Feburary 2020  Slide Show

February 2020... Amber and I decided to go on a trip to Ashville NC. We stayed at the Aloft, they were doing renovations in the lobby while we were there but it was nice. We went for just for the weekend but Amber had plenty planned as usual. We walked around downtown Ashville and there was this really cool coffee bar that was made from an old double decker bus so you know I had to go in for a cup of Joe to check it out. Amber planned s food tour with Eating Ashville Walking Food Tours and it was a lot of fun. It was cold outside that day but we still had a great time. They took us to five restaurants and there were two drink pairings while on the tour. The food was very good and the Guide was lot's of fun too. Of course, anytime we are near the mountains we are going for a hike and this time it was the Daniel Ridge Loop trail and yes there was a waterfall involved... imagine that. It was another great time with my girl and we definitely plan to come back here one day!

Daniel Ridge Falls

May 2020  Slide Show

Me Amber Sean and Shawn went on a camping trip in Travelers Rest, NC this spring. We stayed at the Travelers Rest KOA and the weather was gorgeous this time of year!! This was a really neat campground that had a "Little Library" that you could check out books and there was the campground kitty cat who liked to hang around out site. Shawn bought some pink fruity mini bottles of something that her and Amber enjoyed while Sean and I stuck to traditional craft beer and a little bourbon :-). One day we drove into down town Travelers Rest where we did some souvenir shopping at Travelers Rest Merchantile where I bought this brass compas with a quote from Peter Pan on the back that says "To live will be an awfully big adventure" which I can attest for. After that we had lunch at the Chicora Alley Firehouse Bar and Grill. I ordered the "Mile High" Loaded Nachos with their famous five salsa and these quite possibly were the best nachos I have ever had!!! After that we went to the Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Tavern. Since it was the COVID 19 year we had to sit outside and the beer came in little sealed plastic bottles. The next day we did... you guessed it, we hiked the Twin Falls Trail on Reedy Cove Creek. It was another beautiful trail with beautiful scenery and a really nice waterfall! On the ride home while pulling the camper I had my first blow-out. Out of nowhere the tire went boom and if that wasn't enough once I got the spare on there we went about 20 miles and BOOM, the other tire blew out. I didn't have another spare so we had to get Amber's parents to come pick us up (Fortunately we were only about 30 miles from home) and I had to go buy another spare tire and rim go back and get the camper off the side of the road. All in all it was still a great time hanging out with Sean and Shawn and I'm sure we will be camping with them again.

Twin Falls on Reedy Core Creek

June 2020  Slide Show

In May, Zachary finally got the go ahead to move out of his dorm after having to leave in March due to COVID 19. Amber and Zachary headed up to move him out of his dorm and into his apartment. On the way to Morgantown, they stopped off in Fayetteville WV for a little adventure. They met up with Zachary's friend Tabitha for dinner at Pies and Pints the first night. The next day was an early morning hike in the New River Gorge area on the Endless Wall Trail. There was a 17-year cicada hatch going on and they said the sound from the cicadas was impressive. That was followed by lunch in town and then a "bridge walk" that Tab arranged. A bridge walk is a trip across the New River Gorge on the catwalk below the 3,030-foot New River Gorge Bridge. In the center of the bridge the height on the catwalk is equivalent to being on the viewing platform on the Empire State Building! The next day was on to Morgantown for the move. "Peace out Dadisman Hall". After a lot of work, Zachary was settled into his new apartment and he discovered that he has ground hogs living in his back yard.

June 2020  Slide Show

Stone Mountain, NC... This was a trip I have been wanting to do for many years now. My dad took me and my sisters here a couple of times when we were kids and I have wanted to go back ever since. Amber and I pulled the camper up and stayed at the Holly Ridge Family Campground. The first night we went to the pool and for dinner I tried out my new griddle and made the best "gourmet" grilled cheese sandwiches. The next day we hiked the Stone Mountain loop trail and it was truly amazing!!! Stone mountain is a granite "rock" that rises over 600 feet above the surrounding terrain. The mountain it sits on top of gives it an elevation of 2,305 feet above sea level. The trail offers everything, a challenging climb, a gorgeous view from the top and a 200 ft. waterfall that gently cascade down the granite slope. On the back side of the trail close to the end there is the mid-19th century Hutchinson Homestead that includes a log cabin, barn, blacksmith shop, corncrib, meat house, and original furnishings. After our hike, we went on a self guided wine tour. I was Amber's vinopanion and the DD so could enjoy the vino without having to worry about driving. The vineyards we visited were the Grassy Creek Vineyard and RagApple Lassie both of which were excellent! After that Amber definately needed a nap. Since one hike isn't enough for Amber on our last day we hiked Carter Falls Trail. This was a much shorter/easier hike but it had a nice waterfall as well. After that we went to Shelton Winery. We each had a flight of wine and appetizers at their Harvest Grill... The food and wine were fantastic!! Next we went to Mayberry, NC (Mt. Airy). This was my first time here and it is such a neat town. Of course there is all the Andy Griffith schwag but there is also a really nice antique store where I bought a vintage Pepsi crate made of wood. In the antique store there was a mock Mayberry Jail Cell where I got my picture while grabbing the key like Otis would in the show. After that we visited the Mayberry Distillery which is a small-batch craft distillery, producing unique single-malt sorghum whiskies made in a copper still. The distillery was owned by an astrophysicist turned Monk... yes you heard that right. They gave us a tour of the distillery and a short lesson on how to distill spirits. Maybe I will try it myself one day... Shhhhhhh ;-). The owner also recomended Thirsty Souls for pizza that night so we went and it did not disappoint!! This was a great trip that brought back a lot of memories and I know I say this a lot but I sure do hope to make it back again one day!!!!!

Stone Mountain Water Fall

July 2020  Slide Show

This has been a tough year with COVID 19 and all. Amber was having a meltdown one week and said she just had to go to the beach. So we decided on a Wednesday to go and on Friday were at Myrtle Beach State Park with the camper. I know it might be hard to imagine this in Myrtle Beach but it is truly a beautiful campground and a great place to stay. We didn't do anything particularly special just a chance to get out of town and relax. I used my new griddle again and made some fantastic bacon, egg and cheese McMuffins if I do say so myself! We hung out on the beach and walked the boardwalk in the state park and went to the pier. Our only excursion was a trip to one of the beach stores where we bought a beach wagon. I think this might be the coolest beach wagon ever, it has a drop down tailgate with cup holders you can use while on the beach. Whoever invented this thing deserves some kind of medal!

August 2020  Slide Show

We went to Hot Springs, NC for Allison's 50th birthday. Bob, Allison, Amber and I got their late Thursday night to set up camp and hang out for a while. The four of us went to Max Patch in the morning. It was foggy initially but the fog lifted while we were there flying kites. We had a picnic lunch on the Appalachian Trail. After that we headed into Hot Springs to the hardware store and then off to hike Lovers Leap. That night the rest of our crew - Ted, Laura, Troy and Rebecca arrived. The next morning we all went whitewater rafting on the French Broad. Ted and I sat in the front of our boat so we got soaked the entire time. After that Amber and I went exploring in town then met up with the rest of the group to share a champagne toast to Allison and go soak in the Hot Springs hot tubs that are fed by the natural mineral water springs. For dinner Troy, Rebecca, Amber and I went to dinner on the porch at Spring Creek where they had the best cheese sticks. That night was birthday Key Lime Pie and beverages. We will definitely be going back there again.

August 2020  Slide Show

This weekend we went to Jekyll Island, GA with Trey and Donna. Overall it was a fantastic long weekend! We had a great time eating out at the River House and Tortuga Jacks on the island and at Barrier Island Brewery on St. Simon's. We went on an inshore fishing trip with Cap'n Griffin who was a fantastic guide and we all caught fish. We all caught Sea Trout (except Amber who only caught two Croakers) and I caught a Redfish. I refuse to admit it but I think Donna won our unofficial tournament with that three foot black tip shark she landed. The island is full of nature and Amber and I saw some Racoons on the marsh walk. We also went on a 7.5 mile bike ride through oaks with Spanish Moss along the marsh. This weekend our camper had a weird smell. It got so bad we decided to leave early and drove home the last night in the middle of the night and got home about five o'clock in the morning. It's a good thing because once home I discovered it was a propane leak... yikes.

September 2020  Slide Show

This fall we went to visit Zack in Morgan Town. On the way we stopped of at Wolf Creek Pizzeria, a small pizza place just off the interstate. The place was cute and the pizza was pretty good too. While still on the way it was getting kind of late but because Amber is so thoughtful, she asked if I wanted to take an excursion out of the way to see Bristol Motor Speedway because I had told her I wanted to see it. It was late and dark but we went anyway. When we pulled in the parking lot to take some pictures there were a couple of line men from the power company there kind of laughing at us and I looked over at them and said "yea were not from around here". Our stopping point for the night was the Dancing Bear Inn in Damascus, VA. The next morning we got up and ate breakfast at the Damascus Diner. It was a simple breakfast but home made and they gave us huge plates of food and it's a good thing because it was going to be a busy day. After breakfast we went to bike ride the Virginia Creeper Trail. It was a little chilly but thankfully their was a really neat county store along the way, the Green Cove Collective where I was able to buy a hoodie. After that we made a stop and I got to wet a hook in the South Holston River where it was the trout's lucky day. I didn't even get a nibble. That afternoon we went to Abingdon Vineyards and had a flight of wine. It was a nice place with tables set up outside not far from the river. Once in Morgan Town we went out to eat with Zack and he took us to the West Virginia Agricultural Farm where he has been doing research on Hemp. The work he is doing is fascinating and the professor has taken him under his wing. I'm so happy for Zack but I wish he was closer so I could see him more often!!

Christmas 2020
December 2020  Slide Show