Mrs. M and I returned home last night from a couple of days in the Smokies, courtesy of the Mads, who rented a luxurious cabin for the Labor Day weekend for family and friends. The Spawn and Hound of the Basketballs held down the fort at the Mid-Century Mondohaus, and managed to make it through with flying colors.
We got a slightly later start than we had planned on Friday, as Tropical Storm Hermine passed through the region. After last fall’s floods, we wanted to make sure we weren’t taking on water, so we waited around the house until it was clear the brunt of the storm was passing to the east.
Mapquest sent us on what was supposedly the shortest route, but it was also one that sent us on several roads that were less well-marked than the Interstate standard, with a degree of difficulty heightened by nightfall. This resulted in a couple of wrong turns and some white-knuckle turns and braking on some of the twistier sections. However, we turned out to be some of the earlier arrivals at the cabin, preceded only by the Mads and another fellow from South Carolina. This meant that we had a choice of bedrooms, all of which had some sort of mountain-related theme. We wound up in the Deer Run room, with a very comfortable canopy bed and lovely views, and were zonked before many of the other guests had arrived. I was also pleased to find that in addition to a ping-pong table and a pool table, the game room boasted a cocktail-table video game machine featuring favorites from the 1980s, and lesser known ones such as Zaxxon, Qix, Time Pilot, Burger Time, and Pengo, all of which were quarter vacuums in my younger days.
No, really zonked. While most of the guests had departed for a local waterpark the next morning, Mrs. M and I emerged at noon to an empty house — and a spacious hot tub. We took advantage of the circumstances to soak, snack, and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains, some of which had cabins and chalets of their own. A little later, we rode into the touristy sections of Pigeon Forge and visited a local ice cream parlor. After that, we all gathered back at the cabin, where the Mads and I watched our beloved University of Kentucky footballers collapse against Southern Mississippi in the season opener. Alas, Mondoville College lost a close one on Saturday as well, but at least my doctoral institution kept me from getting 0-ferred this weekend.
Sunday morning was marked by a gang breakfast, as the 16 or so people in attendance enjoyed a variety of typical breakfast foods, as well as a few of the Mad Doc’s family recipes. The afternoon was occupied by lively conversation, scampering kids, and some efforts at a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Later in the afternoon, Mrs. M and I went back to an Amish shop we had seen, but it was closed. Fortunately, we were able to console ourselves with another run to the ice cream parlor.
While staying one more night was a possibility, we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and left our hosts with hugs and our gratitude around 6:30 last night to make the trip back to Mondoville. The drive home was much less stressful, as we had made it to the Interstate by dusk, and after grabbing dinner en route, we got home around 11:25. We got the vehicle unloaded, and after I made a quick grocery run to get a few items for today’s grilling, we traded stories with the Spawn and called it a night. Today we’re doing a little post-trip laundry and gearing up for a short-but-busy work week.
I hope your weekend has been — and continues to be — pleasant as well. And Mads? We’ll see you in under 4 weeks!