How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jeeps, trains, and teacups.....

July 22, 2012
My husband and I woke up this morning, packed up the Jeep and our four-year-old granddaughter, Miley, and hit the road for Cherokee N.C. We stopped in Eatonton, where we had a picnic lunch and swatted bugs, then back on the road.

Six hours and about fifteen million questions from Miley that all began with the word “why”, my ears hurt, my patience was becoming brittle, and my eyes were starting to cross. 

We arrived at the hotel room only to discover that I had forgotten the bag that I had so carefully packed for Miley that contained her books, toys, and other items of diversion.
A quick trip to WalMart (Thank the baby Jesus for WalMart) yielded up a Barbie doll, a Rapunzel doll, a coloring book, and markers. 

Tomorrow a train ride through the Great Smoky Mountains, and perhaps the last remaining bit of my sanity. The “whys” are starting to fizzle my brain cells..

Every time we have left the hotel room Miley has insisted that someone is going to go into our hotel room while we are gone and take our belongings.  I can’t convince her otherwise.

July 23, 2012
Miley was so confused this morning. She kept insisting the Mayor was coming and we had better leave the hotel room. I finally figured out that she was talking about the maid. Then she started saying, “The nurse is going to come in and we have to go!” I corrected her about three times and then gave up.  She’s four- why am I arguing with a four-year-old?

After a breakfast of “panny cakes”, the making of which purely delighted us both (a little pancake machine that works like this:  the pancake lover presses a button, the machine whirls to life and almost soundlessly and seemingly effortlessly, makes a pancake and spits it out on a waiting plate! I have got to have a pancake maker all my own now), we headed to Bryson City and our weeks-in-the-planning train ride.

Bryson City

The train journey was all I had hoped it would be; not too crowded and the weather almost a made to order 86 degrees.  Miley was a real trooper and loved lurch walking back and forth from our swaying air conditioned 1940s era styled car to the open scenic watching cars.   

At one point, a dark haired, rather personable man plucking on a banjo entered our closed car and led the passengers in a round of “Oh, Susannah” and five rounds of “Old McDonald Had a Farm”, after which Miley dramatically threw her arms around said banjo player’s legs, gave him a quick hug, and proclaimed, “I love you” (God help me if she grows up to be a groupie- it’ll be all my fault).

 The train stopped for a one hour lunch, and while Jim stood in line to buy us lunch, Miley tried to feed some bread to the ducks paddling around in the little river. 

She ended up falling into the water face first.  Poor kid, but she DIDN’T cry, a fact I was rather proud of. After we re-boarded the train, I had to strip her down in the restroom and put Granddaddy’s extra shirt on her, which hung to her ankles. I held the wet dress and panties over the open rail car as we watched the scenery clankity clank past.

Miley, again the little trooper, rode commando the entire way back.

After the train ride, Jim had the hotel change us to a suite, so we would have a fridge and a microwave. That also placed us on the second floor instead of the first, a fact that Miley loved because we have been able to ride in the elevator all evening.  I wanted to go eat at Johnny Rocket's in Harrah’s Casino, but they wouldn’t allow anyone in under the age of 21 (huge signs saying so were stenciled on the doors, but Jim had to go inside to make sure). Personally, I think Miley has a case for the ACLU on the grounds of age discrimination.  I felt like telling the security guard at the door, “She won’t cost the house too much and she only drinks a little”. 

We ended up eating at a tiny diner next door to an Indian Tattoo Parlor.  I had pinto beans and cornbread. Miley had a grilled cheese sandwich.

And now, as I write this, Miley and Jim are playing Little Red Riding Hood in the hotel room. She keeps insisting that he play the part of the Big Bad Wolf, but he has to be a “Good Bad Big Bad Wolf”. 
I promised Miley we would go swimming in the hotel pool and I really don’t want to go because there are about a million people out there. But I promised, so I guess I have to do one of those things which I really don’t like to do but will do in order to prove my undying love and devotion as a grandmother: put on a bathing suit and walk out in public… The things I do for this child are ever surprising and amazing. 

July 24, 2012
After a day spent at a small amusement park in Pigeon Forge TN, where riding the teacups with Miley nearly kicked my fifty-year-old ass (they go around and around and around and around…), we rode up into the mountains of Tennessee and stopped at Newfound Gap and explored the scenery and the trails. 

 Miley gathered her courage and climbed up the side of the mountain for a ways, until she looked back and realized how far below I was (about 15 feet!) and got scared and came back down. 

Miley even made a friend. There was a family there who had a son who appeared to be around ten years old. The boy was walking a huge brown dog and Miley started following the boy, asking him, “Will you be my friend?”  She meets no strangers, much like her Gigi.

view from Newfound Gap

We wound the Jeep down the mountain toward Georgia. Miley watched "Stuart Little" dvd's on my computer and was a very sweet little girl the rest of the ride, even when Granddaddy and I stopped to gape at some elk beside the road.  She wasn't too interested in the elk, merely giving them a cursory glance out of politeness to her obviously excited and demented Gigi.

We finally made it to Mom and Dad’s cabin in Hiawassee around 10:30 p.m. Miley was geared up and I wasn't able to get her to sleep until after midnight.  Jim ended up sleeping on the couch because Miley was scared to sleep in the living room by herself.  She kicked me half the night and cuddled the other half.

July 25, 2012
Miley spent the morning running around in her panties, and I spent it fully clothed shaking out rugs, mopping floors, cleaning the bathroom, washing sheets, and blowing off the deck and driveway at the cabin. I wanted it all spic and span for the time Mom is able to come back for a visit.  

Afterwards “Arthur” decided that enough was enough, what with the trip, the teacups, and the physical labor, and he bit my ass. I took half a pill and curled up in bed. 

Sweet Jim entertained Miley while I took a restorative three hour nap.  

 When I woke up I felt a little more human, so we drove to Hiawassee town to get an ice cream at Dairy Queen (Jim had a Georgia mudslide blizzard, I had a pineapple/strawberry sundae, and Miley had a vanilla cone) and then with ice creams in hand we stopped at The Towns County playground and “beach”. We sat in the swing together and watched the antics of the ducks and one lone hobbling goose while we made short work of the treats. I tried to get Miley to play on the playground, but she ignored it, and she and I spent the next two hours building a sandcastle using our leftover ice cream cups to pack sand into.. we didn’t leave until the moon was high overhead. 

Before we got into the car I had to strip Miley down to her panties because her clothes were so wet and sandy.

Half way to the cabin Miley stated, “You gotta try this!”
“Try what?”,  I asked her
“This riding in your panties. It’s fun!”
I bet it is. 

July 26, 2012
We headed for home late this morning, after a tour of the dump where we had to take the cabin trash.  Miley was fascinated by the dump. Go figure.
We stopped off in Helen and walked around and then had a huge country style lunch at a Mom and Pop roadside diner. The waitress brought around a tray full of fresh-from-the-garden cantaloupe (I swear I could taste the Georgia sunshine) and she let Miley have all she wanted.  Next door to the diner was a consignment shop and Miley and I wandered over. Out front were these very cool pink sparkly shoes. Four dollars. Tags still attached. And in Miley’s size. The shoes are now in Miley’s possession.  Pink? Sparkly? You’re damn right they’re in her possession.

Miley watched Ghostbusters I and II  the entire way home, and five hours later we pulled into Cochran safe, sound, tired, but happy.

 July 27, 2012
I am back home and somewhat rocovered. It occurred to me today that I have about ten days before I leave for Abu Dhabi. Miley leaves next weekend to go home to Florida and I won’t see her again until Christmas… So many changes will take place in those short five months. Children change so quickly at this age. She might even be reading by then. I’ll blink and she’ll be grown. She may not ever even remember our little vacation, except from the photographs, but I’ll remember it as long as I live..

Next summer when I come home for summer break, I am flying out to Arkansas with Miley in tow, and kidnapping little Emma and Payton for a Gigi vacation to truly remember!! Wonder if I can sneak three kids into a casino???

1 comment:

  1. Teri, I love write so well I could "see" Miley's adventures with you, but I adore the pictures.