Monday, October 19, 2009

Asheville Days

Besides cupcakes...wanna know what makes a kid grin like that?

You'll find out very soon...

My last day in Johnson City, Tennessee was a grey and rainy one. So, Maggie and I headed to the nearby town of Abingdon, Virginia where Maggie's mom, Miss Lillian, was recently laid to rest. It is such an old cemetary that it doesn't even have a name and most folks don't even know that it's there. But, it's really quite a beautiful place on a scenic hill overlooking the nearby mountains.

Miss Lillian doesn't have a headstone yet, but one of her neighbor's markers stood out because it described the occupant as, simply, "Beloved".

It just seemed very old fashioned and sweet.

From there, we trotted our soggy hairdos over to the historic Martha Washington Inn. It's one of those old colonial brick buildings oozing with old world charm. It's beautifully restored and appears elegant from the moment you walk into the lobby.

It has an amazing three story staircase that wraps its way up the center of the lobby to the various rooms and shops above. This is looking from the lobby up...

And this is looking from the top floor down...

Yet, as fancy and proper as the whole thing feels like the place is crawling with ghosts and wandering spirits. I kept expecting to see the two twins from "The Shining" come wheeling down one of the many pastel hallways chanting "Red Rum".

You couldn't pay me enough to stay in that place.

But, it was sure fun to visit.

So, the next day I headed down to Asheville, North Carolina to visit my friends Cindy, Gaby and my godson, Wiley. Although it was still cloudy and wet, the drive from Tennessee to Asheville was spectacular. Between the fall colors and the long roads winding through the Smokey was practically a sensory overload.

If you ever get the chance to take that drive, don't pass it up. It's some of the most beautiful green country you'll ever come across on this continent.

The rest of the weekend was spent catching up with Cindy, Gaby and Wiley, who has grown so much in the past year and who also, apparently, can't help but continue getting cuter by the minute.

Maggie came down as well, so we all braved the chilly weather, entertained Wiley as much as possible (thus, entertaining ourselves immensely), and just wandered about this colorful city for hours and hours.

That last photo is not Wiley, but rather a sassy gal in her stoller that we passed who was all dolled up in her Aretha Franklin hat and ruby lips for a day out on the town.

One of the highlights for Wiley was visiting a nearby pumpkin patch (or "punkin' pathch"). Not only was he excited to see the wee orange carcasses, but there was a whoppin' hay bale maze waiting for the kids to take several hundred trips through.

He whipped through that thing a gazillion times.

In the cold and drizzle.

Never complained.

I don't know how Cindy managed to keep up with him...

It was hilarious.

This stunning little girl almost ran into me as she came barreling out of the maze and, rather than run screaming in the other direction (the thing that people usually do when they meet me), she just looked up and...stared at me.

It's not often a child will stand still long enough for you to take a, that's what I did.

Oh, that's a corncob.

However, what really made Wiley's weekend...was the jumbo slide at the "HardLox Jewish Food Festival" in town today. In the past, he had no interest whatsoever in participating in or climbing on any type of giant inflatable child structure.

Today was different.

He whipped off his shoes with lightning speed and stretched his wee legs slowly up the very long plastic stairwell...stopping every few steps to turn around and see if we were all still chanting "Go Wiley, GO!"

We (the adults) were doing it to encourage and support him. The kids around us were doing it because they had to wait for him to get to the top before they could go on again.

It was a hoot and once he got himself up there, he quickly turned around, plopped down on his stomach, and rocketed down to the bottom.

And, as you can tell by these photos...

He really enjoyed it!

So did we.

A fun time was had by all.

And this little trooper was pooped.

So were we.


Roland said...


Initially, I thought he was excited to see the graveyard. I was worried he was some dark, "I see dead people," Village of the Damned kind of kid. Turns out it was just the harvest festival.

Brad said...

WHAT? You went to Ashville and no pictures of Biltmore?


I'll let it pass this time as you appear to be having WAY too much fun. But if it happens again, that's 10 demerits on your gay card.

Vampire Hours said...

I can see how you could think's all part of my visual trickery. Happy you fell for it.

As for the Biltmore...I went there last year and took tons of photos and posted them here on the blog:

Hopefully, in time, you'll remember that you should never doubt me and, also, that you should read the blog every day so you don't miss anything. =)

Sissy said...

You just HAD to put in the pic with all my chins!

Honestly Ethel, I'm revoking your all-access pass to Johnson City. And to think, I was going to ship you a Pot Roast sandwich from the Cranberry Thistle...