Mountain Pass

10/15/07 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Awhile back I got this “bright” idea to go to the mountains around leaf-fall time for a quick weekend getaway with the family. I chose last weekend hoping to hit the colors but it turned out to be a week or two early. The weather was very nice, in the low 70’s and sunny. I chose a motel that had an indoor pool so the kids would have something to do.

The problem came when we were in the motel room between pool and going-out times. It became quickly evident that things would be magnified in the small confines of a two-bed one bath room. With one TV the youngsters got a chance to see stuff on cable like Spongebob, but their attention span is too short, particularly the oldest boy and little girl(LG), to stay quiet for long.

Unfortunately, LG has a bad habit of screaming whenever things are not going her way. We have been working with her on this since day two. Asking her to be quiet and stop screaming has not been helpful. Temporarily covering her mouth does not help either, as the screaming must out. She is also at that magical age where when she knows what she wants, announces it and then refuses to to have (or do) anything else. She is way above average for stubborness.

Well, enough crabbin … we survived and they did have fun in the pool. I was blessed to find a K-Mart that had some pool stuff in the clearance rack, since LG needed swimmies(inflatable floats for the arms) for the pool with the shallowest part about 3 1/2 ft. Not only was it stuff I needed but it was marked way down. Thank you Lord!

The kids were fairly well behaved for all of the time in the van, which is another thing to be thankful for. I should back up and mention we went to SciWorks in Winston-Salem on Friday morning. It is a good museum for the under 12 crowd, and the older kids and adults will find stuff too. We were blessed again by getting a homeschooler discount. Ordinarily it would have been $37, but they brought it down to $20. LENISE: It’s probably best to wait until the youngsters are about 3.

On Saturday morning we drove down Grayson Pkwy. from Wytheville, VA to Stone Mtn. State Park in NC. It’s a nice drive through the mountains, and you get to see plenty of Christmas tree farms. We also saw some pumpkins in the field picked and ready for pick-up. The park has good facilities and the hiking trails are well laid-out. We went on a 2 mile roundtrip hike to the Middle Falls. It took longer than I had planned to get to the park, and by the time we got back from the hike it was close to 12:30, so we had to leave for lunch. I’d like to go back and check out the homestead and baptist church.

The closest town was Elkin, and I was fortunate to find a McD’s with a humungous play area. Even after all of the hiking, the kids were ready to run around and play. Have at it. We had planned on going near Taylorsville to a PYO apple farm, but again it was getting late and we (parents) were tired, so instead we stopped at the Farmer’s Market outside of Greensboro and picked up a bag of apples. We also did not get the mountain cider I was thirsting for, so maybe next time for that too.

What will not be happening for a long time is any extended trip with these loud young’uns. We have talked about going to Chicago this summer, since we did not go last summer, but I don’t know if we can handle the stress (13 hrs one-way). When we’re at home and in familiar environments, the misbehavior is somewhat taken for granted and we have our “time-out” areas. When we’re out of the “comfort zone”, it seems like we cannot get to the point where some semblance of control can be achieved.

I wonder sometimes if we’re too sensitive, that that is what most families with kids go through. It’s difficult to say when you’re in the thick of it, and want to be the good parent in control but find yourself out of it. We’ll just keep chipping away at it one day at a time.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Thanks for the tip! Paul and I both have the day off tomorrow, so if we’re mostly feeling healthy, we may visit the State Fair, or the Museum of Life & Science, or maybe the zoo. I guess the zoo isn’t really any further than Raleigh, but the state fair is a more limited opportunity, so I’m leaning in that direction.

    Anyway, I’m sorry you were too early for peak color! Our anniversary is Wednesday, and we’ve taken a number of trips around our anniversary up to the Boone area, and pretty much hit it right each time. It certainly is worth seeing! But then, at least it’s not AS far for y’all- maybe you can take a day trip?

  2. Thanks. A mountain day-trip will have to wait until next year. I don’t want to tempt fate twice and have three active youngsters cooped in a vehicle for another +6 hours.

    I would say the State Fair would be your best bet, particularly since you can go on a weekday. My family budget, as well as having to keep track of the three, would not allow a trip this year. We like to go every year, so once again … maybe next year.


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