Mountain Escape

“And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth’s shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.” -Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road.

My husband and I love to travel. If we haven’t been somewhere, then we probably want to go there.

In our first six months of marriage, we’ve been blessed to be able to travel to many new places together, but we’ve also been able to revisit places that are familiar.

This past weekend we were able to go to the High Country of NC. I was given a two night stay at a resort in Banner Elk, NC. When we received this special gift, our hearts jumped.

-We. love. the. High. Country.-

We both lived in Boone, NC for a few years, and were heart broken to have to leave. So this trip was already special to us, but to add to it, it was also our 6 month wedding anniversary.

We arrived in Boone early on Friday afternoon and went straight to my favorite local bakery, Stick Boy Bread Company (check them out here http://www.stickboybread.com/)

Friday’s special : Swiss Batter Bread. I have greatly missed you….

From there we went and visited our alma mater , Appalachian State University.

Beautiful View of the campus.

Boone is a little slice of heaven. It is very small, but always buzzing with life. There are lots of artsy places to check out local products, and many little side road stands to get some fresh produce.

Banner Elk is about 20 minutes away from Boone. It’s a tiny mountain community close to a number of the ski slopes the high country is known for and down the road from the beautiful Grandfather Mountain.

Growing up in the restaurant business, I am a self proclaimed foodie. I love food. I appreciate it. I document it, and tell the world about it.

We had dinner at this local place (the best kind),  The Banner Elk Cafe’. It is moderately priced, and easy to find. The service was super as well.

My husband’s cheddar burger with curly fries.

My chicken pita with sweet tatoe fries. Honey drizzled over sweet potato fries is always a must.

The next day we wanted to try another local spot, and we stumbled upon the Blue Ridge Bistro (http://www.blueridgebistro.com/ )

This place is amazing. Fresh organic ingredients, from the farm to the table. 102 sanitation rating and beyond excellent service, you MUST eat here if you ever visit Banner Elk.

Aoli based chicken salad sandwich with mac-n-cheese. Explosion in my mouth. Delicious.

My husband’s meatloaf sandwich. It was juicy, not greasy, and full of bright flavor. So good.

Profile of Grandfather Mountain

This trip was much needed and muchly appreciated. We had a blast, reminiscing about our past adventures in the High Country, and making new memories to warm our hearts.

Caturday

Since I didn’t get to post this Saturday, here is my Saturday post on Monday.

My little tiger’s name is Gus. He is seven months old and weighs 10 pounds. He’s extra snuggly, and loves to play fetch.

He loves to cuddle with mama.

 

More mama lovin’.

 

So you think you’re going on a trip, do ya?

 

 

 

The Chick-fil-A Dilemma

photog credit budgetsavvydiva.com

I’ve recently seen all of this buzz about how hateful chick-fil-A is, how they spew nothing but venom, how so many people and businesses are in an uproar because Dan Cathy is a bigot.

So I’m not a huge fan of chick-fil-A anyways because I do not prefer to stuff my face with greasy fast food, but I’m also not quick to form an opinion about something before I have all of the facts.

I did some basic internet research that a 2nd grader could do in hopes of finding some rock solid evidence that Dan Cathy had been extremely discriminatory and hateful, and here is what I found.

An article written for and published by the Baptist Press; http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38271,  

This article contains the grand statement that has gotten Chick-fil-A’s goose (or should I say chicken) in some hot water.

” Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.

“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” “ (Quotes taken from article linked above)

That’s it? From all of the outrageous comments I’ve read on facebook and twitter, I thought that he had blatantly refused to serve homosexuals. I thought he had joined in on the Westboro Baptist chorus and declared that God hates gay people.

But this, an opinion that resonates with many identifying with the Christian faith is just that. An opinion.

I did not grow up in a traditional family. My dad left my mom for another man when I was six. They had split custody with me up until he died when I was almost 14, so clearly I’ve seen my share of bigotry, hate crimes, and gay bashing in my short life. However, I’ve also grown up in America, where you’re supposed to be able to say anything you want, right?

I simply see a man trying to support what he believes in just like others who have completely differing views do.

What do you think? I enjoy hearing all sides and opinions and want to know your views on this issue.

 

 

Date Night: Crock Pot Picnic

I decided to take my husband on an impromptu date last night. It was a lovely, warm evening and I was feeling the urge to be outside.

Typically when we go out for a picnic we just slap together some sandwiches, but I was wanting something a bit more substantial than that.

I rifled through the fridge and the cabinets and decided to throw together an oriental inspired dish.

chopped onions, broccoli, and freshly squeezed OJ

Crushed allspice, one of my favorite spices

Everything assembled in the crock pot. Free Range chicken breasts, broccoli, onions, rice & vermicelli. All of this was drowned in OJ, a splash of chicken broth, and teriyaki sauce.

Crock pot picnic by the lake.

Yum, I topped it off with some store bought shrimp sauce.

Backyard to “America’s largest home,” the Biltmore House.

reflections.

What are your favorite picnic foods?

Amazing Aurora

“I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?” Psalm 8:3-4 (The Message)

The Lord is big enough to create the vast world around us, and He is loving enough to care for our smallest concerns.

Rainy Day Mondays….

Today’s weather has been crazy. One moment it is raining the next it’s incredibly sunny.

Either way, it is a lovely day.

Here’s a little poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that fits the occaision

Rain In Summer

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs
Like the tramp of hoofs!
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!
Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

Front Porch Showers View

drops on my bean plants

My celebrity maters

Dear rain, you are certainly welcome today.

 

 

Date Night Asheville

I’m a newly wed, and everyone loves to give me marriage advice. The repeated piece I’ve received is “Don’t stop dating.”

So, we haven’t. We have a “date night” at least once a week. We’re friends, com padres, besties, therefore we love spending time together.

My husband surprised me a few nights ago. He called me about an hour before he gets off and asks if I’ll go on a date with him. He whisked me out to dinner to this little Italian place downtown that we had never tried.

It’s influenced by traditional northern Italian cuisine.

http://www.vincenzos.com/

Vinnie’s

Asheville is known for many things, wall art being one of them.

BRUSCHETTA CAPRESE
Tomato and basil relish mixed with some smoked mozzarella.
The bread was grilled and soft. Delish.

RIGATONCINI ALLA BOLOGNESE CON PANNA
This creamy meat sauce was savory.

POLLO MARSALA with fluted mashed tatoes and string beans
This was tasty but it didn’t have a strong marsala flavor like I typically prefer with this dish. This was my husband’s meal.

My handsome hubs and me in downtown Asheville.

More Asheville wall art.

Asheville is a great place to visit, surrounded by majestic blue mountains, filled with any type of art you
can imagine and a very mild climate.

Check it out sometime.