When traveling, dinner and a show is a wonderful evening out. Especially with your closest friends.
Unless you're with my friends, of course...
So I should have known something was up when I was told (with great glee) they'd bought tickets to a dinner show -- one of the very best in the Smokies. I love dinner theater! Yay!
Where'd they take me? The Dixie Stampede!
In case you are unfamiliar with the Dixie Stampede, it's dinner and a show -- lots of horses doing impressive stunts, chicken chasing, pig races, and a pseudo-stampede of longhorn cows, plus some singing and dancing.
Three words folks: Oh. My. Dog.
Not to sound ungrateful for a planned evening out by those I love, but I have two basic rules about dinners out:
Rule 1: All food will be served with the proper utensils designed to eat said food.
Rule 2: Livestock is not to be in within spitting (or smelling) distance of my table.
You know, I don't think these are over-complicated. I didn't even think they really needed saying. Basic assumptions, right? The Dixie Stampede violates both of those very basic rules.
But I'm game for anything -- and everyone is so excited -- so we're off to the Dixie Stampede for a Girls' Night Out.
Here's our dinner entertainment behind us resting up before the show:
And then we were entertained by some very talented musicians doing some Pickin' and Grinnin':
Notice our souvenir cups shaped like boots.
Then we went into the arena for the show. Here come the animals. Here comes my dinner. The Mavens and Playfriends can barely control their glee.
But I had a little surprise of my own. The Mavens and Playfriends made a slight tactical error in making sure I knew that both of my basic dining rules were about to be violated in order to make me squirm. I had several weeks notice of this, so I came prepared.
As soon as we got settled and the nice server dressed as a Rebel solider ladled soup into a cup -- without providing me with a spoon -- I reached into my purse and pulled out my silverware.
Not some plastic crap I picked up at Wendy's either. I brought a real knife and a fork, wrapped in a cloth napkin with a wet nap tucked inside so I could wash my hands before I ate. Of course, it was a little dark in there, and I unrolled the napkin backwards, causing my silverware to clatter to my plate.
Oh, I wish you all could have seen the looks on the Mavens' and Playfriends' faces when they realized what I'd done. SP took a picture (it's from SP's phone, so the quality isn't great, but that's a knife and a fork. The only ones in the building.).
Even the server was taken aback when he brought me a chicken (a whole chicken! to eat with my fingers!) and saw my silverware.
Having gotten a little of my own glee, I did put my silverware away and embraced the experience -- and my inner tourist. The animals were well-trained and I was quite impressed with the show. I will also say that this was the cleanest livestock I've ever been near. They didn't stink like I expected.
So all and all, dinner and a show with friends is still a great night out.
Next time though, the animals starring in my dinner show better be Cats or The Lion King.