There are reasons I like to take family vacations (me, my mom & the 3 monsters) – but I would really love to get through at least one smiling the entire time.  I thought it would be this one – I was wrong!

My parents own cabins in the Smokie Mountains in Tennessee.  The view is wonderful and the cabin is peaceful.  My kids love to come here and we usually come once a year.  This year we lucked into a second visit – which is amazing.  We arrived Sunday morning around 4:30 in the morning.  Thank God for Smoky Mountain Grocery , they are wonderful and had our groceries bought and in the cabin prior to our arrival.  They neatly place the perishables in the fridge and everything else (including the receipt) is neatly lined up on the counter.  This always saves us time and in this case meant we had milk, juice and food (most important immediately was breakfast).  We got in a couple of hours cat-nap before the kids were up – they of course slept on the ride down, so were ready to go.  It was an easy day.  We eventually made a trek to Roaring Fork on the Gatlinburg side of things.  It was pretty and quiet (compared to my usual favorite – Cades Cove (Townsend side)).  We took the leisurely drive and stopped to play in the creek some.  The kids had a blast and I found it quite enjoyable.  On the way back we drove through Pigeon Forge rather than go through the Park because of less traffic – a bit unusual, but it was fine.  Of course D2 saw a ton of things he wanted to do, see or buy along the couple of mile stretch we drove through.  We then returned to the cabin for dinner with new friends.  It was good food and even better company.  A storm rolled in and I got to see an amazing light show.  Finally headed to bed around 2am.

This morning went well and the athlete headed into town with a friend and the rest of us stayed behind to get some work done.  Sadly there was more work to do then initially anticipated and I tried to help with as much as I could.  K2 got in a short nap.  Mom took the kids for a short walk, but it’s hot here and the walk was long enough.  My mom and I both get terrible headaches and today was her turn.  I offered to take the kids out of the cabin, so she could rest and this is when things took a turn for the worse.  She immediately informed me she needed the car (we only brought 1) to run errands.  These were things we were all going to do together, but since she was constantly complaining about her head I was trying to give her some time alone.  What a mistake.  I can’t win and I get so tired of the arguing on these family vacations.  We are too much alike, but I really wish we could get through more than a day.  And the reality is if she hadn’t done all the work that had to be done her head might not be hurting and we might have had the enjoyable day I had looked forward to.  But because she works for herself with her husband (who is on his own vacation) she feels the desire and need to keep working.  There is of course a part of me that completely understands, but the other part of me says take an effing break and stop being so irritating while WE are on vacation.  By the way we are seriously only gone for 2 working days!  And I made sure the stuff that had to be done was done.  Don’t me wrong there were at least 1/2 a dozen reminders and comments that she would do it herself after I said multiple times that I would do it.

I am hoping that the rest of the vacation will go better.  Tonight we are headed to dinner to a new restaurant in town.  Tomorrow we have plans to visit MagiQuest – one of the boys favorite things to do.  And lunch at Hungry Bear Cafe.  K is looking forward to eating a straw hat – check it out!  I’m also hoping to get in my trip to Cades Cove.  On our way home we will spend time at the Frontier Culture Museum – an annual trek for us, though usually separate from the TN trip.  It so interesting and we always see something new.  I love that my kids like these things.  Then we’ll be back home.  Just to head to 2 days at the beach.  I wonder if that trip will be easier – camping, me, the 3 kids & another family – hmm?

At some point I might learn – Stop taking family vacations!  Until then family vacations are hard and I need to shake off the bad and focus on the fun that does happen.