Sunday, October 16, 2011

Favorite Places

North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains

I haven't been real active staying up in the blog world recently.  With extra workload, etc, it's just been hard to keep up with all the comings and goings.  I have dropped in to read what everyone's been doing and seems everyone is so excited with the change in the temperature.  I did manage to sneak in some time in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a couple of occasions - truly my best get-away destination for a little R&R. 

 The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 470-mile scenic road that connects the Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.


Blue Ridge Viaduct drive is just gorgeous with the leaf change.
A viaduct is a bridge over land. The quarter-mile long Parkway bridge is called the Linn Cove Viaduct.

We visited the Mast General Store over in Valle Crucis, NC. Golly, what a crowd of people.  This store is the best example of an old general store.  It's been around absolutely forever.  There's the old saying about the store "If you can't buy it here, you don't need it.  You name it, the store has it.  Listened to a little guitar pickin' while we were there. 

I arrived early enough in Blowing Rock to join in on the music on the lawn at the Inn at Ragged Gardens. There was a band and an outdoor bar, hor dourves plates... Ragged  Gardens is a 1900's manor house that has about 12 rooms and suites.  Gorgeous, and just absolutely enchanting in the evening all lite up.   It was decorated seasonally and just out of sight beautiful.

Had to go and visit the Farmer's Market in Boone, NC.  All these little places run together, so it's nothing to get in the car and just drive from one place to the next.  It was cold too, very chilly.  We had our gloves, coats, and scarves on.  Just the best apples around, all the heirlooms by all kinds of names.  We bought a peck of Stayman's.  It tastes like an apple should taste.  Of course, we had to get our pumpkins.  Big, beautiful, North Carolina pumpkins, goodness.   
This little sweet shop is called "The Last Straw".  It is in the village of Blowing Rock, NC.  It is a home and garden store.  Again, seasonally decorated and just waiting for the rush of tourists who fill this small town every fall.  The fall aroma of candles and spices just fill you as you enter, the lovely music (oooh),  and just things you want to touch and wish you could bring home.  You cannot imagine how crowded the town becomes.  You almost have to push to move forward on the sidewalk.  Reservations for dinner - a definite MUST, or you might not eat.    
My most favorite place to visit between Boone and Blowing Rock, NC is a garden center called "the Mustard Seed".  My place - I go nuts in there.  I stay for hours in there looking, touching, making notes, etc.   Customers sometimes think I work there because I stay in there so long.  I'm just going to put some photos up so you can get a feel of this place. There was a Halloween contest going on.  Each employee had to set up a display using pumpkins and plants and was voted on by customers.  I never voted because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  They were all incredible.  I'll show you some of their work too.  

Look at the size of those Mums - I knew I should have brought the truck! 

I could not stand myself in all this wonderland of fall beauty.  They were having a plant sale too.  Oh yes, daughter and I made a few purchases.  She had to drag me away.  I wanted to live there for the rest of October.              
 I hope you can tell what this is.  It's supposed to be a "tipsy" lady who fell into her garden pot.  I actually know women who's legs look like that!!

You can figure this one out - Toy Story.

Nacho Libre  

Doesn't it feel good to get away and see a change of scenery?  I love the stroll through small towns and capture the moments of what makes me happy.  Even if it's for a short while, we own it to ourselves to feed and energize our spirit and leave the day to day behind (if possible).  It was all still here waiting for me when I arrived back home, but for some reason it didn't really bother me.  I needed to feel the brisk mountain air and touch the water in a mountain stream, smell the homemade chocolate fudge and candy apples - and just pinch myself that I was free from the scheduled routine of life even for a little tiny bit. 

Talk to y'all later ~ Debi


  1. Great post Debi! I was oohing and awing and laughing all the way through. I would go nuts in a place like that! Thanks so much for taking us along! xo

  2. Beautiful shot of the mountains, and I love the typsy lady.


  4. I LOVE this kind of place!.. especially love those whimsical pigs.. I wonder if they deliver?..

  5. Hey Debi ~ What an amazing place for an R&R. The Last Straw! Love that name, what a great place to visit lots to see and buy I do hope you did. :) My sister and I were talking yesterday about how there are no places to visit around here. We may need to move to the states!
    Take Care!
    Hugs Rosemary...xx

  6. Wow!! What a place to visit--I'm going to have to add it to my growing list--Would you believe that even though I live in Virginia, I've never been to North Carolina??? What's with that??! :-)

  7. AMAZING! I would love to go there! We're going to drive back up to Asheville in a week or so! Save some pretty colored leaves for me! ♥

  8. We're loving our first full time fall (say that five times fast!) here by the Blue Ridge in VA..... beauty everywhere!! Drove part of the Blue Ridge Parkway the other day "just because"..... everyone should be so lucky!

  9. What a great getaway you had! Love the looks of that General Store and can just imagine how cool that was with the guitar picking. Wow lots of eye candy on here, what a great time you must have had! ~Lili

  10. My husband's uncle and family live within spitting distance of here! We need to plan a trip to visit them this fall, and I can give you a shout when we come.