Monday, June 27, 2016

Day 32- Thanks for the memories Garrison.

Love him or hate him, Garrison Keillor is at the very end of his Prairie Home Companion career.  He has produced and written the show for over 40 years.  And it's a radio show.  A live radio show- with skits and musicians and his signature storytelling centered in the town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota.

I began my Prairie Home journey in college, listening in peripherally on Saturday nights.  That was over 20 years ago.  

I took Robert to see the show in Atlanta in 2014, but Rob and the girls had never been.  Therefore, we rerouted our summer vacay trek to include Garrison's third-to-last show of all time, at Tanglewood in Massachusetts.  

We sat on the spacious casual lawn with fellow Garrison fans of every age and ilk. The temperature was perfect- cool with an occasional refreshing breeze.  

Kids played while parents listened.  Folks noshed on dinner and sipped wine under the trees.  We made memories.  

Nothing like a mid-show back bend break.

Sooo glad we went.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 31- You had me at "Linville."

When it comes to the land, North Carolina is full of tremendous beauty.  We have thoroughly enjoyed having access to coast and mountains and city.  During our 4 years in NC, we hadn't fully explored the Linville area (beyond the caverns).  We had the chance to stay with friends there a few weeks ago.  I was instantly charmed.
Our brief stay centered around All Saints' Episcopal Church.  The church rectory is above.

The church, inside and out, is constructed with walls of chestnut bark.

Stick steeple

entrance to church grounds
Sacristy window

The shady grounds are lush with fern, pachysandra, and hostas. 

A door worthy of the Shire.

Inside. . .

The communion rail is a log.

Maybe the whole church just grew out of the ground.

The simplest of all processional crosses.

The kneeler cushions portray local flora and fauna, and the church itself.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Day 30- We are food people. Period.

June brings heat, pool days, tomatoes and my husband.  That's right, Rob is more available because of school's end.  And guess what- we had an overnight trip together last weekend to Linville.  In classic Rob Burlington style we didn't simply drive to Linville,  Oh no, we visited culinary destinations along the way.  We heard about this cheese farm several months ago from a friend.

Situated in the middle of the rolling hills near Marion, English Farmstead Cheese was worth the drive. Can you say Cucumber Dill spread?  Learn how to say it.  Then go there.  And eat some.  Naturally, their cheddar was a winner too.

The try me table.

one of the family milk containers

They know what they are doing.

Because my handsome husband ALWAYS has his finger of the culinary pulse of anything within 200 miles (and beyond) our next stop was in Spruce Pine.  Knife and Fork features chef Nate Allen, area native, who has returned to NC since working all over the country.
Small cushion like pottery vases feature the knife and fork logo.  See it?

He sources food from nearby farms, menus are seasonal and the restaurant space ain't much to look at. Then the food comes.  Served by young enthusiastic servers, we especially loved the veggies we ate. Our clear favorites: grilled strawberry salad, smoked broccoli and cauliflower and smoked mushrooms.  Yum.  I also loved my trout sandwich which featured fish that resembled salmon more than trout.  I didn't complain.

The Rob and Laurie Story.

Mint and lilies.

Back to the real world

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Day 29 - The beat goes on.

Today began in Uptown Charlotte.  We rose unnaturally early (for summer) to send Rob, Robert and Esther off on choir tour.  I watched the well-oiled machine that is The Choir School at St. Peter's gather, organize, get a photo and bid farewell.  In the midst of all of it, I got to check in with other parents and loved ones.  My friend Cheryl mentioned to me that she really enjoys the blog and I had to confess that since the Orlando slaughter this weekend, I had not felt that blogging of any kind was relevant.  I didn't have the heart or the energy.  She quickly interjected that people right now need a diversion.  They need to see someone making the most of every day.  Everyone's FB feed is full of argument, discord, sadness and mourning.  Maybe I could lighten people's load by shining out. By continuing.  Cheryl, thank you.  I heard you.  Let's pick up where we were y'all-
Garment bags- CHECK!

While the rest of the family travels and shines out with music, CC and I have time to chill and nap. And she has dance camp.  I had serious plans to follow the choir to their first concert at our home parish in Atlanta, All Saints'.  But CC didn't want to miss dance camp.   And CC does next to no activities compared to her siblings.  So here we are.  I am thankful to be where I know I should be.

Mr. Outen finalizes photo pose.

Parent paparazzi.

The choir heads off to lift spirits through music.  I am pumping the Erasure station on Pandora as loud as I can.  Wherever you are today, take a moment to focus on something that brings us together: music.  I dare you to dance.

Monday, June 13, 2016

We pause this blog to say hello to all of the viewers from. . . The Netherlands!?

Hallo Netherlands!
I see that I consistently get almost as many blog views in the Netherlands as in the U.S.  I love the Netherlands, but only know 4 people there.  What gives?  Who is watching?

Please comment on how you found the blog.

And whether or not I can bring my family to stay with you on a vacation sometime soon.

Dank je!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Day 27- Take a Trip Tuesday, Part 2.

Here's a quick finish to our beautiful day last week.  According to the mini-goals for Take a Trip Tuesday, we had to follow the Burlington prime directive:  always eat well.  I also wanted to check out a local place (not a chain!) and eat somewhere with a wide variety on their menu to suit the tastes of everyone in our group.  Pete's Family Restaurant fit my criteria perfectly.  You know you have found a local hot spot when it is packed at lunch time and everybody turns around and looks when you walk in: they could tell we weren't from town.  We ate well.

Before disclosing our final stop on Take a Trip Tuesday, I must mention one of the pitfalls of following your nose adventures:  unplanned bumps in the road.  Thankfully, we did not encounter any car issues, but when we reached Korner's Folly, in Kernersville, NC, it was CLOSED.  One cannot see Korner's Folly, a multi-level, architecturally eclectic mansion, on a Tuesday.  Ever.  Just Wednesday through Saturday.  That is NOT clear on their website, because I checked. Of course.

However, the exterior grounds are quite lovely, of especial interest was the fancy brick outhouse (not pictured)!

The tile floor on the porch

Water pump

I wish I knew why this part of the porch was called the Witches Corner.

A perfectly sunlit magnolia eased by disappointment.  Until the next adventure!