11 June 2008

On the road again, naturally

This year's trip has started off differently from all the rest - we were on the road before eight, we checked in our hotel before seven, and we saw everything we wanted to see and then some! I met Kim in Salisbury, NC, where we spent a most enjoyable evening with our friends Lynn and Robert and two of their kids, Sarah and Will. We even got to celebrate Lynn's birthday. And a birthday shout out goes to Skip, too! Peppy could hardly wait to get going...

From Salisbury, we went to Winston-Salem in search of two curiosities - the Shell station shaped like a shell and the big tin coffee pot in Old Salem. And we found them! It was not too far from Winston to Mt. Airy, home of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for Mayberry. We had breakfast at the Snappy Lunch, which is famous for their Pork Chop Sandwiches, but we were too early for one of them. We walked all over town and saw Floyd's Barber Shop, the Old Jail, Andy's squad car, and more. Good times!

Fancy Gap, Virginia is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Mt. Airy, and we picked up the Blue Ridge Parkway here. It was a fine day to be on the Parkway - about 15 degrees cooler than it had been, blue skies, and hardly any traffic. We saw mostly motorcycles and a few other hybrid cars and hardly any SUV's. Our first stop on the Parkway was Mabry Mill, which is allegedly the most photographed spot on the Parkway. You have to admit it makes for a lovely photograph! The mill is a working mill, grinding corn
meal, grits, and buckwheat. There are also lots of other exhibits there - our favorite was the blacksmith's shop. Traveling on the parkway is leisurely perforce, since the speed limit is 45 mph. That proved to be a good thing, since we saw LOTS of live animals VERY close to our car. Like Asheville, NC, Roanoke is right on the parkway. We got off here and went in search of the O. Winston Link Museum. Link is famous for his photographs (mostly black and white) of steam engines and the Norfolk Southern railroad. We were very impressed! The museum also had an exhibit about Raymond Loewy, who is famous for many American advertising icons (coke bottle, Exxon and Shell logos, designing Studebakers, and more). He also had re-designed the Roanoke train station. After we had seen the museum, we walked past the Hotel Roanoke and over to City Market where we had a quick lunch. I opted for Cuban food (carne vaca) and Kim had a turkey pita. Then we were off in search of Miniature Graceland (really!) and the Mill Mountain Star. They were worth the trip! Miniature Graceland is in someone's yard in an otherwise normal residential area. You sort of have to see it to believe it! The Mill Mountain star is the largest man-made star in the world. At night, it is lit up in red, white, and blue to show support for our troops. While there, we were on StarCam and our daughters got to see us in real time. Unfortunately, we showed them not our best sides...

Back to the Parkway, and on to our next attraction - Natural Bridge, VA, which is supposedly one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World - higher than Niagara Falls, older than the dawn. We beg to differ. It was cool (well, actually is was muggy steamy buggy HOT) but we much preferred Foamhenge and other enchanted creations of Mark Cline. We went to his Enchanted Castle Studio and got to meet him and his daughter. Again, you've got to see it to believe it! That's him posing with Kim and Batman, which was one of his tamer productions. We had dinner at the awesome Pink Cadillac Diner and called it a night. Except for blogging, which I've been doing for the past two and a half hours! Uploading all these pictures is slow going, so we hope you enjoy them. So, until tomorrow, good night!

1 comment:

Judy said...

Love the pictures.