Nov 222006

I drove up to North Carolina Monday to spend time with the folks over Thanksgiving. Lay is flying in Thursday morning, and we’ll drive back together either Friday or Saturday (definitely not Sunday).

I went to the mountains yesterday to meet my friend Glenda and her husband and sister. We’ve developed a bit of a tradition of meeting up in the Boone Blowing Rock area each year around Thanksgiving. At first we went up on Friday. Due to scheduling, one year we went up on a Tuesday, and discovered we really liked that. While a few of the shops downtown in Blowing aren’t open that day, we basically have the place to ourselves. That Friday, as you might imagine, downtown Boone, downtown Blowing Rock at the Shops on The Parkway are just packed, and you forget about eating at our favorite restaurant in Boone, Pepper’s.

The weather was very cool and clear, and they’d had a dusting of snow the day before. The sky was a beautiful sharp blue with high wispy clouds, and the wind was calm making to cool temperatures very tolerable. It did get very cool once the sun went down.

One of the places we visited was the Cone Mansion up on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Blowing Rock. The Cone family bequeathed the manor and a 3600 acre tract of land to the public. It’s now part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As we were leaving, we were walking across the very large front porch. I asked everyone to stop and just think a minute about the days when the Cone family used the house. I could picture them sitting out on the porch in the old wooden rocking chairs on a summer’s evening with their maid bringing out lemonade, while they soaked on the cool mountain air and looked down across the valley and lake. I could picture the carriages coming and going with their guests coming in to visit for a week or so. The Cone Mansion is certainly no Biltmore House, but it still must have really been something.

I found Christmas presents for my sister and for our Friends Mike and Jeff. (Can’t discuss those, as they might read the blog.) Glenda and her sister found several things, and I bought Lay and I ASU T Shirts while in downtown Boone.

Boy the campus sure has changed a lot. It’s really grown, and they’ve replaced a lot of buildings with newer facilities. They have even taken over the Methodist Church that was right on the edge of the campus downtown. I would still so love to have a place up there, and time to spend there.

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