Back to the Old Salt Mines

I wasn’t eaten by a bear; don’t let anyone say that ritual sacrifice doesn’t work.

While it was nice to have a vacation, it wasn’t exactly heavy on the R&R, and now I find myself propping my eyelids open with pencils until this cup of coffee catches up the first four. I had a fantastic time in the mountains with my family; there was no fighting (I know!) and mostly no annoying of one another; frankly, I think we were just too tired.

I had planned to do the vacation entry before now, but unfortunately my mother has not yet unloaded (uploaded? downloaded? I know not the techie patois) the digital camera, and the experience is really lost without the pictures. Because I have a touch of the OCD and cannot continue posting out of chronological order (it blows to be my friend for this reason, among numerous others), I bring you the most notable un-photographed experiences of Mountain Vacation 2006.

#1 Sweet, sweet potato pancakes. I wish now I had taken a picture of these, since I talk about them like my children, but sadly they were gone too quickly. On the morning we left Gatlinburg for Murfreesboro, I strongarmed the entire group into eating pancakes at this place, which was one of many pancake emporia in the area. This one won out because I liked the building, but was legitimately reinforced when we spied the menu posted on the window. They have sixteen different types of pancakes, blintzes, waffles and crepes, as well as omelets and variations of toast. The food is spectacular, with the added bonus that they give you about five servings of whatever you order. I myself had the sweet potato pancakes, because for some reason my body is convinced that summer is officially over and now is the time for sweaters, pumpkin bread, hot cider, and all things nutmeg. The dark-brownish cakes came with a copper pitcher (cuteness) of wonderful vanilla-cinnamon syrup, and I am not ashamed to say I ate all but one, which only survived because I needed to be able to walk to the car. They will be added to the litany of foods that live on in my memory, right alongside The Apricot Danish. Mmmmm… squashy orange pancake… [insert Homer-esque drooling noise HERE] I have really missed pancakes, which were ousted from my life’s menu when I discovered they were not conducive to you know, health, so it was nice to have an excuse to eat them again. Actually, “I’m on vacation” became my battle cry whenever I pulled up to a table; if it weren’t for the hiking (much, much more on that later) I would have gained about sixty southern-gravy white-flour pounds.

#2 The Car. If we have pictures of our humble conveyance, they were taken completely by accident, probably while trying to get the “bears really will eat you, you stupid tourist” sign. Renting the car was quite the headache (this was my job, so at least the hotels were up to someone else); what with all the “Is it big enough? Are you sure? Did you get the insurance? How much for a full-size? Do we need luxury? I don’t care if it costs more, I don’t want to be cramped. How big is the trunk?” I was ready to stick my mother on a mule and wish her the best of luck. After I got tired of telling her they let me have a Volkswagon Beetle for a ten spot so she’d better get used to the sunroof seat, she decided to trust that I could figure out what would seat us and what would not. We ended up with a Hyundai Sonata, and let me tell you, even as a Michigander… I like foreign cars. There, I said it. Stone me if you will. The Japanese know how to make a car, and yeah, don’t get your patriotic hackles all pointed at me when I say they do it better than America does. If that pisses you off, go make a better car and change my mind—or go drive a Sonata for an afternoon, through steep mountain roads, for about 1500 miles. We had more than enough space for each of us (thus avoiding the ageless “you’re on my side” debate) and room for at least two dead bodies in the trunk, in case aforementioned debate went sour and the need for silence wrote its own rules. Thank you, car, for making the trip just that much easier.

#3 My mother’s sheer excitement at being in the mountains. My mother loves to travel, but she has a strange affinity for these particular mountains; the entire trip, she was completely in her element. If you ever speak to someone who has done extensive traveling, you can tell which places they really love, because their eyes get all misty and they smile and geek out like a moron—kind of like I do when I speak of Britain—and if you have the benefit of traveling there with them, they all but lose their shit with ecstasy. It was nice to see her so happy.

#4 Walking down the street, eating salt water taffy and fudge, as someone drives by blasting John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”. You can’t make this stuff up.

#5 My little sister lets me sleep on her in the car. There may be a picture of this also, but I’m not posting it, because having seen my car-sleep face means knowing nobody else should.

Ah—I hear pictures are being up… put… on the computer, as we speak. I sound like my grandmother. How do I make it go, again? Why’s it beeping? Am I on the inter net yet?


Team-C4 said…
I'm glad you had fun. i like "rocky mountain high" while driving up Cheyenne Mountain. These set are my geek out place.

Love you!
Team-C4 said…
Come see us, BTW.

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