Category Archives: North Carolina

Vacations gone bad

During the course of a recent conversation, we started talking about vacations gone bad. Daughter / Writer Princess regaled the group with the story of her brother’s (Poolboy’s) first encounter with alcohol. It was the nadir of one of those weeks-from-hell vacations.

We had rented a cabin in the North Carolina mountains, and included Mrs. Poolman’s late father, sister and her two teenaged children in the plans. The week got off to a rough start when Father-in-law (FIL) fell and broke his shoulder when he and SIL stopped for gas on the way up from Florida. Rather than getting it attended to at that time, he insisted he was OK and so they continued the trip for another two hours up into the mountains. By the time he got to the cabin, he had changed his tune and was in considerable discomfort. We spent our first night of vacation driving back to civilization, and two different hospitals to have FIL’s fractured shoulder X-rayed and treated.

The docs recommended FIL not travel for at least a week, so that dispelled any notions of just cancelling the “vacation.” We spent the week in a small cottage, caring for FIL and trying to come up with enough activities to keep the four teen-agers busy.

As hinted above, one evening, Poolboy and “B”, his male cousin, found their amusement in a bottle of Jim Beam that B had smuggled along on the trip. They kept it quiet. We didn’t discover the indulgence until Mrs. Poolman got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She wondered why she couldn’t open the bathroom door. It seems that Poolboy was passed out on the floor while hugging the “porcelain queen.” As you might imagine, the next day both Poolboy and B felt like they would die. We had no sympathy.

That was as close as Mrs. Poolman ever got to killing and eating her children.

Part II of Awkward Vacations still to come.

A little mountain get-away

Well, we’re back from our short mini-vacation/family get together with some elements of my side of the clan. Mrs. Poolman and I headed to the North Carolina mountains near Waynesville to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law, and my father. Mrs. Poolman’s sister and her husband built a second home on Cold Mountain, of book and movie fame, several years ago, and she graciously offered it to us for the visit. It’s a great house and perfect for multi-family gatherings. House

The view from the deck.

The view from the deck.

They also rent it out. If interested, check out their Web site.   The plug is a way of thanking SIL for the use of her house.

In any case, we had a great time. Although we drove from coastal Georgia to Western North Carolina, we took the long way there. We passed through Denmark…


Norwayand Scotland (aka Scotia).


We call it the Northern Europe route through South Carolina and are always sure to pack our passports.

We spent one afternoon cruising “downtown” Waynesville.Waynesville

The next day, we took a drive to see some of the countryside, including…

A waterfall...

A waterfall...

A water slide...

A water slide...

And the view from the Blue Ridge Parkway.Mountain

The rest of the time, we hung around the house, doing what my sister claims our family does best, eating, drinking and talking.

Sister and BIL introduced us to a new card game, “Hand and Foot,” and I have to confess, we spent entirely too much time playing cards at the kitchen table.

I did run into one issue. We stopped at a local farm and bought some fresh vegetables. I love summer tomatoes, but I really had trouble getting my taste buds around these heirloom tomatoes.

Purple and orange tomatoes???

Purple and orange tomatoes???

I guess they tasted great, but I couldn’t get the image of orange and purple tomatoes out of my brain. They are supposed to be RED!

It was a nice late-summer break. We have three “off weekends” before the fall football season begins along with lots of additional activities. Back to work!