Why Did We Think This Would Be Fun?

The Biltmore Estate

Walking through the Gardens at The Biltmore was beautiful.

Downtown Asheville ~ lots of locally owned shops and cafes.

Canaan catching up on some Laura Ingals Wilder reading at Izzy's coffee.

Pictures can be deceiving...
I thought we were headed out on vacation this past weekend but I was wrong. Really we were going on a ‘hell’ cation, as it is now referred to (by me) when I talk to Mike about our uber-stressful weekend away.
It had all the makings of splendor. A quick four hour drive to Asheville, North Carolina to enjoy the changing leaves at the Biltmore estate, eating at local hotspots, and taking in the beauty of the weekend…it was certainly lining up to be something to remember.

Something to remember it was. Now if I could only forget. Forget the bickering that ensued in the backseat from minute one until we made it home three days later. Forget that the sweet 7 month old declared his independence from his car seat, high chair, stroller, backpack carrier and our arms by screaming, crying and squirming at every meal and every activity. Forget that we, as parents, butted heads more times than I can count about the bickering children and screaming baby. Oh…I could go on…and on…

There were some glimmers of hope though. The Biltmore truly was amazing, as was the Inn at Biltmore where we stayed. The Arboretum was gorgeous and serene (as serene as it can be with a 7 year old and 4 year old clamoring to “lead the way” at every turn). The trees were just beginning to turn and the mums were in full bloom.
There was a bit of encouragement too from a table filled with sweet grandmothers dining near us at Tupelo Honey Café. They must have sensed the stress we were all filling as Otto cried throughout the entire meal, keeping Mike away through most of it trying to quiet him. Despite my attempt to make the best of a bad situation, the toll it was taking must have shown. They rallied around us, giving words of encouragement which brought some tears of relief and thankfulness on my part.
I know we all have these times…parenting certainly is exhausting. Thankfully, I am even beginning to chuckle at the whole experience although at this point in time, I am still firmly swearing off any further trips (I am sure this will change with time too.)

Hiking through the Arboretum. Amazing. The visitors center even provides free backpacks for kids, filled with all sorts of fun things like butterfly nets, bug catchers, maps, a journal and pen and bunches of other things we never made use of.

Now that I have written this post, I am thinking that it may not have been as bad as I had orginally thought. This is the beauty of the human mind, right?


  1. Retrospect can make anything look good...You'll go on vacation again and it will be a good time as will the fond memories of that beautiful little shack they call an estate.

  2. So funny. That's usually how I feel every time we come back from an outing with the kids yet somehow I always want to try it again.

  3. oh, mama : ( you brought tears to my eyes when you mentioned the table of grammies rallied around you, how beautiful they offered support. i know from experience many times all you receive are looks that make you feel all the worse... i'm glad you were able to look back through posting this some light as well, hugs : )

  4. Megan,
    I laughed the entire time reading this!
    It was just so familiar...(and we only have one!)
    It reminds me of our last 'vacation' where we splurged and stayed in a hotel on the drive back from Oklahoma. We thought 'We never stay in a hotel (we usually drive straight through), we will enjoy the splendor of it all"... and about an hour later we laughed at what our lives had become as we were watching a movie muted with closed captioning on...partitioned off from Atticus by some monstrosity we had created out of the table chairs and the majority of our bedding. We could forget making a snack run...or even going to the bathroom for that matter;)

    Parenting is quite an adventure!;)

  5. Now that's an honest report of travelling with kids!

    The problem is that you never know what the journey will be once the car seats are clicked. But that is precisely why we do it. You never know what will happen.

  6. I must admit, I have a love/hate thing going with holidays. When it costs a lot of money, I can't help but think....I'd rather have a new couch!
    That said, however, all trips are looked back on and talked about with glee from the kids and laughed about by us. Time does have a way of changing perspective, thankfully!
    And time away from home is always good; even if it's sometimes just to remind you of how nice it is to be back home!

  7. I feel for you. If I remember right, when our kiddos hit Otto's stage of life I don't think we even ventured out anywhere to eat. It amazes me you made a four hour trip and stayed somewhere!! It will get better - Otto will get a bit older and traveling will not stay this stressful.

  8. Megan...I loved your post on Asheville and Biltmore!! We live in Hickory so aren't far from there. We love going up there and have season passes to the Biltmore!! In fact we are going up there on the 3rd to watch them bring in the Christmas tree....and are taking 4 of our grandkids!!