In October 2004, Evan and I made our first trip to Bryson City, NC. We were celebrating our recent engagement, and my 21st birthday. We stayed in a little cabin way up in the mountains, with no cell phone service and no internet. It was awesome.
That trip started our annual tradition of vacationing in Bryson. Then about three years ago, we went a little further west, and now stay in the Nantahala National Forest. We like to head up during mid-October, so we can see the leaves change and enjoy what folks who live north of Orlando like to call “seasons.” (also, trees that don’t have fronds)
Just leave me here. Thanks.
No fronds, no snowbirds, no problems.
Our last trip was in April 2012. We took a spring trip because at the time, we were working on getting knocked up (stop doing the math, Miles wasn’t a vacation baby – we finally hit the jackpot in July 2012) and we assumed that we’d be preggo by fall, so a spring trip made the most sense. And of course, because I’m a baby genius, it was perfect timing.
It’s been almost 18 months since we’ve set foot in the woods, hiked our faces off, seen a mountain, got stuck in a hail storm, eaten the best barbecue on planet earth, sat on the deck under the stars and just unplugged from the world of Corporate America and The Man. We are loooong overdue for a trip away.
When we booked this year’s trip, I knew Miles would be six months old. Still a great age to hang out in the Baby Bjorn so we can hike. I hear that once they hit that toddler stage, you could still hike, but it’s not what you’re used to. We’ll cross that adventurous Temple of Doom swinging rope bridge when we get to it next year.
We’re now in the 30 day countdown for vacation. Before Miles, I’d be popping champagne and getting ready to tell corporate to kiss off, I’m in vacation mode. But now that Miles is here, and the reality of vacation is setting in, I am starting to get a little nervous. No, a lot nervous.
People: I am fuh-reaking out.
We’re going to load our sweet little 17lb meatloaf up, along with his 4,287lbs of stuff (because you have to pack allofthethings), and drive 12 hours north. A trip we normally do in one day. Oh. Em. Gee.
Because I’m super OCD and I like to plan things, make lists, make lists about making lists, and just write things down in general, I’ve done the following over the past few days:
– Diagrammed how to pack the truck. Twice.
– Visited oldnavy.com, carters.com and gap.com five times, creating three separate carts of baby clothes, totaling $457, only to then unload the cart because I’m terrified that if I order the 12 month clothes, Miles will grow five inches the day before we leave. He’ll have nothing to wear, and his cute little pudgy toes will freeze. Also, Evan will kill me if I spend that much on fleece pants, thermals and Sherpa jackets. BUT THEY ARE SO CUTE.
– Visited weather.com and Swain County’s websites to see the “average” temperatures for October, multiple times. Even though we’ve been visiting the area the same time every year since 2004.
– Spent a good hour daydreaming/obsessing about managing the ride up, with a mental picture of Miles and the “nopenevernappingagainladyahahahahaha!!!” face.
This is normal, right? To totally freak and not actually look forward to vacation? I mean, don’t get me wrong, we are super excited to arrive at our cabin. It’s more the trip up I’m nervous about. Other things I am nervous about:
– What if bears are attracted to the smell of poopie diapers?
– What if Miles gets constipated and there are no poopie diapers?
– What if there’s a freak cold snap? True story: this happened on our October 2011 trip. We packed for the normal low in the 30s, high in the 60s weather. Two days in, we woke up to 19 degrees. Also, it snowed. So there’s that.
– What if all of Miles’ teeth decide to come in at the same time? INCLUDING MOLARS?! This could happen, there are babies born with teeth…
Here’s what I love about Bryson/Nantahala…it’s right smack dab in the middle of two national forests. There’s a ton of hiking, kayaking, rafting, tubing and biking to do. It brings in a ton of young folks, hikers, and families. And lots and lots of the people I wish I could be: the crunchy, granola, tree hugging, earth loving hippies. These parents throw caution to the wind. Pop the kid in a Bjorn, hit the trail, no worries. My gosh, they worry about nothing (trust me, I’ve seen their armpits) and that’s awesome.
So, in the spirit of parents with poor judgment who choose to thru-hike the AT with their three month old (seriously, maybe bears don’t like poopie diapers but I bet they like breastmilk and can smell a lactating woman fifteen miles away…crazy hippies) I am going to chill the heck out, and just RELAX and have confidence that this trip will be amazing. It’s Miles’ first vacation, how could it not be amazing?
I’ll never be a true hippie, because I love things like The Gap, Dippin’ Dots, deep conditioner and Toddlers & Tiaras. But I can, for a week every year, get closer to that carefree lifestyle.
Fun fact: Hippie vacation is what inspired Evan’s beard. I believe 2011 was the “Vacation of No More Shaving!” For Evan. Not me. That’s gross.
Organic wine hugs,