Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm baaaaaack!

Not that you necessarily knew I was gone. Since I have fussed at Hubby for telling people we don't know that we are going to be gone for X days as we give them a check with our address on it - I thought maybe I shouldn't announce it to the world wide web.

Call me paranoid but . . . .

So anyway, Friday the 5th we drove out to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to have a family reunion with my Dad's side of the family. Most of them live in Kentucky so we only meet up for weddings, funerals etc. Not long after my Ganny died, my dad and his sisters decided we needed to meet up more often so we had a family reunion with all the little cousins included in Colorado. Two years later we did it again, in a different part of Colorado and then this year in the Outer Banks.

On our way out after driving about 14 hours, we spent the night in South Carolina. The next morning we got to see one of my best friends from high school that I hadn't seen in . . . a long time. Since the year after we graduated. We ate breakfast with B and her husband and had a great time.

Then we got in the car again and drove about 6 more hours to finally arrive at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina at the house that the family had rented for the week. It was 17 adults and 30 13 kids. We spent time on the beach, at the Orville & Wilbur Wright museum, at some light houses, Jockey's Ridge (one of the largest natural sand dunes), went to the Lost Colony of Roanoke museum, and still had a ton of stuff we wanted to do.

My aunt, uncle and their grandkids had decorated a coffee mug for every one of the adults with their name. It was so handy in the morning not to have to say over and over "is this my coffee?" They also brought a stemmed glass for each adult and a refillable water bottle for each kid, also with names on them. At previous reunions there were many partially drank sodas (sometimes with just a few swallows gone) but this year . . . not nearly as much waste. We also took turns cooking the meals, each family unit was in charge of 2 meals - for instance, we did tacos for lunch one day and french toast for breakfast another.

So on Saturday we left the Outer Banks with the plan of sightseeing on the way home. The 20 hour drive became . . . ok I have no idea. Much longer.

We drove mostly straight to Marion, North Carolina. Marion is a beautiful little town in the mountains and about 45 minutes from Asheville. Rather than get up in the morning and drive as fast as we could to Asheville, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway. I am pretty sure that the part from Marion to Asheville has to be the prettiest part because I don't think it could get much better. Even Junior said watching the view was almost as good as watching the DVD player.

So we finally got to the Biltmore - the Vanderbilt's little mountain home. It only has 35 family and guest bedrooms - not counting the servants rooms. In all seriousness, the estate is gorgeous, the house amazing. It is just a little overwhelming. It is something I would like to go through again when we had more time. After leaving the Biltmore we drove to Knoxville, Tennessee and spent the night.

The next days plan was to drive to Jackson, Mississippi and we stopped at the places that interested us, like a couple of wineries, a dairy and a Russell Stover outlet store. Then we realized we had to get moving if we wanted to make it to Jackson to eat at one of the best restaurants.

I graduated from high school in one of the Jackson suburbs. I love Jackson. One of our favorite places to eat was Cock of the Walk. This is a small chain of restaurants that has a simple menu based on what the keel-boatmen might eat while travelling back up river on the Natchez trace. You have a choice of fried catfish or chicken (I have never had their chicken) plus french fries and cornbread. Then for sides you can have fried pickles (yummmmmm), a pot o' greens, and onion rings. It is served family style and each person gets a tin plate, a tin cup and the silverware is already on the table in a tin bucket. Oh my gosh! I had forgotten how good their food was!

The next day we ate at Shoneys - they have the best breakfast buffets then went to Bass Pro Shop, toured the old capitol, the Manship house and then got to go visit my other best friend from high school.

She has got the sweetest family! She was 3 children and while we only got to meet the youngest (1) and oldest child (4), they were adorable. Her son had made a picture for us and then played with my two. When we left, he shook Daisy and Junior's hands and said "glad to meet you, please come again, how 'bout tomorrow."

We then drove to Vickburg and went through the civil war battle grounds memorial. I haven't been to any of the others, but each time I visit Vickburg I am amazed and saddened. So much death.

Then we drove home. We finally made it home about 12:30 am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

I have got some pictures to put up but wanted to post a quick-ish summary. I really didn't do much beyond checking email while we were gone and have over 750 in my reader right now. I promise I am going to read your posts - although I will mark most of the others as read.

Now I am off to go catch up on some sleep.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic trip! I love it when things are fairly unplanned - like your drive home... sometimes just allowing yourself to stop when you see something of interest brings much more exciting sights than if you planned every second.

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  2. Wow, that was one heck of a busy trip... and a LOT of driving. Whew! Sounds like you and your family had a great time, though. :)

    By the way, if you're paranoid, so am I; I don't announce to the Internet when we're going to be out of town either. I also don't flag strangers down in the street, hand them my address, and ask them to rob my house. ;)

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