Friday morning at 6:00 a.m. we loaded kids, food, clothes, some reading materials and the must-have electronics into the van and headed east.  Saturday evening around 5:00 p.m. we arrived at a lovely cabin on a lake 30 minutes or so outside of Asheville, N.C.

We stayed in a Motel 6 in the ‘hood in south Nashville Friday night. The mattresses were about as comfy as something you’d find… well, in the ‘hood of south Nashville.  I have to say, though, the pool was crystal clear and warm and the fact that we were directly below the approach pattern for the Nashville airport was a big plus as far as the 3-year-old was concerned.  We just chose to find it “quaint” that a woman at the pool set up an appointment with a couple of *ahem* gentlemen in room _____ for later that evening.  Oh, and the guy that hung over the 2nd story railing in front of his room all evening went to bed by midnight… so maybe he wasn’t really a drug dealer or a pimp or something… he was probably a neighborhood watch representative.

Vacations are for seeing things you don’t see at home, right??

Before we left Tennesee, we made sure to buy lottery numbers for Saturday night’s drawing, but we haven’t checked them yet.  If you have heard that the winning numbers were bought in a gas station in Eastern Tennesee and the winner hasn’t come forward yet, let me know!

As soon as we got to the house we made ourselves at home nosing around the property.  The kids and Rick headed for the water and the girls jumped in the paddle boats.  After about 2.73 minutes they decided that was way too much work, so they headed back to the dock.  Mom and I found blackberries and started picking.  Now we need to make some cobbler…

So we started the week in N.C. today with a road trip to Grandfather Mountain to the site of the 53rd annual Scottish Highlands Games.  Unfortunately, we spent an extra half-hour on the raod due to some direction and navigation mix-ups, and were only there about another half-hour before the lovely Carolina skies opened up and drenched us.  But before we all got soaked running back to the shuttle bus pickup site, we got to see a wide variety of characters wearing kilts and other bits of tartan.  We also followed the sound of drums and music to a little grove where a concert stage had been set up and the final set was being played by the Killdares, Barley Juice, and Coyote Run.  The piper from Coyote Run was wearing a Mother Grove shirt that said “Kilt Rock” on the back – it was great and I want one.  If you haven’t heard any of these bands, you need to go find them right now.  Don’t even finish reading this blog!

Well, maybe you could finish reading… but then, definitely go find them!!!

The cabin we’re in and the lake and property it sets on was won in a poker game.  It’s full of all kinds of interesting little things.  There’s a collection of models of tall-mast sailing ships, some antique photos of someone’s family, a hornet’s nest hanging from the living room light fixture (made from a wagon wheel).  All the comforts of home, really.  The master bedroom looks over the lake, there’s a hot tub on the deck, and there are paddle boats.  What more could we need?

Tomorrow we’re going to have a “down-time” day to run around a little, or just swim and fish, then we have some gem-mining and touristy things to do.  I’ll keep you posted, and photos will be joining the party soon!


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