Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Little More North Carolina!

Our second day in North Carolina was a little bit family, a little together, a little solo. In the morning, Rick took off for a bike ride on the mountainous roads. The elevation from his dad's home drops about 3,000 feet from the top of the mountain down and it's up and down all the way after that! As for me, it was a bit of shop-and-sight-see time!

Kathy loaned me her car and I took off, landing first at a fabulous kitchen shop and then a wonderful antique mall where I did a bit of damage with some brown transferware, an original program to the Ethel Merman Broadway cast of "Gypsy" and a few Christmas presents. By then it was time to meet Kathy for lunch, and then we cruised by Grandfather Winery.

No, we didn't sip. But she wanted to show me how it was different from the Linville Falls winery the day before. While both are built into a hill and had the same lovely environment, Linville was more of a "California" style, while Kathy described Grandfather's as more of a French Bordeaux style.

As for me, I thought it simply lovely (and made a small purchase in the shop, of course!)

We got home and had a call from Rick. He needed the rescue squad! After a long ride up and down the hills and mountains, he was pretty sure he wouldn't make it back from Banner Elk and up the mountain with much left! So, his dad and I picked him up!

As soon as he cleaned up, he and I headed off to Mast General Store in Valle Crucis.

This classic building was founded in 1883 and remains a working general store and post office.

I found a few more gifts (and presents for me) there, while enjoying the delightfully quirky and homespun style of the store.

Included in my check out were yellow grits, some table linens and a nice piece of cheery oilcloth.

We couldn't leave without having a soda in a glass bottle from the cooler...

...and enjoy the sweeping back porch on a lovely early summer day.

We had dinner in Banner Elk and then while Dick and Kathy were at a concert, Rick and I took a long walk in a beautiful area near the Lees and McCrae campus.

It was quiet, warm but not hot or sticky, and the rushing water added its own coolness.

It was a perfect place for quiet contemplation...

... and a walk in the woods.

There was duck-robatics in the pond...

And babies to admire!

The resident ducks and geese pecked for food...

...and when they thought they might have an extra handout, followed closely!

All in all, a perfect day.

I leave you with a last look at the water...

...and another beautiful sunset.

Back to Michigan!


  1. I love stores like that and pretty the roses in front of the two have such nice smiles.

  2. I was going to say "a perfect day" and then saw you said exactly that. Love that you did some gift shopping including for yourself. That store is the best, what fun to see. I would have gotten the cold drink in a glass bottle too, just perfection!

  3. NC is now on my to visit list! Beautiful and yes, I remember those Coca-Cola coolers. We'd have to pick our glass-bottled pop from the cooler which was filled with water, and opened the bottle cap on the side of the cooler.... and that was in Hong Kong decades ago! ;)

  4. Now I want to go shopping in North Carolina.

  5. What a glorious time -- and gorgeous pictures! So happy for you!

  6. Nice sites . . . sounds like a nice time away . . .
    Happy you found sone "gifts" for yourself!
    I think it was wise that Rick rethought the hills
    and called for some relief . . .
    Safe travels home!

  7. Not only the end to a perfectly lovely day, but also the end of a glorious semi-vacation. It was truly wonderful to see the different styles of grape/wine growers. Very impressive and quite different, even informative for this non-wine drinker.

    So glad you shared these wonderful photos with us because much of this area is quite new to me. I loved every word of it, though. Those geese sure get around, don't they?

  8. Looks like home:) I love that you got to savor some sights
    and really hope to join you for a bit next time you're in the area.
    It was terribly hot while you were here....too bad you didn't have
    friendlier weather. Next time we'll order up some cool breezes.
    Thanks for sharing the loveliness.
    Big hugs,

  9. Everything looks so beautiful. What a gorgeous area and what a lovely shop. It looks like you had a great time. The things you bought will remind you of that wonderful trip.

  10. Oh Jeanie, your photos here, when I see this, I am reminded of a good old-fashioned American childhood summer. Summer camp, a sort of Huckleberry Finn setting. Ponds by which to ponder, fish and skip rocks, a cold soda from a glass bottle, meandering the dusty, hot dirt roads back HOME.

    Funny thing; Every April 23rd, I get a year older, but every summer always makes me 10 years younger. Gotta love these summer days, and ours here in Minnesota have been perfect, with mildly warm days, and cool, comfortable nights. Our loft bedroom typically gets too hot to sleep in, but these days, a light sweater is required to be outside, so this cooler night air reminds me of California, where I was born and raised.

    I wish summer could go on and on.....


  11. You said perfect day, I think you and Rick had a perfect vacation! I love your pics here, what a great Americana day, I love the old general store and winery. You look and Rick look "happy and relaxed, " just what vacations are all about. Safe travels home and a Happy 4th………….

  12. Its so pretty there. I love all the antiques. That store looks like a place I could do some damage also. Enjoying your photos. Its fun to arm chair travel when you can't go anyplace yourself. Hugs-Erika

  13. Truly charming images. They brought a smile to my face. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  14. Hi was so lovely of you to stop by my blog and leave your sweet comment because that way l was able to pop in here and read of your adventures and view your wonderful photos....l have NEVER seen such a spectacular sunset, is this edited l wonder, it's a truly amazing shot!!

  15. Old General Stores that keep things like that coke cooler are really neat. I wish you had told us more about what you bought (not including gifts, obviously). Maybe that's another post?

    best... mae at

  16. What an idyllic spot! I have a friend who lives there and I'd love to go and visit her one day. Trouble is the fares from London are just nuts, because there are no direct flights. It does look as gorgeous as she says it is though, from your pics. So bright, summery and that shop is the quaintest thing!

  17. Oh I have loved seeing all your trip pictures! The NorthCarolina ones especially! I felt like I was right along there with y'all!

  18. OH what a lovely lovely place you've shared with us Jeanie.
    When I saw the roses planted at the ends of the grapes I immediately thought of France :-)
    A warm summer day with no humidity is exactly my cup of tea too.
    Happy July

  19. I really was glad to read that Rick had to call in reinforcements. I've always had this lurking feeling that he was perfectly capable of cycling anywhere - maybe even for thousands of miles. Those hills can do it, though. Every time I leave the flatlands to something resembling hills, I know it -- and sometimes have a little rest myself!


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