It Was Like Gatlinburg But Not
If you know me at all then it should come as no surprise I’m a huge advocate of Mommy Time Outs. Essentially this involves couples investing time in their marriage by leaving the kids with the grands (or any caring adult will do) for a few days and getting out of Dodge. ALONE. It worked out that after our visit to Pensacola for the auction that Luke and I were able to road trip up the coast until we found a place to crash. We ended up in Destin and no, he did not have to twist my arm to call it home for the next couple of days.
We had no idea it was Fall Break week because we don’t get those in Alabama so rooms were not as plenteous as we imagined they would be in the off season. However, after a couple of calls we found a studio condo at San Destin where they were offering a Buy Two/Get One special. We snatched it up and drove over to the resort to check in.
You may or may not remember that Luke and I have had our share of vacation mishaps. Some can be blamed on less than stellar accommodations such as this one and this one. I didn’t even have a blog when we rented a house in Daytona that the owners still lived in and only vacated on weeks someone was coming in. (No the rental agency didn’t tell us this up front.) It ended up having the most impressive collection of p*rn materials and paraphernalia ever collected under one roof. (No, we did not stay.) Some of our other more unimpressive trips could be attributed to nothing more than our being old and boring. Luke and I still talk about how much fun we had reading the comments from when we, aka Mamaw and Papaw, went to Gatlinburg for our anniversary a couple of years ago. The fact that the blog was the highlight of the trip should say something about our Lame Factor.
We went to the condo so excited to have a couple of days to enjoy the sounds of the crystal blue water from the balcony. Luke opened the door, we stepped inside, and… the place was a dump. A stinky, dirty dump. Garbage under the bed. Unsanitary bed linens. You get the picture. Now, Luke and I are very low-maintenance people who realize that we are some spoiled rotten people here in the Western World so both of us worked hard to hide our disappointment over the fact that once again, something had gone screwy. We sat around for a few minutes telling ourselves it was going to be okay until the air conditioning came on and a new, stinky smell overcame us. Luke looked at me and said, “Get the bags. We are outta here.” I’ve never been more relieved. NEVER.
This is where I get to brag on San Destin. They were so gracious when we returned to the front desk to humbly ask about our options. All of the condos there are individually owned and apparently this particular owner had not updated their unit for a very long time and had left it a wreck. The desk clerk upgraded us to a full one bedroom that was perfect. Hooray for excellent customer service!
We got settled and started talking about where to go. The resort offered 2 bicycles or a free kayak each day. I asked Luke if he wanted to do either and he said, “What are you trying to do, ruin my vacation?” I laughed like a maniac. What was I thinking? We are not athletes.
Instead we went to PF Chang’s. Lettuce Wraps, anyone? After that it was to Kilwin’s to pick up a huge caramel apple for dessert. Over the next couple of days I am proud to report we found no shortage of great places to go. We went to the movies (saw Contagion. Do not watch if you are a germophobe. If you are not one, you will be when you leave), we ate (a lot), we shopped at the different outlets, and hit an antique shop. We learned a valuable lesson: Do not go to a store that has “Interiors” in the title unless you fancy paying $14,000 for a simple table or $695 for a candy dish. We were way out of our league and the fancy lady behind the overpriced desk knew it. She never even stood up when we walked through the door. Or when we walked out. Hysterical.
Let me offer some more advice that is in keeping with my pay grade: Tom Thumb has the best gas station bathrooms, hands down. Not so critical intelligence for the men among us but you girls will thank me. It seems Luke has a radar for finding the worst commodes on any road trip and now I know in the absence of a Cracker Barrel, go for Tom Thumb. You are so very welcome.
A couple more random observations:
We passed a church on the way home advertising their upcoming revival. The evangelist’s name was Dr. Jumper. I clapped my hands in delight. Wordplay at it’s finest.
And finally… Luke brought seven pairs of shoes for a 5 day trip. I couldn’t be more proud of the fact he is learning the importance of options. Speaking of shoes, I found the perfect pair of boots while we were shopping. They were $499. I’m still grieving them but will share a piece of shopping-with-the-hubs wisdom. Take him to the ridiculously expensive shoes and then he will practically thank you for buying a pair that *only* costs $100. And if I ever quit being too cheap to spend even that amount on a pair of shoes, I will consider this advice golden.
And now we are home, the Time Out is now Time In, and the babies are all sprawled in the bed with us watching X-Factor. It’s so good to have time alone with my man but it is another comfort altogether having my kids’ knees safely back in my kidney where they belong. My organs have missed them.
So tell me, do y’all take time for getaways/date nights? Where are some of your favorite places to go/things to do?
You are hilarious!!! I remember when I first began reading your blog about the places you had gone to on vacay. Thanks for the heads up about Tom Thumb.;)
I went out of town last weekend to visit your great state. I saw on Twitter what happened to one of your sons being stuck on a ride. Have Mercy. They owe them so much more than what they gave them and their momma too. Thank you Jesus for being our Shield and Protector.
I pray Ps. 121 over both my sons every single day and I am grateful that God does listen and fulfills His Word. I got a call Saturday night that my oldest son’s brakes went out on his car. It could have a bad, bad day. God protected him and got him home!!
So glad you had a great few days away and are back home!
Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife Reply:
October 14th, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Gosh Patty…It seems like a million years ago that I first stalked you in Nashville at Deeper Still. You were my first blog friend! :)
October 15th, 2011 at 8:44 pm
Awww,, I know and I am thankful to God for our friendship. :) You are such a blessing to all of us. I was thinking the other day about your Bible study we all did and how much I enjoyed it. Maybe you will publish a Bible study in the future?! :-)
I didn’t start reading you blog til late 08 so I went back & read about Mr. Patel & Gatlinburg, too too funny!
Y’all sure have a track record of great vacation spots , don’t cha?!
Love y’all dearly!
Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife Reply:
October 14th, 2011 at 3:01 pm
Something stupid ALWAYS happens to us. We are magnets for the absurd. Before we opened the door to the first room I was praying, “please let us be pleasantly surprised. please let us be pleasantly surprised” and doggone it if it wasn’t the same ‘ole routine again. Wonder what the Lord is trying to teach us? haha
Lisa, Glad you finally got a decent room. We go on a date every monday night. My 3 oldest are away at college and the youngest has worship practice that nigh. So it is a perfect time for us to spend together. We generally go out to eat at ( don’t get to jealous now) Denny’s. We live in a small town and that is about the best place to go with decent prices, decent food and pretty good service. We use to like driving along the So. California coast but have not done that since we move to Az 7yrs ago. Our 23rd anniversary in tomorrow and I am not sure what we are going to do. Probably nothing since we have no money, see note about college, and hubby has to put finishing touches on his sermon for Sunday. We are going to the SWCBA pastors and wives retreat on Monday. Truth be told we are going because we feel like we should and not because we want to. It should be good though. Life has been kind of hard here as of late. fortunately the church is doing great and all is well with all the different relationships in our lives and with each other. So God is good.
Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife Reply:
October 14th, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Hey Kim! I hope you have a great time at the retreat. Those things have a way of turning out so much more fun than we anticipate! ;) Praying for you as I detect just a hint of discouragement. Sister, I get it. You have no idea.
Great post and writing – thank you for sharing :)