Friday, August 26, 2011

Road Trip Day 2 - Rest, Pain Episode and Loving Tennessee!

After reading about our first day, I'm sure you are not surprised that we all slept in. When I did finally get up I walked out onto the deck and just took in the beauty of the area.

It was beautiful no matter which way you looked. The drive was worth it!

At about this time Sam woke up and unfortunately the 19+ hours spent sitting in the van made Sam's hip stiff and painful. He tried to stand up and began to cry. Please understand that Sam does not cry, so tears meant that the pain was over the top. I quickly located his Roxicet pain medication and after calming him down enough to get it in I told him to lay back down for a while. I put a pillow under his knees to put him into a traction position and I sat next to him drying his tears and talking him through the discomfort. It's times like this that just make my heart hurt. Having taken Sam on two previous road trips this was certainly something we had never dealt with before. A new twist or consideration that we now have to think about.

Sam began to feel better and we decided to venture out for some breakfast and go to the Super Walmart so we could pick up some groceries.

This was the first time I got a good look at the roads that led to our cabin and honestly maybe it was better that I didn't see them last night. They were narrow, some areas only wide enough for one vehicle to pass. Some of the roads had no shoulder, just a ditch or cliff to drop into. The incline to our cabin was like going straight up or down depending on if you were coming or going. It was a little crazy and I often wondered what did people do in the winter around here?

Our cabin was on Thissa Way and yes there was a Thata Way too!

This was the sign that I was so happy to see last night. The Misty View sign let us know that we had made it!

As we headed into Gatlinburg for breakfast Danielle became obsessed with a pancake house because she liked their sign.

Unfortunately, Danielle's pancake house with the cute sign was closed, so we went across the street. The waitresses at this restaurant had blue checkered skirts, tennis shoes and athletic socks on their arms. Hmmmm.....the girls and I began to immediately rationalize the arm socks and came to the conclusion that it was easier to carry hot plates that way...kinda like having a hot pad wrapped around your arm. Brooke the germaphobe was hoping the socks were new and washed regularly. After we got done chuckling about the arm socks our waitress came to tell us the specials in her soft, sweet southern drawl. I could see the fascination in Brooke and Danielle's eyes...the same two girls who spoke in British accents most of the way down in the van. Another accent to perfect...ooohhh great! During our short stay at the restaurant I was called, ma'am, hon, sweetheart, dear and my all time favorite...sugar. Who calls another woman sugar???

It appeared Danielle was hungry and delirious as she began to create a shirt monster using her hands under the lower part of her shirt. Kinda like the alien movies, yep this is what it is like to travel with 3 children under the age of 16. Random, goofy, crazy moments that I will remember always. Now let's not leave Brooke out, no shirt monsters but we could talk about Brooke's need to pack 40 pair of underwear for a 11 day trip???? My first question, who owns 40 pair of underwear??? Second question, why does she need so many? Danielle and I thought maybe it had something to do with the wetting incident while we were in Vermont last year. Awkward!!

We finished our delicious breakfast and headed to the Super Walmart. Sam only seems to remember when I picked up his TV at Walmart because his conversation always goes to "Mom, Walmart, TV box". Obviously the box had more of an impact on him than the actual flat screen TV. Note to self, upon return home work twice as hard on Sam's auditory processing to bring up that level of thinking before he goes to see Ellen Doman for his NACD evaluation.

Sam's pain medication had obviously kicked in because his mischief level went up. He continually tried to sneak random items into our cart, including a first aid kit, some Midol and some mouth wash. Interesting combination of items.

As we headed to the Walmart we noticed that our air conditioning in the van seemed to be working less and less. When we checked out I asked the cashier if she knew of a local place we could go to and have the air conditioning checked. In a short time we had the entire female staff trying to figure it out including one that kept holding Sam's hand. Brooke and I both felt that our question would have been answered quicker by one male than all the females in the store. I left the store with no direction in mind (go figure) but was pleasantly surprised when I came across an automotive garage in the next couple of none of the women at Walmart knew about this place??? We had some hoses replaced, paid our bill of $10.00 and gave the technician a $5.00 tip and we were on our way happily with air conditioning again. We thought we knew our way back but quickly realized we were lost and needed Johnny our GPS. The interesting thing about travelling via GPS is that you never quite know where they will take you. When we travelled in Utah the GPS took us over a mountain to get to a Blockbuster. Shortest and most interesting route it could have taken us on.

Well this journey appeared to be going in the same direction. We began to go up a mountain. Johnny often asked us to pull off onto scary looking gravel roads and I decided he could find another route. Brooke and Danielle locked the doors so they would not be abducted by any mountain men. In an effort to discourage the girls from flirting with strangers I told them a story about mountain men coming down and grabbing young girls and then taking them to their rustic cabins to become their wives and slaves. Teenagers can be gullible but just in case they didn't buy it I found a few internet stories to prove it. Hee Hee!! You should have seen how wide their eyes got at the auto shop when the technician jumped into the van with them in it and backed it out to pull it into the garage. I couldn't help but chuckle a little!

Brooke hung out the window to catch some of the beautiful scenery.

The road twisted and turned in every direction, sometimes turning us almost completely around but always going up.

It was a beautiful drive even though I wondered if we were headed anywhere near our cabin.

The wooded areas were beautiful and then all of a sudden you would come across a tiny little hut or cabin and I of course thought about acting like the van had run out of gas and we needed to ask for help from whoever lived in that little hut but my imagination or gut feel told me to just keep on going.

Our road began to go down the other side of the mountain and suddenly it became a dirt road. Oh joy, I hope Johnny knows where he is going. I had been trying to avoid the dirt road path. Here we go!

That was a heck of a curve and it seemed like the road narrowed as we got around the curve.

You are pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.

We came across these steps and path but none of us wanted to explore because there was a random vehicle parked near and we didn't know who or what might be going on at the top of the steps. As we traveled this road we noticed a lot of random gravestones or small cemeteries with 3 to 4 stones. I started wondering if that's what happened to the people who drove these roads in winter, they died and were forever stuck on this road.

We finally got to the point where the gravel road became paved again and we felt we were headed back into civilization again. Johnny ended up taking us on a similar journey when we left Tennessee. I guess he wanted to make sure I didn't get bored. I found it really interesting that you could be on one of these backwoods roads and all of a sudden you would come across Bob's Deli or a hair salon. I'm guessing their businesses aren't booming and are only frequented by the locals. I didn't want to know what type of meat Bob's Deli carried or how long it had been there. That curious I am not but I do have to admit to wanting to interview some of the people we saw. I'm intrigued by what made them decide to move away from civilization, how do they make money, what is a typical day like for them, what interesting experiences have they had and what do they like and dislike about living in the backwoods.

We passed some more beautiful spots on our way back to the cabin.

This was one of my favorite spots.

We got back to the cabin and ordered some pizza from the only place that delivers to our mountain. It was very good and Sam enjoyed some hotdogs and cucumbers instead of pizza. Sam's hip was still sore so we encouraged him to sit in the hot tub. After complaining and yelling "No" every time his feet touched the water he finally got used to it and settled in.

Obviously this was making the hip feel better. Take a look at that smile!

After Sam was done in the hot tub I rubbed in his hip with some Birch Essential Oil. Sam rolled over and drifted off to sleep. I watched him breath, the calm steady motion of his chest rising and falling and I placed my hand on his hip and prayed. I thought about how I had considered cancelling our road trip for this year due to Sam's hip issues. But then I thought about last year and how happy I was we had taken our road trip even though Sam was diagnosed with Perthes a few months later. I didn't want this new twist in our journey to take away another thing that Sam loves. Sam loves to see the mountains and the ocean. He loves nature and is drawn to waterfalls. He absolutely enjoyed hiking on our road trip last year. It was at that moment that I made a decision to take Sam on a hike to let him experience the things he loves first hand. He obviously couldn't walk it but that wasn't going to stop us. Tune in for Day 3 and Sam's hike up to Laurel Falls and our visit to an amazing aquarium. Good night everyone!


  1. My sister lived in Tenn. for a while and she said if they ever got even a dusting of snow they would cancel school. After driving those mt. roads now you know why.

    I loved Sam choice of items to sneak into your cart. Made me lol. Can't wait for tomorrow's edition. Diane Yokes

  2. Man those views are beautiful! So sad to see such a sad boy, but that hot tub really helped I bet. Let me in!

  3. Great Post! I must admit I'm a little envious...of the adventure and your spirit!! This one gives a little insight into what a good mom you are, how blessed Sam is to have you, and how blessed your family is to have him!!! Safe journeys.

  4. Also meant to say...Chloe had her NACD eval on Wed. and we're anxiously awaiting receipt of her program!! Can't wait to 'hear' your insights on this subject.