I just got back from North Carolina. They say that its famous for its blue skies, so you see in the photo. It is blue! Probably because of the billions of trees! I spent the last week with my in-laws seeing the sites. I had a great time! I traveled out there with Ray's sister Michelle and we stayed with Ray's parents who live near Lincolnton/Lake Norman, 45 minutes north of Charlotte.
Michelle, Ray's mom Loneta, and I drove two hours to Asheville to see the Biltmore Estate. It was beautiful and much bigger than I had even imagined. No pics allowed inside, but here are some outside, including one with a view behind the estate.
And my favorite flower that day...the Chinese Lantern:
Here is the walkway down, with luffa gourds hanging down. I was tempted to pick one (there were so many!) to make a luffa for the shower.
From Asheville we went north to Tennessee. Loneta had tracked down some distant cousins of Ray's dad (Ben) and a part of the family was going up to see the old farm of their fourth great grandfather. Here are the family members who came...
Note Ian's 3 watches!! :) He's the same funny nephew who said, upon arriving at the old cemetary: "Mom, I'm going to go find a headstone that says, 'I'm gonna get you for this!' " :)
And here are the distant relatives. This is Ruth (Ben's cousin) and Wilma, her mom. They own a 200-acre plot of land in the Blue Ridge mountain area, with the ancestral farm being on the property. In the south, family is family, no matter how distantly related. So Ruth and Wilma showed us fine southern hospitality, and I refrained from saying "What?" too often, with their accents as thick as they were! The coolest part was that it felt like we'd known them for years. They really did feel like family!
We took a train ride through part of the property, and it was beautiful. On our way home, we stopped at the Mennonite farm and bought some good food they sell in their store. Here is the Spiced Peach Jam that I bought. It is soooo good! If you saw the movie, "Holes", you'll appreciate the jam. Not too spicy. Tasted like pie filling. Mmmm. (Did you know Mmm is an accepted word to play in Scrabble? Its true. And with no vowel and all.)
Sorry, I have no pics of the fried food. They sure know how to fry food down there! And if you were wondering, "Amelia" went to respite foster care while we were gone. She's back with us now, and I'm glad! I missed her!