Posted by: SoccerGirl | January 7, 2010

Post-Christmas Vacation

With the completion of our mountain house, we now have a fabulous place all our own to visit during the holidays.  With this in mind our family planned some much needed vacation time for the week after Christmas.  Mom, Dad, and I headed up first on the 26th.  The weekend before the NC mountains were hit with a huge snowstorm and we had heard the estimates of 12-24″ of snow, but didn’t know exactly how much our area had gotten.  That is until my dad called up the neighbors and found out they had gotten 16″ of snow!  Of course this necessitated asking one of our neighbors to plow the driveway so we could make our way up to the house, it also allowed for Santa to bring a family sled for Christmas, since we were pretty sure most of the snow would still be there when we arrived, and we’re all really kids at heart.  On top of the big snowfall our area of the mountains also got hit with an ice storm on Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning, and we weren’t sure what we would find as a result of that.  We left home a little later than we normally would, to make sure any ice on the roads would be melted.  Heading west we were curious as to when we might see snow on the sides of the highway, and during our drive it became obvious which side of the highway got more sun.  On one side the ground was brown and barren and on the other it was still white with snow.  As we approached the Blue Ridge Parkway it was obvious that the ice storm had left behind quite a bit of damage, we thought that the parkway might be okay, but as soon as we went up the exit ramp we realized that the road was blocked by downed trees and branches and we would have to turn around.  Finally we arrived at the house, the driveway nicely plowed, snow glistening with a layer of ice, and no power inside.

Looking up the hill at our little house in the snow

After calling the power company to report the outage and learning that it could be Tuesday before power was restored, we decided to stay for the night and see if the power came back on Sunday.  We took a trip into town for a few supplies, including some additional candles and headlamps,  fortunately the house is mainly heated by a gas wall heater so we knew we could stay warm, but we were without water since the well pump is run on electricity.  After dining on sandwiches by candlelight we settled in to the couch and chairs, each of us covered with an afghan, reading by flashlight and passing the time with Trivial Pursuit questions until a reasonable bed time rolled around (9:00).  The next morning the power still wasn’t on, so we took a walk looking for any downed power lines and then headed into town for a warm breakfast and of course a trip to Lowe’s and Wal-Mart.  We ended up eating breakfast at a little place called the Hillbilly Grill, which had very friendly service and good food, we definitely want to try them again for lunch.  We returned home to find the power still out, but planned on hanging around a little longer so my dad could do some work.  As I was laying on the couch reading I suddenly realized there was another noise in the room, the refrigerator was humming, power had been restored!  We could stay!

Dan, Debi and their dog Jake arrived late Sunday night to complete our family vacation.  We began the week with some sledding runs down the hill in front of the house.  Dad and I had done a little sledding Sunday, after discovering that the drainage ditch next to the driveway would make a great sled run (although a little dangerous due to the chunks of ice covered snow from plowing).  On Monday though, we braved the big hill, each taking a couple of runs down the ice covered slope, flying along and for many of us ending with a few bumps, bruises and cuts.  It was worth it, but sledding is a little more dangerous when you’re an adult!  With Dan’s arrival we were also treated to some gourmet dinners courtesy of Julia Child’s French Chef Cookbook, he even made her famous boeuf bourguignon.  We also took some time to explore our woods in the snow, which made me wish we had snowshoes.  It was neat to see all the animal tracks left in the snow.  We were able to easily identify deer tracks, and possibly coyote or even bobcat tracks.  Of course our loud crunching through the snow probably scared anything that was in the woods away, but maybe someday we’ll see something other than deer on the property.

Mom & Dad ready for a winter walk

Dan giving Debi a little push down the hill

Me on one of the sledding runs

With the cold weather outside and early darkness, we were also able to enjoy our new family toy, a Wii game system!  Everyone got in on the action, with hotly contested games of bowling, tennis and a few boxing matches taking place.  We had to coach mom and dad on how to operate it and play the games, but they quickly caught on.  Even Jake wanted to play as he tried to attack the remotes anytime someone used one!  We all had a blast and look forward to many more chances to play and laugh together.

Jake & Dad ready for the great outdoors

Eventually we did all have to come home, the “kids” left first on Wednesday, while mom & dad left on Saturday.  It has been extremely cold and snowing some more since we left so the snow should hang around for quite a while now, maybe more sledding will even take place  🙂

Sunrise over the mountains



  1. Sounds like (eventually) a great time was had by all. We have snow like that now but not the pretty sunrises and mountain view.

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