Sunday, August 14, 2011 Road Junkies 0 Comments

BACK TO THE ROCK, Chapter 1:

At last the time had come for our long-anticipated annual trip to Blowing Rock, North Carolina.  Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Blowing Rock offers beautiful scenery and a multitude of recreational opportunities.  Perhaps most enticing, however, is its climate.
Our annual pilgrimage
Each year, we monitor the drop in temperature as we drive the 22 miles from the town of Lenoir to Blowing Rock.  As we climbed almost half a mile in elevation today, the temperature dropped from 87° in flatland Lenoir to 72° at the rental house in Blowing Rock, with an elevation of 3,700 feet.  A perfect vacation location for August in the South.

Since 2004, we have spent a week each summer in Blowing Rock with Ken's family-- sister Marion, her son, daughter and granddaughter, and Grandma, Ken and Marion's mom.   On our first trip, Emma had just celebrated her first birthday and took her first halting steps here.  This year she is a very grown-up eight years old, about to enter third grade.
Emma in 2004 & 2011
As we prepared dinner,  enjoying the cool mountain breezes blowing through our open windows this evening, things somehow seemed a little off.  We were missing an important member of our little family group. Grandma had decided that she would not join us this year, a choice which we all found disappointing.  However, we did not let her decision deter us from the pleasure of a visit with her.  Since Grandma wasn't coming to the mountains, we visited her in Charlotte on the way to Blowing Rock.
Needed a dose of Grandma's stories since she isn't coming to the mountains this year
Everyone was rapt as she regaled us with tales of her favorite golfers and their exploits.  With everyone pitching in and bringing a dish, we enjoyed a delicious lunch together before we hit the road again, still failing to persuade Grandma to join us.  This year we're on our own, but that certainly doesn't mean we won't try again next year.