This past weekend Michael and I took a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina. It was an awesome trip and we didn't fight at all. We were utterly blissful the entire time, never saying a mean word to one another.
Anyone who doesn't fight even just a little bit with their significant other, especially during a road trip, is full of it. You're telling me that he/she never does even the slightest thing to piss you off while you're cruising 75 miles down the interstate for four straight hours, insisting you not listen to your old school gangster rap? I don't believe you.
The majority of the reason why Michael and I fight is because when we go on road trips (or most trips for that matter) I wait until the last second to do the majority of my to-do list. That includes: packing, showering, finding out a route to get there, where we're going to stay, what we'll see, etc. I get so into making sure I have everything else done I sometimes forget the rest. (Like answering emails and painting my nails, you know, the important stuff.)
This infuriates Michael.
When we got in the car to leave Nashville to head to Asheville he was not in the mood to hear my jokes about switching ‘villes. Even though they were really good.
But despite starting off a little rocky, we had a great time. We gorged at Tupelo Honey Restaurant (everyone recommended and I can see why). I had decadent biscuits topped with milk gravy, bacon, fired chicken, and scallions.
Michael drank beer and I drank wine at Wicked Weed Brewery. We saw live music at Pisgah Brewing Company. We tried to sleep while a fraternity stayed in our hotel for their formal. We walked all around Asheville, stopping and tipping street performers and maybe twirling in the street.
We walked the grounds of Grove Park Inn, warmed up by the fire, and contemplated bringing our own bottle of wine for sunset that night.
We went to the Biltmore and let our dogs run on the grounds (probably not allowed). We hiked Max Patch and a very small portion of the Appalachian trail.
Despite dating for over 11 years, there are still things you can learn about one another. Here's what I learned about my spouse while traveling:
– I had no idea Michael loved Cory Morrow. I remember that he liked country music when we first started dating. He brought me to Brad Paisley concert for a date, but to be honest, I thought he was over it. We saw a country/blues band play on Friday and he knew all the words to a Cory Morrow song and was getting into it.
– Michael is a speed packer. And he's really good at it. I need lots of time. Because I definitely forgot things.
– Deciding on where to eat is probably the most important aspect of trip planning. And that's all I have to say about that.
– You can disagree about nearly everything but if you can agree on one thing, it makes life a lot easier.
Let me give you an example. The Biltmore Estate. You guys. It's $50 per person to get in. I feel like I was the only one on the planet freaking out about the price. But everyone says, “It's worth it.” So we went. For perspective, Versailles, in France is $15 Euro to get in WITH an audio guide. Michael and I couldn't get over the price.
While Biltmore was cool, it wasn't $107 (with taxes and fees for two adults) cool. Everything you do there, you pay for. The house is ornate and interesting but if you need to save money, don't go.
– Everyone can agree on chocolate. We ate overpriced chocolate (might be a theme here) at French Broad Chocolate and in my opinion, it was very worth it.
– Deciding on budget, lodging, and where to go brings tension which is a good thing. You learn to give and take and compromise when it comes to your spouse.
– Put down the phone. Michael hates how tethered people (me included) are to technology. So when we travel and we're together I really try to limit it. I sneak in Snapchats when he's not around. (P.S. I'm at: helenesula)
– Your coping techniques. After eating at French Broad Chocolate, I wasn't feeling too good. Too much rich and fried food in one day. We were supposed to go camping. But when I came back from the bathroom, Michael booked us another night in the hotel. I was secretly thrilled, I didn't feel like camping in 29 degree weather.
I think travel can teach you a lot about someone, whether you've been together forever or are just starting a budding relationship. One things for sure, if you can agree on road trip tunes, you can probably agree on most things in life.