Posted by: SoccerGirl | January 18, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new (year)

Happy New Year everyone!  The end of 2011 brought about one last trip to the mountains for the year.  After spending Christmas at home, we took off for 5 days of mountain time since I was off from school and mom & dad have pretty flexible schedules.  As is our usual routine, we left in the morning planning to arrive just before lunch time.  After a month away from the mountains it was so nice to be back.  We unpacked the car, turned up the heat and left to visit one of our favorite lunch spots in Jefferson, Sweet Aromas, but upon our arrival discovered they were closed for the week.  It was off to try a new place then.  We had noticed that a place was opening up called Woodhaven II, and when we drove past this time it was finally open.  We had heard through the grapevine that the original was in North Wilkesboro and was pretty good, so we decided to give it  try.  We all ordered sandwiches, which we all enjoyed and were pretty cheap, always a plus!  It was a good way to start off our visit.  After running errands in town, you know the required Wal Mart/Lowe’s trip, we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing at home.  Dad did make an interesting discovery in his walk around the property, just up the hill from the house was a dead deer, just laying in the meadow.  We’re not sure if it was shot, but think that’s the mostly likely cause of death.  Of course, being scientifically minded, I was quite curious about it, and we decided to leave it in place to see how it changes over time.  I did take a picture to document it too, which you can see here, it’s not graphic though, so don’t worry if you have a squeamish stomach.

The dead deer (click to enlarge, if you want)

Thursday morning dad was off to work outside while I slept in and mom did some computer work.  We had decided the night before to take a trip to Blowing Rock on Thursday for a little retail therapy.  Of course, mom & I knew that dad probably wouldn’t want to come along, but that was ok, it gave us a chance for some mother daughter time.  We didn’t get going until kind of late and chose to drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway to avoid traffic in Boone.  According to Google maps it would take about an hour to get there, which is what we expected.  As we drove along the Parkway there were hardly any cars, and as we got closer to Blowing Rock we noticed that there was a little more snow on the ground than we had back at the house.  That’s not to say that there was a ton of snow, it was really just a dusting.  We could tell though, that they had come through and salted/sanded the road in some places.  We ended up arriving in Blowing Rock in about 45 minutes, which was a pleasant surprise.  Our first order of business was to find someplace to eat.  I had done some internet research before we left and  had a couple of places in mind.  Apparently everyone had the same idea as we did, and there ended up being waits at a couple of places.  There was one more place I had on my list, which was not on Main Street, called Foggy Rock.  We were seated right away and eagerly looked over the menu.  We both ended up ordering sandwiches, mom venturing to try the Wasabi Salmon while I went for one of my favorite combinations, the Turkey Cranberry.  Both were outstanding and we were very glad we chose to eat there.  Once we were fueled up it was on to shopping!  We browsed the shops along Main Street and ended up coming across a cupcake shop, just off Main St called Oh La La Cupcakes, they had so many yummy looking flavors that we ended up taking home some for later.  On our way out of town we made a quick stop at the outlet center for a little clothes shopping, where I managed to find just a few things to take home.

While we were off shopping and eating, dad spent his day working outside.  You may remember from my last post that we built a bridge in the woods.  To get to the bridge you have to walk down a kind of steep hill, so we had decided that there needed to be some steps to make it easier to get down to the bottom.  Dad started working on this project, and set about finding the right diameter logs and cutting them to the right width for our steps.  He then dug out part of the hill and installed the logs, using rebar rods to hold them in place.  Don’t feel bad though that he was working while we were off shopping, he enjoys his outdoor therapy and didn’t work the whole time we were gone anyway.  He reported that he also took a long walk around our property and some of the adjoining properties.  We had another quiet night at home, relaxing with a movie I got at Redbox when we were in town the day before.

Dad and the steps leading to the bridge (click to enlarge)

Friday was my day to do some work outside.  Last time I wrote about our bridge building project.  After we got home from that trip, dad did a little research by looking at a similar bridge he had built here at home.  When he looked at bridge, he discovered that he had used 3 4×4 boards to support it rather than the 2 that we used in the mountains, so… in the interest of safety we found it necessary to fix our mountain bridge.  We wouldn’t want any deer to fall through and get stuck.  That meant pulling up all of the boards, placing the new 4×4 in the middle, and re nailing all of the boards.  Dad took on the task of pulling up the boards and placing the new support, while I, once again, was tasked with nailing all of the boards back down.  Now our bridge is officially finished and we’re already talking about where to build the next one  🙂  While I nailed the boards back down, dad finished working on the steps.  Once our work for the day was done we all went for a walk, since it was a nice, sunny day.  We ended up walking along the roads near the house, by the “big” creek.  It was a little on the windy side and chilly, but overall a great day for a walk.  Friday night we were invited out to dinner with some friends at J & J Chophouse in Jefferson.  Mom and Dad had been there a couple of times, but this was my first, and I was quite impressed.  Each entree came with not only a salad, but also two sides, and the prices were very reasonable.  The desserts were very good as well.  One of the cool parts was the fact that all the wine they served was made by one of the local wineries.  I’m sure we will be visiting them again, especially since they are also open for lunch and have some specials.

Bridge, new & improved (click to enlarge)

Saturday arrived and mom & I thought it was a good day for a little pampering, so we headed in to town for manicures and pedicures.  On a few previous trips, she had gone to one of the local nail salons that advertised in the church bulletin and had good experiences, so we decided to go back.  The hardest part is always deciding on a color, after a while of looking, we both found ours.  It is always nice to have someone take care of your feet as well as sit in the massage chair.  I always think to myself that I need to do this more often.  While we were getting pampered dad was finishing up  the second phase of his step project.  We chose go to church on Saturday night since we were leaving fairly early in the morning, so the after we got back from getting our nails done, we relaxed around the house until it was time to go.  After church we rang in the new year by making a dinner of shrimp scampi, vegetables, and garlic bread and watching an old movie on Netflix.

Mom & Dad and the second set of steps (click to enlarge)

We left earlier than usual on Sunday in order to make it back to Durham to go to Slow Food Triangle‘s Traditional New Year’s Dinner with my brother & sister-in-law.  In the interest of making it easy for ourselves to clean up and leave in a timely manor we went out for breakfast and paid a second visit to Woodhaven II.  They had a breakfast buffet, which had a pretty good variety of food and they would make omelets & french toast to order.  It was a good start to the new year and fueled us up for our day of travel.  We had a great end to 2011 and start to 2012 and look forward to sharing many more adventures throughout the year.

Sunrise in the mountains, courtesy of Dad the early bird


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