Monday, June 20, 2011

Vacation- The Journey. Two Vans, Two Blowouts and a Mountain

We were lucky enough to spend the last week among family, enjoying the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains in TN. Our trip started with an early wake up call on Saturday, to meet my parents, my sister Wendy, her hubby and two kids, plus my baby sister, her hubby and 6 month old baby. So it was 8 adults, 3 kids and one baby.

So what's with the title? Well, we decided to take two vans. My sister, her hubby and two kids took my parents mini van, while the rest of us rented a 12 passenger van for the trip. For those of you with a baby, you know how much "crap" you have to take with you, so we needed the extra room. Mike was ready to go with his Captain's hat on!
Blowouts? Well not a tire, thankfully, but the other kind isn't much better. Poor Brynley baby had a big diaper blowout a few hours into the trip. She was suddenly fussy and Mandy realized she had one of those, you know, the kind of messy diaper where you just give up and throw the whole onsie/outfit away rather than deal with even trying to wash it later. Poor kiddo. We also discovered hardly any of the bathrooms on the way, especially in AR had diaper changing tables. So what did we do? We "white-trashed" it (yep, I just made up that word). She changed Brynley on the playgorund outside. Hey, it's better than doing it inside on a table, right? And this was a blowout of massive proportions that could not be accomplished on the seat of the van.

We stopped at a great little barbeque place for a nice sit down lunch and stopped just outside Nashville for the night. After checking in, we headed across the street to Cracker Barrell, a favorite of road trippers nationwide.

After a good meal, we settled down for the night, except, not really. William would ask me what every single noise we heard was. "Mommy, what's that noise out the window?". Me- "That's cars driving down the street outside." Him- "Oh.". Then we hear some annoying kids trying to stick their card key into our door about 10x before they moved on. Next up, a screaming baby (and no, not Brynley). Finally I got William to drift to sleep after he had asked me about every single sound within 100 feet of us.
We were up early again, ready to head out on the road again I think by 7ish after partaking in the free breakfast (if you call it that). We only had about 3-4 hours to go to get to our cabin outside of Pigeon Forge, in Sevierville. After missing a turn, then missing a second turn after that, we finally get straightened up and find out way to the cabin, off a little road behind Dollywood theme park. We get checked in and head up to our cabin.
There are probably 20-30 cabins up there, all different sizes. We find the one we think is ours. Ours is called "Smoky Mountain Retreat". We head to try the keycode for the door. Not working. We realize we are at the "Mountain Retreat". Oops. Right next door is "Smoky Mountain Retreat". Really, you give two cabins right next to each other almost identical names? We actually did find a second "Smoky Mountain Retreat" further up the hill too. Crazy. And this wasn't an isolated incident. Don't get me started on "The Pancake House" that had locations within a mile of each other. Same exact restaurant, within a mile. Seriously- how am I supposed to know which one to check in on on foursquare?

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