Packing for the Beach and Ending Up in the Mountains

Memorial Day weekend was upon us and my husbster was antsy to go somewhere.

“Pack a bag” He told me Thursday night as I was cooking up some chicken cutlets.  We live in Florida so I assume it was somewhere beachy so I packed appropriately.  We drove to historic St. Augustine and got a room at a hotel in nearby Virano Beach.  By the time we got there we grabbed dinner at a familiar chain restaurant, checked into the hotel and went to sleep quickly.

Now what I left out of this story is that earlier on that Thursday my younger son and I decided to study with some fellow homeschoolers around our community pool.  I choose not to put sunscreen on because I KNEW we’d only be out there an hour tops and I would be fine.  We were out there closer to 2 hours and though I didn’t seemed burned when I came home, by the time we packed and left for St. Augustine I was a pink color.

So Friday morning I wake up in the hotel room exhausted and not up for a day of sunbathing and fortunately my husband was interested in checking out the historical aspects of St. Augustine.  The temperature was in the high 90s.  I was wearing a long sleeve denim shirt to cover my sun burned arms.  Despite that I could feel the sun cooking my already irradiated limbs.

We walked around looking at the shops between the parking and the fort and managed to get lost on the way to the fort.  We did finally found the Fort de Castillo and got a photo.


Your impressed, I know.  I did come home with a souvenir from the School House store. Some action figures that fit part of my unique geekiness.

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With my treasures in hand, we drove back home.  We were almost home and we get a text from our friends from Ohio.

We are headed to Tennessee.  Come join us!

An hour and half later with our younger son in the car we were driving to Tennessee.  You think that would have been it, but it wasn’t.

Our friends were going to a classic car show in Rogersville, TN. Now while we think it is neat looking at old, well kept cars we weren’t real sure about spending a weekend doing nothing but admiring them.  Also there was the cost of driving 11 hours up there, getting a hotel and only getting to spend at most 1 1/2 to 2 days with our friends.  For 2 hours we hemmed and hawed as we headed north.  It didn’t help that our 16 year old son hates long car rides, even though he should of been well versed in it with all of our ICC trips.  So, he was whining and adding to the stress.  We stopped at Dairy Queen and discussed the dilemma while sharing a Peanut Buster Parfait.

We decided to pray on it.  We did not get an immediate answer (somehow I keep expecting God to immediately nudge the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of me to shout out answers as soon as I am done praying, but alas, no) so we continued to head north with the doubt cloud following us.  We got a couple of more exits up and my husband decides to turn around.  It is just not worth it.  He asks me to text our friends and explain we weren’t going to make it.  I gently reminded him it would be better for him to call his childhood friend up himself.  So he calls.  He explained and his friend understood.

He was on the phone with his friend for less than 2 minutes and we started heading north again.  Hubster later said all it took was talking and laughing with his friend and he knew we needed to go.  The trip was smooth driving after that.

We stayed around Atlanta that night but arrived in Rogersville the next afternoon in time to see quite a few of the classic cars leaving.  Despite that there were quite a lot of cars still there.

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There were also interesting historical buildings.  The man hosting the event collected historic buildings.  I mean the actual buildings.  Think of a train village but it was 1:1 scale.  It included a church, covered bridge, 1950s style home, train car with a small section of train track, an aircraft hanger and even a UFO.

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So when we finished looking around and the discussion moved to where we are staying.  Our friend says lets go get a cabin in the Gatlinburg area.  A cabin?  Last minute?  On Memorial Day weekend?

It took us an hour and 1/2 to drive to the Pigeon Forge which is next to Gatlinburg and during most of that time I spent on my smartphone getting numbers to cabin rental agencies.  Most were closed already since it was 6pm on a Saturday.  I finally found one open and spent thirty minutes listening to the same recorded message over and over until I thought I would go insane.  I even made my hubster take a turn so I could enjoy the quiet for few minutes. Then I got to speak to the agent for long enough for her to tell me there were no cabins available for Saturday and Sunday. GRRRR

Then I called Cabin Fever rentals,  The website didn’t list the hours but I took a chance and called any way. The nice lady, who answered the phone immediately, found us a cabin right away.  It was a beautiful cabin set up for 8 people which was great for my son and our friends’ son so they didn’t have to share a bed.  Important thing to teenage guys.

We loved the cabin. It is called R Bearadise.

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We had a great trip and, even though we only had a day and a half,we got much needed time and rest.  We cooked dinner, hung out in the hot tub a bit (swimsuits came in handy) and played pool upstairs.  We also explored the area a little but I’ll use other posts to tell you about those experiences.

Here is what I took from it.  Prayer, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not great at praying.  I am always in awe at women in my life who always think of doing it first, not last..  God is working with me on it and giving me not only people in my life to remind me not only of its importance but giving me situations where prayer is a must.

Fear.  We almost avoided this weekend because we were afraid.  Afraid it wouldn’t go well, afraid of things we’ll miss later by deciding to spend the money on the trip now, afraid we would be dissatisfied with the time we spent with our friends because we wanted more time to spend with them.  Fear is not a fruit of the spirit in fact Paul tells us, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.  In the end it was love that led us from an overnight beach trip to a weekend in the Tennessee mountains.  I was inspired and had wonderful fellowship with out friends.  It would of been sad if we had allowed fear to keep us home for a lackluster weekend.  Matter of fact this blog is a direct result from that trip, but that, to paraphrase Mr. Brown, is another post.

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