Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Hawthornes Go West.

Back in 2010 and 2012, the Hawthornes took trips across this wonderful country of ours.  It was time for us to do it again.  We don't exactly plan these trips.  We just get in the truck and head west.  I have a box full of AAA maps and trip books for each state and, along with the internet for consultation, we travel.  It's a day by day thing.  And it works well for us.

Since it's my blog, I'll ramble a bit here.  We had first decided to go to Staunton, Virginia.  I wanted to see the stained glass windows by Tiffany in the Episcopal church there.  We'd missed them on our first trip there, so that had always been on my to-do list.  Turns out it was a to-don't.  Timing is everything and timing was not in our favor, so change of plans.  We decided to head on 64 to another place I'd always wanted to go - the Moravian community of Old Salem in Winston-Salem, founded in 1766 by a Protestant religious group who'd first established an earlier settlement in Bethlehem, Pa.
Here's a brief history of the Moravians and the town of Old Salem - founding of Salem.

Nine times out of ten when traveling this road, I'm stopped on Alligator River Bridge.  Surprisingly, we're not waiting for a pleasure craft a mile out to slowly make its way along while beaucoup cars are lined up anxiously waiting to be on their way.  It was bridge work this time. 

On our way to the village of Old Salem.

This is the heavy timber Old Salem Heritage Bridge,
gateway from the Visitor Center to Old Salem.
The Moravian star started out as a Geometry project in the 1800s
in a boys' boarding school.
The star was then adopted by the Moravian church
as an advent symbol, 
representing the Star of Bethlehem.

Our first stop was the Frank L. Horton Museum Center,
home to early Southern arts and crafts.
Enjoy the pictures.

Next stop, the Timothy Vogler Gunsmith shop.

I like this picture.

I was finally able to meet my internet friend, Sister Mary,
who gave us an impromptu organ recital.
Quite a treat!
A trip to Old Salem is not complete without
a trip to Winkler Bakery.
Mr. Hawthorne bought their Moravian Sugar Cake
and Mary sent me the RECIPE!
I will be making this and sharing as soon as we get home.

Left Old Salem and deciding to go to Asheville, NC, and visit Biltmore again.
Made reservations, over the phone, for supposedly a hotel on the EAST side of Asheville,
Turned out the reservationist was not particularly into Geography, and the hotel ended up past Asheville on the west side of town in the lovely hamlet of Canton (not).

I thought all hotels were non-smoking.  Apparently not.
The place we stayed in smelled like an ashtray.  I complained to the desk and then the door to the corridor was opened for ventilation and the hallway was sprayed.  This really didn't address the issue.
It was similar to back in the day when we'd go to a restaurant and the hostess would ask, "Smoking or non-smoking," and I would cheerily reply, "I'll take 'second-hand' smoking, please."  And they would give me a blank stare and say, "So... like... you want smoking???" Is there a Maginot Line in a restaurant where smoke automatically stops and does not pass?

So here was the second rub:  No Biltmore this time.  And more importantly, I missed Marion, NC, (on the WEST side of Asheville) and Jalapeno Fresh Grill, only my favorite ever Mexican restaurant. (The first rub was No Stained Glass windows at the Episcopal Church in Staunton.)  And please continue with us on our trip.  Big-ass rubbing coming.

Welcome - NOT- to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
But it is a nice view.

The Hawthornes forge on...
... to Pigeon Forge, TN.

Get it?  Forge on?  Pigeon Forge?
Sometimes, I just crack my shit up.

Now, what can I say about Pigeon Forge?
Oh, I know.
Pigeon Forge boasts every kind of moronic, touronic
perversions known to man.
We couldn't pass through fast enough.

Machine Gun RENTALS!????!!!!!

Next drive-through was Sevierville,
pronounced "severe-ville,"
but I pronounced it like the French would - "se-vee-yay,"
but that's just the way I am.

Home to Smoky Mountain Knife Works and..
Bass Pro Shops.

The Hawthorne Boys would've had a field day here.
Me?  Not so much.

I would have been happy sitting in the car, reading,
while Mr. H. ventured into Smoky Mountain,
He insisted I come in with him
and I begrudgingly acquiesced. 
Upon entry, I immediately sensed the oncoming
of a panic attack and had to leave toot sweet.

Our next stop was Nashville.
Parking lot ...
at the Grand Ole Opry!

Oh lookey!
The Batman building!

The Hawthornes have friends in Nashville.
I set the Garmin to their address,
got there,
and was told to "Walk the rest of the way."
That was a new one for me.
We drove by one of the Big and Rich's houses
and Dierks Bentley's house
and I wanted to get out and shoot pics but didn't.

So instead, I give you ...

Now, we're at our friends' garden in Nashville.

This is BooBoo.

And this is Hoover,
who was quite taken with Mr. Hawthorne,
even though I was the one with Junior's treats in my pocket.
Hoover is quite photogenic.

Please stay tuned for the Hawthornes' Adventure.
Next stop:  Memphis.

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