This was going nowhere fast and we knew we had to make the inevitable climb back up to the van so we decided to start running. By the time we got there, it was pitch dark, I couldn't breathe, had numb fingers, frozen snot across my cheek and I no longer felt guilty about the lunch I'd eaten at Golden Corral earlier in the day. As a matter of fact, my only regret was that we hadn't stayed longer, but I digress.
Nick and Aubrey were still about an hour away when Ron texted them the situation. We tried to find another route to the cabin, but there was none. That left us with one thing to do. We parked our van along the side of the road, everyone took luggage, I grabbed the food and drink bags and we started hiking to the cabin. Zac and Barbara ran ahead as fast as they could with the baby. Kearstin and Caymen were in front of me and Ron followed behind. My goal was to keep the girls within my sights, which worked fine until my feet went out from under me, I landed with a slam onto one of the food bags and slid past them as I rode a bag of potato chips down the mountain. When I spun to a sloppy stop at the bottom, Kearstin's voice broke the silence from somewhere behind me when she said, "Daaaaaaaamn."
Shut it, girlie. I saved the wine.
I. Saved. The. Wine.
We finally made it to the cabin where I poured a glass and soaked my aching bones in the jet tub
Once everyone was safely settled in, the fun and laughter that followed was everything you'd ever hope for a family's first getaway to the mountains.
That lasted until noon the next day when we started to get hungry for more than breakfast cereal and snacks. The original plan was to go indoor skydiving and out to dinner to celebrate Aubrey and Caymen's birthdays, but we'd given up on that when we barely made it to the cabin at all. But one way or another, we had to get food. It was eventually decided that the guys would take the hike back up and check out the road conditions in the light of day after a morning of warm, hopefully melting, sunlight.
An hour later, I was thrilled to see our van pull into the cabin driveway. Twenty minutes after that, we were stuck in the middle of a steep hill while the guys used a shovel, floor mats and box of kitty litter to inch our van slowly up the mountain.
Where'd we get a shovel and kitty litter, you might ask? Well, Nick and Aubrey read the warning email the cabin company sent and they packed some of the "recommended supplies."
Brilliant, I tell ya.
By late afternoon, we were happily signing our lives away on indoor skydiving waivers. An experience that Caymen will never forget as the young instructor gave her a lot of attention with some special tricks that included a personal flight with him to the very top of the tunnel. I asked her if she was scared and she answered, "No. I knew he was a trained professional."
Trained professional / 17 year old kid with a weekend skydiving job...6 of 1, half dozen of another.
After a birthday dinner at Blue Moose and cupcakes from GiGi's, we slid back down the mountain where we got stuck again and Nick and the cupcakes almost went down a steep ravine trying to help guide Ron who was driving the van up the hill leading to our cabin, backward, in the dark.
Miraculously, everyone survived our family weekend and Sunday morning we drove back up the mountain uneventfully, leaving sunny Tennessee, predicting 50 degrees that day, and headed home to our forecast calling for 6-8 inches of snow.
Seven hours later, we arrived home...got stuck in our driveway...and for the 3rd time that weekend, carried our stuff through the snow.
But hey, nobody fell down or had to pee outside.
In this family, you recognize the silver lining...
...if you can find one.