This week we dropped the three youngest off at camp. I was not at all surprised by the reactions we got when we left them. The baby wanted one more hug and kiss. The middle was slightly apprehensive but sucked it up and maturely said her goodbyes. The oldest told us to “Leave! Now!” God bless it.

Once the kids were safely in the arms of the wonderful Alabama Post Adoptive Connections Counselors, we knew we were free to do as we pleased for four days. This has never happened before. We have had babysitters, but we have never had the gift of all three at camp. We are most appreciative of the staff at “APAC” for the amazing experience our two oldest (of the youngest) girls have had with them in summers past. Our littlest was finally old enough this year too. She has been waiting for what seems like half her life to go.

When we got back in the car we headed north to the Tennessee mountains. One of our favorite getaways is Chattanooga. We have vacationed there several times with the whole family, but this time it was just us, two parents, who from time to time just need to get on the road and not look back (well, for at least for a few days). We laughed at each other and admired the creativity in the names of small towns on the our way. I have never heard of Sycamore or Rising Fawn, although I know people from Eastaboga and Rainbow City.

Alabama is really quite beautiful. The rolling foothills in Talladega National Forest and beyond are emerald green and inviting for the hiker/free spirit. The highway we took was not the least cluttered with billboards or gas stations on every exit. In fact, there seemed to be few exits at all. Just green for miles.

We ended up at a heavenly little spot on top of Lookout Mountain, a bed and breakfast called Garden Walk. We’ve been here before. They have cottages with themed names like Robin Nest, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and, our choice for this time, Out of Africa. I’m not really sure if we were in Georgia or Tennessee, but it was cool in the morning and evening and free of conflict, dogs barking, young ladies fussing, dishes, laundry, dust, business or any reason to rush. The bed swallowed us in comfort and the breakfasts probably undid all the good I’ve done trying to eat right for the last month! But there was turkey sausage. I have to give them that.

We enjoyed the things we love about Chattanooga; the art, the barbecue, the choo-choo. But mostly we enjoyed being friends in a fun city. It’s good for the soul to get away from home sometimes.

By the time you are reading this, we will have picked our babies up at Camp APAC and headed back to the real world. I am praying camp has been the refreshing break our girls have needed from each other and us. Maybe the oldest even missed us a bit; I won’t be surprised though, if she refuses to admit it.

Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.