My wife signed us up, several months ago, for a couples retreat through our church. This past weekend was the retreat, so we drove close to 4 hours to Pigeon Forge, TN. Eleven couples were put into two huge cabins that sat off the beaten path, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist city. We played games, sung, had a couple of devotionals and just hung out. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to anything, though I know the planners for this years retreat did their best. Everything just sort of stumbled along as best it could. The only issue that came up was chore assignments. For some reason – and my wife and I pointed this out before we even left for the trip – we were one of two couples not assigned any chores. This came into play later because one woman made a point to jump on our pregnant retreat organizer and tell her she needed to get things done and tell people (us two couples) not ask us to do things. This is a church going member, mind you – one who has been on these retreats before and serves at the church. She’s a winner, don’t you know!
No one still said anything to my wife or I, so I mentioned what I’d seen and overheard to my wife. She went and asked the organizer, a friend of hers, and she admitted that she’d been confronted. My wife reminded her we’d asked about the chore assignments and that we had no problem pitching in where we were needed. So, I got up the next morning – the day we were to leave – and helped fix breakfast. My wife helped clean up before leaving the cabin. To drive the point home, and because someone told her we knew she complained, the woman who complained even came up and apologized to my wife last night during evening services at church. Thankfully, I wasn’t there, or there would have been something leaking out of my mouth to the tone of sarcasm and smartalec-ness.
All-in-all we had a good time. It wasn’t very organized, and not at all what I expected from a couples retreat, but for the most part my wife and I were on our own, out and about. I maintained my smile, of course, pretended to be interested when I needed to be and helped when I was needed. The most important lesson I learned (and already knew) was that even though we/they may be church folk, doesn’t mean they’re all fun, good, interesting people. We all have flaws, we all complain, fuss, get a little on the perverted side in conversations, etc.
Can’t really go into more detail because nothing else really happened. It was a very uneventful retreat.
Oh, my wife did attempt to ride a little ride called the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, I believe. She got halfway up the track when the ride shut down. They had to escort everyone off and lead them down the tracks to the starting point. Supposedly, according to the ladies in the ticket booth, it was because a bear had wandered into the track area. My wife’s unforgettable moment involved an unseen bear and having to walk back down a rollercoaster track in the mountains. My unforgettable memory was of another church member raising cain over who was doing what.
Either way, we arrived back home Sunday evening around 5pm. Had a good trip, enjoyed ourselves, but so glad to be home and see our wild children again.
Have you been on a couples retreat before? What was yours like? Did you do more group activities, or where you left to roam on your own? Interested to know how these things work for future reference.
Oh! And feel free to check out my TripAdvisor reviews of a few places we visited in Knoxville, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. This link should work: Insomnia176 Member Reviews