Wednesday, October 27, 2010

16 Balls in the Air Guide to Boone & Blowing Rock, NC

Some people might call it crazy.  Who am I kidding?  The only word to describe driving over 1,200 miles roundtrip with four boys ages 11, 9, 5 and 3 is...insane.  If you take into account St. Joel drove us halfway to hand off the traveling circus to my dad, a.k.a Papoo, who drove us the rest of the way to his home in North Carolina - borderline certifiable.  We managed to go a full week with no illness, calamity or emotional breakdown.

Our plans for Fall Break were ambitious.  "Boone Day"  "Cousin Visit Day"  "Blowing Rock Day"  Not to mention Thursday.  There was a lot of fun to squeeze in.  I'll just hit the highlights of our favorite places.

Mast General Store
This retail institution has several locations in the area.  We stop in the downtown Boone location for old fashioned toys, candy, RC Colas & Moon Pies, quality outerwear, clothing and a zillion other fabulous and unusual finds.  Number 2 scored a great set of joke teeth with his travel spending money.

Two words - Cinnamon Rolls.  Well, they also have countless sandwiches on their menu.  We've been eating here for years and have yet to make a dent in the extensive menu.  Fun, low key atmosphere, kid-friendly (is there another option?!?!).

Appalachian State University
My parents' alma mater.  Beautiful campus.  Back in the day, my dad played and coached for their great football team (Google App vs. Michigan).  Looks like someone may need to start saving for out-of-state tuition.  Go Apps!

I don't hike.  I'm not outdoorsy.  Hell, I had on ballet flats for this outing (cute black patent leather ones from Payless).  I must admit this impromptu "stroll" through the woods was a highlight of our week in NC.  Just a simple trail and beautiful creek, plus 3 visiting cousins and a BB gun.  Perfection.

Family Billiards
This favorite spot is literally at the foot of the mountain my Dad lives on.  Simple food, pool tables, arcade games.  Perfect family night out.  If you're lucky, you'll get there before they run out of Chicken Tortilla Pie (I wasn't so lucky this trip).  *No alcohol served - Very "Family" Billiards.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza
Good pizza.  Good beer.  Good sign.

Fudge.  Chocolate dipped pretzels.  Ice Cream.  There are Kilwin's locations all over the country, but when we are in Blowing Rock, we always make a stop in for Kilwin's Tracks ice cream and a block of fudge.  Yummy!

Mystery Hill/ Gem Mining
How to describe Mystery Hill?  Unique?  Educational?  Simple, but fun.  You just gotta go and you'll know.  Bonus:  Admission price gets you get a discount on indoor gem mining next door.  The boys love sifting through the mud looking for gems.  I actually have a pair of emerald earrings made from a find on a past treasure hunt.

Since St. Joel couldn't make the trip, we met him in Atlanta on the way back to West Tennessee.  We used the 24 hour window to bother innocent bystanders at the hotel indoor pool plus squeeze in a visit to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and took a minor detour through Chattanooga on our way home to visit the Tennessee Aquarium.  Both of these were outstanding and we hope to go back soon (specifically within the next 12 months since it was cheaper for us to buy family memberships versus 1 day tickets).

Another day, another (long) story,

1 comment:

magsmcc said...

Love this long story!


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