Monday, January 14, 2013

the long, long, long road home

You know what I did last weekend because I hadn't done it in so long? (Sarcasm alert!) I drove a couple thousand more miles down the east coast. I brought Mom and Elizabeth along for the ride. Elizabeth sat in the backseat and was as snug as a bug in a very tight rug.
The first day of the drive was uneventful. The second day we took a small detour so we could drive through the Smokey Mountains. We passed this building on the way to the visitor center. It's not every day you see a building that fell from the sky.  
Elizabeth wanted to go in “to use the bathroom” (she really just wanted to see the inside), but we said she couldn't just waltz into a museum and ask to use the restroom. Besides, using a restroom in an upside down building sounds slightly precarious to me.
The Smokey Mountains were really beautiful. We stopped at each and every scenic overlook to take pictures.
 At one point I felt the need to turn into a radio so I started serenading Mom and Elizabeth. What I meant to sing was On Top of Old Smokey. (COULD THERE BE A MORE APPROPRIATE TIME TO SING THAT SONG?) What I did sing was On Top of Spaghetti. My internal radio must have been set on the wrong station.
The ranger at the visitor center told us that the best way to see the mountains and get back on the highway was to drive 9 miles on a particular road then take a left. Between my spectacular singing and the beautiful views, the miles got away from us. After almost an hour I said that surely we had traveled 9 miles so I didn't understand why we hadn't seen the left yet.  That seemed like a potential problem. We stopped at a gas station to replenish our snack supply and see if anyone could tell us where we were.  Mom asked a woman for help and was told to go out to the gas pumps and yell for Bill. I stayed inside to pay for my snacks but pushed Elizabeth out the door behind Mom. I wanted someone there to protect her in case things with Bill got sketchy.  Also, there was the possibility that it might be awkward to be with Mom as she walked up to random people and asked if their name was Bill. Bill turned out to be a very helpful man. He informed us that we were on a Cherokee reservation and nowhere near the left we needed. We wanted to be in the upper left corner of the map, but we were in the lower right. Please keep in mind that I was in not in charge of the map during this trip. I was simply the chauffeur/personal radio/buyer of potato chips. For once we didn't get lost because of my lack of directional skilz. Not to throw Mom under the bus, but she was in charge of the map. 
As we left the gas station, Mom said Bill couldn't believe she didn't know where the local casino was. “It’s not like you visit casinos in Tennessee every day,” I said. That’s when Mom revealed that we were no longer in Tennessee. We were in North Carolina.

I almost drove off the road.

That’s how we found ourselves driving four hours on the same exact highway that we had already driven on earlier that afternoon. 

Two good things came out of our lengthy detour. One, Mom was able to fulfill her dream of seeing the Smokey Mountains. Two, we got so far off track that we were able to convince Elizabeth that we were in Texas.
I'm glad we had the four hour detour. It gave me time to come up with such a ridiculous story. 


Jen said...

Haha this is awesome! Nothing better than roadtrips with family. :)

Laura Darling said...

OH MY GOSH you got way off track! At least you had fun! I love the Texas story! My mom always tells the story of how when she and my aunts were younger they drove from Philadelphia to the Jersey shore. Which is approximately a 90 minute drive. East. They called my Poppop in a panic several hours after their departure because they saw signs for OHIO.

Listen. I can't even laugh at them because I can sympathize with a mistaken cardinal direction. It happens to the best of us! :)

Jenn said...

OMG SARAH. Love how you let your mom take the blame on this one (martyr). Kinda like how I let my phone take the blame that one time we got lost in West Virginia at dusk on a 16-hour roadtrip with two kids. I'm not sure if we should ever attempt a road trip together because Lord only knows how long it might take us to get there. (HEAVEN HELP US if we get to talkin' about something good and forget where we're going in the first place.)

Bailey said...

Oh no!!! That makes for a good story, though.

My grandmother went to Gatlinburg a few months ago and she and some friends drove over to the Cherokee reservation to eat. It must be the same reservation you ended up at!

gwenivere said...

Sarah, you are HILARIOUS and I'm so glad I found your blog and I love you!!!!!!

Gwen <3

Mrs. K said...

Ummm...HELLO! You shoulda called me. I was minutes away. :)