Monday, August 19, 2013

North Carolina pottery

This past weekend we visited Seagrove, a town in pretty much the exact geographic center of North Carolina that's known as the pottery capital of the state (or the world, depending on who's telling). With over 100 potteries in the area, there's definitely a lot of creativity in this area. We visited five or six potteries and a couple of co-ops, and it didn't take long for me to determine my favorite potter. I ended up with several pieces, including some soup bowls, a cobbler dish, some coffee mugs and a couple of square plates. I can't wait to go back and get more!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Another girl gets a guitar

This photo is intentionally blurry b/c I'm trying to be artsy.

Look out, world. My favorite niece now has her very own guitar. Things will never be the same!

Pickin' Parlor

Another highlight of Summer 2013: a spontaneous trip to Columbia, South Carolina for an evening at Bill's Music Shop & Pickin' Parlor. While I (unfortunately -- big mistake on my part) didn't sample the Blenheim Ginger Ale, I did get a dose of some local bluegrass and gospel music, and I had a foot-tappin' good time. Can't wait to go back here again!

Carolina BBQ

I've been getting back to my Carolina roots like crazy this summer. For some reason, I can't seem to get enough BBQ, hush puppies, and pimento cheese. I'm even listening to bluegrass music and watching NASCAR. (OMG. WTH? IDK.)

One of my favorite BBQ joints is Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby, North Carolina. It's a drive from Charlotte, but I've been here three times this summer. I like getting the BBQ tray, which comes with coleslaw and the most awesome hush puppies ever. They've also got some yummy banana pudding. Thank you to my soul sista J for introducing me to this place. I'll never be able to drive through Shelby without stopping here, ever again.

Sunset Beach & Calabash

It's kind of embarrassing that I've been back in North Carolina for three years now and haven't yet had a beach vacation. But I did get to spend fifteen minutes at Sunset Beach on Fathers' Day in June.

The truth is, I'm not really a beach person. I like to stick my feet in the water and walk along the shore and all that, but I don't like being in the sun for very long, and I don't like that ikky feeling of sand sticking to my skin.  Also, I hate the crowds, not being able to find a parking place, the scorching heat of the sidewalks and concrete and dry sand.

I'd much rather go to the beach in November or December or March when hardly anyone else is around.

But there's something therapeutic about the ocean, so I was glad that I had my fifteen minutes. :)

I also like the marshes near the beach. This one is on the river in Calabash, the town that's famous for its fried seafood.

Speaking of seafood . . .  here's a plate of Calabash-style: fried fish, fried crab, fried oysters, fried shrimp, fried potatoes and coleslaw. There are at least a billion calories on this plate, and this stuff is not for the faint of heart.

Yet for some reason I find myself getting hungry just looking at it. :-O

RIP Misha

The saddest day of the year so far was the day in June when we had to say goodbye to our sweet feline friend Misha.

Misha joined our family in 2002 when we adopted her from the Southside Animal Shelter in Indianapolis. At that time, she was about two or three years old. She was named in honor of S's brother who had just a month or so earlier predicted that our family would expand. She was a patient and kind big sister to her canine siblings, and had excellent rodent hunting and assassination skills.

Unfortunately, at the (approximate) age of thirteen she developed diabetes and her health quickly deteriorated. Making the decision to end her life was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. We miss her terribly.

RIP, Misha girl.

Art night

Photos from "Paint Your Pet Night" at Wine Palette in Charlotte, June 2013. The sketches were already done when we arrived (based on the photos submitted) so we just had to take it from there. I did Chelsea's painting and S did Cody's.





Chelsea - final

Cody - final


I'm going to be doing several entries today to try to make up for the time I've lost by not blogging since April. (I have no excuse for that other than I just decided to take a break from technology for a while.)

Memorial Day weekend (in May) often coincides with S's birthday, so we like to do something special that weekend. This year, we went to Highlands, North Carolina, where we stayed in the Old Edwards Inn. I've stayed in lots of amazing hotels/inns all over the world, but I must say, Old Edwards is one of my favorites! So for those of you looking for an awesome place to stay in western North Carolina, please go there as it gets my highest recommendation! (Yes, we did spa treatments, and OMG!!! Just go.)

The town of Highlands is close to several waterfalls, and we visited three of them: Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls, and Glen Falls. My favorite was Glen Falls. You have to walk down the mountain to get the best view, which of course means you have to climb back up. But it was worth it!

Another Highlands highlight is Sunset Rock. This is the kind of place where I could take a picnic and sit for hours enjoying the amazing scenery. But most folks go to watch the sunset over the town of Highlands.

Waiting for the sunset.

About 15 minutes after the above photo was taken.
All in all, a fabulous trip and a special birthday (S says it was her second favorite, after Ireland in 2005. That says a lot.) I look forward to re-visiting Highlands and the Old Edwards Inn again!