I'm back!!! Back from a wonderful weekend trip to the mountains of North Carolina. We set out for the mountains early Friday morning. Our plans were to leave about 6:30 a.m., but Mr. Plant Lady does not do well with "early mornings." With a lot of "prodding and poking," he finally got up and loaded my suitcase in the car. He always procrastinates with his packing until the "day of."
We finally were able to get underway around 7:30 a.m. That would give us plenty of time for our first stop in Charlotte at the Billy Graham Library. The library was wonderful! It took you on a journey from his childhood on his family's dairy farm to his first sermon and on through his career in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was very touching to see just how God uses an obedient heart and surrendered life to accomplish His will. They have a "cute" thing for kids. A "mechanical" cow named Bessie that talks to the children, explaining how God used Billy Graham and how He can use them! It is great! I enjoyed it as much as the kids there! If you ever get a chance to go there, please do so. You will be glad you did! We visited the grave of Ruth Bell Graham that is there on the property, but we did not have time to visit Billy Graham's childhood home that has been moved to the property. Well, we'll catch that next time!
We left the Billy Graham Library a little later than we had anticipated. We had reservations for dinner in Cherokee at 5:00 p.m. and the tickets for the outdoor drama, "Unto These Hills," the story of the Cherokee's "Trail of Tears." We were afraid that we would not make the reservations, but we did - with about 10 minutes to spare!
We had a wonderful dinner. I ordered a steak, baked potato, and grilled asparagus. It was wonderful! Mr. Plant Lady had the prime rib, baked potato and a salad. After dinner, we had some time before the performance, so we decided to check in at our hotel. We took up our luggage and freshened up some. We drove over to the amphitheatre which was nearby. We collected our tickets that were reserved with no trouble. (We were there once before, for another performance and had some problem with the reservation that was eventually straightened out.) The performance was wonderful! We have attended several of the outdoor dramas here in North Carolina. Some of our favorites are "The Lost Colony" in Manteo, that tells of the first settlers on the Outer Banks, (Andy Griffith started his acting career in this drama) and "The Liberty Cart." I am hoping to see "The Horn in the West," in Boone sometime soon. They are great "educational" entertainment for youngsters as well as adults.
Saturday morning we drove to Bryson City, a neighboring town. We visited a "tailgate" market where we met some wonderful people that had some great veggies and fruits and also some handcrafted items. One of these people had fresh cherries that were so beautiful and some handcrafted wooden items. He was an electrician by trade, but he said woodworking was his passion. He made turned bowls from different kinds of wood - apple, birch, maple, cherry, etc. The grains in the wood were so beautiful that I just had to have one of each of them as my "birthday" money from my dad allowed. I purchased three, one each made from birch, apple, and maple. He had others I would have liked to have, but I have to wait until I "save up" for the next trip. We talked to him quite a while and became fast friends. We inquired about cabin rentals in the area for our next trip - in the fall for the foliage colors. He said he couldn't think of anyone, but he asked the man in the next space and he suggested a place nearby. He then directed us to a his new business - a shop just around the corner. His wife was at the store - can you believe it, she was a fellow "gourd crafter." She had a little gourd museum located in her store that was purchased from a lady who was 91 years old! As we were talking to her, she inquired as to where we were from. It turns out, they had just recently moved to Bryson City from a small area about 15 minutes from where we live!!! It's such a small world!!!
We went to the realtor to check on the cabin rental for the fall. We talked with a nice lady and she showed us our options on the website. They have some new cabin rentals and they seem to be just what we were looking for. When we go in the fall, we plan to take Mr. Plant Lady's mom, brother and sister-in-law and their son.
After seeing the realtor, we drove over to Maggie Valley to a Handcrafted Arts & Crafts Festival that was going on. There were about 40 or so tents set up with all different types of locally produced handcrafts - pottery, woodworkers, a person who micropropagates Venus Flytraps, pitcher plants, and other woodland plants, quilters, etc. I found a small platter from a local potter that I could not do without!
After the Festival, we went back to the hotel to rest before our drive over to Asheville for dinner at the Horizon's Restaurant at the Grove Park Inn. We've stayed at the Grove Park twice before when Mr. Plant Lady had attended conferences there, but were never able to afford eating at Horizon's (super expensive!!) Through a promotion that a magazine in the area was doing, I registered both myself and Mr. Plant Lady in the drawing for a "Dinner for Two" at the Horizon's Restaurant. To my amazement and wild surprise, Mr. Plant Lady won!!!! We have been saving the certificate for a special day - my BIRTHDAY!!!! It was a four course meal and was ultra fancy and very delicious. I felt like "queen" for a day!
There were so many new things that I have never had before, including a little piece of tuna with seaweed salad and ginger paste!!!! (Some things I don't care to have again! Ha! Ha!) The list is to long for this post, but I will tell you about it later.
Here are some pictures of the trip. They include the wood-turned bowls, the platter and also pictures of flowers and a waterfall that we saw. By the way, Mr. Plant Lady came through with the digital camera! Isn't he great?!!