Sunday, July 26, 2009

The road is long. With many a winding turn.....

Well, after what seemed years away from home, our vacation is over and we have returned from an unexpectedly wonderful and amusing trip with my entire family!

We started off our trip traveling for a couple of days to the 9th annual River Roar in Marietta, OH! We stopped halfway in Memphis, TN where we found a great little chicken place called Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. I don't know what they do to the skin of that chicken, but it was very, very good!! This is a must stop place for you to eat if you are ever in the Memphis area!! Very good chicken!!
Now, on to Ohio!! The speedboats, as always, were exciting and thrilling. Although there were no major crashes, the speed at which these tremendous boats race was still amazing with upwards of 115mph in water no less! This year they ended the races with a spectacular fireworks show over the Ohio River bridge to the ooohs and ahhhs of everyone watching. Although, the first day of the time trials were called due to rain, the next day was quite beautiful and they started early with the time trials and got all of the racing in. Even though I had my SPF 50 on and was sitting under the umbrellas, I still got weird sunburns on my nose, one side of my cheek, my lips and on my knuckles!! I didn't know at that time, but apparently, I was given the wrong type of antibiotics for my Lyme Disease (Doxycycline instead of Monodox) and shouldn't have been out in sunlight at all!

After the finals of the speedboats were over, we all piled into our cars and headed out for Canaan, W. VA! My family in their big SUVS and cars and I in my MINI went up and down the mountains of W. VA! After quickly learning to downshift in the mountains I had a blast on those twisties!! My other family members (and from what I hear, my mom screaming) wanted to brake on all those curves, but I was having FUN!!!!

We had a great house that held all 14 of us very comfortably and without too much of a fuss, we were all settled into the many rooms that the house offered! We were warned about the bears in the area, but we weren't worried. We were no match for no stinking bears! Or, so we thought until my sister went jogging on Day 3 out in the middle of nowhere. She had run about 3 miles when she noticed that a car had stopped on the road. She thought that was odd and then she saw a black bear cross the road between her and the car! A moment passed as the bear went on its merry way. My sister, without her cell phone, did the only thing a normal person would do in this situation. She broke out in tears!! The car on the other side sat there for a bit and then continued on its merry way as well. Did it stop to ask the hysterically crying woman in the middle of the road if she was okay? No. My sister said another car passed her by as well, and they did not stop either. She said she was literally in the middle of the road bawling her eyes out and no one stopped to see if she was okay, like this was an everyday occurrence when you are out in the middle of nowhere on a mountain! Finally another car passed in the opposite direction and my sister flagged down the driver who did stop and ask what was wrong. My sister said she didn't know why she was crying but a bear just crossed the road and she didn't want to jog anymore. The teenager in the back seat said if she saw a bear, she would be crying too! The good Samaritans gave my sister a lift back to our house safe and sound.

During our stay we went fishing, horseback riding and tubing which was a lot of fun. But, you may ask, since I couldn't go out in the sun, just what did I do? Well, my readers, I was smart and figured I needed some zinc oxide to put on my face. But since we were out in the middle of nowhere and there weren't any beaches or lakes nearby, I got the next best thing. Yup, Desitin!! Well, it is zinc oxide and it did work! Although, after having to put it on my lips, cheeks and nose, my family proceeded to tease me and call me names since I had to wear hats and sunglasses and long sleeve shirts to protect myself!! I may have gotten teased, BUT, I didn't get burnt any more! We also went to visit Blackwater Falls which is a beautiful waterfall very near to where we stayed. The country out there is just very gorgeous and so peaceful!

Alas, at the end of our week and a half it was time to make our trek home. It was a rainy Friday and as much as I loved the mountains when we arrived, they were no longer my friend when we left. Mountains and rain do not bode well and it took us forever to leave West Virginia. It took us even longer to get out of Virginia as the rains took their tolls on car accidents which left us in traffic for hours. It took us 13 hours just to get to the border of Virginia and North Carolina when we said we were done driving for the day. The good thing? We found the nice little town of Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Never heard of it? Well, I'm sure you've heard of Andy Griffith! Yup, this is his hometown. Now, start whistling! I know I've got ya with that little ditty in your head! It's a quaint little town and it was a great place to stop for the night. Our next stop was Alpharetta, GA to see an old friend and eat some fantastic sushi. It was great to relax and enjoy a restful evening with friends and then wake up when we wanted and make the push home.

Vacations are always lovely, but afterwards it's still always nice to come home to my great, fluffy, cloud bed and sleep!