Tag Archives: north carolina

Small Travels: The Mountains of North Carolina

Linville Falls, NC Life’s been crazy lately. I’ve had too much work to do and not enough time to do it all. That’s why a couple of weeks ago, we took a much needed break to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. We traveled up to the mountains of my home state, stayed in a hundred-year-old cabin and took in all the colors of fall. Continue reading

Love Weekends: Back At It

Chuck's burger This was our first weekend back to the real world. I was kind of dreading going back to work and having to do a bunch of household chores that didn’t get done before we left. Surprisingly, it wasn’t so bad. There’s times that I think I could be a world traveler for the rest of my life, but I really like being a homebody too.

Fork and Knife fries at Chuck's On Friday we had the pleasure of eating at Chuck’s with my mom. It’s one of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants which is kind of a big deal because she just won a James Beard award for best chef in the Southeast.  The burger was pretty good. I got mine bunless, of course, the one pictured at the top was my mom’s burger. But the knife and fork fries were what really impressed me. I mean, the fries were covered in cheese, chili and buttermilk dressing, come on!

Garden I weeded the garden so, so much this weekend.

Beeswax candle I tried my hand at candle-making with beeswax. I don’t have the process down quite yet. My candle cracked a little and hasn’t burned super evenly. But it smells lovely! I’ll be sure to share the process with you all when I get it down pat.

Bed in an airstream And I rested a bit.

Kindle I’ve been reading the Divergent series and I’ve been pretty impressed. Although I just started on the third one and now the series is changing perspective. Ugh, why do young adult novels wait until the last book to do that?!

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Road Trip Day 7, 8 & 9 : Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Camping

Hogwarts! And those clouds! No filter on this one!

Hogwarts! And those clouds! No filter on this one!

So this is the last round of road trip pictures, I promise. I don’t want this to turn into my road trip blog, although it probably could. I want to live in these pictures forever. Anyway, I was most excited for was our trip to Universal Studios. I had been to Universal before, but not since they opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Butterbeer!

Butterbeer!

I am a huge HP fan. Like so big. I may or may not have pushed some kids out of the way just to get into the park faster.  Hogwarts Express

The Wizarding World of HP is only part of the park, but really it’s the only part I cared about or took pictures of. The park designers are quite simply amazing and the park looks so similar to the movies. There are a ton of details and if it wasn’t 90 degrees and there weren’t an uncomfortable amount of people there, I’m sure I could have wandered around the World of HP all day.

Hogwarts!

The ride that is inside Hogwarts was definitely the highlight of the trip. It was a simulated ride, but you get to fly on a broom! Just waiting in line for the ride was pretty stunning. The line takes you through Hogwarts– there were talking pictures, Dumbledore’s office, the Herbology greenhouse and so much more.

The Sorting Hat!

The Sorting Hat!

I think I squealed when I saw the sorting hat.

Fawkes!

Fawkes!

Driving

But alas, I couldn’t stay in HP land forever. George had somehow convinced me to camp out with him at a chopper motorcycle fest. Not really my thing, but hey, he did take me to Harry Potter.

George blowing up the air mattress because he loves me :)

George blowing up the air mattress because he loves me 🙂

NC Mountains!

And the mountains of North Carolina are super pretty. I almost didn’t mind sleeping outside… almost.

I’m still waiting for my owl to tell me I was accepted at Hogwarts, but I’m happy to be home.

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: Calm After the Storm

Dogwood flowers

On Thursday it rained so, so hard. It was one of those rains I thought might never stop. But luckily I didn’t have to build an arc. Sometimes I think as much caulk as I put into this Airstream, it might just float… just in case. Anyway, I’ve started those long summer hours (I work 8am – 7pm) but I have off on Friday, so Friday was an excellent gardening opportunity. I pulled so.many.weeds.

cucumber roll Spicy Tuna Roll

We found out this weekend that one of our favorite restaurants is closing. It was a sad, sad day. We hadn’t planned to eat out, we’re trying to save money for our road trip, but since they are closing at the end of this month it was a must. They seriously had the best sushi around. I’ll be sad to see them go. George and I have so many fond memories and celebrations celebrated at that restaurant.

tractor pull

We also visited the Got to Be NC festival this weekend. We sampled all kinds of local foods and shopped around at the flea market. Elderberry jam is the bomb.com, ya’ll.

The fault with our stars

I’ve also been really into YA books lately. They’re such a welcome escape. I read The Fault in Our Stars and the 1st in the Divergent series this weekend.  I can tear though a YA novel.

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: Asheville Wedding Time!

fireplace at grove park inn

One of the giant fireplaces at the Grove Park Inn. Check out that full-grown man for scale!

grove park inn

Me and my niece at the Grove Park Inn. I look like I stole her.

This past weekend George and I travelled to Asheville to attend a wedding. Asheville is super special to us. We got engaged there, and married there, and we basically want to live there forever and ever. Not only is it beautiful, it’s artsy and full of history.

I was super stoked that we got to attend a pre-wedding party at the Grove Park Inn. I had never been to the hotel, but I had always wanted to go. F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed there for two years and almost every president of the last 100 years has been a guest at the hotel. It’s beautiful stone building perched up on a hill. I, of course, just got weird iPhone pictures, but if you are at all interested in history, I’d highly recommend making a trip to Asheville. The hot chocolate at The Grove Park Inn alone is worth the trip. Seriously, the best I’ve ever had.

fireside wedding

George and I sitting fireside at the wedding

asheville courthouse

Where we got married… at the courthouse!

The wedding and trip was a bit more stressful than I had hoped. The zipper in my dress broke right before we were supposed to leave for the wedding and I had a terribly stuffy nose for most of the trip. I tried to have a good attitude about everything, but good god, it was hard. Apart from my self-absorbedness, the wedding was gorgeous and picturesque. We were in my most favoritist city, after all.

Next week we’re traveling to Portland. I’m hoping for a relaxing trip full of good food and well… good food. I’m not hoping for much else.

Have you ever been to Asheville? What did you do over the weekend?

love,
melanie

 

 

How to Save Money at Your Local Fair

save money at fair It’s fair season, ya’ll! The air is crisp and so are the dollar bills in my pocket. I love a good state fair as much as the next fellow, but I don’t love dropping my hard-earned cash. Here’s how I saved some money this year at the fair.

1. Check the website! Each fair is going to be different, but with the larger fairs, the “deals” will usually be published on the website. Deals could include free admission on certain days, discounted tickets if you buy in advance and free admission for children or seniors. The NC State fair has all of these deals!

2. Keep an eye out for free events. Our fair had free bluegrass music, tons of fascinating exhibits– like blacksmithing, beekeeping and pottery, and other super interesting educational events. The fair isn’t all rides and deep fried food.

gorilla girl 3. Consider bringing your own food or sharing. Yes, the food is insane and often makes the trip, but it’s also crazy-expensive. Consider bringing your own food, bottles of water and sharing. Bottles of water were $2 at our local fair. That’s crazy town, people. Bring your own.

4. Buy a lunch pass. Not all fairs do this, but if you are just in it for the food, the NC State fair will let you purchase food on weekdays for free with a lunch pass.

5. Avoid parking fees. Lace on your tennis shoes and get ready to walk. Map out the closest free parking lot to the fair in advance and plan to walk. Nothing bums me out more than having to pay to park my car somewhere.

What other kind of tips do you have for saving money at your local fair? Let me hear ’em in the comments.

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: The North Carolina State Fair

acrobatics with an ax! The fair is in town and everyone is acting like a raving lunatic. Ok, so technically I’m a raving lunatic too. I just had to go. The people watching opportunity alone is too good to pass up.

This year they had this mobile acrobatics display pictured above and below. The guy flipped around holding an ax. I never figured out why an ax was necessary for the stunts, but I guess it added to the manliness of the event. The mobile display was probably the coolest part. Helpers pedaled and walked on the wheels to push it around the fair.

acrobatic contraption See?!  giant rat! the snake lady My old favorites are always the freak shows. I’ll save you a dollar. The “giant rat” is actually a nutria. George and I laughed about that one for a good 20 minutes.

This year’s new fried food delight was a Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe. If you don’t live in the south, Krispy Kreme is a donut shop, so basically the concoction was two donuts (no hole) with Sloppy Joe meat on the inside. Last year, George tried the Krispy Kreme burger, but a Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe was just too much to handle.

We made it out without spending too much money and I’m planning on publishing some of my tips later this week.

Have you been to a fair this year?

love,
melanie