|This would become a theme. I got so many pictures.....|
We stopped along the way in Winston-Salem at a Waffle House and grabbed some lunch. We had plans, so it had to be expeditious.
This year, her Indian Princess tribe had a lot of fun at their 3rd year Spring Outing. Since the date was the same as Morgan's wedding, we had to miss it. To make it up to her, I tried to put together a trip just for me and her to get out on the road. I wanted it to be something special and memorable for her, fun for me as well, and in easy driving distance. What I ended up putting together, well, I think I got more out of it than she did. She must have gotten sick of the endless stories about stuff we did 20 years ago.
I settled on an overnight trip to Boone NC. First up was a reservation to go horseback riding, then dinner reservations at the restaurant where Kelley and I met (18 years ago last month). Then we could tool around Blowing Rock for a while, and Sunday could be Boone Day. Just tool around town and see what kind of trouble we could find on a cool sunday morning.
It all timed out perfectly. We got checked into the hotel just in time to change clothes and get out to the farm. Dutch Creek Trails is this amazing horse farm about 15 minutes outside of Boone. We got there about 10 minutes before the ride started at 2 pm. There were 8 of us in the group, and the guides were hilarious. The trails were all on the farm property, and the whole ride was about as perfect as could be. Some of the other people riding had never touched a horse before and they loved it by the end.
|on the tractor ride to where the horses are|
|Ella getting on her horse|
|It was a beautiful day to ride|
|Big horse for a big girl|
|Riding on the trail. Ella stayed behind the lead guide.|
|Selfies on horseback|
|The dogs went the whole way|
|We stopped to rest in a clearing|
|My horse had to pee here|
|Happy on horseback!|
|Can't ask for a happier kid|
|Beautiful country up there, great day to ride|
|After we got back, Ella was feeding the horses|
|Real cowboys with working mustaches and everything|
|Not a real cowboy. Thanks for the ride, horse!|
|Happy to be done|
We had just enough time to get back to the hotel and clean up some before dinner. Since Saturday was Blowing Rock day, we headed out to show her some of this charming small mountain town.
|mind = blown|
This is known as the "Fantastic View". When Kelley and I first met, she lived at the Fantastic View apartments, and we used to hang out on the deck there all day long just playing guitar and being goofy. Now the apartments got bulldozed, but near there is a restaurant with a webcam. So the Canyons Cam still shows the same view we had from that deck. We stopped in the restaurant parking lot because she was totally blown away by the view. Imagine waking up to that every morning!
|She was fascinated by the twig wall behind us|
|She'll never get to sleep now|
This is a store called the Brass Exchange. Back in the day, Kelley was the assistant manager then the manager of that store, and I was the assistant then. The same guy owned another store on the same block, so we did a lot of work at that store as well. I'm sure Ella got quite bored listening to me tell stories about working retail as college students, but that's what she was in for.
|Who doesn't love a giant foam cowboy hat?|
|Boler for the win!|
|She flipped over this skunk hat|
|I like this style|
|skunk... not so much|
Afterwards I wanted to find a bar and grab a few beers before going to the late night drunk eats restaurants in town, but she wanted to go back to the hotel and watch movies. So we settled on that. Blowing Rock Day had come to a close, and it was amazing. This was the start of a truly epic mountain adventure!