Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What I Did on My Summer Vacation Days 5&6

Sunday night my dad surprised me by asking if I wanted to spend the night in the mountains Monday night and then head home on Tuesday. My late Birthday present. I of course said YES!! So Monday morning we headed out for Boone, NC. On the way we stopped to see my Uncle Jim, my dad's baby brother. I haven't seen him in forever. I was his birthday present one year, ha ha ha. Seriously I was born on his birthday. Anyway, we had a great visit. Got to see his new church pastorate. Which is a church that was started in 1727. It has a beautiful building with some wonderful old stained glass. The glass dates back to 1919. Pretty wonderful that it has lasted all these years. It was fun seeing it but the best was listening to my Dad and Uncle Jim laughing and talking.

After a great visit we continued our journey north through the mountains until we reached Boone. I hadn't seen the town of Boone in over 14 years. It was practically unrecognizable to me. When I would go up to visit friends during college we visited lots of places. I could hardly find landmarks of places we visited and ate at. Except for Makotos. I was SO excited to see that it was still up and running. Wonderful Japanese Steak House. Anyway, it was a bit late when we arrived so we trekked over to Moses Cone Manor which is a family have to visit location. Its a beautiful manor house overlooking a valley. Then we headed down to Blowing Rock. I love that little town. But while we were there the heavens opened and it started pouring rain. So we cut our sight seeing short and returned to the hotel.
The next morning we got up bright and early and headed to the parkway. We started at the northern point of Doughton Park and then made our way south. We had fun stopping and looking at the scenery along the way. It was fun to see some little critters along the way, some muskrat, rabbits, and deer. There was one baby deer who wasn't frightened at all and even stopped and posed for pictures. He even wagged his tail for us as if to say "Hi" :-) We visited the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church which houses one of Ben Long's wonderful frescoes. This church has a wonderful history of ministry to many people in the mountains. The Last Supper Fresco is what is located behind the pulpit. Fresco painting is an amazing process and it is fun to hear what he went through as he created this wonderful painting. I love that he painted himself as doubting Thomas, his testimony to the struggle he had to come to faith in Christ. There are other stories to tell from the visit to the church, ponderings and musings that I will share later.

After we visited every nook and cranny of the church we headed south to Grandfather Mountain area so we could see the Viaduct and the mountain itself. It is always amazing to see the viaduct. all 1243 feet of it. The most tremendous feat was building it from the top down, not disturbing the mountain as they built it. But they did it. There are some fun stories from Grandfather Mountain as well. When we were little we would go up the mountain to see the sights. There was Mildred the bear and all the bear cubs. There was also the mile high swinging bridge. Sad to say I was always too chicken to make it across. My own Grandmother finished it when I couldn't. Pretty sad, huh? The drive to the top is rather narrow. Not a lot of room for 2 cars to pass each other. Once when we were little I remember sitting the backseat of our car and whispering to my brother that "we were going to die" as we watched another car come straight for us as we were driving to the top. Of course we didn't die but it sure was scary there for a moment or two.
After this we headed back to my mom and dads. Sad to say my fun journey home is over except for the journey back. Tomorrow I head back to Texas. There will be a few stops along the way to see some old friends but then back home and back to work. Learned lots, rested, and had fun visiting and reminiscing.

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