Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Who's the busiest girl of all?

Things are chugging along here.  We're officially moved back into our house.  We've got a new tv and cable and internet.  Murray and Monique will be happy to know that we've got brand new guest room furniture so they will have somewhere to sleep when they arrive in November.  We've got our old bed back which makes me happier than any person has a right to be over a piece of furniture.  Living room sofa and chair are being delivered next week.  Plantation blinds are being installed the week after that.  And hopefully, new kitchen floors will follow shortly after that.

In short,  we have quite a lot going on right now.  Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we fly to Orlando.  Specifically, Disney World.  And lest anyone think it's weird that Jason and I are rocking up to the Magic Kingdom of our own volition, please rest assured that we are going because we were invited to join in the fun of introducing our nieces to the power of Mouse.  And considering we've only been able to spend a few days a year with them for the past three years, we're really looking forward to some good times with them.

So, between now and next Wednesday, there may be posts or there may not.  We are, however, staying on the club level/towers/executive level/whatever they're calling it at the Hilton though and if that doesn't entitle one to some free wi-fi, I will be very disappointed.  On a similar note, if that doesn't also entitle one to some free champagne cocktails at the end of the day, I will be crushed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hello fall

Yesterday, I had to dig through the piles of clothes sitting in our house waiting to be unpacked and try to find myself a sweater.

I have mixed feelings about this considering I spent the last couple of years in perpetual fall/winter.  Oh well, I get another week of summer since I'm headed to Florida on Friday.  I'll squeeze the last bit of mileage out of my Rainbows and shorts and come back ready for boots and cable knits.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We voted!

Speedy and I (and Jason) made our way to the polls Sunday afternoon and cast our ballots.  

This early voting business is excellent. We're going to be in Florida on election day so it was nice and convenient for us to get it out of the way before we left.  

We also have to move out of our corporate apartment and into our house this week because we're supposed to turn in the keys to the apartment on the day we fly to Florida.  Excellent planning on our parts, no?

So, somehow - between DIYing, trips to Lowe's, yard work, accepting furniture deliveries and moving our stuff over two suitcases at a time - I'm supposed to find time to pack for our trip and pin down our halloween costumes.  All the makings for an excellent week.

And by excellent, of course I mean A TOTAL BLOODY NIGHTMARE.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yeeeeee-haw!

Monday night, me, Jason, Jason's sister Jenny and her husband Ryan all got our redneck on and went to the North Carolina State Fair.

Apparently, you can win a blue ribbon for just about anything.  For "food preservation":

For growing fruits and veg on steroids:

And for table decorating:

You can also deep fry just about anything.  Twinkies, Snickers, Mars bars, mac & cheese, pecan pie, Oreos, cheesecake, PB&J, pickles, and yes, friends - you can even deep fry a cheeseburger.


Jason settled for a piece of pecan pie.

Ryan waiting patiently for his smoked turkey leg.

Jason is a sucker for stuff like this.  You pay $6 for the soda and the tin cup, and you get lifetime $1 refills as long as you have the cup.  Pappy says he's at the fair every year and people definitely rock up with their cups for the refills.  With our luck, Pappy will retire after this year.

We even got up close and personal with the animals.  Rabbits...

Chicks...

Even baby turkeys!  No really!  It looks almost exactly like a baby chick, but it's a little turkey!

Chickens with Vegas showgirl headdresses...

And a rather over-excited miniature donkey.  Wonder if that's a boy or girl donkey?  Children!  Avert your eyes!

There were games of course.


And rides. (Though none of us were interested in those - we were there in a purely culinary capacity.)

And freak shows.  (Before anyone gets riled up about the inhumanity, please see the next photo of what was actually in the exhibition.)

Gotcha!

And after the fireworks, we called it a night.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome back!

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!?!?! I've been on home soil for all of 22 days and this shows up in my mailbox?

Sorry about the poor quality.  Taken with my iPhone while simultaneously eating Chick-Fil-A and talking to a flooring estimator.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Celebrating five years of marriage with hot dogs, Wal-Mart and worms

We started our road trip to the mountains the right way with a quick stop in Greensboro to have some Yum Yum hot dogs.  Yum Yum is a Greensboro institution (and serves only two things: hot dogs and ice cream).  It's so funny how UNCG grows and changes and sprouts all around it but little old Yum Yum always stays the same.  The only thing that ever changes at Yum Yum is the price of a dog.  We probably ate here 3 or 4 times a week when we were poor students.  The cost was exactly $1.00 per hot dog.  It's now $1.80.  Well worth the inflation though.


We arrived in Blowing Rock in the midst of some of the thickest fog I've ever seen.  But when we picked up the keys to our cabin, we were assured that we had one of the best views anywhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains, across the Johns Rover Gorge.  And we found out for ourselves when we woke up Saturday morning.  I'd say it was pretty stunning:

So we settled down with coffee and pumpkin bread picked up at the market the night before and enjoyed the morning.


We had decided that we wouldn't do gifts this year simply because we're in the midst of a buying frenzy with trying to get our house ready to move back in to.  Or I suppose you could say that our anniversary gifts to each other this year are lots and lots of new furniture and a new tv and new kitchen floors and new plantation blinds....  Anyway, on the way, we had decided to stop at Wal-Mart (ain't no Target round these parts) to pick up some stuff and Jason had the idea to each take a twenty dollar bill and twenty minutes and buy each other something there.  

Classy!  

Jason was especially fond of the Batman boxer shorts I picked out for him.  

We finally drug ourselves away from our spectacular view and made our way to the Blowing Rock for which the town is named.  


Then we decided to head towards the Blue Ridge Parkway, the best way to see the fall foliage across the mountains.




Eventually, we made it to Linville Falls and did a little hike around the area.




Then, we were back on the road to head to Valle Crucis to visit Mast General Store.  

That evening, we tried in vain to find a place to eat that was showing the Red Sox game so we ended up setting up the iPhone and watching the MLB.com gamecast.

Sunday morning, we enjoyed our view for a while and then started making our way to Banner Elk for the 31st annual Woolly Worm Festival.  Yes, you read that right.  Just you wait!

We hit some Parkway traffic on the way but we didn't mind because this was the view out of our sunroof for pretty much the entire drive...  

We made it!

This is the grandstand where all the woolly worm races take place.  Over the course of the weekend, there are lots of different heats until they finally crown the grand champion.  More on that later.  For now?

Food.  Lots and lots of festival food.  Turkey leg...

The best BBQ sandwich of my life...

Funnel cake...

And whatever this plate of fried potatoey goodness is...

Back to the races...  Here are the rules:  Once you put your worm on the string, you can't touch it or the string.  You can yell, clap, fan the worm, whatever.  You just can't touch it.  Unless your worm gets turned around and starts going the wrong way.  Then you can turn it around.  The best part was the worm names.  Ricky Ricardo and Bandit, below, were a couple of my favorites. 

Aside from the food and worm races, there was a bluegrass band...

And photo opportunities...

And commemorative hand stamps.

And after one last drive along the parkway, we were on our way back to Raleigh.

Stick around for some NC State Fair fun later this week...