Monday, October 15, 2012

The Great Smoky Mountains

We changed it up a bit this year and decided to go west for our fall vacation.  There is nothing more beautiful than the month of October in the North Carolina/Tennessee Mountains.  We thought it would be a nice change from the sandy beaches of Florida.

It was a nice change alright - rainy and cloudy all week.  We got ONE nice day out of the entire week - but we got as much out of that day as possible.  In fact, we got as much out of every day as possible, despite the yucky weather.

We stayed in a beautiful cabin right outside of Gatlinburg, TN.  Driving up the steep driveway I thought to myself, "This is going to be so relaxing!"  I envisioned Robert and myself putting the kids to bed and relaxing in the hot tub that sat outside on the overlook deck.  The living room TV was visible from the deck so having Sunday night's NFL game on would be an added bonus.

SPOILER ALERT:  That vision did not become a reality.

Instead - we arrived at the cabin to find that it had not one set of solid pine, split-your-head-open-if-you fall stairs, but two.  So as we scrambled around trying to find a solution to this very serious problem, who do you think was trying to constantly go up and down each flight of steps?  Yes - the toddler...and very unstable-like of course.  After completely stressing ourselves out for about an hour or so, we finally just moved the loveseat right in front of the steps leading downstairs and found a leaf to the dining room table that we wedged between the spindles.  Tada!

We rallied the troops to get ready for bed around 8 pm and finally got snuggled on the couch around 8:30 pm.  We cracked open an adult beverage and looked at each other and smiled.   Ahhh...."finally," I said.  The hot tub was warming up and we were settling in for our first night of vacation...or at least we thought we were.

All of a sudden I hear a groaning sound coming from downstairs, followed by a wheezing/barking sound.  I rush down to find Mattie sitting up sounding like she was working very hard to breathe.  The noise was so frightening, I was expecting to her to be blue in the face when I turned on the light.  Her color was fine, but she wouldn't talk and her little chest was pumping as fast as it possibly could go.  We were freaked out.

Mattie has had issues in the past with cough and congestion when colder weather hits, but never anything quite this bad.  We attempted a steam bath and then a warm bath after that.  Every once in awhile she would show signs of joy.  Our confusion grew with every smile.  After about two hours of home remedies, we all laid down to see if sleep would be the answer.  That was a BIG negative.  Mattie struggled to catch her breath, which prompted her to sit up in the bed - laying down was not an option for her.

We finally decided to make a trip to the Emergency Room.  It was 12 am and we woke Evan up, got him dressed and we piled into the car.  We were lucky for a quick visit and the diagnosis ended up being croup.  She received a breathing treatment and a steroid and was breathing much better by the time we left.  I am so glad we made the decision to go to the hospital - even for just piece of mind.  That was a very scary situation that I never want to experience again.  We made it back home around 1:30 am.  Day one of vacation was GRRREAT.

****Oh, and Evan just reminded me that on the way to the hospital he tracked dog poop into Robert's car that he managed to smear all over our umbrella that we absolutely needed for the rainy, dreary weather the following day.  Awesome.

Despite day one, we did end up having a fun-filled vacation.  Robert had to work some, which put a little bit of a damper on things, but we made up for it with lots of activities.

We played putt-putt, raced go carts and rode silly rides...

 We spent some time at the Aquarium to get out of the rain...

We visited Dollywood and had a FABULOUS time...

We took a ride up the mountain on the Sky Lift...

  And we definitely did some lounging around...

We finished off our vacation with a night at the Wilderness Lodge.  This resort is very similar to Grey Wolf Lodge...indoor waterpark and play arena.  The kids loved it.  We will definitely plan to stay there again, but for a longer period of time.

I'm sad that vacation is already over, but I'm so happy that vacation is over.  Does that make sense?  Where to next year?


Score said...

Looks like fun, except for the croup. scary. I never want a sick baby. Can I just stay pregnant until he's three or so and sleeping through the night?

Amanda said...

Trust me - when you reach the end of your third trimester you'll be begging for that baby to come out and this comment will make you laugh.