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Fun Friday–My NC Trip

Thursday, September 10, 2009


What is it about traveling—whether for business or pleasure—that makes coming home and getting anything accomplished so difficult? I know I promised I’d wrap up the Bad Guys series this week, but I’ve been so slammed with trying to get stuff accomplished that it obviously didn’t happen. Instead of trying to get that done now, when I’m focused on preparing the four one-hour workshops I’ll be leading at my local writing group’s mini-conference this Saturday, I’ll do that next week.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted the Thirtysomething and Never Been Kissed rant? I cannot tell you how therapeutic it was for me to have gone through all of those emotions—and that entire discussion, hecklers and all—before attending the wedding of a cousin who’s seven years younger than me. I have gone to the weddings of several of my younger male cousins, but Sarah is my first younger female cousin to get married (there are only six of us girls in a family of twenty-one grandkids). This could have been devastating for me; and several years ago, it might have been. However, God has really been working recently to show me that I have a life full of love and companionship, friends and family. And though I still feel I would someday like to get married, I’ve come to be content with waiting for it to happen. And that blog post helped out with that a lot. So thanks for helping me with that little therapy session. Because it made my North Carolina trip so much more enjoyable.

So, anyway, enough of the deep stuff. This is supposed to be fun Friday, right? On to the pictures.

Mom drove over from Arkansas on Thursday, arriving in the late afternoon. After a wonderful dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse, we went to Walmart and Sam’s to pick up stuff we needed to take to North Carolina. It was pretty late when we got back to my house, and after cooking up the meat we needed to take, we went to bed to be well-rested for the drive Friday.

On Friday, we got up, had coffee, picked up breakfast, and rolled out onto I-24 headed toward Chattanooga. In Chattanooga, we stopped so Mom could find a blouse to wear at the wedding (which we found at Catherine’s outside the Hamilton Place Mall) and then had a quick lunch at Jason’s Deli (where the Poblano Corn Chowder was to-die-for!) before getting onto I-75 North toward Cleveland, TN. Just south of Cleveland, we got off the interstate and onto Highway 64, which, it turns out, we followed all the way to our destination, though we did have to turn/exit a couple of places.

In Tennessee, Highway 64 follows the Ocoee River for quite a few miles. The Ocoee is where they did the whitewater and kayaking events during the 1996 Olympics. I enjoyed driving it (except for the few times people came barreling around the tight/sharp curves from the other direction) and Mom enjoyed viewing the scenery.

Around five o’clock in the afternoon, we arrived in Highlands, North Carolina. (I didn’t take this picture, but wanted you to be able to see how lovely and quaint this town is.) We knew that the vacation rental house was about three or four miles on the other side of town, but we didn’t realize just how narrow and windy (or whiny as we started saying) the road leading out to it would be. But when we saw the view we had from our back deck, we decided the drive was well worth the effort!

While I unloaded the car, Mom got to cooking supper—cavatini (pasta casserole with pepperoni and cheese). The bride, Sarah, and her parents and two of her brothers came out for supper, which helped wile away the time waiting for another cousin to arrive—my aunt had dropped him off on the way into Highlands because he’d seen a hiking trail he wanted to try. Long story short—his GPS didn’t work right and he ended up hitching a ride with a sheriff’s deputy just to get there by midnight. (In addition to Mom and me, my aunt Rinn and her family—son, daughter, future son-in-law, and future step-grandson—and my grandmother stayed in this house.)

Saturday, we grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs—again hosting the bride’s family—and then after they left to get ready for the rehearsal dinner (though the rehearsal was Sunday morning) we hung out at the house until time to go into town to meet up with a bunch of other family members for supper. (Yes, we’re a food-focused family.) My grandmother had arrived just in time for the rehearsal dinner, so we picked her up afterward and took her back out to the house. (And for those of you who’ve been praying for her, she’s slowly recuperating her strength and energy after a week in the hospital being treated for extreme anemia.) We, of course, sat up talking for a while before going to bed.

Now, because I never sleep well when I’m away from home, and especially if I’m sharing a room with someone and forgot to take my MP3 player and headphones with me, I wasn’t able to sleep Saturday night. Around 3:15, I got out of the bed and took my notebook into the living room. I figured if I couldn’t sleep, I could at least be doing something productive until I got sleepy. So I wrote—and got almost 1,400 words written before 5 a.m. when I finally was to the point where I could barely keep my eyes open. And yes, I tweeted and updated my FB status from my phone during that time.

Sunday morning started very early, because we hosted the rehearsal luncheon for everyone who’d come to Highlands for the wedding. It was a wonderful time for the families to mingle and start getting to know each other.

We barely had time to recover from that before it was time to get ready for the 5 p.m. wedding. The main event!

The wedding was held at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn & Spa, which was a gorgeous venue—the kind of place that my Anne would have adored to plan weddings.

My grandmother, “Mamie,” being seated by two of her very handsome grandsons.

Here comes the bride, Sarah Kay Able (now Dinsmore).

You may now kiss the bride.

Mom and me in the garden at “The Barn” (the reception site).

Me and my “dates”: Elijah Abel, Kevin Cloud, and Caleb Abel, a few of my very handsome cousins!

Monday morning, we packed up and left—after getting coffee at Buck’s Coffee on Main Street. The drive back was just as gorgeous (though after the really narrow and whiny road between Highlands and the rental house, Hwy 64 didn’t seem all that bad), though we were exhausted when we got back here. Mom drove back to Arkansas on Tuesday and I’m sure is still recovering, just like me. (Though I’m wondering if part of that recovery involved driving another narrow, whiny road out to Lake Ouachita to recover via some fishing therapy.)

I’ve uploaded all the pictures to a set on Flickr.

So that was my Labor Day weekend. What did you do?

  1. Judy permalink
    Friday, September 11, 2009 12:09 am

    Kaye is absolutely right that this was a wonderful family time. Add to that no internet connection at the house we rented. So we had lots of time to talk.

    My drive back home was uneventful.

    I had to teach class on Wednesday so couldn’t go fishing that day. Today I had to catch up to online classes since I’d been out of touch almost a week. I think it is supposed to rain for the rest of the week so no fishing for me so far.


    • Friday, September 11, 2009 10:24 am

      If we’d had internet connection, I probably wouldn’t have gotten any sleep Saturday night, because I would have been on the computer tweeting and facebooking and blogging and playing games!


  2. Lori permalink
    Friday, September 11, 2009 10:12 am

    My weekend was no fun…had chemo treatments and did nothing!


  3. Friday, September 11, 2009 10:12 am

    First weekend in a long time where I did zero writing and nearly zero reading. In ATL, celebrating the 50th anniversary of my in-laws. Of the 7 children, 5 spouses, and 19 living grandchildren, all but one were in attendance, bedecked in gold and thrilled to be a part of the celebration. Following the renewal of their vows, they had a lawn feast at their home. Many family and friends showed up to witness their continued love and congratulate them. We stayed at the Stone Mountain Inn. It turned into a wonderful family reunion since we all used to be in NY but are now spread across 5 states, and many of the grands are now or will soon be in college. I’m just catching up, finally knowing what day it is–Friday–and more than ready for this weekend so I can catch up on sleep and return to a normal routine.


    • Friday, September 11, 2009 10:25 am

      I love those kinds of family get-togethers! Hope y’all took lots of “family unit” photos and pictures of the entire family together. I’ve got several like that hanging on my fridge from different events that have brought our big family together.


  4. Friday, September 11, 2009 10:55 am

    WOW what beautiful scenery! I’m sorry you couldn’t sleep (I never can sleep away from home either) but at least you got some writing done! What a beautiful wedding! Love Sarah’s dress!!!!

    As for my weekend it was great! I got to go stay with some cousins who were visiting other members of my family in the mountains near my home. Needless to say though this was totally unplanned, they demanded I come to visit immediately after church. So I was wearing a skirt and dress shoes…I can’t be dressed up all day or I go nuts. I borrowed sweats and a tee from my cousin. My other cousin had this big idea that we hike to the lake and walk aroud it (probably 3 Miles total, mostly up hill) so it was us and 2 kids ages 4 and 6. It was 80 degrees I was wearing sweats and am not used to so much walking, and the kids were so tired they were begging for horsey rides! Yeah I was the horsey! 😛 So Iwas pretty tired when we got back to the house! But it was fun! Oh yeah did I mention that when I went home I was wearing my cousins camo sweat pants with my black sequined ballet flats…

    XOXO~ renee


  5. Friday, September 11, 2009 11:18 am

    Kaye, you look beautiful, even for being sleep deprived. Very pretty blouse. That Old Edwards Inn is a spectacular setting for a wedding, or a writer’s conference. Too bad they can’t accommodate more people. And I’m so glad you had a great time and felt a burden lifted that you usually carry to such events. There are so many people who, for various reasons, such events are bittersweet.

    Didn’t do much on the long weekend except for some website work I had to catch up on. We did take a short picnic to a beautiful park on a lake though on Mon.

    Sounds like you have had a busy week. I hope the workshops go well for you.


  6. Friday, September 11, 2009 4:19 pm

    So glad you had a good time! My wedding was very hard for my sister, because she has no one and hasn’t yet reached that point of contentment with where God has placed her. About three weeks before she had a total breakdown over it, so I “ignored” my intended for that day and just loved on her.

    My weekend was spent at my parents’ house. We had a great time! Grilled bratwurst Sunday, then rack of lamb Monday. Friday was my hubby’s BD and my mom gave him his first Smith birthday complete with the biggest carrot cake I have ever seen in my life. I got my hair cut and we came back Tuesday afternoon. It was a very relaxing weekend and just what I needed.


  7. Monday, September 14, 2009 11:44 am

    We flew from Rhode Island to California for the week! Visited friends in Gold Country and also toured Napa and San Francisco. Did a lot of hiking, and even swam an icy river through a CAVE! All with a 3-year-old and a 9-month-old along. (Well, minus the cave swimming part)


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