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...

11 comments:

andrea said...

I love that part of NC! I am glad you had a good Anniversary...but you didn't tell us what Jason bought you from Walmart!

Felanie Melanie said...

Awwww looks like you two had fun!!! I lived in Blowing Rock for a summer and just loved it!!! Happy Anniversary...and I am with Andrea...I want to know what was in that Wal Mart bag :)!

shanna said...

oooh YUM YUM...my mouth is watering!
Shanna

Heather said...

Andrea and Mel - Well, when we were on UNCG campus getting our Yum Yum hotdogs, I saw a bunch of girls dressed in their sweats and said to Jason "God, I miss the days when you could rock up in a hoodie and sweat shorts and people still think you look cute." So Jason got me those exact things and wrote in my card "I still think you look cute when you rock up in a hoodie and sweat shorts."

Shanna - Only a fellow ex-Greensboroer like yourself would appreciate the Yum Yum!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the States and happy anniversary! I just stumbled onto your blog. I have to say, you have beautiful pictures - do you mind me asking what type of camera you use? We're in the market for a new one. Looks like you had a great time!

Catherine said...

It's "the Wal-MartS" and "the TargetS". Git it right.

Anonymous said...

God--so true about the "WalmartS" and "TargetS". I just don't get that...

Caitlin said...

Happy Anniversary. I'm drooling over the funnel cake. I love fair food!

Heather said...

We have a couple of different cameras. These pics were taken on a Canon IXUS 850 IS. That's the European branding but you can pretty easily look up what the equivalent is in the US.

Melissa said...

So jealous here. While you post all your pics of the beautiful fall colors, I'll take a picture of.....my palm trees in my front yard!

JBecca said...

Oh wow - yum yum's is probably one of my top 5 places in NC - and the Blue Ridge Parkway is too - great Anniversary choices! I started reading your blog a little while ago, as a Raleigh-London transplant, and still enjoying your stories now that they're from that side of the pond :)