Thursday, July 22, 2010

As promised, we are back from the North Carolina mountains and there's lots to share! We found several new restaurants, met some really interesting people, found some good buys, caught up with old friends, celebrated the life of a mountain neighbor, played games, sat in the swing on the veranda, had an alfresco breakfast everyday , and just wandered down roads we had not explored before.

We left on Thursday morning last week and arrived around 5pm at our little cabin that sits across the road from the Rocky Broad River. The river is constantly rushing and it takes me awhile to get used to the sound of all that water moving. It can be quite soothing once we slow down and listen.

Before we arrived at our destination, we stopped in Rutherfordton and took a tour of the Fire House B&B. My tour guide was a man with a captivating British/Australian accent. He was born in England and moved to Australia in his teens. He has resided in the States for about 10 years. The rooms were well appointed and the dining room was splendid with black and white toile curtains and palladium windows original to the fire station. They have rooms with queen or king beds. I'm asking Hubs for an overnight there sometime soon or perhaps even next winter. He also gave us some good leads on restaurants for a future visit.

We went to Hendersonville, NC on Friday and spent the entire day touring there and in Brevard. We first had breakfast with sweet treats from McFarlan's Bake Shop. My mother and I had the bear claw with coffee and my sister had a sticky bun with her standard chocolate milk. We sat at outdoor seating and relished every morsel as we did a little people watching! I, of course, brought along one of my many summer/picnic tablecloths to complete our repast.

We always find something that peaks our interests at Mast General Store in the lovely downtown area of Hendersonville.
I purchased a small yellow flower pot with saucer that I have arranged ladies' hankies in with a tea service setting on my breakfast table in our home. It reminds me of a McCoy pot that I have in blue/green. I also purchased a small robin that I used on our breakfast table along with an arrangement of butterfly bush blooms.

We had a late lunch at Never Blue--superb!! I had eaten there last year with our younger daughter and found everything delicious and certainly not run of the mill. This time around it did not disappoint us. We all selected different items and shared--roasted red pepper soup, spinach salad, pimento cheese appetizer with house tortilla chips, calamari with 2 dipping sauces, shrooms, and the brownie for dessert! Items are served tapas style so portions are not overwhelming or expensive. We loved everything and took parts of it to the cabin to finish up later.

I found a wonderful oil painting on Friday at Nana's Antiques in H'ville at a relatively low price. I could hardly wait to get it home and decide where it would hang. I'm still working on that. It has lots of greens, interesting lighting, flowers, store and restaurant fronts, bricks, cobblestone walks, and much more. All these are elements I appreciate. For our first breakfast on the veranda, I placed the painting in the window by our table. Our Mom didn't notice it was there until halfway through our meal.

On Friday evenings, the town of H'ville provides a live concert downtown. As we waited for the concert to start, we spotted this tee shirt. We couldn't agree more!

This angel is in a cemetery in the edge of H'ville. It was sculpted by the father of Thomas Wolfe, the author of Look Homeward Angel, who was from Asheville.

Saturday we took the interstate to Landrum, SC where we explored for antiques and items of interest. We did not buy anything, but a few stocking stuffers for Christmas as we did not have room in the car to bring large items home this trip, but we found a unique restaurant thanks to Judy and Patricia at Antique Market.

They certainly knew what we were looking for when they suggested Stone Soup Cafe. The food was excellent in every way. Again, we shared our selections of gazpacho, green tomato soup, caprese sandwich on focaccia, fried green tomato and fresh tomato salad, and blt sandwich on sour dough with pesto. The service was excellent and the food was divine! You simply must go there. We can't wait to return for an encore performance.

One afternoon when we returned from our adventures, I walked over to visit with some neighbors from Florida who were at their cabin. My neighbor and his brother-in-law were showing us how to be lazy and enjoy the mountains. Our neighbor and his wife have retired this year and have traveled a good bit. They came over one evening and sat on the porch with us while we shared soft beverages and wiled away the summer evening with their stories.

We enjoyed the porch swing while we visited and caught up, had breakfast each morning, and just passed time soaking up the beauty of the mountains that God created for our pleasure. One of the first things we do upon arrival at the cabin is to hang the swing. It was an anniversary gift to me from my husband of 38 years. He knew I missed the old swing we had there before. The swing is empty now waiting for my return.

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