This has been the best vacation I have ever had, granted, this is only my 3rd-ish vacation I have ever been on my whole life. My first might have been my first trip to Florida with the Cross-Country Team when I was 13 or 14. The second being a trip to Florida with my parents and grandparents, I was probably 18, then the last before this one was 4 years ago with Jordan Davidson to Tennessee. That trip we did the typical tourist things, which made sense since it was my first time ever in Tennessee and I needed the typical first. That time Jordan and I were in a weirder phase of our friendship then we have been these past 2 years, and I must say, a lot of that rested on me. Though our best moment together happened to have been our funniest, it was the best because we were sitting on the balcony of Day’s Inn and had the river running below us as we kept talking about different characteristics of God and His glorious hand in creation.
So here we are 4 years later…before that though, it is worth noting that the kayaking was amazing. Though as usual, strange. My lot of people who went kayaking/canoeing happened to have been a group of freshly graduated high school kiddos. My first question of course was, “so, how many of you are going to waste your time in college?” we all had a good time chatting it up. Once we hit the river they all blazed off. I later found a canoe of two ladies from the group floating along. They had all earlier informed me they had never canoed, so I asked how their first time was. One of them exclaimed joyously it was awesome, while the other moaned of her sufferings. I left them behind as I continued my journey through the waters of thought.
The trip to Tennessee started with me running around grabbing a cooler, beach towel, and a bag of ice (also Phase 10). I put on my traveling outfit which happened to be a very nice button up black shirt with dressy jeans I had recently bought. I made sure of course that the part in my hair was perfect, can’t go on the expressway hurling at 80 mph to potential death without looking like Ron Burgundy. Jordan also showed up in like fashion, indeed we were ready for the trip! We made sure the Wild Cherry Pepsi was in the back seat inside the cooler, and Jordan had brought his pillow for sleepy time since he had only enjoyed 2 hours of sleep beforehand. During our journey I had a sudden epiphany as I mulled over the name of the log cabin “Sugar Booger”, there was just something…so manly about it. So I popped the question “Is this a log cabin for newlyweds on their honeymoon?”
“yep, it’s official, we are going to have a fun story to recount after we get through this vacation!”
“Oooh my goodness Gena!”
About 4 hours later we get to the place where we picked up our keys and such other boring things. Beforehand I had made a point to say we should not go in together, since this is a honeymoon sweet and we are in the conservative state of Tennessee, I wouldn’t be surprised if after finding us to be two gentlemen, they decline our stay at this lodging. Unfortunately my sitting muscles were exhausted and I had to stretch them, so I went in anyway. They didn’t deny us access, nor acted strange. I thought that we came out unscathed of inaccurate assumptions. Unfortunately we later found a journal of past tenants and their thankfulness for the cabin and discovered that some tenants lacked a biblical understanding of God’s intended design for relationships, Tennessee isn’t as conservative as I thought.
We then left and trekked up a mountain to our cabin, my car nearly exploded, and when we pulled up to the cabin we began weeping as we realized we were at a peak and could see an entire mountain face off in the distance from our deck. I was not so excited that we were not as secluded as I had originally thought, so I took to investigate these nearby cabins when lo-and-behold a black bear was eating somebody’s trash that they thought belonged on a mountain in Tennessee where black bears typically resided. After I screamed like a baby and began praying for my dear life, Jordan took a picture of it on his fancy techno-phone. The bear eventually saw us and ran off for dear life, thank goodness. I texted some of my friends of this encounter, no one texted back; clearly I am the only one unaccustomed to experiencing potential death at the hands of bears.
The place itself was pretty nice, not somewhere I could live for long term, but nice for a week. It had a memory foam bed, of which I still miss; I have had the same bed now for 11 years…sorrow consumes me.
There were two bath-tubs, the one in an actual bathroom had also a shower, typical; but there was also a public, non-private, bath-tub with splendid jets, surrounded by pretty red flowery decorations and such. Definitely romantic. There was also a hot-tub outside in a gazebo, the highlight no doubt. Some of the more boring things were a pool-table, two TV’s, bad color choice for wall paint, and a 56 degree angled driveway that nearly blew my engine every time I went up it. The place came with dishes and silver ware, a dish washer (this is pretty high class for me), a deck with the view of a whole frickin’ mountain! Needless to say we had lots of great locations for smoking cigars and talking about splendid things.
The second day we did our tourist stuff, which meant going to Walgreens and grabbing butter, bacon, sugar, and coffee since we didn’t get those before coming. We then went hiking at the National Forrest Park. We hiked a trail that ended at a ten foot tall waterfall (we were envisioning on our way there something like a mile high or so). We have the same kind of humor in that we create situations in our heads and build on them. By the time we got to the waterfall we had decided to jump off the waterfall and somehow end at the Waterfront within seconds, no idea how we got there.
We also picked up Moonshine, the legalized-advertised-all-over-the-state-of-Tennessee-kind (as potent as bourbon). We had the opportunity to taste test them before buying, but since Jordan has a long expired license they wouldn’t allow him to partake in the glorious tasting. So to bring it all back, we came back after our hike, drank some moonshine while smoking some cigars while sitting in the hot-tub talking about Jesus. It’s hard to beat that. The next day was a repeat for the most part, we went hiking again, this time at Clingman’s Dome, we hiked down 500 ft of elevation and up 100 ft to another dome, and we were at around 6,400 ft up on a mountain. We screamed and sang songs of thanksgiving while going up to Clingman’s dome, Jordan took 18 pictures while I was driving and he was still screaming. Hoarse and already tired we took on the hike and enjoyed more talk of bears. We then ate at The Mill, which while waiting we threw the Frisbee in a field. Turns out I overdressed (which never happens) for the occasion, which made throwing a little more challenging. Two kiddos’ popped over, I taught them how to throw, and they ended up throwing better then I typically do within 10 minutes. One was 6 years old and the other 13. They shook my hand like men.
Finally we cleaned up on Sunday and headed back, we took a 30 minute pit stop to throw the Frisbee some more. After resuming our trek back we came to a wonderful hour and a half stand still due to construction. So instead of making it back home by 5pm, we got back at around 6:45pm. I was ticked.
The best part of the trip and vacation though actually came back with me here to Kentucky where we legally grow hemp. Indeed my brother Jordan is my best friend and I am looking forward to our trek in our friendship. We spent one night talking about how we come to a place we want to be, but by means we would have never taken to get there. And that is why we are so glad God is in control and not ourselves. A brother that (or sister) you can call your best friend is one that cannot be replaced, indeed such a relationship outstrips all others. The only one that can be greater is my one-day-wife; but a part of that relationship’s foundation will be my friendship with Jordan.
I also decimated Jordan in Phase10 4 times over the course of the trip, he had no hope.