Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Trip to the Mountains

I dedicate this blog entry to my sister-in-law, whom I love dearly. She once declared that she wanted to live in the mountains and trade with the mountain people. And I get it now. ;)

Vacations never end up being much like you expect. After much deliberation my husband and I decided to be a little more conservative than usual and take a vacation "in the mountains". We rented a cabin near Asheville, NC for a few days so we could visit the Biltmore Place (a mansion sitting on 8,000 acres, built by the Vanderbilt family).

(Not bad, eh? They were so happy to see us). So we loaded up everything in the car except the kitchen sink (surely they have one of those) and....oh no, where will the children fit? Oh well. We began driving. What we failed to predict is that we would be driving through some pretty windy roads in some not so great weather and momentarily forgot that my husband had motion sickness and some of our precious children had also acquired this gene. First to start the trend was the 2 yr. old, twice. Then my poor husband, then on several occassions, just upset stomachs and "almosts". But we FINALLY made it to the first cabin.

 It rained pretty much non-stop the entire time we stayed there. So on the last day, after having the kids ask me a bazillion times if they could go on a walk "in the mountains". I said a short prayer that the rain would let up just long enough for us to do it and encouraged them to do the same. Then only a few minutes later, look what was delivered at our back door!
A Trip to the Mountains

The good Lord never does anything small. After oohing and aahing for a bit, we decided to take advantage of the break in the rain and headed out.

We passed a pasture of cows on the left and they were hilarious.

Everytime we walked by, they all stopped eating grass to look at us. They did not know what to make of us, noisy stomping, umbrella swinging crew.

 One particular cow looked a tiny bit irritated and I began to fear for the safety of particularly my 4 yr. old who was shouting at it, "moo! you cow! Mooooooo!!"

 I am pretty sure I have heard scary cow stories and didn't want this to be one. So we packed up and moved on to my spiritual director's cabin, offered to us out of her generosity, also in North Carolina but much further up into the mountains. To say the roads were a little curvy and wavy, would be a ridiculous understatement. However, the beauty of this drive was absolutely breathtaking. At one point I announced, "if anyone does NOT feel sick, look out the window because it is amazing!" As we steadily curved and climbed higher and higher and were unsure if we were on the right track and as my husband was at the end of his rope, I whispered "please God, we can't take much more of this." We pulled up to a cabin and hoped the people would be nice enough to direct us. I went up and knocked, no answer. When I got back in the car, my husband said, "Wait a minute, that's the cabin. That's the address of the cabin." So there we were, by accident, literally we had reached our destination. There was a light dusting of snow that night and enough to walk in the next day. Since I had heard a few "bear stories" from my spiritual director the night before, I was not quite as eager as you might expect to climb the mountains, and trade with the mountain people. So on this nature walk, we went about 5 or 6 yards "into the mountains" then we decided to walk on the gravel road.

All in all a beautiful experience, but there's no place like home. And we were ALL so grateful to be back in our own beds.

Oh yes, this bear was on the bathroom sink of my spiritual director's cabin up in the mountains.

My four year old said it was, "the Bear of Love, holding a fish."

Luckily, we did not see him in person.


  1. It's a double rainbow! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!?!

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. What a beautiful trip! And ask your spiritual director where she found her Bear of Love. It's too precious.

    But not as precious as the 4 y/o. Moo.

  2. Oh, you sweet lady, taking a trip to the Smokies in, what? January? Late December? And the roads! As someone who has pregnancy-induced motion sickness, I can only extend my deep sympathy with all your delicately stomached people.

    Glad you had family memories to last a lifetime. And made it home safely.