Almost 4 months ago, we were talking with some really good friends of ours, trying to figure out a way and a time, to all get together. They live in Florida now and that’s a pretty long drive, and a pretty expensive plane ride. So instead, we decided to choose a central-ish spot and turn it into a together vacation. A little googling later and I had zero’d in on what I thought was a great spot in the southern Smokies. It wasn’t exactly halfway, it made for more driving on our end. But it was worth it. It was worth every single mile we put in.
The alarm started going off at 3:30am. We couldn’t actually *get* out of bed until 4:00am, but then were out the door and on the road by 4:30am. The theory was, that it would still be so early and so dark outside, the kids would just go right back to sleep. That theory did not hold. Those first 3 or so hours on the road were brutal, Lance and I were both just so tired. And the girls kinda were, but not enough to actually sleep. Instead, there were many questions and much squawking. Much squawking.
But then we fell into a nice groove of driving, stopping, driving, stopping, all the while trying very hard to not get too irritated by the constant barrage of “I want…” or “SQUAAWWK”. I say we, but really I mean me. Lance was driving, so I had the privilege of being the fetching-parent. Some old-school parents may say that children should be able to sit quietly and do road trips just fine. And some probably do. But ours need books, crayons, snacks, orange-water, ipads, iphones, cooing to, and general maintenance. I was determined to find some inner zen and be as chill as I could. Which means, no yelling. But, after having driven about 570 miles in 13 hours, my zen was gone. I had a hold of Eliza’s big toe and threats were made… Lance suggested maybe we try and find a hotel for the night.
Perhaps I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my surroundings, perhaps my brain was a little fried…hard to say. But I heard the dude on the phone at hotels.com, say Holiday Inn Express, saw one down the road, and just assumed. I’m sure you know where this is going. I tried to check us into a hotel we didn’t have reservations at. Another 10 mile drive down the road and we were good; checked in, jammied up and eating supper. The next morning, I insisted I be the driver. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me earlier in the trip, but if *I’m* the driver, I don’t have to be the fetcher. Genious. Zen returned instantly. And the 2nd day of driving was much more scenic than the first. Much hillier and curvier too. At one point, I asked Lance what he’d just said. He said, “I didn’t say anything, I just gasped.”
I remember when I was mapping out and planning this trip, being confused by the drive time compared to the miles. I figured no way could it take 5.5 hours to go 330 miles! Pfft. Totally forgotten what mountain driving was like. But then I saw the truck lanes and the runaway truck ramps start showing up, and I remembered. I used to LOVE driving in the mountains, but of course haven’t seen a mountain in years. Thinking about it now, I can understand why Lance was gasping. I was having fun flying up and down the mountains; it was probably pretty terrifying for Lance.
That second day was only 333 miles. When we got to the town of Ellijay, Georgia, we took some serious backroads up into the woods. From there, it was all off the map. The roads were narrow and full of twists and turns. It was breathtaking. We were leaving civilization behind and going into nature. I joked one night that I was smack dab in the middle of everything I don’t like. But for this trip, I liked it. I liked everything about it. We had an unbelievable cabin to call home, and we had the woods right outside our back door. And yes, that is Zelda’s tail you see in the bottom right corner. She came on vacation too
Share and Enjoy