The annual weekend getaway to the Smoky Mountains
You know how sometimes you make plans for something and you’re just sure they’re going to be awesome? And then they’re not? They’re actually better? I love it when that happens. That was our story a few weekends ago and it was so sweet.
Our church family started a wonderful tradition a few years ago. We reserve a cabin, or three, in the Smoky Mountains and spend the entire weekend just hanging out and enjoying the views. Or hiking, playing games, fishing, cruising Gatlinburg or doing nothing … basically whatever strikes our fancy at the time.
It’s such a fun balance between being away and being together. Oh, and we eat. And maybe nap. And then we eat again. And enjoy the views.
Our family drug in pretty late Friday night this year. I was up early Saturday morning as part of the breakfast crew, which obviously called for coffee. I was a little surprised when the mug had the name of a Bed & Breakfast where we had stayed for two nights as part of our honeymoon almost 25 years ago.
I sipped my coffee as we finished up breakfast and then headed out to the other cabins to let everyone know breakfast was ready. As I was heading back I noticed a little tree house off one of the rooms of the main cabin, and that’s when it dawned on me.
Made a little sweeter this year
It was the B&B where we had stayed, and suddenly it’s like I saw and remembered so many details. The latticed brick entryway floor and beamed ceiling in the kitchen. The deck stretching across the entire back of the large cabin. The little bridge out to the private tree house that at one time held a hot tub.
I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I quickly found another mug with the name of the B&B on it and poured Steve’s coffee. When he showed up a few minutes later I led him out to the little tree house deck to show him the view.
As if that wasn’t awesome enough, his expression showed the exact moment he recognized everything. Even our teenage girls were impressed with the story.
What are the odds? There are hundreds upon hundreds of cabins for rent in the Smokies, and we just happened to be at the very one where we had honeymooned.
I had actually searched for the B&B a few years ago to surprise Steve for his birthday, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. We ended up camping for his birthday and it was great fun. And this better-than-expected surprise was such fun to share with a few of our kids and each other 25 years later.
My own reminder to notice the details and savor the surprises
So I guess my reminder in all of this is to pay attention. I’m sure at some point it would have dawned on me where we were staying, but I’m so glad it was at the start of our weekend. It made our time even more enjoyable and special.
And the other lesson? Coffee. First thing. Every day. You’re welcome!
What sort of better-than-expected moments have you celebrated lately?