We arrived Sunday in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for one of the biggest bridge tournaments in the country. It is the biggest regional tournament, and even at just seven days in length, it ends up being bigger than some national tournaments, which run ten days.
This is my first trip to this little town in the Great Smokey Mountains. It is something else. Like Myrtle Beach without the beach. We have counted seven (7!) Old Tyme Photo places within walking distance of our hotel. Are people really chomping at the bit to get a tacky black and white photo?
i do love the uniqueness of the shops. There are some chains here, but there are a whole lot of interesting albeit weird restaurants and stores. Pancake houses abound, clearly run by individuals. The hotels and motels are all un-chains. We are staying in the Sydney James Mountain Lodge. The Sydney James is a bit run down, but has cathedral ceilings, free wifi, balconies, an indoor pool, refrigerators in the room, a loud mountain stream to look at and friendly staff. And is cheap cheap cheap. I think our rooms are $49 per night.
We are here to play cards, and I am excited and proud to say this will be my first real professional gig as a bridge pro. We have a client who pro asked lance and I to play on a team of four with her and her favorite partner all week. Lance has done this with her before, and he organized this whole thing, but still, here I am and I am excited!
When I was new to the bridge world, I was surprised to hear there were people who paid money for others to play bridge with them. But it happens all the time. Retired folks with lots of money, a love for bridge and perhaps an inability to win when playing with their peers, or a desire to play up and win,,or simply a desire to win master points more quickly than they would on their own. I’m sure we are just low level pros, but still, this week we are Pros! I hope we do reasonably well for our client this week.