Not one single meal.
One thing about where we were camping, we had plenty of options available for meals. That being the case, I cooked not one single meal. Even though my son’s camper has a sink, stove, microwave and small fridge. Thankfully I also didn’t pay for any. My son must have been saving for months for this vacation. Having a birthday in August makes it perfect time for vacations and he has done this the past two years now.
Monday morning was a Shoney’s just up the block and on the way to Cades Cove. He wanted that breakfast bar. I was slightly concerned but the restaurant was clean, the bar set up spotless and all pandemic protocols were in place. The food available was plentiful, so good and hot. I’m not that big of an eater, but my son got his money’s worth. Over the course of the week we stopped at Cracker Barrel. We stopped at Dave and Busters. We stopped at a breakfast restaurant near the campground that I don’t recall the name but the waffle I got was so fluffy, so big and so good. We also stopped at Shoney’s in Gatlenburg for breakfast. The restaurant that we stopped at, that I wish was much closer or had one like nearby was a place called the Sunliner Diner. This place was like stepping back in time. Designed to look like a fifties restaurant, it was amazing. The staff wore costumes from the time period and big smiles. They were friendly and readily answered questions. We visited twice. The first visit I did something I had been taught growing up was bad luck, singing at the table. I couldn’t help it, every song that played I knew and I sang. I wasn’t the only one. I was having a wonderful time. Even my son commented on my having fun. The food didn’t take long to arrive and was really good.
Our second visit my son decided he was going to attempt their challenge sandwich. Which was a monster. He did manage to eat the entire thing, but I feared he was going to make himself ill. He didn’t but its a wonder. His prize? A sticker and a quarter for the juke box. His choice of song? Sweet Caroline. Just because he wanted to hear everyone sing along.
Our entire trip, the only junk food that we ate, were the two bags of cookies that we had purchased before we left home. I am the world’s worst about looking like a six year old turned loose when preparing to leave on vacation. Usually I have candy, cookies, pretzels, all piled up within reach and chowing down the entire drive. I didn’t do that this time and was actually fine with it. I didn’t open the cookies until after we arrived. The two bags lasted most of the trip, something to munch on while resting.
The real food though, was the food for our soul. Our entire vacation we never met anyone with a bad attitude. Everyone, whether fellow travelers or employees to the establishments we entered, were nice, polite…friendly. We spoke to and were spoken to by others. Friendly conversation. We were away from home, away from the daily stresses of home and able to relax. Everything and everyone at home was being taken care of in our absence.
I fully enjoyed our visit to Cades Cove, the times we were out wandering around Pigeon Forge or Gatlenburg, but I enjoyed the moments sitting next to the river, watching life pass on by. Listening to the ducks and geese, listening tot he cicadas. Waving at our camping neighbors. Healing.Everyone needs some time away, especially when you don’t have to cook a single meal.