Posted by: SoccerGirl | June 18, 2015

Summer Time is Here Again

After a busy spring it was nice to start off my summer vacation the first week/weekend of this month with a trip to the mountains with dad.  And wow has a lot changed since my last quick trip in March!  The house is getting closer and closer to being finished and I can’t wait for move in day to arrive!  Since I hadn’t seen the house in awhile, the first thing we did upon arrival Thursday afternoon was take a tour.  It was so cool to see things that had been talked about become reality in the house.  Aside from inspecting the house this trip was a combination of work and play. After our house inspection Thursday it was just about dinner time so we headed in to town to grab something to eat and catch a movie.  We decided on a visit to The Hotel Tavern and since it was threatening to rain choose to sit inside rather than out on the patio.  It was a good thing too, because about 10 minutes after we sat down it started to pour.  It had been awhile since I had eaten there and everything was delicious.  I highly recommend the Hotel Chips as an appetizer, they’re flavored just enough with a herb blend and of course served with ranch dressing for dipping.  After dinner it was still raining a bit so we decided to drive the short distance to the movie theater rather than walk, especially since it could’ve started raining harder again-I know, I know, we could’ve walked, don’t judge 😉  Anyway, the Parkway Theater is right in the midst of town and is such an awesome deal.  They show first run movies and charge only $6 except for the Matinee, which is only $4.  Drinks, popcorn and candy are available too for just as reasonable prices.  They recently installed new seats, which were super comfortable.  There are two screens within the theater and on this night we saw Tomorrowland, which was excellent, I think we would give it two thumbs up, although it’s hard to explain what exactly it’s about.  Feel free to go on Fandango for a synopsis 🙂

Friday morning I woke to the promise of breakfast at a new place prior to having to do the work portion of our trip.  We had read about the re-opening and renovation of the Park Vista Inn & Restaurant so we decided to head down the Blue Ridge Parkway and check it out.  The drive along the Parkway was as beautiful as usual, especially since there were still clouds lingering over the valleys and the mountaintops were just peeking out from underneath them.  You can see the restaurant from the Parkway, so after a quick turn we pulled in the parking lot and were greeted by a building with large picture windows and a wood and stone facade.  Inside we were warmly greeted by the staff and sat at a roomy table.  The inside has lots of natural wood and really looked nice.  The menu had just enough choices and I settled on a 3 egg omelet with ham & cheddar cheese with home fries while dad had the french toast with fresh fruit and bacon (which was really for me since he doesn’t eat meat).  Everything was delicious, in particular the bacon was quite outstanding, it just had a really good flavor.  After breakfast we wandered around the property to check out some of the other buildings, which included an old store/post office and two single story buildings with hotel rooms, some of which have been renovated and some that are still being worked on.  We will definitely be back for breakfast and hopefully other meals when they start serving them. Once my belly was full it was time to head back to the house and get some work done.

View of the Park Vista Restaurant with some low clouds

View of the Park Vista Restaurant with some low clouds

While construction has been underway dad has been making very frequent trips to the house, so he’s been regularly mowing the grass and doing work outside so there wasn’t too much that needed to be done, but we managed to find enough to do to occupy us for most of the day.  I started off on the riding mower, mowing the lower grass area between the road and the creek.  When that was done I made my way up to the apple orchard and some of the other areas we regularly mow.  While I was busy with that, dad started a burn pile to get rid of some of the brush and branches he had been collecting over many months.  Once I was finished with the mowing I took over watching the fire pit and getting all the brush burned.  It didn’t take too long for it all to be reduced to embers. After all the brush was gone and I sufficiently smelled like a campfire, our work for the day was over.  That meant it was time to play.  After surveying the food available at the house I managed to put together a pretty good dinner for us, we even decided to use the remains of the burn pit to cook some shrimp (safely enclosed in a foil packet).  We had been invited by our neighbors to a Pickin’ and Grinnin’ session in town and decided to check it out since we had never been to one before.  We arrived at a former restaurant and once we figured out which door to use were greeted by music.  There were about 6 people sitting around with instruments or singing and a crowd of about 30 or so people listening.  The musicians took turns leading songs and it was a mix of country, bluegrass and gospel.  Several people got up to line dance during the songs.  We even managed to get a swing dance and a waltz in while they were playing, which was fun even if we were a bit rusty.  Overall it was really enjoyable and I’m sure we’ll go back.

Dad getting the burn pit started

Dad getting the burn pit started

Getting ready to mow

Getting ready to mow

Sign on the door at Pickin' and Grinnin'

Sign on the door at Pickin’ and Grinnin’

Since we completed our work on Friday that meant that Saturday was a play day (though we did do a tiny bit of work, but more on that later).  Prior to our trip I had been checking out various events that were happening that weekend at the state parks nearby & came across a hike scheduled for Saturday morning at Mount Jefferson State Park.  I like to get in at least one hike whenever I’m in the mountains and this one was perfect because it was on a new trail they’re building and it was National Trails Day, so of course we had to hike.  We drove up the mountain and waited at the first overlook for the park ranger who would be leading the hike and it ended up just being dad, me & the ranger.  The trail is still partially under construction and not marked yet, so it was especially cool to get to hike on it.  The ranger was really knowledgeable and we did learn some information that will be useful for our own trail building activities.  I’m looking forward to hiking the completed trail and in the meantime will be glad to lead anyone on a secret hike 🙂  After hiking we headed down the mountain and made our way to the Farmer’s Market to see what the vendors had that day.  By this time I had worked up an appetite so I was ready for some lunch before continuing on with some shopping.  We decided on one of our favorite lunch spots, Sweet and Savory Bakery & Deli.  I think my favorite thing about going there is the sides that they offer and the fact that there is usually some type of “fluff” available.  On this particular day it was Orange Fluff so of course that’s what I ordered to go with my chicken salad.  After refueling I headed down the street to visit another favorite spot of mine for clothes shopping, Sophia Grace, to check out what new things they had in stock.  And of course I left with a couple of new items.  We then had some of the usual errands to run, trip to Wal-Mart, trip to Lowe’s, took a visit out to a furniture store to look at a couch before making our way back to the house.  We were leaving earlier than usual on Sunday so I could get back for my 1 year old goddaughter’s birthday party Sunday afternoon, so our option for church was to go on Saturday evening.  That meant a return trip to town and dinner in town afterwards.  With limited options we ended up at Boondocks and since it was such a nice evening we chose to sit outside on the Boondeck.  As usual the food was great and it was nice to sit outside and watch the happenings on the street.  The one piece of work we did have to accomplish was to plant an apple tree that one of our neighbors gave us.  It was still light out when we returned from dinner so we had plenty of time to get it in the ground.  While we were working on planting it, I took the time to do a thorough check of our other trees and we have lots of apples!  It’s going to be a good year for our little orchard, which we hope to expand this fall.  Maybe someday we’ll have our own cider works…

more apples!

more apples!

One of our apple trees, can't wait for these to ripen!

One of our apple trees, can’t wait for these to ripen!

And just like that our trip came to an end 😦  Hopefully in my next post will be to share with you details and pictures of the finished house!  It’s getting sooo close!

Daisies are in bloom

Daisies are in bloom


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