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    SWDESERTLOVER   68,442
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Another Fun Weekend

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I could complain about having to work all weekend every other week at my job, but I'm actually thankful for it. The great thing is that I also get a long weekend off every other week to make up for it. It's wonderful because it gives us time to plan mini weekend trips when we want to, and that's what we did this past weekend.

I'm so fortunate to have a wonderful aunt and uncle who are very good to us. They live in Florida, but they have a mountain home just north of Jefferson, North Carolina which is less than a two hour drive from our home. When they built it they gave me a key and told me we were welcome to go up and stay anytime we want to get away. So we got up Friday morning and headed for the mountains. Even the drive up there is beautiful.


The drive up takes us along some scenic back roads.


And past many of the Christmas tree farms (always busy this time of year).


Our destination up on top of the mountain!

After we arrived Tommy went to Shatley Springs (a popular country restaurant very close to their house) and picked us up a vegetable plate for dinner. I wish I could say it was a healthy meal, but at least it was vegetables.

Tommy then built a nice fire in the fireplace and his son Derek and wife Sonya joined us later that night.


Tommy in the living room talking to Derek and Sonya.

The next morning we all went to breakfast and then drove up to Damascus, Virginia. We went to Backbone Rock where we hiked up on top of the natural bridge that crosses the road. I was so proud of Tommy because there are a lot of stone steps leading to the top but he handled it like a trooper.


Sonya, Tommy and Derek on top of Backbone Rock.

After our short hike, we drove the five miles back into Damascus and then went for dinner at Quincey's where we had pizza and drinks while we waited for the Christmas parade that was supposed to start at 6:00. We finally headed out and found a spot along the road to watch the parade. I tried to take pictures, but had forgotten my good camera at the house and had to use my phone camera.


One of the floats in the parade.


This was a new twist! Santa showed up on a John Deere.

The next morning Derek and Sonya had to head home, but it was a beautiful day so Tommy and I drove up to Grayson Highlands. Afterward we drove back to West Jefferson for dinner and then back to the house.


Grayson Highlands in Virginia

Later that night we drove around and looked at some of the Christmas lights in the area. Back at the house, I went out on the deck to take some night pictures.


One of the decorated houses we really liked.


Looking down the driveway from the house.


Looking down toward the river at the houses below.

Then we had a surprise visitor show up at the house. A sweet little beagle came up onto the deck and we were playing with him. Tommy noticed he was not wearing a collar and thought he might be a stray. He actually asked me if I thought Thor would get along with him. But it didn't take long to realize this was no stray. When we brought him some treats out, he shook hands (or should I say hand and paw) with us each time for a treat. Nope, this was somebody's pet. We did enjoy his company for a while at least. Then when I told him it was time for him to go home, he promptly turned and headed down the dirt road toward the other houses. He was so sweet.


We don't know what his name is, but we enjoyed his company Sunday night and hope we see him the next time we go back.

What a fun weekend!

I hope everyone is having a great week.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/8/2012 12:12AM

    What a great place to be able to visit! We are lucky to have a couple of family 'places' we can visit, too - saves on the vacation fund but still gives a fantastic break from the rest of life.

As for the Beagle, they are a breed that likes to wander - I've known of some who seem to roam a gigantic territory - literally up to 20 miles with 'home' somewhere in the center! It doesn't surprise me that you had one visit you - looks like a really nice dog, tho ;-)


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GOLFGMA 12/7/2012 8:42AM

    Another wonderful blog with art in pictures. You make me wish that I could go on all the trips again, but at least, we who read your blogs get to go there for a while and I love that. The little beagle was precious. Always look for your blogs and no wonder! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMPTYNESTER60 12/6/2012 9:52PM

    What a great "cabin" to get away to & such gorgeous pictures. I always enjoy your travel blogs so I can enjoy all of the beautiful scenery & your adventures, too. NC & VA sure have some awesome places to go! I love this area of the country emoticon

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LIBBYG7 12/6/2012 2:27PM

    Another adventure to add to the list - another beautiful notch on the old gunbelt!
Love your photos - and love Tommy's energy level.
May you have many more such adventures.....
Luv.
Libby emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 12/6/2012 2:11PM

  I have never been to your part of the country -- gorgeous!

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CRYSTALLULLABY 12/6/2012 9:38AM

  Oh Shatley Springs! We took a drive up there years ago (in the summer on motorcycles) and I remember sitting down and going "My God, I really shouldn't eat any of this" but ate what I could and tried not to think about it.

I'm so glad you had a nice weekend and the weather to enjoy it!

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DOODIE59 12/5/2012 11:56PM

    What a wonderful weekend -- the kind of memories that last a LONG time:)

I belong to the hiking across the States sparks team, and I'm still walking through Virginia -- so it was nice to see the views I'm traveling through in your pictures. Thank you!

May you both have many more such vacations:)
Deirdre

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LUVS2BIKE101 12/5/2012 9:40PM

    What a lovely weekend! I enjoyed reading your blog. And what scenic pictures! Thanks for sharing. Where are we going next?
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_JODI404 12/5/2012 8:08PM

    What a wonderful gift to you from your Aunt & Uncle to have access to that beautiful mountain home! You two have such nice outdoor adventures and travels!!

Glad to hear Tommy is doing well, and able to tackle that Backbone Rock!

Sounds like a decent trade off with the weekends you work / long weekend you get off for getaways!

Take care ~ hope you are having a great week!

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LIVINGFREE19 12/5/2012 7:55PM

    The pics are awesome!
The story you tell makes me feel like I was right there with you!
I'm glad you had such fun!
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WORLDSERIES11 12/5/2012 7:44PM

    Thank you for the pictures!! I love traveling vicariously with you...lol
Sounds like a wonderful time!!

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