Taking our lives (or, at least, our sanity) in our hands, we set out for a long weekend in Asheville recently -- Nora's first overnight trip away from home.
I'm pleased to report it was a resounding success. I mean, sure, a trip that should have taken four hours took, oh ... eight. And the car, once packed, looked like we were moving across the state instead of just spending three days there. But we went into it mustering all the patience we could, and knowing that the trip would be all about maintaining peace and happiness, instead of seeing all the sights and cramming the days full of fun, as used to be our strategy. And with that new goal in mind, we managed to have a pretty great time, even if we didn't do a whole lot.
We had breakfast at Tupelo Honey, went on a hike at Craggy Gardens bookended by drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and enjoyed dinner with some local friends in the comfort of our gorgeous cabin (which, thankfully, went unvisited by bears that weekend). We saw glorious fall leaves, the mountains we love, and a rainbow around the moon on a perfectly clear, still night.
But best of all, we saw our baby tolerate a long car trip, sleep in an unfamiliar place without complaining, take in her first glimpse of mountains, and enjoy some time in the great outdoors. And that was well worth all the stopping and packing and worrying about bears.