Sunday, October 23, 2011

Smokey Mountain Dream

I just had the most vivid dream...

In this dream I took a risk and booked a vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. I'm sure it was a dream, since our last vacation was to Disney World, and in real life I would worry the family would find this vacation underwhelming. 

In this dream we drove 16 hours over two days to get there. 
On our way out we drove to Indianapolis on day 1 (took us 10 hours with a stop in Cincinnati), and finished the trip on day 2 (8 hours). I'm sure it was a dream since all 4 kids did not complain, had fun, and generally found things to do in those 18 hours.

In this dream we awoke to the Smoky Mountains and went horseback riding. 
After, we got a treat, went exploring, and then hiked through the Roaring Fork trails.  They all found hiking sticks to bring home. I'm sure it was a dream because my girl's dream is to go horseback riding and all the kids were loving every moment...and no technology was involved.

In this dream every morning greeted us with beautiful fall colors in the mountains. 
We were able to truly relax, have morning tea, and gaze at the rainbow-colored mountains...and the occasional black bear (yup, curious and hungry creatures). We swam in an indoor/outdoor heated pool surrounded by colors and enjoyed the outdoor hot tub even in the rain. I'm sure it was a dream because the most expensive special effects team in Pixar could not have generated more brilliant colors in the mountain trees. 

In this dream we went to Dollywood, a big amusement park filled with big coasters, great food, and fun music. 
I'm sure it was a dream because one of the rides had disappearing people! We waited in a long line for Blazing Fury, then, when ride returned, one of our girlies blurted out, "Where are all the people"? Turns out a mechanical problem shut down the ride and they evacuated those in line. At least they let us finish our ride.  Oh, and I'm also sure it was a dream because I don't think the kids will even remember the amusement park day unless asked. Sure they had fun on the coasters, cars, log ride, river raft, bird show, and ropes course, but all of that was overshadowed by the immersive experiences of the hiking, horses, and exploring 

In this dream we had perfect weather. 
When we walked the trails, the sun beamed through the tree canopy...creating highlights only found in the highest of budget movies. The leaves gently fell onto the trail like a movie set...after all dreams let you transport instantly. Even the storm covered the mountains in a mist more stunning than the latest cinematography could create. I'm sure it was a dream because even my oldest boy's favorite kind of weather showed up late in the, cloudy, and misty. Certainly no where in real life could this variety of sun, mist, warm, cool, breezy, calm be mixed with the variety of terrain it highlighted.

In this dream we drove 16 hours over two days to get home...with an amazing side stop in St. Louis.
We stopped in Nashville for an hour but was not impressed...which is kind of a nightmare for me as I've always wanted to roam Nashville. St. Louis, however, exceeded all expectations. I'm sure it was a dream because the weather was perfect, the arch was cheap to ride up, and the family got to relax in another beautiful american city.

In this dream the family machine ran smoothly, was highly refined, synchronized, supportive, and glitches were quickly fixed.
Certainly there were moments of bickering, but they usually resulted in finding a remedy that could be applied several times throughout the week. I'm sure it was a dream because on the drive home, after many miles, fatigue was getting the better of me...and my oldest, from his own inner core of discernment, came up from behind me and gave me a big hug. It moved me so much that he would make me feel better with a hug. Certainly only a dream would conjure up that life-long-I'll-never-forget-it kind of highlight.

In this dream I thought that this was one of the most fulfilling vacations our family ever had. But, of course, I'm sure it was a dream because everything was so perfect, our family was so engaged with each other, and our memories so rich that it was well beyond anything a real vacation could have ever offered.


Curious, though: If this were all a dream, how do I explain the hiking sticks in the back of the van? Or the photos? Or the sore muscles?

Who knows. I guess I'll just sip my Smoky Mountain Moonshine and ponder the mystery...

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