Okay, so vacation. A new view. Things to see, places to go, people to meet. Well, yes, and no. When the girls were little and we planned vacations there was little wiggly room in the planning. I mean, come on, there were four of us, clothes, food, travel, not a lot you can leave to chance, not if you’re a Type A like me. Now is different. All the same stuff goes on, things, places, people but there’s a lot more wiggly room.
We were headed across I 40 toward Knoxville to turn right toward Kentucky when we passed Gatlinburg. You know, home of Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. We were making spectacular time and we had no one waiting for us at the other end of the trip, that would be the next day, but not that day. Well, by the time I thought of it, we were past the exit. Tom, my trusty cartographer and guide [who sometimes needs to be reminded that he has not been replaced by the GPS], pulled out the map and said take exit X, and so I did. We’re driving down this backroad that is so proud of itself for having a Route number it was twisting and tuning in every direction. Let me set the stage, here, there was nothing on this road, a few small cottages, lots of trees, and woods, that’s about all. Well, we drive around this bend and there’s this huge white long airplane hanger type building sort of nestled up against the mountain. Next to this building is another and another and soon the entire side of the road is nothing but big white plant buildings. And, we’re trying to figure out what it is when we past this very neat white house opposite a huge parking lot and a general store and it dawns on me, this has something to do with Bush’s Baked Beans.
My mom had a two gallon brown ceramic pot she bought in La Jolla California, well, I can’t remember when, she always had it. And she would buy white navy beans, soak them for twenty four hours. She’d buy bacon, and brown sugar and molasses and I don’t know what else and make this sauce. After the beans had soaked she’d bake them overnight for eight hours then pull the pot out of the oven and mix in the sauce and back for another eight hours. And you could smell those beans! Oh my! She didn’t do it often, not often enough for me, anyway. When they cooled, she’s put them in glass jars and we’d have homemade baked beans.
So we there we are driving down this road, rounding the corner, heading for Pigeon Forge and I pulled off the road. I have no idea what Pigeon Forge is like. I’m sure it’s charming. But the whole point of being on vacation is to do something you couldn’t or wouldn’t do in a regular day. I backed up into a ditch, well, almost, turned around and pulled into the parking lot.
Sometimes you just need a new view.