Monday, July 9, 2012

More vacation? Yes please!

We've finished up our time in North Carolina.  But our vacation is only half complete.  We've headed on to Virginia to stay with my parents.  But we did take an extra day in North Carolina to go spelunking and whitewater rafting.  As you can imagine, we were unable to take pictures of the rafting and we didn't take a camera into the cave, but we had more fun than we've ever bothered to have.  

Before we left, we did take a few good pictures of some interesting junk.

Here is Jen striking an elegant pose at an outlook off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.  There used to be a sign where she is now.  I think she looks better than some stupid sign!

This is Cindy and Paul.  They own and operate 1902 Turnpike House bed and breakfast, pictured below.  They were incredibly nice to us and their doggy Bella was also very accommodating!  Thanks guys!

This was, more or less, the backyard.  Really it was up the street a little but someone not afraid of poison ivy could jump down a short cliff to get back to the Turnpike House.  I'm not much of an outdoorsman, so I don't know what those crawling vines might have been.  Anyway, the trees were huge and ancient.  The forest was a neat place to run and play!

Enough North Carolina, let's move on to Virginia.  Actually the last couple are in Washington DC.  The above picture is a trumpet man.  The below picture is The Albert Einstein memorial, which is a bit tricky to find.  But we found it alright!  I Einstein is a personal hero of mine and I was compelled to climb his lap and give him a big hug.

Expect more pictures of Virginia and DC.  But I have to go now.  Lunch is ready.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

North Carolina

Hey all!  It's been too long since our last post.  I would love to have done Mothers and Fathers Day posts but. . . too late now.  At any rate, I know all (both) of our fans are far more interested in our adventures!  So here you go:

We are currently high in the wooded mountains of North Carolina.  As illustrated above, we are far from everything.  Except bears.  And deer.  And a couple of trees.  We haven't uploaded Jennifer's photos yet, but they ought to be much better than this one I took with my phone.

Jennifer came here ahead of me to attend a retreat.  I had a whole day to myself to roam the mountains and look for adventures!

My favorite thing so far has been my tour of the Biltmore, the largest home in America.

As you can probably assume, this place is supposed to be haunted.  A little bit.  The builder's wife can be heard in the music room consoling her dying husband.  Why she haunts the place and not him, I don't know.  I think the rumor was constructed just as a marketing thing.  I heard no ghosts and saw nothing paranormal, although the gargoyles were pretty creepy.

The mansion contains 250 rooms including 43 bathrooms.  That's impressive for a time when most homes did not have indoor plumbing at all.  There is an indoor heated, lighted pool, built at a time when electric lights were little more than a novelty.  There are servants rooms and even the servants had servants who also had rooms!  There are four acres of floor space within.

The first picture was taken from the left side.  Stage right.  The second picture is the view from the back porch.

One of the house's many gardens.

And this fountain is my favorite.  Grotesque isn't it?  Doesn't it conjure visions of horrors from beyond the deep?  Yes. . .

That's all for now.  In an interesting turnabout, Jennifer is urging me out the door.  We are going to walk around and look at cute shops and stupid crafts and junk.  Hopefully tomorrow we will have more adventures here in Banner Elk.  Stay tuned!