It was our first family vacation. Ziti, Stelline, and I decided to drive from Florida to Ohio and then onto Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We chose Gatlinburg because we were in search of the mountains. I barely remembered what a mountain looked like having lived in Florida for so many years. The tallest mountain in Florida was the fire ant hill in the backyard.
We visited family in Ohio and then made our way to Tennessee. We had driven a good 4 ½ hours before we hit Sparta, North Carolina. At that time we decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway as a “shortcut”. Let’s face it … we were dumb. We didn’t really know what the Blue Ridge Parkway was and this was back in the day before it was super easy to just “google it”. We didn’t realize that it would take us about 93 hours to drive it!
Our jaws hit the ground as soon as we turned onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. All we could see around us were beautiful, never-ending mountains! We were so excited! There were so many overlooks to stop at every few miles. We stopped at all of them! There was not one overlook that we could drive by. Every overlook was more spectacular than the last.
As the day progressed that amazing-ness turned into well … scariness. We were driving along and all of a sudden we were met with a wall of fog right smack in front of us! How in the world were we supposed to know that as it got later into the day, that the fog would start to roll into the mountains!? Ziti thought it was awesome and I began to cry like a baby. And while I was crying like a baby, Ziti decided to pull off at an overlook to TAKE A PICTURE!!!
I was so mad and of course, I cried even more. What was he doing?!! Didn’t he know that the fog would eat him!? After enough crying and yelling, he got back into the car. I didn’t want to leave that spot. I wanted to ride out the fog or something. But nope, we drove on and I cried.
I honestly don’t know what I was expecting Ziti to do. Turn around? Pitch a tent? Turn the car into a helicopter? Anything but drive!! I was terrified that we were going to drive clear off of the damn mountain! Well … we didn’t.
We decided it was time to take the highway once we hit Asheville. It was about a 2-hour drive to Gatlinburg from there. The hotel was plopped right in the Great Smoky Mountains and by the time we got there it was dark. You’d think I would have cried again, but I didn’t. That’s because the fog had scared the tears right out of me.