the Christmas season and the Fall colors in the Smoky Mountains are breathtaking. We like the International Festival in Spring but we rarely go during the summer months. There are not as many shows during the Great American Summer Months.

So when we went up Memorial Day we were not sure what we would do….. until we got to the park. Suddenly the 2 of us had this overwhelming desire to ride all the roller coasters. Okay, I had the overwhelming desire My Mr. Rogers just went along.

Keep in mind we are a Mature Couple,

We aren’t really old yet but we also are not Roller Coaster People. We are Carousel, Train and Ferris Wheel People ~ We went straight to the new Lightening Rod Roller coaster and the line was so long we just kept walking and went on to the Tennessee Tornado.

I’m not real sure what either of us were thinking. There wasn’t even a wait we just got up there and got right on, No time to change our minds.

I always say a prayer when I do something like this, It goes something like this ~ Lord in the history of (whatever we are about to do) there have been no fatalities and so as we put our lives in the hands of these children who think making Mature people Vomit is cool we ask that you allow us to live and not to disgrace ourselves in front of the kids. ~ So far it has worked. .

We get on the Tornado and are strapped in and I wondered if they strap you in to make certain that you are still there when it pulls back in or so you can’t get away. We took off from the platform at a moderate pace and began to flip and turn and twirl and as I struggled to keep my lunch down my Mr. Rogers began to scream like a little Girl.

I was shocked at how High and Loud he could screech. I don’t believe I have ever even heard a soprano hit those notes.

I wanted to tell him to hush but I was still swallowing my lunch again and again. Every loop we made he would take a deep breath and holler all the way til he had no more air and then start up all over again at the next loop.

I started to pray Lord let him swallow a bug so he will hush….. but I don’t think God could hear me over My Mr. Rogers Hollering. He was still hollering when we pulled back into the platform and got off the ride, he was wailing like a siren and I was just trying to find a garbage can cause I knew my lunch was about to have a coming out party.

I turned to tell him that I needed to hurry to get to the restroom only to find him on the ground.


With “Emily”, the ride “make sure your seat is locked” checker, trying to get him off the ground cause the Tornado was about to take off again.  (Thank You Emily!)  She was the sweetest thing and the next day when she saw us she didn’t point and laugh or run screaming from us she just smiled and nodded as she went to her post. I have to admit I pointed and laughed…… between dry heaves.

We sat at the bottom of the coaster, Mr. Rogers trying to recover his equilibrium and me just holding on to the bench for probably a good 45 minutes. We went to look at the picture and my hair was standing straight out from my head and Mr. Rogers mouth was wide open,

I swear I didn’t realize until that moment just how big his mouth is, to say I was surprised is an understatement, you could see his tonsils.

They asked us if we wanted the picture and I am ashamed to say that even though with most pictures I just laugh and say “it is what it is” I could not bring myself to pay money for the most horrible picture I had ever taken in my whole life.

They really should give you time to look dignified before they snap your picture, Isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? Not this one it screeched “Holy Hell, Get me off this thing!”

We went back and sat on the bench and  thought about the idea of getting on another coaster because we wanted to ride them all, And then you know what we did? Went and got on the Wild Eagle.

Don’t ask me why I swear I don’t have an answer for you.

Well maybe I do. You see the week before I saw a post on facebook from one of my beauty school students who had been there and had ridden all the coasters. So at some point I had this crazy idea that riding all those coasters would be fun.

You know like a root canal.

Then my Mother, who will be 70 this year, went up there and took my Aunt on the Tennessee Tornado the week before and  I thought ~  My Mother rode this I have to or they will pull my Woman card.

So I blame my Mother and My student for my temporary lapse in judgement. Them and Mr. Rogers, I don’t know what he was thinking.

So we get on the Wild Eagle, Went right up and got on , again no waiting in line, Why I didn’t recognize this as my first clue is beyond me, (I was still messed up from the tornado)  It should have been called the Crazy Drunk Dying Eagle.

First they REALLY strap you in that thing. I could barely catch my breath, then they took my shoes,I am still aggravated about that.

Your feet hang down and there is a net underneath it……..

that should have been my second clue.

Is the net there in the event you lose your shoe, glasses or hat? or is it in the event that if you go flying off that thing that you land on the net and not on one of the other humans trying to be amused wondering around on the ground?

I know it wasn’t for stomach contents it was full of holes and I had been eating my lunch for a couple of hours now so it was almost liquid. That net wasn’t going to stop My now emulsified PB&J.

And then I thought the net touched my foot and I began to worry that my toes were going to be ripped from my body. can you imagine having your toes ripped off at speeds topping 90 miles per hour? Would it just take a toe or would it rip off your whole leg?

Suddenly, I realized that Mr. Rogers had not made a sound and I tried to look over to make certain that he was still conscious but the wind caught my hair and pulled it over my eyes and I could not see a thing.

I yelled his name, Nothing, I yelled it again, Nothing. We went upside down over under around and thru and he did not utter a sound. I began to pray that he hadn’t died and I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to pray when we started.

Had I jinxed us? Had I caused his death? Would he be the first Roller Coaster Fatality at Dollywood? We Pulled back onto the platform and I yelled out his name as I struggled to get free from the restraints of the Wild Eagle and he yelled back WHAT?

I said are you okay? he said No I think I swallowed a bug.

I would have laughed but I was not in any shape to do anything but hold onto the rail as I all but crawled to the bottom and parked myself on the very first bench I came too.

We watched people come and go and we just sat there holding on to the bench. Even my words were dizzy. I kept trying to tell him I wanted a drink of water……

Let me pause here and remind you how sticky PB&J is, it is not something that you want to keep chewing on over and over for hours on end. So Take My ADVICE, Listen to me, Do not eat PB&J before you get on a roller coaster, It is a horrible last meal especially if it does not want to stay down. Can you even imagine the Coroner trying to scrape that sticky mess off of you?

We closed the park by walking from bench to bench and sitting down. We can officially tell you that we have sat on every bench between the exit of the Wild Eagle and the exit of the park at Dollywood. You don’t need a map to find a seat just call me I can tell you where all the best ones are.

The next morning we got up early and went back to the park, I was determined that I was going to ride the new Lightening Rod Roller Coaster. My Mr. Rogers was determined to make more fun of me.

We got there early and we were 3rd and 4th in line behind the funniest couple from Nashville and they were telling us that they had ridden the Coaster the day before after waiting nearly the whole day

61/2 hours.

Mr. Rogers and I decided that we were not going to spend the whole day in line but we would give them a little while to get it ready ….. for us.

Finally “Chris” opened the line and we traveled to the top, I have to say after our adventures from the day before I suddenly felt a little apprehension and so I made sure I prayed right then while they were setting it up for us to get on.  Mr. Rogers said he wasn’t going to holler today he did not want to swallow another bug (Y’all don’t need to tell him I prayed it the day before) So we got on and they began to strap us in, first a seat belt then a bar that came down over your lap but also pushed your shins back underneath you and your seat……..

My Third Clue?

The couple in front of us were already laughing and hollering and enjoying the experience…… we were still being strapped in.

Finally we hear the “engine revving” as the coaster is about to take off and then before I could check to see if Mr’ Rogers were still upright and conscious we shot out of there like a rocket.

Here we went doing about 60 miles per hour out of the gate and we were going Straight up hill and just before we crested the hill I thought my goodness, if we are going this fast now I wonder what it’s going to be like when we go over the top and start down the other side.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out. We shot over that hill and I went air born and all of a sudden several things happened at once. Things begin to shift and lift and fly. They defied Gravity.

People were screaming and laughing had their hands thrown up in the air, hair flying, engine revving staring up into the prettiest Blue Sky you ever saw having the time of their life

but not me, I had a death grip on 2 things, “The Sisters, Lucy and Ethel” Cause when we shot out over that hill it thru my titties clean out of my bra and I swear they slapped me in the face.  I was trying to hold them down and put them up at the same time. All I could think was any minute that camera was going to flash and my breastises were going to be all over the internet.

I have no desire to see my breasts on the internet.

I did not have time to worry about dying at Dollywood. I didn’t have time to pray for Mr’ Rogers I could only hope he was still with us.

We turned a curve sideways and I had a death grip on “Lucy and Ethel”  I did not even have time to wonder if I were going to lose my waffles from breakfast,

(Take my advice, don’t eat sticky syrup and waffles for breakfast and then go to an amusement park…..)

I saw a flash and I was trying to look down and see if I had everyone covered because Lucy had broke free again and I was trying to shove her down and hold my shirt over her. We got back to the platform and got off the coaster and I was discreetly trying to get them back in there containment system.

I wanted to help Mr. Rogers but I also wanted to get down to that photo booth and make sure I was not about to be a viral sensation. Mr. Rogers was going to have to fend for himself. He was walking this time so don’t be judg’n me!

I rushed down there and sure enough the sweet couple were already there buying the picture and getting ready to put it on facebook, they couldn’t wait to “tweet it.”  they had “bragging rights” over all there friends!

I was only concerned about their photo because all I could think was what were they going to tell their friends about the mature half naked woman groping herself in the seat behind them?

I rushed to the counter and there Mr. Rogers And I were  ~ absolutely ruining this sweet couples photo in the seats behind them.

They had there arms thrown out laughing experiencing life you could see the joy on their faces. Well one of them the other one looked a little green. They were having the time of their lives and we were right there behind them looking like our Metamucil just kicked in and while Lucy and Ethel were free from constraints Thank God they were covered.

Moral of the story? Being a Mature, Empty Nester is Hard Work, Wear a Sports Bra.