This past weekend, my wife and I spent three nights in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (right next to Gatlinburg).

You know what was the best part? None of our three kids were anywhere in sight. In fact, they were with our parents over 300 miles away.

It was glorious.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids more than life itself but I’ve learned a very important lesson in my 10+ years of being a dad. Sometimes you’ve got to get away.

I’m not talking about date nights. Those are nice but long weekends away are amazing. They do wonders for your parenting soul.

We had been planning our escape, I mean vacation, for several months and it just so worked out that we were able to get away right after the kids were out of school for a week because of snow. Both my wife and I were stuck in the house with them for extended periods of time.

It was time to get away.

Who's missing from this photo? Not our kids. We left them at home.

Who’s missing from this photo? Not our kids. We left them at home.

Nothing about the trip was exciting but it sure was relaxing. There was no arguing during our 10+ hours on the road. At meal time, we didn’t have to fight over what restaurant to chose or what to order. We saw a movie. We hit the outlet malls and bought stuff for ourselves. At night, we binge-watched Netflix. We relaxed in our hot tub. We slept in.

For once, we were on our OWN time schedule and it was awesome.

We’ve had kids around us for the majority of the time that we’ve been married. Ethan was born 18 months after we got married (over 12 years ago). I’ve forgotten what life without kids is like and how free I felt. Just kidding (not really).

Mary and I sampled some of Tennessee's finest moonshine.

Mary and I sampled some of Tennessee’s finest moonshine.

Everything just seemed to go our way. We made excellent time to and from Pigeon Forge.

In fact, the day before we got there, they received over eight inches of snow. That would have shut our home city (Louisville) down but not Pigeon Forge. They did an excellent job clearing the roads so we could get to our cabin (up in the mountains). We had to clear a little snow to get into our cabin but it was well worth it.

I had planned to work on some personal projects like this blog and my upcoming podcast but didn’t have enough time.

I was too busy doing nothing and enjoying every second of it.

I can’t wait until next time. Is next month too early?

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