Vacation ’08: Day 6

Today was a great day. We decided to head out to Lake Lure for a boat tour. It’s about a 40 minute drive through the mountains. Lots of winding roads and acceleration and deceleration. Not a ride for those who get motion sick easily. But the scenery was amazing and it is a really nice drive. We arrived at Lake Lure but we were too late for the 2pm tour. So we booked the 3pm tour.

Then we drove back up the road a bit to Chimney Rock and looked at one one of Becky’s favorite little shops. We also decided to grab a bite to eat. We went to Laura’s House and had a light bite. Problem is it took too long to get our meal and we had to push our tour back till 4pm. We snapped some quick pics and got a couple of small things at the store and headed back out to the lake for the tour. It’s about an hour on the lake in a pontoon boat with a guide. There is a ton of history surrounding the lake and the homes that are along the banks are amazing.

After the tour we headed back to Black Mountain. We decided to go ahead and go to My Father’s Pizza & Pasta. Probably one of the best pizza joints ever. The pizza is amazing. We always visit when we are here. Since my birthday is this Friday we decided to make it my birthday dinner. We all had a great meal and actually a great time even though the kids were tired from the boat ride. They get up so early in the mountains and by the time the adults rise up they’ve been up for about three hours. Don’t worry, they don’t go outside for fear of the bears. LOL

Outside My Father’s there was a little coy pond and some more flowers with more butterflies. You know me, I can’t resist a good butterfly shot so I snapped a couple. We all headed back to the house for baths and bed for the kids. Since it was my birthday night I picked the movie. My choice… testosterone-filled choice of the night… The Condemned. Needless to say the ladies didn’t watch it because it is really a pretty violent movie. But is was a good way to end the night for me after a week of kids movies and chick flicks.

There’s a bunch of photos so feel free to check out the album on my Facebook.

Day 6 ends…

Vacation ’08: Day 5

Today was pretty uneventful. We lounged around for a while. Randy decided he wanted ribs too. Becky and Mom went back to the Sourwood Festival to finish hitting the booths they missed the day before. When they got back Randy went for his ribs. He was told it would be 45 minutes. Then like two hours later he finally got his ribs! Two Hours! Wow. Anyway he got back and we all had a great meal of ribs and the fixins.

After the meal we decided to go play putt putt at a course just up the road. It was a prety laid back night. Sierra and I both got a hole-in-one. Nana lost two balls to the water. It was 18 holes and it really has to be one of the hardest putt putt courses I’ve ever been on. It was on the side of a mountain so you can imagine the gravity that came into play.

Enjoy the photos.

Vacation ’08: Day 4

This morning Nana, Randy and the kids went on their traditional nature walk near the house. There is a gravel road out behind the house and they usually go for an hour hike to gather rocks and walking sticks.

Sourwood Festival ’08

As the kids were eating breakfast, Becky and I decided to steal a few minutes alone and sneak off to get her a real coffee. Since the nearest Starbucks is 20 miles away, I Googled coffee for Black Mountain and found a cool little coffee shop called Powerhouse Perks. A mom & pop Christian business. It was only like five minutes away so off we went. We would meet up with the rest of the group at the 31st Annual Sourwood Festival later on. We reached the road where the shop was but it was blocked off due to the festival… ugh. So we parked and walked to the caffeine haven. It is a cool little shop… Jack Johnson was playing softly so I knew we found a good spot. We grabbed a table and Beck set out to capture her java bean prize. A grande mocha latte with whip cream. I just enjoyed the smells and browsed the C. S. Lewis books on the shelf. We sat, chatted a bit and just enjoyed a break from the endless chaos of the kids.

After a bit of browsing we met up with the rest of the troops and proceeded to walk around the festival. Then we heard this really loud horn. A train was coming through the middle of the festival. We were able to get within 10 feet of the crossing and let the kids experience the raw power of a locomotive up close. The loudness of it. The way it makes the ground rumble as it rolls by. It was a great thing for them to get to feel. After the train we continued on. A ton of crafts and one-of-a-kind things awaited us in booth after booth. There was really too much to cover in detail but if you have ever been to a crafts festival you get the idea. But enjoy some pictures from some of the booths.

After a couple of hours of browsing I realized that I had not eaten anything all day. Now I could have gone the traditional route and walked down Coronary Alley and gotten some Polish sausage or gyro or ribbon fries or something deep fried and on a stick. But I caught the smell of something irresistible… something primal… something smoked… it could only be… RIBS!

We walked over to the smokers. We just followed the smoke in the air… and the trail of drool from the line of zombie mountain men sway stepping their way to the nirvana of pork. And then I saw it. Mecca! 50 feet of smoker grill! and 6-7 other smokers all chugging away. It was truly an awesome sight.

The BBQ masters were busy rubbing, basting, marinating, flipping, cutting, stoking, chopping hickory… the list went on. The smell would make you drool. I mean really drool. So that was it. I found my lunch. The rest of the group rested under a tree while I went to bag my meal. The choice was simple… a full rack. For $18 it was a steal. It came with beans, slaw and a roll to boot. All to help buy new uniforms for the local high school band. I was glad to help. After I scored my meat it was time to retreat back to the cave where I could grunt and moan in BBQ bliss. We got back and I tore into half the rack. Amazing. Worth the wait. I even taught Sierra and Chandler the fine art of rib eating. They have a new favorite now. After filling our tummies we settled in for a peaceful afternoon.

After a while Nana returned from the festival and it was time to head off to dinner. I really wasn’t in the mood to go as I was still doing the belly rub from the ribs, but the words ‘traditional Mexican food’ were uttered and of course I couldn’t resist… Fajitas popped into my head and I had to go. We went to Ole’s Guacamoles Mexican Kitchen. Wow it was good. the kids got recharged with Fanta Orange Soda and we needed to let them run off some sugar so we headed for Montreat Park. The kids love this place. They have a creek running through the middle of the park that is fed from a dam up the way a bit. We took some cute photos of the Zoo Crew.

We let them run around crazy then headed back to the house for baths and a movie. Tonight’s features: Open Season (for the kids) and Definitely, Maybe (for the adults). Of course I’m in the kitchen blogging, but from what I can hear from the other room… I’m not missing much. LOL I may actually get to bed before midnight tonight, but then again maybe not. I may grab the TV for a bit after everyone goes to bed. Honestly, community TV is not my first choice. The bad part is it is satellite, which is fine, but all three TV’s in the house are on the same box so when you change the main TV channel the bedroom channels change as well. Kind of disconcerting if you aren’t expecting it.

I took a ton of pics today and can’t post them all here but you can browse the album on my Facebook page.

Anyway I think that’s about it for Day 4…

Vacation ’08: Day 3

Another lazy day. We got up and went out for breakfast at a little place in Cheshire Village called the Morning Glory Cafe. It’s a little artsy type cafe with great food and good sized portions. Nice local art on the walls and lots of sunshine. It was a very relaxing breakfast and we even got some photos as well. We then drove through Cheshire Village. We hadn’t been there in a couple of years and they were just starting to build it last time we were here. It is nearly complete now. It is really nice and kind of a chalet style layout of the houses. REALLY nice houses too.

Oh on our way to the cafe we passed a man on the side of the road. He was an African-American gentleman, looked to be in his 50’s or 60’s. We was wearing a Civil War style hat and was holding a large Confederate flag on a pole and waving to traffic as they passed by. At first I thought nothing of it, then it hit me how funny that was. I knew I had to get a picture but I thought he’d be there after breakfast. Sadly he wasn’t. That would be a classic photo. Just shows you need your camera out and ready at all times when on vacation. Becky even thought of a title for the photo, “No hard feelings.” I nearly spit out my Cheerwine at breakfast at that. I hope he is back out there sometime before we go home. I really want a photo of him.

As we headed back to the cabin to await the arrival of Nana & Grandpa Randy, the day was so perfect we drove slowly through town. There’s a big ‘Sourwood Festival‘ this weekend or something so we thought we’d check that out. As we drove back I snapped a few pics from the van of downtown Black Mountain… enjoy.

After a quick straighten up of the house we waited for Nana to arrive. Finally they got here safe and sound. They have a Prius rental and they had the funky key thing as well. Anyway, the girls all decided to run off to the local shops for some ‘shopping’ while the Y chromosomes stayed back at the cabin to chillax. Randy and I played our computer games LOL. Shows the difference in what vacations are to people. While chillaxin’ I popped on SciFi and watched a little X-files. Still one of the best shows ever. I slowly dozed off. The realized I was very uncomfortable on the couch and moved to the bed for a comfy nap.

The ladies had returned from shopping at the shops then decided to go shopping for food. Don’t ask me why there were two trips made. I was asleep and happy to not be part of the decision for once. I don’t really care how the cookies get in the pantry, just that they are there at all is fine. While they went to the local Ingles I decided to snap some photos of the butterflies at the front of the neighborhood. They were all over the place. I braved the honey bees (allergic thank you very much) and snapped some pics in macro mode on the little Kodak. I really need a Nikon D40 or some kind of decent SLR. Butterflies move to fast for a non-SLR camera for sure. Anyway enjoy the pics.

After a yummy dinner at the house we did our nightly gauntlet with the kids of baths, teeth brushing, hair combing, etc. and settled in for a movie. Bee Movie ironically. I love that movie. Seinfeld is still one of the best. There are so many subtle jokes in it I catch something new each time. Anyway, after the movie it was time to put the kids down (non-lethal of course) and relax. I, of course, tackled the task of blogging the day’s events.

It is all quiet here now. I can hear a train off in the distance.

Day 3 ends…

Vacation ’08: Day 2

Addendum to Day 1: I forgot to mention that in the midst of all that was going on yesterday, my oldest child decides that putting 4 strong magnet pebbles on the screen of my 30″ HD TUBE television was a good idea. The lovely green/blue/black circle they made was quite lovely. Luckily for her Murphy had me distracted and I couldn’t get my hands on her. I had her throw away the magnets and made her pray that the TV healed itself by the time we got back. Luckily it healed before we left. Lucky for her. Note to self: kids + magnets = bad. Now back to today…

Nothing very eventful today. Slept in a bit… 10am. Thats when the sound of three little kids bounding through the house on a floor with a crawlspace became unbearable.  It was like being at a high school basketball game. A bad one with a lot of turnovers and a ton of dribbling. Pass it man… pass it!

So I got up and started breakfast. Eggs, bacon, cinamon rolls, toast… yummmmmmmm.

After that we all got sleepy again so Beck went back to sleep. I of course stayed up and made sure the kids didn’t destroy the cabin. You do not leave all three of our kids together unattended. They could tear a hole in the fabric of time given the chance.

Just got back from dinner at the Okie Dokie Smokehouse…. mmmm great mac n’ cheese and BBQ chicken. So full. Gonna put the spawn to bed soon. I’m sitting on the front porch listening to wind chimes and birds typing this post. In the distance I can hear the howl of a couple of hounds.

That’s probably it for the day other than TV. I love vacation…

I’ll try and get some pics tomorrow once we’ve recovered from drive-lag.

…and Day 2 is done.