Back to the never ending Vacation trip story, I keep dragging this one out because it was so great in my opinion, I have dragged you through almost getting into a gang fight and snakes in Arkansas to the swat team and Elvis following my wife in Tennessee, OK this gets better.
After leaving Tennessee we entered into North Carolina, this is a beautiful drive on I-40 driving down the mountain, you just can’t beat the view given between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cherokee, NC is a great place to stop it is kind of off the beaten path but well worth the detour, needless to say we arrived late at night and being the hard headed Southern Boy I am, I refused to stop any earlier than our destination, Maggie Valley, NC is a small town you pass through before going through the twists and turns that take you into Cherokee it is a beautiful town with a lot of great places to stop and eat if you pass through in the daylight rather than 11:00PM, do you know how narrow those roads in the South look after dark and how dark it gets at night due to all the tall trees, OK I am driving rather fast because I had already told my Southern California girl how great this place was, if you remember from the other stories we are driving a second hand Ford Taurus station wagon I picked up for a good price, we have three kids with us, Randy and Melissa sitting in the back seat whining “When are we gonna get there” and Tim stuffed in between the suitcases in the “Way Back” which was a seat that faced backwards, Tim loved this seat because he could see where we had been and the other Kids loved it because Tim was the only one that would fit between the suitcases.
Now here we are in the pitch black and the Kids are not sleeping like we thought they would be after it got dark and being pitch black they were not enjoying the view, I am now realizing it is further between Maggie Valley and Cherokee than I had remembered, to make matters worse have you ever had warped rotors on your car and do you know how much a Ford Taurus Station Wagon will shake when you are on the brakes going down a steep hill, well this was happening and I couldn’t convince Cindy or the kids that it was all right and that I would get us there safely, “iiiitttttt’sssss ooookaaaayyyyyy Ciiiiiinnnnnnndddddddyyyyyyyy” probably was not the most convincing sound for her to be hearing at the time.
We made it there safely just as I had promised and had a great time the next morning after the town woke up to welcome us, Old Town section of Cherokee is pretty much the same as it was when I was a kid, there are wooden Indians and bears all along the streets, there are Cherokee Indians dancing and posing for pictures with the tourists, there are shops where you can buy almost anything including an “As Seen On TV” store which my Cindy just went crazy for, you have seen the items and everyone of them is something you just can’t live without, “But Wait---if you order in the next five minutes….” You know the spill, we went through the store and Cindy found the things she just couldn’t live without and we made our way to the counter, the purchase was rang up and I said “But Wait” you should have seen the look I got, I said what about the free one that goes with the one we just bought, I got it explained to me that was “Just On TV” oh well at least I tried.
We are walking down the street enjoying the sights and listening to the kids questions and comments on a whole new world they had never seen before, Cindy is leaning on each wooden bear and snuggling against each wooden Indian we passed for me to take her picture, there was one sitting in a rocker by a shop door and Cindy jumps in his lap saying “Jimmy take my picture” the Indian jumps up and yells, Cindy is gone instantly she is now running across the street, I now realized how fast that girl can actually run, the Indian grins and sits back down motionless, she is yelling and everyone is looking at her like she had gone crazy, the Indian is not moving heck you couldn’t even see him breathing and I was laughing too hard to help her while she is explaining to a group of people we don’t know how this wooden Indian had jumped up and scared her, she was getting that old “Yeah Right” look from the group and the show went on, he never moved and we still laugh about this.
Next day I found out how ornery my wife actually is, we finally get into South Carolina when my Dad calls to see where we are, now let me back up just a bit to say that Cindy and my Dad had never met face to face, but at this point they had been talking on the phone since we married about who was the Best and which one was going to “Get” the other, they had this practical joke thing already starting and each had the threat going strong, like I said my Dad calls to see where we are and before I got the phone Cindy is telling him we are somewhere in North Carolina, we were actually on his street, she passes me the phone begging me to play along, by this time we are sitting in his driveway, I go along saying that we had some car trouble in Cherokee and we needed to look at the car when we got there, this was not actually a lie as the rotors were warped and we had to do a brake job when we arrived, so as I am talking to him Cindy goes to the door and knocks, I see her go inside and I am still talking to him, My Dad was sitting on the back door steps and Cindy is going through the house begging everyone to keep quiet, now did I mention that she had not met anyone as of yet, she goes out the back door and leans down to my Dad’s ear and whispers “Can I Talk To Jimmy” I hear the phone fall and realize that my call seriously had been dropped.
From what I have been told he looked at her and she said “Gotcha” he replied “I’m gonna kick your ass” for the next couple hours this was the only statement he made to anyone and over the last thirteen I still hear it frequently when the two of them are talking. You just have to Love Family.