Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I was lucky to grow up in a family that vacationed most years - sometimes twice.  Whenever we were living in the U.S., we took a summer vacation - either to the beach or the mountains - and sometimes a winter cross-country ski vacation.  When overseas, we always used our R&R tickets to travel home and spend quality time with the grandparents.  In the days before Skype and Youtube, and when McDonalds was only found in the United States, my father felt that yearly trips home were important for his children to stay in touch with their American roots.

In the global age, the latter point isn't such a concern for families anymore, and since we are moving back to the States this summer, we had actually planned to take an R&R to Israel in late March or early April of this year.  But due to some unforeseen circumstances at work for J, he ended up taking last week off.  Our family has been thoroughly beaten with the sick stick this winter, and we couldn't even contemplate packing up the kids and dragging them somewhere (even by car) for more than a day trip.  Seriously, I feel like my entire house is covered in snot.  And other stuff.

So a staycation it was.

We kicked off our staycation with a planned day trip to Stepantsminda. 

That line at the top of the map is the Georgian/Russian border.  Stepantsminda is the nearest town to Mount Kazbeg, which is the highest mountain in Georgia.  There is a famous and oft-photographed church there which we were hoping to see.

It is worth noting that we took this trip the day after we worked in the garden without our jackets on.  I remember hearing stories of life in Beirut's glory days, when you could swim in the morning and ski in the afternoon.  Georgia sometimes feels like that.  There is a lot of varied weather within a short radius of Tbilisi.

Gudauri, a ski resort on the way to Stepantsminda, had gotten a fair dumping of snow that morning, with total accumulation of 12-18" forecast for the day.

Not long after we passed through Gudauri, we were stopped.  The pass between Gudauri and Stepantsminda was closed for plowing.  The first officer we spoke to said it would not reopen until 7 p.m. (we arrived at 11 a.m.). The next officer told us it would reopen sooner, but he wasn't sure.  We waited for about 40 minutes.

After the Tinkerbell movie had ended (in-car DVD players are the best!), we decided to cut our losses and head for home. 

Day trip fail.

We arrived home pretty tired; I think I went to bed at 8 that night.  The rest of the week we sent the kids to school and were much more low-key. 

Stay tuned for more exciting staycation adventures.


  1. Ugh. I hate when something like that happens. And especially hate it if I had to persuade Matt to take the trip in the first place. But the pictures are pretty! And sometimes just getting out in a car works wonders for me. :)

  2. Beautiful snowy mountain views - sorry you didn't get the whole way to your destination. Hopefully you will all be feeling much better soon and get that night away you tried so hard for.


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