Wellll, so much for a leisurely trip to the Smokies.
We drove down Sunday, and checked into the $44 A NIGHT!! hotel Linda and UD had found (when I told DD about that rate, she expressed concern that that MIGHT not include in-door plumbing! It did!). Actually it was a fairly new, very clean, no frills, hotel (called The Park Grove Inn, in case you’re interested) in Pigeon Forge. And, after all, we weren’t going to spend much time in the hotel room for the next three days, so really, a perfect choice.
After settling in, we went out to dinner with Linda and UD and then they took us on a drive around the area to give us “the lay of the land” so that we would know a little more about the places we might want to visit in the next few days. Beautiful area. And, as the sun was going down, a spectatular view from up in the mountains looking down on Gatlinburg. This was just the latest of many, many times that Linda and UD have been there, making them well-qualified to be our “tour guides.”
So, we went back to our hotel with all kinds of ideas about what we might enjoy — the Aquarium (with SHARKS!) is supposed to be wonderful (we saw the beautiful building on our drive) — of course, a visit to the huge knife company for Hubby and UD – daily hikes with at least one including a picnic by a stream — Gatlinburg shopping looked verrry interesting to me! — and all kinds of shows to see! We couldn’t wait to get started in the morning!
As usual, I went to sleep when Hubby was still watching TV. But, just after midnight, something made me suddenly wake up. Laying there in the dark, I knew that something was amiss but I had to give my mind a minute to fully wake up before I realized what was wrong — I could hear Hubby breathing, or rather, lightly snoring!! Now, you’re thinking, okkkkay and that’s a problem because???? That’s a problem BECAUSE he has sleep apthea and uses a breathing machine ALWAYS. And, when he’s using the breathing machine, I don’t hear him breathing — I just hear the swishing of air. So, as soon as I woke up and heard him breathing, I realized we had forgotten to bring his breathing machine with us! About the same time, he woke up (my elbow may have “slipped” and struck him in the ribs ever so slightly) and we discussed what to do.
He said that when he started to bed and realized he didn’t have the machine, he thought maybe he could get along without it for a few nights, but he realized now that that wasn’t going to work – so far, he had only managed about an hour of sleep. Now what? We were both already tired from the 8 hour drive down, which didn’t make it seem reasonable to get up right then and drive home. So, our new plan was for us both to sleep as much as we could, and then we would have to go home the next morning. Drat. We were so mad at ourselves that we had forgotten such an important piece of equipment, but, we had, I guess, just had a collective “senior moment.”
We slept as much as we could (I hate circumstances where I have to tell myself, “Hurry up and sleep!”), and got up the next morning, in a word, TIRED. Luckily, Hubby usually does about 90% of the driving when we travel, and I nap off and on, so I HAD had significantly more sleep in the last 24 hours than he had. So, I would drive at least the first half of the trip home, so that he could sleep (a reclined car seat is much easier for him to sleep in without the machine than laying down in bed). Certainly not the original plan we had for this trip — but a workable “Plan B.”
So, the next morning at breakfast we had to tell Linda and UD that we were leaving. Of course, they were surprised and disappointed, but since they go there regularly by themselves anyway, it wouldn’t be too much of a hardship for them if we left early (except, of course, they would be missing the witty repartee we would have contributed!).
So, long story short, we drove 8 hours to the Smokies on Sunday, and drove 8 hours home on Monday! Not exactly what we’d planned!
But, we DID see enough to know that we WILL go back — and next time we’ll take everything we need!
One nice thing about having to come home early is that we would be home for the trick or treaters! I had already bought bags of candy to pass out, before we decided to take this trip, and I wasn’t sure what we would do with all that candy if it didn’t get passed out! We are really trying to diet, and the candy would have been a REALLY BIG temptation. (In fact, I think I hear it calling me from the shelf in the front hall closet as I type this! There’s a saying, “The devil is in the details,” but I’m PRETTY SURE, at least for ME, he’s in the candy too!!)
So, I hope we have LOTS of trick or treaters tonight — or, if we only have a few, I hope they REALLLLLY like candy, because my plan is, when it gets toward the end of the evening, ANY candy left is going into those last bags!
May you and your family have a safe, fun Halloween! Think of me when your children bring home bags BULGING with candy — maybe they came to MY house at the end of the evenng!
And, by the way, because life is full of unexpected twists and turns, ALWAYS be prepared to come up with a Plan B.