What I Learned on my Summer Vacation
Last week I spent a couple thousand miles in the car to travel Southward for our annual family vacation. Even in the midst of sweltering 90+ degree heat, I learned a few lessons that I thought I’d share while things were still fresh in my head.
From Mammoth Cave National Park
There’s a bigger picture out there – see it! A beautiful forest with deer and wild turkey romping about it is cool, but hiking 300 feet underneath those turkeys to see a room that could house my son’s elementary school (and this was only the 5th largest discovered) makes me excited about all the discoveries I’ve yet to make.
From the Grand Ole Opry
Marketing and advertising have an amazing amount to do with our perception of products. Well, I know that’s a no-brainer lesson, but it truly struck home in Nashville. I don’t know about you, but when my husband and I were thinking of the Grand Ole Opry, we envisioned this large “vintage” theatre set downtown somewhere. You know – it’s Grand and it’s Ole! The truth of the matter is that the Opry is right off the highway. It’s a large, auditorium-type building. And it’s right next to a mall (right by the Dave and Buster’s entrance!). I was told the mall used to be Opryland.
From Ruby Falls, Chattanooga TN
Achieving a goal can be terrifying, but you can do it. When we were planning our vacation, my son saw a brochure for Ruby Falls. It’s “America’s highest underground waterfall.” He wanted to see it, so we let him have this stop on our trip. Now, before I go any further, I have to tell you two things. First, I have an insane fear of heights. Second, I have a terrible fear of being trapped underground with nowhere to go.
Ruby Falls is at the base of a small mountain. You have to drive up a small, winding road to get to it. By the time we parked I was already at a solid 9 out of 10 for stress level. So, you go in, and pay an extremely overpriced fee to go see the falls. The perception is that you walk in to the cave and see the falls. The reality is that you have to get into a small elevator with glass doors and go down 260 feet, all the while thinking “what happens if the elevator breaks?” and “I don’t see any extra elevator or emergency stairs.”
By the time I exited the elevator I was a solid 10 for 10. If I had a choice, I would have stayed in the car. But, I had to do this for my son. And perhaps for me, too, to show myself I could do it. (And now I think if I can do that, I can do just about anything!).
Honestly, I’m not sure what the takeaway is from Graceland. That the 70s really were a completely gaudy time in home décor? That you can have everything and still lose it all by making bad choices? Or maybe that I must really love my husband to agree to go there in the first place. :)
3/15/2014 02:36:06 am
Thanks for the tips. I am adding Mammoth Cave and... Ruby Falls (I am all about paying for overpriced terrifying experiences) to the summer travel wish list. If you ever get back to Memphis, I highly recommend the Pink Palace Museum. We opted for that over Graceland and haven't regretted it. We especially enjoyed the replica of the grocery store (that sparked a very interesting conversation with the kids) and the dinosaur exhibit. Happy travels!
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