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?