Spring break found us in a place I now admit that I have always prematurely misjudged, unnecessarily profiled, ceremoniously mocked, and unreasonably discriminated against. Know that I have sought forgiveness for my impolite waywardness and made peace with inaccurate misperceptions.
Tennessee was our destination of choice to spend a few days away from the life John’s new medical practice has seemed to consume. (It’s going to get better ANY MINUTE. I just know it.) To be more precise, Sevierville, or Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge – they all seem to run together- was so much stinking fun that I felt the need to preface this post bearing all of my judgmental sins.
For some reason, most of which has to do with the mass marketing done by Dolly Parton and other businesses touting the area as the honeymooner’s DREAM destination, I have always thought that this type of setting may not necessarily fit our idea of a vacation. Countless commercials, brochures and billboards depicting the availability of heart shaped tubs in YOUR VERY ROOM, country music blaring out of all existing town speakers, and newly married folks spilling into the streets, would seem to suggest that our desires and those the Smoky Mountains offered could not possibly coincide.
I was wrong.
Until you have joyfully “traded paint” with your six-year-old son at a NASCAR theme park, you have not fully lived.
Until you have gathered with your family of five in a hot tub on the back deck of a cabin aptly christened the LOVE SHACK, you have not fully lived.
Until you discover the only way to identify your daughter on the racetrack is by the large pink bow that races by you, you have not fully lived.
Until you have witnessed your child scurry up a rock-climbing wall, surpassing the grown man (AKA the plumber) who desperately needed a belt to pull up his drawers, you have not fully lived.
Until you have observed and appreciated the pure adoration and all consuming love demonstrated by honeymooners at said NASCAR theme park, you have not fully lived.
I have now fully lived.
I could continue with my usual wordiness, devoting more paragraphs to the unparalleled good times experienced by our family in the mountains. But I think I will let the pictures and a few random comments speak of the surprising joy found in the land that unilaterally belongs to Dolly.
Mary Mac declares herself the winner:
Correct driving skills:
Incorrect driving skills (Notice the closed eyes.According to John, this is the way I drive in real life.)
Chandler mimics the driving skills of his daddy:
Racing to race:
Evil spinning machine where my stomach still resides:
Spinning some more...:
...and some more:
John struggling to hold onto his guts:
Peace to Three:
Spring break turns into spring broke. Time to go home. Goodbye cabin, goodbye mountains, goodbye Dolly.