Epic Poem - New Years Trip December 2008

A trip begun on a Monday is an unusual thing
But we wanted a relaxing way the new years to bring
So after Mark came home from work we uploaded to the car
It looks like all was remembered, at least so far.
A few hours on the road and then tummy growling started
When we looked out the window saw the familiar golden arches
After dinner and a break we got back into the van
When a bathroom break was needed we visited McD's again
We were in Charleston West Virginia, for the first time ever
Another state for our count, we were feeling pretty clever.
Though it was over 6 hours of driving that we'd done
It had gone pretty quickly and seemed an easy bit of fun
At 9:27pm, official black van clock time
We crossed into West Virginia and were feeling pretty fine
Found our hotel right at the bottom of the exit and in sight
GPS said "turn left" though we could see it on our right
We followed those directions and learned our lessons then
GPS in the mountains is slightly out of ken
Unloaded, checked in, then sorted out the beds
Watched some shows on the food network the rested our tired heads

Marci woke up first, and Eric soon followed
They showered and went to breakfast, as quickly as slow moving allowed
Came back up to wake the others, who also came down to dine
Evan ate enough for 4, we waited for him to finish so that we could start the day fine
We went to the science museum near the center of town
The Clay Center, was fairly easily found
An earth exhibit got our interest, and we ended up rather wet
It was way too fun to even get mildly upset
There were fun games and quizes about the body for us to play
Hollywood squares with body parts playing each celebrity
We played numerous rounds since it wasn't very busy
But the questions oft repeated so each round was much more easy
A train exhibit, and decorated trees for viewing
With a scavenger hunt to fill out gave us fun to be doing
In the basement was funky gizmos, we made stuff including noise
And a wonderful time was had by Marci and her three boys.
We finished at the museum and drove off to find some lunch
Figured we would find an interesting place in town, that was a lousy hunch
We finally ended back on the road heading toward North Carolina
At Captain D's we stopped so that we could have some food
Wasn't unique or exciting but it was pretty good
Back on the road, started heading through the mountain view
What an amazing view, but the GPS kept going kablew
We entered the first tunnel, East River Mountain was its name
And entered into Virginia just past the exit, 4:10pm official van time
While in the tunnel the GPS "Lost satellite reception"
Not a surprise considering we were deep inside a mountain
Interesting sign said "speed limit enforced by air craft" looking rather insistent
Kind of funny since in the clear sky air craft were totally nonexistant
Signs for the runaway truck ramps amused us until we saw what they meant
A path straight up the mountain to slow trucks was not making us confident
The views were quite amazing up, down, and across the mountain ranges
And when it was dark out with no light pollution we could appreciate the changes
Somewhere on the drive there was no sign there to warn us
But it was obvious that we had entered North Carolina
Signs were everywhere to inform of JR Store
Made me think of Burma Shave, not sure if I want a tour.
Shortly to Mark and Lonna's, knowing dinner would be waiting
So the traffic slowed way down, our drive couldn't soon be abating.
But make it nonetheless, we soon arrived at their door
Lovely people that they are, still opened their house to us 4
We ate and we chatted, caught up and placed nice
Enjoyed the company, and being away from the ice
Then it was bedtime and the kids were sent to sleep
We talked a while longer, nothing important, nothing deep
Just catching up with missed friends and enjoying the night
Until our eyes couldn't stay open, our pupils were out of sight
Tomorrow would be fun, not too wild, not too tame
So off to bed for the adults, each pillow called a name

Arose slow in the morning, each to their own sleeping in
But once all the kids were going, it was time for the day to begin
Marci and Mark went for bagels, and he showed of his new neighborhood
Lonna and Mark kept an eye out, so the kids would get dressed like they should
We all settled in for some breakfast, Simone was feeling a little done
So she and Mark stayed at home while the rest of us had some outlet mall fun
Gumballs and Orange Julius's all around kept our energy up
Grabbed a quick lunch and wandered until it was time to sup
Back to the house, to organize and pick up Simone and Mark
To Downtown Charleston to celebrate First Night when it got dark
Walked in the cold to find a place to stand
Got set to watch the parade and listened to a Dixieland Band
After the band and costumed marchers everyone joined in the parade
Then we went to find our cars to have dinner rather late
Drove to Smokey Bones for ribs and chicken
Evan ate two dinners, I think a growth spurt is beginnin'
Would have been easier if Jonny knew what he was about
But we eventually got our food, our bill, and got out
Back to the house for hanging out, tv, and wii over here
Waiting for the ball to drop, and start the brand new year
We toasted with sparkling cider and the flying monkey scream
The ball didn't drop but changed colors from a bright red to green
Then we sent the kids to bed for a little bit of quiet talk
We didn't last too long before the grownups eyes did balk
And being kept open for too long to be coherent
So we also went to bed to enjoy the sleep that was gently sent.

Thursday morning, a new year, a new day
We were eventually all awake and ready to go play
Went to Bob Evans to grab breakfast and/or lunch
Evan and Eric both had both, "growing boys" was our big hunch
To Discovery Place to see the Circus exhibition
Maybe even learn some stuff about science, ecology, and our earth situation
We had fun and got educated, Eric went on the bungy jump thing
Evan touched some fish and played a lot of virtual sportings
Eventually Discovery closed for the evening and back to the house we went
For dinner, fun, and packing for the drive home in any event
Getting directions and planning a route, not sure if it would be a one day drive
Enjoying just hanging out, what a great day to be alive
But still getting tired and soon we would off to bed
To rest for the morning and rest our weary heads

The morning began pretty early, to get on the road before 9
With waking, packing, and goodbyes it took a good bit of time
We gassed up and got our breakfast fixed to go
And put ourselves in the van on the road
The first few hours were uneventful, though the scenery was very nice
The hills were a beautiful backdrop, it was pleasant not to have snow and ice
Around noon we were close to the Smokeys, the views just kept getting better
We stopped to grab a quick bite and hope the drizzle didn't get any wetter
In Cherokee, North Carolina we drove through a Native American town
There were many painted bear statues, and store selling kitsch all around
When we got to the entrance to the park, there was a sign saying the road through was closed
We stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor center and the rangers there said we weren't toast
That a truck was on the trails at that moment, throwing dirt on the ice on the road
Hopefully within half an hour we could get back in the van and just go
So we hung out at the center, Mark and Evan played checkers until
The rangers got the call the road was open, the news gave us a big thrill
Back into the van we wandered, got the camera all set for the sights
Started driving up the thin roads, enjoying views as much as we might.
Through the Smokys an interesting thing to note, at least on the day we were there
Was that sometimes it was cloudy and overcast, at others bright, clear, and fair.
Named for the fog that hangs there, the Smokies were an amazing view
We stopped often for pictures, to the scenery our eyes were glued.
Evan wanted a picture of him enjoying nature, to keep to remember the trip
Standing on rocks to take the pictures, we're happy that nobody slipped
Eventually we exited the park, to find ourselves buried in tourist trap
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were hotels, museums, and stores for crap
If the roads had been any slower, we might even be there today
I was just glad we could get through them, that's about all I should say
It was like taking Niagra Falls in Canada and compressing and multiplying it a lot
A interesting place to drive through, but expensive as heck if you stop
We were most of the way through Pigeon Forge, finally making good time like we should
When Mark saw a sign and got excited to find we were right near to DollyWood
We drove around to find the entrance, but we couldn't get near to the park
Maybe on another adventure we will spend some time there for a lark.
Back on the road, looking for a place for dinner
Found a Hooters and that was a winner
Fried pickles for Marci makes any place good
And the guys had some hot dogs, and were happy that they could
Our waitress named Carrie was lovely, patient with guys
We enjoyed her Tennessee accent, she teased the E-team about their fries
Back on the road then, with snacks for the road
We got ourselves comfortable, it was starting to get cold
The boys with their DS's, Mark and Marci with CD's
We were all quite settled, and progressed with much ease
Tennessee soon became Kentucky as we passed the states' borders
Though not as quickly as we had hoped, our trip was progressing in order
Decided to make a night of it, we could finish in one day
So we just kept on driving through Ohio though it was getting late
We got the boys resting, they soon closed their eyes
Started snoring, believe me, they slept that's no lie
We we hit the Michigan border, Mark and Marci gave a quiet cheer
Only about one more hour and our house was getting very near
Shortly after 1am we pulled into our garage
Our long driving vacation was now merely memory's mirage.

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"All poetry on these pages Copyright 2004-2009 by Marci Grossman"