In which I forgot to take my camera.
Oh well. I'll just have to do the next best thing, and tell you about it. Sorry!
My pal Beth (aside: I call her Sadie Beth, and she calls me Maggie Jo. Long story) and I, and our 3 girls, all went to Blowing Rock yesterday. I told Beth, who had never been to North Carolina before, that she MUST see some mountains. She has lived her life in L.A., Lower Alabama that is. Must have mountains.
Blowing Rock was wonderful. I love these little mountain towns. I'm sure they used to be sleepy and full only of locals, even in June. No more. This town is somewhat similar to Brevard, or Highlands. I was especially impressed with the centralized city park. It was well kept with lots of swings and play things for the kids, a central gazebo, restrooms, and the benches -- ah, the benches. There must have been a dozen benches just on the front edge of the park alone, end to end, where tired adults, toting their shopping treasures, could sit and gaze upon the traffic on the 2-lane road, and snicker at the new shoppers who'd just taken their places in the stores.
Many restaurants dot the main drag. We scoped it out ahead, and asked some locals, and narrowed it down to Sonny's Grill or Knight's on Main. I believe Sonny's is the local grill after which Jan Karon modeled the Grill in her fun books. But Sonny's has only 3 tables, so we opted for Knight's. It was delicious (as in, fried chicken salad, grilled cheese, chicken salad, chopped steak and a fried flounder sandwich. If you can't hear my lips smackin', you're not listening!!)
We did shop, my, did we shop. We considered ourselves training up the little girls into the shoppers they will become. What did I buy, you ask? 1) A little white creamer in the shape of a cat with its paw raised. I'm a sucker for little pitchers. 2)A happy surprise for my mom. (DON'T TELL HER, but it's an adorable tea towel with Corgis on it.) 3) A camouflage bandanna for Peter. 4) A yard ornament for the patio. I'm gradually looking for pretty things for the yard. This is a citronella candle holder, about 3-4 feet tall, on a stem, and the top is shaped like a bird's nest with 2 little birds on it. I bought Julia a little glass figurine, a black/white cat. I told her I used to collect a few glass figurines in my youth, and when we got home I gave her my few, so she has a budding collection.
Adam got a bag of Boston Baked Beans (the candy) from Mast General Store.
But Anna got the sweet deal. One store had fun fabric bags on sale. They looked like Vera Bradley, minus the price tag that scorches your fingers. They were buy-one-get-one-free. She picked out a BIG bag - a zippered suitcase for $35. She chose a lovely shoulder purse for free. She used a $25 gift card. She ended up paying only $10.22 for both of them. Sweet, as the teens say.
Many of the buildings are old, gray stone. The small town hall and library are right there, and a tiny Blowing Rock Museum. The stores are small and quaint, pricey but pleasant. Garden stores, galleries, camping, housewares, realty. The ice cream/candy store fills half of Main Street with an aroma that drags you through its doors. They have slabs of marble with thick ropes of bulging, nutty chocolate. We got ice cream, but I kind of wished that I could start on one end of a slab of chocolate, and Beth could start on the other end, and we could race for the middle.
The day was lovely. Tall, puffy clouds, and clear blue sky. In mid-afternoon, large raindrops fell for a few minutes. Shoppers huddled under the friendly store canopies. One lady glanced at the sky and said to Beth, "The devil is beating his wife." Beth added, "With a pickfork." This is an old, strange Southern saying to describe sunshine mixed with rain.
Just outside the last shop, I heard a man say to his friend, "I've gotta get in that store and get my wife outa there!" I thought, 'Hm, sounds like my kind of place.' And it was. Ladies were clutching finds and jostling for space in front of the register, with big smiles.
When we arrived at home, this is what Adam, The Injured One, had prepared for supper. They were warm and delicious. Those are his homemade baguettes, by the way.
That's five feet of sandwich.