Sunday, June 28, 2009


Navigator packed and begging to go, destination…Bryson City, North Carolina.
The plan…my wife’s sister's family was driving up from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to meet up with us for the long drive to Bryson City. After meeting up with the family at a local store and a transfer of their two kids to our car, we were off.
Sure they look sweet and innocent now…but you try putting four kids in YOUR car and drive for 8 hours. Ha-ha

We had only been on the road for a few minutes when I looked up and saw a bird flying right at the windshield of my car…
funny part it never veered off course and crashed right into our windshield…what a start…no damage to the windshield, can’t say the same for the bird (R.I.P.)

Once we got on interstate 59, we came across this guy on a bike loaded down with gear.
We ended up following him for sixty miles are so before he turned off, one of the things that make this biker unique was he was missing a leg we never got to see him stop, but I guess as long as he kept his weight shifted to his good leg, he seemed good to go…ride on. (Something tells me this guy has a great story to tell) sorry not a better photo of him, I have to blame the wife on the photo quality…I was driving. Ha-ha.

A quick stop at the Cracker Barrel…Mmm breakfast GOOD!!!

Once we reached Chattanooga Tennessee…traffic…traffic.

Then a quick turn onto a small highway
that snakes its way along the river all the way to Bryson City. (Here are a few photos along the way)

Just in case you’re wondering…we are not stalking the blue Lincoln car in the photos above…its Nancy’s (my wife's sisters) Baby Lincoln, her hubby Jimmy told me if Nancy is a good girl, he will buy her a grown up car next year…Ha-ha. Just kidding Nancy!! truth is Jimmy had just installed a GPS in her car, so i gladly gave them the lead through the mountains.

After about an hour and half of mountain driving we made it to our room at The Relax Inn

in Bryson City.

Here is a little background about the Relax Inn, we were looking for a room on-line in Bryson City (this is where you get on the train that starts your rafting journey)

you have a choice between the Sleep Inn at 110.00 dollars a night and the Relax Inn at 44.00 dollars a night. (Did I mention Bryson is a very small town in the middle of no where?) Hmmm guess which one we picked…you guessed it the wife booked the Relax Inn.

27 rooms total, pool and A/C what more could a person want…

hmmm maybe a pool that did not look like a sess pool,
a A/C that worked

, walls that looked like they had not been repainted in the last 20 years

or maybe little things like a shower only bathroom with the controls hidden behind the shower door
which forced you to stand into the spray of water while you wait the fifteen minutes for the water to get hot..Oh but when it did… it became fireball water…OUCH!!!!! I took many photos of the place but have to admit it does not look to bad in the photos…but trust me this place was bad, not the worse I’ve stayed in but not the best by far, I have to say the lack of AC was the deal breaker for me…we ended up staying one night and checking out the next day, moving down the road to the Sleep Inn the next night.

That night we road around the town a little and ended up taking the kids to eat at Yummi Buffet,
while Nancy and Jimmy went somewhere else to eat (I think it was a barbeque place) great place to eat if you like Chinese food, my family loves it.

Then the kids rejoiced over the meal they had just eaten (flashing their gang signs) before they high tailed it back to the car…

for a fine night sleep at the Relax Inn (hot very hot)
Big Al

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh yea! It’s on now!!!

Big Al VS. The mouse.

Wednesday morning around 5:30am I’m in the kitchen making my sandwich for work when out of the corner of my eye, what do I see??? A mouse running across the floor to the dishwasher

(no not the wife.Ha-ha.) the dishwashing machine. It then squeezed into the crack between the washer and cabinet. This is not your regular mouse, this mouse and I have a history.

Let me explain…about a month ago, my son came running into our bedroom telling my wife and I that he saw a mouse in the kitchen. Later that day it was confirmed by the wife. So, off to Wal-Mart I went to buy some mouse traps. I returned, baited them with peanut butter and set four traps

around the kitchen. Woke up the next morning and found two traps sprung…
but no mouse…hmm. So I set them again, only to wake up to one trap sprung but this time the sprung trap had been moved all the way across the room. Hmmmm. So I set them again but left that day for an over night fishing trip, I left the girls in charge. When I got home around noon, I find one of the traps missing…so I assumed I got him and the girls dumped the mouse and trap somewhere, so I went and took a shower. When I got out of the shower, I was informed that the trap had caught the foot of the mouse and it had dragged the trap under the kitchen table. So I went and had a look…sure enough there he was sitting on the trap with his foot stuck. So being the kind man that I am(THE MOUSE KIND OF REMINDED ME OF MICKYMOUSE)

I took a broom and swept the live mouse and trap out the back door, letting the little mouse live to see another day.

This is where I made my mistake…I kind of felt like the godfather “don’t take this kindness as a sign of weakness little mouse”.


So I feel like I have a few options when I get home this after noon

(1) Learn to live with the mouse (yea right that not going to happen)

(2) Go Rambo on it (hmmm sounds good but might make a big mess in the kitchen)
(3) Set the traps again (and hope for this result)

(4) Bring our cat, Lucky, in for the night (Na…I watched to many Tom & Jerry cartoons, that never works)
I think I’m going with (3) wish me luck!!
I'll keep everyone up to date with my progress.
Big Al

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A small act of kindness???

Its amazing what a little kindness can do for your day…ok here is the story. I woke up this morning…
well lets say not in the best of moods. Work right now is driving me crazy and truth be known it has been keeping me in a very bad mood 24/7 for the last couple of weeks. (Long story…not going there) anyway I got ready, jumped on my motorcycle and off to work I went, dreading getting there the whole way. I make my turn down a little county road that takes me to the highway and what do I see…the railroad crossing arms
coming down and don’t you know it…I’m on the WRONG side of the tracks…AGAIN!!! (if you’re a long time reader I did a post awhile back about living on the wrong side of the tracks ) Ok back to the story…this is where the small act of kindness comes in…I was a good boy and stopped my bike at the crossing arms, the train was a couple hundred yards down the track just starting to move my way…normally this does not bother me at all, but already being in a bad mood I could feel the anger building up.

Then I looked up and saw the (not sure what you would call him) I’ll call him the engineer assistant

standing on the front of the train pointing at me telling me to go around the crossing arms before the train got there…and I did…breaking the law…breaking the law. As I turned on the highway that parallels the tracks I could then see that the train was long real long (it went on for miles) and was moving at a snail pace. I guess the guy on the train knew it was going to take awhile for it to pass and that’s why he motions me on through. I TOLD YOU IT WAS A SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS!!! I know, I know it sounds like nothing but it did make a difference in my day…here is how, as I was driving down the highway I was thinking to myself what a nice deed the man on the train had done for me…he had saved me at least a fifteen minutes wait…not to mention it was very hot outside.

I swear my mood started to change
as I was coming into downtown Hattiesburg…then it happen, a eighteen wheeler
merged into my lane without any warning…I had to gas the mighty V-Star 1100 to get around him before I became mush meat, only to look back to see the trucker swerve back to his original lane once he saw me pull in front of him…ok here is what is important about that, normally this would not bother be either (when I’m not in a bad mood) because I know the trucker did not see me, he was not trying on purpose to run me down (at least I hope not. Ha-ha) but IF I had still been in a bad mood as I was before the kind deed of guy on the train...well let's just say I’m sure I would had given the trucker a one finger salute and then I’m sure I would have gotten one back…well there is no telling what might of happen after that, Nothing good can ever happen from something like this…everyone in the end turns out to be a loser…

and all started over a simple mistake. (Scary at the time but still just a mistake)

So three cheers for the guy on the train for starting my day off right…and yea I’m doing my damnest to keep it going that way. Funny how a simple hand motion from a guy on a train can change your whole outlook for the day…I’m sure he never gave it a second thought…
Big Al

States I’ve traveled to over the years

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