Monday, October 18, 2021

2021 Mountain Trip - Days 1 & 2

The kids were off for fall break a couple of weeks ago, so we headed to the mountains as we always do.  Here’s the recap…

Wednesday, October 6

The kids got out of school at noon on Wednesday, so B and I picked them up with the car totally packed and ready to go.  Since they hadn’t eaten lunch at school, we swung through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru and then took it back home to eat really quickly before hitting the road. 

The forecast for Wednesday was abysmal.  We had already gotten eight inches of rain in the couple of days leading up to the trip, and it was supposed to storm for the next three days.  There were flashflood watches in place, so we got on the road as quickly as we could to try to get there before the rain started again.  It poured at times on the way, but we managed to avoid it for most of the trip, and we were even able to make a Trader Joe’s stop in Atlanta on the way there.  You know we have to stop there when we travel since we don’t have one back home!

TJ’s had all of their seasonal fall stuff, so we loaded up on all things pumpkin spice.  The kids were also excited to see that the haunted gingerbread house kits were back this year, and we grabbed a couple for them to take back home.

We arrived at the mountain house late in the afternoon.  This year, our house was in a gated community that was truly on a mountain.  The neighborhood streets were pretty steep and winding, although, nothing too bad, but when we arrived at the bottom of our driveway, Brian and I were both in complete disbelief.  Y’all.  It was so steep that I thought it was a joke.  It didn’t look like any vehicle could possibly get up that thing.

I’ve had a recurring nightmare since I was about five years old where I’m forced to get in a vehicle and drive up a super steep hill.  The hill is so steep that it’s terrifying (of course), and when I’m nearly to the top, the vehicle starts to fall back and flip over.  I’ve had that dream probably 25+ times in my life and I always wake up in a panic from it.  Therefore, in real life, I’ve always haaaated steep hills.

Well, I kid you not – the driveway for our mountain house reminded me of that very hill in my dream, but the one in real life might have actually been worse because it wasn’t even paved.  It was all gravel and mud, and since it had been raining so much, it looked impossibly slippery and dangerous.  Not to mention the ground was really uneven.  I took one look at it and I told Brian – NOPE.  No way am I going to be in the car for that.  We ended up parking at the bottom and walking up to scope it out because it’s so steep that you can’t see what lies over the top and, therefore, there’s no telling what to expect on the other side. 

We hiked to the top, and it was a good thing we scoped it out before Brian tried to make the drive up, because just on the other side of the top is a steep, but short, downhill slope that leads straight to the fire pit and the house.  Therefore, if you come over the hill too fast, you’ll go plowing into the house.  And to make things even worse, the driveway also splits in two at the top and one side branches off to another house which means that the steep main part of the driveway is shared by two houses, and therefore, you have to worry about somebody else coming down when you’re trying to go up.  It was a doozy.

Once the kids and I had hiked up, B walked back down to try to get the SUV up the driveway.  He tried twice and failed… it literally couldn’t make it.  He immediately got on his phone and contacted the owner to tell him we couldn’t get up the driveway to see if he could give us any alternatives.  In the meantime, B and I (mostly B) ended up unpacking the car at the bottom of that crazy driveway and walking it all up.  The owner responded almost immediately, and he told Brian that the key to getting up the driveway is to floor it all the way up and never let off of the gas until you’re at the top.

Brian ventured back down to give it a try, and the kids and I all stayed on the porch so we didn’t have to watch.  Sure enough, B put the pedal to the metal and never let up, and he got up on the first try.  It sounded CRAZY SCARY with the tires all grinding and spinning, but it worked.  The only thing is, once you reach the top, you have to put on the brakes immediately, because otherwise you’re going straight through the fire pit or the house.  Ugggghhhh.  Seriously the craziest driveway ever.

Once all of that drama was over, my nerves were shot, but we still needed to get groceries and pick something up for dinner.  The kids were tired of being in the car, and the driveway situation was so crappy that we just decided that B would go back out solo to grab groceries and pick up dinner.  When he tried to leave, he couldn’t get up the short other side of the driveway to get out because it was so steep, too, and he ended up having to try a second time.  He backed all the way up to the fire pit and then gunned it, and he was able to get over the hill to get back down to the other side.  Good gracious!

While he was gone, I placed a takeout order for Longhorn since it was right by the Walmart that B was going to that was near our house, and then I got all of our stuff unpacked and put away.  Our house had a basement with a Mrs. Pacman arcade game and a keyboard, so the kids were in heaven down there while I set up the house. 

B was back about an hour later and had no trouble getting up the driveway since he knew what he needed to do, but he said it was still really unsettling.  Haha.  When he got inside, we put all of the groceries away and then dug into our Longhorn takeout.  

After dinner, we all went upstairs to play pool in the loft, and then the kids had Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches that B had gotten at the grocery store.  By the time they finished, we were all exhausted, so we got the kids in bed, and then B and I went to bed, too.

The kids opted to sleep in the bunk room downstairs in the basement, and that worked out perfectly because they were able to get up and play Mrs. Pacman in the morning so B and I could sleep in.  Ha!

Thursday, October 7

Thursday morning, we slept in and then had donuts B had gotten from the bakery at Walmart.  There are no good donut shops anywhere in the area where we always stay, so we have to make do with whatever we can find. 

After breakfast, we decided to explore the back yard in our pajamas.  The house was on the side of a mountain, and the mountain was steeeep, and there was a set of stairs (205 of them to be exact… yes, we counted) leading from the house all the way down to the river at the bottom.  We took the stairs all the way down, and they were precarious – they were steep, uneven, and there were no handrails at all – so basically, it was super stressful watching the kids go down.  Especially after Brian slipped and fell.  Don’t worry, he was totally okay.  He does still have a massive bruise on his wrist as I type this, though.

From the house, you can’t tell that the stairs lead all the way to the river, so Brian had wanted to investigate to see if he and the kids would be able to get down there to fish.  Since they did, indeed, lead to the river, we all went back up to the house.  B and the kids got changed and headed back down with all of their fishing gear, and I snapped a couple of pictures of them from the deck while I drank my hot tea, and then I jumped in the shower to get ready for the day.

B and the kids didn’t catch anything, much to Olivia’s dismay, but B did get these cute pictures of them!

By the time they made it back to the house, it was almost time for lunch, so we made sandwiches and had some chips and fruit with them.

After lunch, the kids wanted to do their gem grubbing.  We typically go to a place in Cleveland, GA when we’re in North Georgia, but they’ve been closed since Covid started.  Brian found out that they’ll ship bags of rocks/gemstones so you can do your own gem grubbing at home, so he had four bags shipped to our house before we left, and we just brought them along with us.

Once gem grubbing was done, the kids played video games and I read on the back porch.  

It rained on and off all day, so we hadn’t planned to do much, and that turned out to be a good thing because halfway through the afternoon, Olivia started running a fever.  We have one of those touchless thermometers, and it was giving us three different readings depending on which side of her forehead we tested, and on the left side of her head, it was telling me her temp was nearly 103. 

My parents were supposed to be coming up to join us early the next morning, so I knew we needed to know for sure if she was coming down with something.  B went out to get Zaxby’s for dinner, and while he was out, he picked up a standard thermometer that you put under your tongue so we could get an accurate reading.  While he was gone, the kids and I played a few rounds of Jenga and Olivia seemed to be feeling fine other than being cold from her fever.    

Sure enough, when B got back, the thermometer told us that Olivia had a fever of 101.9 and she was so upset because she knew that meant that my parents probably wouldn’t come.  She was super sad all through dinner and it just broke my heart.  She rarely gets upset – she’s so darn jolly all the time – so when she cries over something that much you know she’s devastated. 

Since my parents were scheduled to come, we got Olivia to take one of the at-home Covid tests that we’d brought along, and thankfully it was negative.  I was so relieved to see that negative result… the thought of being out in the middle of nowhere with a scary driveway when it’s storming and having a kid with Covid was just TOO MUCH and my anxiety definitely got the best of me until I saw that negative result.

Once we had the results, I called my parents to let them know that Olivia was feverish, and they told us there was no reason to make a decision right then.  They asked us to call them back first thing Friday morning in hopes that her fever would be gone so they could still join us.

After dinner, we played pool again, and Olivia’s spirits lifted.  After pool, the kids got showered and ready for bed, and then we watched Mitchells vs. the Machines on Netflix.  By the time the movie had ended, Olivia’s Ibuprofen had worn off and her fever had spiked again, so we gave her some Tylenol and then got both of them off to bed.

The first two days were definitely not ideal, and we certainly didn’t want to start the trip with a fever.  I’ll be recapping the rest of the trip Wednesday, so be sure to come back then to find out what happens next! 

Cliffhanger… dun dun DUUUUN.  Haha.

Happy Monday, y’all.  :o)

*Linking up with My Glittery Heart and The Sirois Family for Hello Monday.


  1. I’m so sorry about Olivia‘s fever but I absolutely am wondering if your parents got to come? I spy the pumpkin brioche bread in your cart, that was so good from Trader Joe’s. You cabin looked gorgeous.

  2. I remember going to california on a trip once and Riley spiking a high definitely puts a big kink in plans but bless their hearts.

  3. You guys definitely made the most of everything! I love where you all stayed - it looks so cozy! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  4. That is always difficult, being sick on vacation. The place you stayed looks really nice but maybe they should warn people about the driveway! How was Musical Chairs? I have that book and haven't read it yet!

  5. The parking part seemed awful. I would hate that. They should warn people about they in the listing. Crazy. Yay for a TJs run before you went.

  6. All the driveway talk and no picture??? We need to see how steep it was!
    My daughter seemed to always get some sort of bug every time we went on vacation when she was younger. Eye/ear infection at the beach, stomach bug that started about 2 hours into a 9 hour road trip, finding lice nits in her hair second day of a beach trip. (luckily we were in our own camper, so I didn't have to worry about spreading it in a hotel/condo) Fun times!! LOL

    1. Haha, the driveway picture will be in the second recap tomorrow! The picture doesn't remotely do it justice, though. You just have to see it in person. And I totally feel you. Our kids ALWAYS used to get sick before our trips when they were little. I swear, I think Jacob was sick for our first 4-5 beach trips. Bless his little heart!

  7. The house looks amazing, but man oh man, that driveway would have made me nervous. I'm surprised they didn't at least mention something in the listing. What if it was an elderly couple or something that rented it. A trader Joe's run is a good time. We loved that bread you picked up!

  8. That looks like an amazing rental... other than the steep driveway and all those stairs out back!

    1. Yes, it was perfect except for the driveway. It was a dealbreaker. Won't be staying there again just because of that!


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