Thursday, May 31, 2012

almost heaven

Hello there.

We're spent last weekend in the North Georgia Mountains, which is a thing that people do down in the South (see: John Denver's entire catalogue).  With the exception of going camping an hour away last year, we've never been, but no surprise, it's really very pretty.  For reasons that are boring we ended up staying at a cabin different than the one we originally intended to, so instead of a creek and a cornfield we got a river and some train tracks.  But they were very scenic train tracks.  Also: OMG TRAINS.

Anyway, there was Nature's Majesty and good weather and s'mores, and not to put too fine a point on it but inside the cabin was a TV that got both The Cartoon Network and Spike TV, which should, in my opinion, be renamed "The Star Wars Network" since that's basically the only thing it plays in the evening.  Not that anyone here is complaining.  (I'm outnumbered, obviously.)

Oh, the weird chemical salt crystals that we got to throw into the fire to make it all rainbow and mystical worked very well, by the way--the kids were impressed.  We just had to make sure that we were done with any fire-based cooking before we threw them in, because I'm pretty sure that eating foods cooked over copper salts and whatnot is probably not the healthiest thing in the world.  Then again, neither are s'mores, so whatever.

And whatever, I know that looking at other people's vacation-y photos is mostly boring so I'll spare you the entire set, but OK, just a few more.

Here Cal found a bird feather and was like, "Look Mom!  Like Harry Potter!"  And I was like, "Oh, that's nice, what a pretty fea--AUGH! DROP IT!  WASH HANDS!  WASH HANDS!" when I noticed the rest of the bird carcass, mostly picked clean but still with very readily identifiable calcific anatomy scattered clustered in a heap, about three feet away.  Nature's Bounty indeed.

(No, I didn't take a picture of the bird carcass.)

I read a bit about tubing on the river before we headed down, and I kept wondering how exactly it is that you get back to the starting point after you're done with your tubery.  I mean, isn't it far to walk back?  And isn't it unweildy to have to carry your tube overland all the way?  My more outdoorsy sources tell me that most people either plan a ride or have two cars, one for the starting point and one as a pickup vehicle downstream.  Which seemed...complicated.  Also, more planning than we were willing to put into the endeavor.  Our solution, therefore, was to just tie a rope to our tubes and drag the kids around in the waist-deep water like we were walking the dog.  A little labor intensive, but it worked fine, and we were able to recover 100% of our children at the end of the day.  Even the spare child.

(WHICH ONE IS THE SPARE?  I'll never tell you.)

(It's Cal.)

Anyway: the Blue Ridge Mountains!  You are very nice, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter!  If it also looks like this little getaway fulfilled my major criteria of taking vacations in places where seemingly no other people are, your perceptions are largely correct.  I mean, I'm not exactly sure where all the people all were--it was a holiday weekend, after all, and it's not exactly some remote secret getaway spot (it seems, in fact, like the default weekend getaway spot for a lot of people because it's so close by--kind of like the Hamptons is for New York except more rustic and with 99% of the snobbery and exclusivity excised) but with the exception of hearing our neighbors once in the evening and seeing a few kayakers hurtling by, we hardly saw any other people the whole time we were there.  Which, to be clear, was fine with me.  Interacting with humans is very taxing, you know.

(And no, as usual, we didn't actually catch any fish.  That said, it didn't seem to detract from the experience at all, so who cares.  Live on, little fish.)

*          *          *

I'm posting pictures anyway, so here, this thing:

32 weeks

33 weeks

I would describe pregnancy at this point as inconvenience and discomfort tempered by impatience anticipation.  People keep asking me how long I'm going to keep working and I tell them all that I'm going to keep showing up to work all the way up until this baby deplanes, because really, it's the fastest and most interesting way I know to pass a seemingly interminable span of time.  Getting through the third trimester at times is like the graph of y = 1/x.  As x approaches zero, time approaches infinity.

So what, like, four to six more weeks, right?

Tick tock.


  1. Really Michelle, you still look tiny.

    I completely agree about the interminable-ness of trimester 3, and yes you might as well work.

    Not sure if you and the fam have been, but when I was a wee lass, my mom used to take me to visit my relatives in Chattanooga each summer. Every year I went, we went to see Rock City. I LOVED IT. If you're ever in the vicinity with the kiddos, I highly recommend.

  2. Woman, you are amazing! I can't believe that you were all hauling in children on tubes and making magic flame colors this weekend, whilst growing a baby! The Lawyer went to college in Atlanta, so I hear all about the allure of these beautiful North Georgia mountains. I'm sure that the boys will remember their cabin with trains and Star Wars as an awesome vacation!

  3. In Texas tubing is almost a religion. You can rent a bunch of tubes, tie all your tubes together in a circle and put another tube in the middle. In this center tube you put a cooler full of beer. (The tubes can be rented with a bottom to sit in, thus you do not have all your beer on the bottom of the river.)

    Even better, in Texas a bus picks you up from the end of the tubing and takes you back to the beginning so you can get in your car or go tubing again. There is even a slide built into the river. It is EPIC. (If you go through the slide bit, you also go through the Schlitterbahn water park, which has water slide roller coasters. Yes, I am serious. But I love that their lazy river is an ACTUAL river.)

    1. Ha, yes! This double tube we got for the kids has a well between the two seats for beer too!

    2. Ah, the Comal and Guadalupe yes? You can't not go tubing in Texas :)

  4. Anonymous7:17 PM

    Why isn't there a single picture of you? Think of the memories captured!! :)

  5. So at first I was so excited that we were gestating on about the same schedule. Then your boy turned into a girl. THEN YOU WERE SO LITTLE THAT I WANTED TO... well, something sarcastically threatening but everything I type sounds super-creepy in text, so use your imagination. How about eat my OWN face off? You look super-cute and other people's vacation photos are great when you can scroll through them at your own pace.

  6. Anonymous2:48 AM

    Damn you Michelle, now I have a craving for smores!!

  7. Anonymous6:08 AM

    Is tubing sitting in a little rubber boat? Not familiar with the term! Beautiful photos by the way!

  8. So, I don't know what blog etiquette calls for here, but I was curious where you stayed? The cabin is gorgeous and we are taking a trip that way in mid-August. We'd love to check it out. That firepit area is fabulous!

    1. Tiffany, e-mail me and I can give you the info for the cabin rental company we used:

    2. :O) Can do! Thanks.

  9. Jessica, you must be from San Antonio. The tubers are out in full force!

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