Monday, October 27, 2008

Blue Ridge Parkway

After visiting Atlanta, we headed home. We wanted to take our time and enjoy our trip. So often we just drive from point to point and don't stop along the way. We left on a bright and a little cool Sunday afternoon. We drove out on Georgia and at our first exit in South Carolina, we got off the beaten path. We went on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. Stopped off at an Oktoberfest where we listened to an Oompa Band, ate kettle korn, a funnel cake and then walked around. We then went on a short hike to a waterfall that was a little disappointing because there wasn't much water. That evening we got as far as Henderson, North Carolina. What a neat little town that is. We went downtown and poked around looking for a restaurant to have dinner in. Believe it or not, we had 3 good choice for us. We ended up eating at an Irish Pub. I had Bangers and Mashers and Darrell had Irish Pot Roast. Both were excellent.

The next morning we got up and drove to Chimney Rock. I didn't climb up to the chimney, though Darrell did. I took the 26 story elevator up. I didn't ventured too far once at the top on the wooden planked bridge. Hey, there was nothing but air under the bridge and you know, heights is one of my many phobias. I sat and looked, a little. I did climb down the stairs back to the parking lot. We walked on a few of the hiking trails. It was in the 60's, warm, sunny bright blue sky and the leaves were in full foliage. Just a perfect day. As we drove along to get to the interstate, we passed a small little area that had a few shops and people sitting outside. We turned around, parked and looked around. We had found that we were in a little planned community of condos in an area called Black Rock. What a great, almost hippie type community this was. We had a great lunch to boot. Darrell had a blackened chicken, spinach and garlic mayonnaise wrap sandwich and I had a Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich. Then we were off again. While driving through Hickory we stopped at a Furniture Mart - not too impressed but we understand that there was a 20 mile stretch of furniture stores just a few miles away. We decided to skip it and keep driving.

Our stop for the night was at Mt. Airy. Now if any of you grew up in the 60's or are a fan of TV Land, then you know why Mt. Airy is important. It is the actual Mayberry of the old Andy Griffith television show. I kept whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith tv show and was excited to be there. We ate dinner at Goober's and although we did not go downtown, there was a Lucky Diner and Floyd's Barber Shop. Trivia Question: who was Barney Fife's girlfriend - character name- on the television show?

Up bright and early the next morning, drove to the North Carolina/Virginia border and hopped on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My memory of it from decades earlier was that it was very windy and around many dangerous curves. NOT! It was a very nice road and the leaves were just so beautiful. I was so glad that we got off the interstate and made this drive. We drove by the famous Mawby Mill and took lots of photos. Got off the parkway in Roanoke,, had lunch at Panera and then were only 90 minutes from home. A great trip home.

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