A Tale of Two Vacations

Vacation #1

I got sick a couple of days before our trip, and it only got worse as we drove to our destination. It was difficult to breathe, especially at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. We had planned to go sledding with our grandchildren, but I felt so bad I ended up only being able to watch and take pictures.

When our children left after a couple of days, all I could do was sit on the couch. I had no energy to do anything, but read.

The weather warmed up and all the snow melted into a muddy mess.  We made the best of it by having a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but we had to sit in the back of our car to keep from getting muddy and wet.

This is a place we’ve visited for over 25 years, and it was sad to see how it is changing. They are widening the road making it necessary to cut down beautiful trees in order to blast through the granite, paving the way for progress.

Towards the end of the week we went with some lifelong friends to see the place where Andy Griffith grew up – Mt. Airy, NC. But the weather ruined our plans. We wanted to walk the streets and see the sights, but the wind was so strong we could hardly breathe the cold air.  We ate lunch at a diner and left shortly after.

The trip ended with a stop in Myrtle Beach, SC. Our room was supposed to be Ocean Front, but was on the third floor facing another hotel instead. It was disappointing to say the least. We left a day early and although my cold was much better, my back hurt so bad we had to stop several times just to stretch and walk a bit.

Our vacation didn’t turn out like we had planned. I was ready to be home.

Vacation #2

I got sick a couple of days before our vacation, but Tom allowed me to stay in bed in order to rest as much as possible. He even did most of the packing for me. He’s like that, always looking for ways to help me when I need it most.

Once we arrived at our cabin, it was difficult to breathe, but I didn’t care. Our grandchildren had come to see snow for the first time, and I couldn’t wait to watch their delight. We prayed for at least 6″ of snow overnight – the next morning we awoke to a winter wonderland. It was beautiful. The day began with sledding down the hill right outside our cabin, which was perfect.

Although I didn’t feel very good, I was able to capture all the fun on my camera. It was a day we’ll never forget.

After they left I was finally able to sit and relax by the fire and read to my heart’s content.

When we were finally ready to go out and do things, the weather warmed up, so I didn’t feel so bad. It helped to see the sun shining, and it enabled us to enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic with a beautiful view. This is something we’ve never been able to do in the winter months we’ve been there. Usually the roads are closed due to snow and ice.

The area is growing and prospering. It was good to see businesses we’ve enjoyed still there. Although the road widening project seems horrible right now, we imagine it will be beautiful once it’s all finished.

We were able to go with some lifelong friends to Mt. Airy, NC, for an afternoon of sightseeing. I’m a huge fan of the Andy Griffith show–I always have been. I had no idea there was a place where you could see the inspiration behind it all. Mt. Airy is where Andy Griffith was born, so the town is full of shops and memorabilia. The weather was really cold and windy, but we managed to find the perfect place for lunch–Leon’s Burger Express, which was full of 1950’s charm. Not to mention, the food was wonderful! Although we couldn’t walk around the town because of the weather, we found exactly what we had hoped for–replicas of all the sets from the show. We were able to park in one place and see it all. I felt like a little girl experiencing the real life town of Mayberry. It was such a fun day.

"Goober says 'Hey'!

Our final stop was in Myrtle Beach, SC. We were supposed to have an ocean front room, but instead were given an ocean view room on the third floor. Tom tried to get our room changed, but they said there were no other rooms available. When we settled in, we noticed the room was not clean in pretty disgusting ways. Tom called the front desk, and they not only apologized, but quickly moved us to the 15th floor with a beautiful view of the ocean.

We ended up leaving a day early because we were both ready. Our time away was so relaxing and enjoyable, we were ready to go home. God was so kind to give us such a wonderful trip.


We suppose you figured out the two vacations above were all one vacation. Actually this was our anniversary trip last week! All the things mentioned happened and by God’s grace our take on the week fell more in line with the 2nd vacation than the 1st. Life is full of plans going wrong, sicknesses and unexpected changes, but we don’t have to let them ruin our time. It’s all in our perspective on the twists and turns.

How do you handle these twists and turns? Do you look past the trouble and see the blessing? Or do you get stuck in what we like to call the “Eeyore Syndrome?” We’re not talking about being a Pollyanna where you ignore the trouble. Or being an Eeyore where you ignore all the good. We’re talking about embracing life with joy the way the Lord allows it to happen. This vacation we spent more time talking than we ever have. And the conversations were much needed in our busy season of life. God made sure we had exactly what we needed to make our time away the best it could be for us. And yes, this included not having everything go according to plan.

What’s your “tale of two vacations” story? We all have them, we just may not realize we have a choice to choose one over the other.

About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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5 Responses to A Tale of Two Vacations

  1. This is probably the most effective way of looking at things from two perspectives that I have ever seen. Great job and wonderful encouragement. Glad you’re home.


  2. Kate says:

    This is awesome Debi! So important to keep in mind! And I could not agree with you more, God knows exactly what we need and provides for those needs. Even if we cannot see it so clearly at the time! Thanks for sharing, love this! Blessings, Kate


  3. Sexy Christian Wife says:

    I think we go into every vacation with our three kids knowing there will be a lot of awful times, tired kids, and things that go wrong. It helps us to appreciate the magical moments that occur and to be prepared to handle the challenges. After a few months, nobody remembers the 12 hour car trip, they only seem to remember visiting the ocean or going to a park.


    • Debi Walter says:

      You are so right, Jennifer. Tom and I would often think about what moments we would remember in the years to come from our family vacations as they were happening in an effort to help us make the most of it. Thanks for sharing!


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