Thursday, October 3, 2013

Didn't Get a Billy Greet While We Explored Montreat

 Thursday morning was overcast and the skies hinted at rain.  It is a difficult thing to decide if the rain is going to be just in the mountains or affect those of down in the valley, valley so low...  We decided to take a chance and first go to the information center on the Blue Ridge Highway since it is so close to Asheville.  The weather held while we toured the center and saw how the highway was built and then of course topped off the educational opportunity with some information center shopping.  We left there and went about five minutes down the highway to the Highlands Folk Art Center.  Wow!  It was so interesting and creative.  The upstairs was the gallery of beautiful artesian paintings, pottery, wood and husk dolls indigenous to the area and all kinds of other things.  The downstairs had a huge store where one of a kind items were being sold.  OK, not everything was one of a kind, but you know what I mean.  We found several items that needed to come home with us including a beautifully hand cut and crafted train.  Roy loves him some tractors and some trains, so we got it for his study.  I even found a beautiful drawing of sheep. 

Since the skies were just overcast we headed on down the Interstate a bit to Black Mountain.  It is such a cute little town with an absolutely delightful downtown.  Roy took a lot of pictures, but I will spare you.  While he took pictures, I looked around several antique shops.  We had seen an old time hardware store on Main Street, so we headed that way and were so happy we did.  It had other things besides hardware.   Lots of retro games along side digital ones. 

 A garden walkway to another part of downtown.

Roy loved the glass bottle soda water display.  This is one of several shelves.  Lots of old time board games too. 
After we spent time looking around in Black Mountain we headed toward Montreat.  I so wish I could find Dottie Laas and tell her I finally got to Montreat and they didn't kick me out because I am Baptist.  It is a Presbyterian retreat center and Billy Graham's home.  Word must have gotten out that we were there because he came and greeted us by the Coke, that didn't happen.  Well, the Diet Coke thing happened but not the Billy Graham thing.  A side note, Roy has discovered CheerWine.  No he didn't go all alcoholicie or anything, but it is made in North Carolina.  Kind of like how Dr Pepper used to be in Texas.   Back to Montreat, it is beautiful!  The stone buildings, the beautiful southern styled homes and the beginnings of fall colors on the foliage.   
This is the entrance.  Beautiful stonework. 

I am so glad I didn't see Roy doing this, but he leaned over the falls to take this picture. 


I believe I have found my new church home...Church of the Prodigal.  Although sometimes in the big picture prodigals can become the older brother.  I still stand by my reasoning that I would identify more with the fatted calf.  Hmmm....I wonder if Sunday after church they serve fatted calf along with some fatted fried chicken, fatted green beans and fatted biscuits?  


We had a great time on the road, off the estate.  Since we had just kind of snacked for lunch, we came back to the Inn and had dinner on the Veranda.  That's fancy talk for porch.  The sun was just starting to hide behind the mountains as we sat in the rocking chairs and ate dinner.  Truly one of my favorite places to eat at the Inn. 

The time was drawing closer to our last day....we kept it kind of open like we had on Monday with the exception that instead of doing the Segway like he did on Monday, he did the river rafting on the French Broad River on Friday.  I rafted on the shuttle over to the house where I did some last minute shopping.  I am enamored with the whole loose tea thing, so I got a cute pink and white teapot.  All the Vanderbilt brands were a little too pricey for my liking.  Then I got some sugar cube tongs, little tiny spoons and tea infusers that sit on top of the cup. 

After Roy's rafting trip, we decided to go on the tour of the west side of the estate in the afternoon.  I am so happy that we had done most of our packing, condensing of bags and repacking Thursday night. 

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