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Trip 21: The end and the beginning

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So, I didn’t make it to 50 places I’ve never been the year I turned 50. I managed to finish 21 trips before I turned 51. I know, I know, it’s not ‘my fault,” but it still sucks to write those words. No one could have predicted COVID would lock down the entire world on the same year! In a blink, the new life I thought I’d be living was gone nearly as soon as it started. Ironically it came out of nowhere, as fast as my marriage of 23 years ended. 

I had saved for 3 years to make my travel dreams a reality. God had other plans. I hate it when that happens. Although if I’m being honest that extra cash I banked has come in handy. Guess God knows what he’s doing. 

My last trip was to Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate my birthday. I rented a boujee cabin with a swimming pool and celebrated it with my best friend from college, one of my sisters, and their other halves). The house was gorgeous! Usually, I don’t spend much money on where I stay. My philosophy is I’ll be out most of the time doing things and only sleeping there so why bother. But with the pandemic in full swing, I thought it may be the only place we actually see.  My prediction wasn’t far from the truth.

We started at the Gatlinburg Sky Bridge.  My daughter agreed to face her fear of heights since it was my birthday. We rode the lift to the top, her hand grabbed mine. Man, I’ll be sad when those days end.

It is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and part of it is glass!

The view was amazing. The bridge was cool. The beer at the top was cold. 

We had planned to do a little walking around but honestly, most of the town acted like it had never heard of the pandemic and that kinda freaked me out. So, instead, we ate a quick lunch then headed to the boujee cabin. By the way, that’s not its actual name but it’s what we called it.

We took advantage of all the amenities… the indoor swimming pool, the deck hot tub, the pool table, the movie room (I told you it was boujee)

There is nothing like laughing with people who really know you and still love you. People who have seen you at the best and worst. People who get you. People who can make fun of you and you don’t care because you know the love behind it. 

The Birthday Party Butler had sent a box of decorations for the event.

She sends everything you need in a beautiful box. Just unwrapping her packaging was fun! The quality of everything was excellent! 

We laughed and cooked and played cards and toasted the insanity of the year that had brought us to this moment (disclaimer: while I intended to have a few celebratory drinks we did not plan to drink THAT much!-like you would have thought it was my 21st birthday) and my brother in law made delicious steaks on the grill which we finally ate at like 930 at night.  

On the day we left, a fresh blanket of snow covered the ground. Once again it felt like the universe was wiping my slate clean. What was next? Everyone was asking me that question.  I didn’t know. But I know this… I’m not done traveling….