My Family Vacation: Day 5

It’s summer, so there’s not much color variety out here. Green and brown, green and brown–an atmosphere-wallpaper of green and green and green and brown.

I’m not complaining, I’m setting the stage for what a dramatic event it is to witness the sudden sundial lupine, or zebra swallowtail–the glint of wing iridescence like the flash of a sneaky paparazzo in the underbrush.

So it’s hard not to notice the collection of vibrant blackberries growing at the dead end of the nearest incline. I saw them on our first hike, and then I saw Rich’s face, which contains excitement about as well as a swimmie dipe contains explosive diarrhea.

‘Later, let’s bring the kids here to pick blackberries, and then they can help you make a blackberry pie!!!!!’

Nope. For a few reasons.

  1. Copperhead snakes live in blackberry bushes. I learned this from a native and I believe her.
  2. Everything that grows in the wild is poisonous. I refuse to feed my children a poison pie.
  3. I don’t bake.

In town, in any given interaction with a gleamingly friendly townie, Rich would say, ‘Will you please tell my wife that the blackberries around here are not poisonous?’ To which they always replied, ‘No, ma’am. My wife/husband eats them all the time.’

But I am stubborn if anything, and so I continued to refer to them as ‘family-killing poison berries’.

IMG_4465So what did he do? That dirty bastard snuck a handful of poison berries when I wasn’t looking and made us a batch of poison pancakes.

The Smoky Mountain Killer
The Smoky Mountain Killer



I ate them, because they were f*cking delicious, but then I beat him with a stick because he’s a deceitful sh*tcake.

Anyway that was breakfast. And then we did, honestly, nothing. All day.


Until around three-thirty, when the kids started to climb the furniture and cabin family time began its transmutative descent into chinese prison torture. We decided to hit up the Cobbly Nob pool, whose gate plaque reads ‘Little Bit ‘O Heaven’.

IMG_4376 Indeed it is.

The kids made fast friends with other cabin lesees from, of course, Ohio. (If you meet anyone, anywhere, it’s a good bet that they’re from Ohio. I don’t know what the deal is with that.)

The view from Rich's lounge chair.
The view from Rich’s lounge chair.

Rich–having earlier agreed that I’d get my Kindle on while he swam with the kids–tricked me into putting on Jack’s swimmie dipe. Jack has defcon 1 separation anxiety, so when I’m holding him, especially near a body of water, I’m holding him for good.

Rich just smiled like an A-hole and settled in (on my lounge chair!) for a sun nap. IMG_4375I declared war via toddler by organizing a splash attack.

So he got in and played with the kids, the sun disappeared and we got cold and went home.

And that’s it, pretty much. We added more meat to a can of beans, gave the kids a bath and sent them to bed at a fairly decent time.

Rich lit a fire and made some hot chocolate, and we snuggled onto the couch for a computer movie, Oculus. It was SO GOOD. Watching a scary movie here is the perfect example of how huge a role setting plays in the horror-movie watching experience. I KNOW what the back of my couch looks like at home. I know what it sounds like when the A/C’s about to kick in, and that it’s the parrot next door that sounds like a pediatric dose of electroshock therapy. Here, the trees form an echo chamber that smothers the cabin with a cacophony of mysteries, somewhere within which is lurking an army of Rachel-hungry mountain zombies.

SO great. Once, when I was reaching for my hot chocolate, I discovered a Tahoe-sized dragonfly staring at me from the couchside table. Seriously, it was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen. I jumped clear out of my skin, and let out a series of screeches until Rich got him safely out of our living room and onto the back porch.

Watch it, and then tell me if it’s as scary in the real world.


See you tomorrow!