Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Zack!

Happy Birthday, Zack! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Daddy! I love you and hope you have a great day! Eat an extra piece of Angie's stuffed French toast for me! Hope we see you at supper!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fun with Numbers

Twice tomorrow we can celebrate the fun of numbers because shortly after 12:30 am and 12:30 pm it will be:

12:34:56 7.8.09

Pretty cool, eh?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Our July 4th

Yesterday, for the first time in many Fourths of July, Frank and I did not host, nor were we invited, to an Independence Day party. I was sure the day would end up being just one big bore-fest, but we decided to take a motorcycle ride and the day magically improved.

I got out my Motorcycle Tours 3 book, it's the one that goes through Virginia, and found a trip that would take us to Mabry Mill in Western Virginia. It seemed like a good ride. Just hop on the parkway and the ride was supposed to be 65.7 miles or 2 hours on the bike. Well, silly me, I didn't realize that to get to the start of the ride, we would have to travel 125 miles from the NC side of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the VA side BEFORE starting the 65.7 mile described trip.

Oh well, we made it to Craggy Gardens and through some tunnels and boy, was there a chill in the air. I had on shorts and wore a different helmet that exposed more of my face (see pic below) and I was so cold as we went through the Asheville Watershed I almost forgot it was July. By the time we reached Highway 80 between Burnsville and Marion we were pretty hungry and decided to get off the parkway and find a watering hole.

The GPS on my phone told me there was a restaurant called Jewell's less than a mile towards Burnsville. Since we've taken the route home from Marion, we decided to try the Burnsville road for a change of scenery. The first building we came to was the South Toe Fire Department, then a small gas station that shared space with the Mount Mitchell View Restaurant, formerly Troy's Grill and also known as Jewell's. Needless to say we were surprised to find it open on the holiday but just inside the front screen door sat its namesake, Jewell, passing the time talking to her hubby and drinking the biggest, most tempting, glass of ice tea this pair of parched bikers had ever seen!

We eagerly sat down in the booth and ordered two sweet teas then noticed the sign that said, "No Personal Checks, No Credit Cards." Uh, now what? Frank checked is money clip and said, "I have enough for Tea!" (which at $2.00 a glass better be as good as it looks!) I said, "Do they have an ATM next door," as I walked out in hopes of finding a cash machine so my lunch could be more than a sip of the one ice tea we could afford with what little cash Frank had.

Next door, the guy didn't have an ATM, but he offered a solution - try asking her nicely to take your check and if she doesn't, head back to see him because he has "a loaf of bread and some nice new 'maters." Well, at least I was going to starve. Luckily for me by the time I got back, Frank had charmed his way into Ms. Jewell's heart and she was willing to accept a check - long as it was made out to her and not the restaurant. Lady, I don't care who you make it out to as long as I get to eat! We got our ice tea, finally, and after drinking a couple of sips and mixing the strong stuff with some water, we were on our way to ordering. My eyes were pretty big at this point (it was almost 2 pm and we had not eaten all day) so I ordered the double hamburger with fries, Frank took the same.

This restaurant reminded me a lot of Dixon's Little Boy in Canton BEFORE they added on the 'fancy' restaurant at the back. It had the same type menu board and the same hard booths. The food wasn't the same, though, as the fries were definitely NOT the homemade kind offered at Little Boy; and the burger was one of the BEST ever at a restaurant. What the fries lacked, the burger made up for! It was two hand-patted ground chuck burgers dripping in goodness and topped with fresh 'maters (maybe from next door?) and one perfect ring of onion. Maybe it was a mirage created by the morning's lack of nutrition but I swear it was the best looking burger I ever saw outside my Frank's kitchen! And it tasted divine!

Once our brains were functioning correctly again, we looked at the map and made the decision to head back to Hendo. I agreed on the condition that we go to Jackson park for the Fabulous Fourth Fireworks. Frank agreed and we made our way through Burnsville.

Speaking of Burnsville - is this the town that time forgot? We both got a giggle out of seeing a Roses Department store at the first, and only, stop light followed by a roller rink and a Western Sizzlin. Give me back my childhood, Burnsville! It was like a trip down the Spartanburg Highway about 20 years ago!

We made it back to Hendersonville, showered and readied to go to Jackson Park.

When we arrived at the Four Seasons Blvd entrance we were directed to the gravel lot near the old BMX site. I refused to sit on the back of the truck with my camera in that dust bowl and I just didn't feel like trapsing over the hill and through the woods with my camera bag, blanket, water bottles, and chairs so I convinced Frank to try the Spartanburg Highway entrance. MUCH better choice. We were able to drive all the way down to the field where they were preparing the fireworks. We parked at the back of field 4 and unloaded our chairs 20 feet from the truck. Now that's the way it should be. We walked around, trying to pass the three hour wait for the light show, by listening to the Embers, a beach music band from Raleigh; checking at he old cars show; smelling funnel cakes; and snapping photos of all the festival goers. Notice the photo of Uncle Sam who apparently disregarded the "No Alcohol" rule and passed out long before the fireworks began!

It was 9:32 p.m. when the fireworks began. Frank said they were the best and biggest he'd ever seen. My only complaint was they only lasted 15 minutes. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking!