This weekend we went on a vacation "to the mountains." You know you're from the Lowcountry when you refer to Western North Carolina as "the mountains." We packed up the dog, our winter clothes (sweaters), and away we went for relaxing weekend in the mountains.
We lived in Asheville and Hendersonville, NC before moving to Charleston to be closer to family, and "the mountains" are our favorite place to be. We desperately want it to be a favorite place for our children, too. But after this weekend, there's a 50/50 chance they'll want to go back ...
As we crossed from the South Carolina upstate into North Carolina, there were very loud shouts of "MOUNTAINS!" from the back seat. So far so good. Then thirty minutes later, after a few missed turns, Siri directed us up a steep gravel road. We argued almost as loudly as they had been shouting with glee. They pointed this out to us as such: "Are you arguing? My teacher says that it's not nice to argue." Oops.
That night we played board games together (50!). And spilled a glass of red wine on the carpet. And our dog peed on the sofa (50!)
Saturday continued the same way. There were mountains to climb, waterfalls to see, and all our son talked about was iPad and Minecraft. "Look at that view" we'd say. "Can I play the iPad when we get back?" he'd counter. We wondered if they were getting it.
Then something amazing happened. Our little girl decided that she was a superhero and her walking stick could pull the whole family out of hot lava / off cliff sides / away from bad guys. Over and over again, we stopped, she made up something, and we RAN up the trail together. We stopped, we ran, we laughed. They get it!
That night was the October Supermoon - when the moon is full and also very close to Earth. We ate frozen pizza and watched a movie (not outdoorsy) by the fire with the door wide open and the fall breeze coming in (Ok, the kids might not have even noticed this).
Raising a kid in the Lowcountry, outdoorsy looks a little different than it does in Asheville. We can't be in the woods every day, but we can still have everyday adventures in our own backyard. That way, when we get to visit "the mountains" we can have a Famous Adventure together, that might include both hiking and watching movies. In other words, the pressure is off.
As a transplant from Charleston to Asheville and back to Charleston, we totally call them "the mountains," and then we make fun of ourselves.