I am a native Floridian, yet when I was growing up I spent every vacation in the mountains. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t go to the beach like a normal family. Our vacations consisted of setting up and maintaining our campsite (collecting firewood, lugging water, etc.), hiking 8 miles a day on a trail categorized as “strenuous” and bathing in a plastic tub.
I am not exaggerating.
All I wanted to do was lie on the beach with a book. I remember being in true despair while we were sitting around the campsite and I asked my parents to mail me back to Florida in a box. They entertained the idea with me and I began to wonder how it would work logistically. I decided to wait out the vacation and ride back with them until I could work out a better plan.
I didn’t start to appreciate our camping trips until I was older and in high school. By that point, the traditions my parents had set in place were pure nostalgia for my sister and I. A root beer waiting for us in the back of the station wagon at the end of the hike. Books, cheese and crackers while sitting in our camping chairs overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nature talks from one of the rangers as dusk fell over the campsite. Finding the perfect hiking stick and listening to dad tell the stories about Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox. Putting on our regular clothes and heading into “the city” for our “town day”.
For my parents, the mountains were an escape. And this was before cell phones. I remember my dad having a very long work conversation on a pay phone while we waited in the car. There’s still no cell service up there now…which means you won’t be hearing from me for a few days.
We are heading up to the mountains next week. Ok, to be totally honest, we’re heading to the foothills of Georgia. But I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to see the mountains from where we’re at. And we’re not camping this time. We’re staying in a house…ok, a mansion. It has a butler’s pantry! What’s a butler’s pantry, you ask? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out!!!!
Our kids aren’t quite old enough for 8-mile strenuous hikes and my brother-in-law has made it clear that he didn’t buy a house so he can sleep outside, so we’re “compromising” by staying in this amazing house on Lake Lanier. We’ll find some trails for the kids and may even rent a boat, so I’m beyond pumped.
And I won’t be checking in. It’s a vacation and I intend to vacate. The importance of disconnecting is more valuable today than ever before. It may be more difficult than I’d like to admit, but I’m pretty sure the world will continue to turn, the internet will stay connected and people will continue to be crazy.
So until I get back, this is my anthem (and if anyone would like to leave me their fortune, just comment below and we’ll get that taken care of.)