And…I’m Back!

It feels like I’ve been gone a month! As usually happens, I had a great time visiting friends and rambling around, but it does feel good to get home. How long I’ll BE at home is up in the air as work assignments are trickling in.

My vacation was fairly uneventful. My time with friends involved too little sleep, too much sugar, thoughtful discussion mixed with silliness, and deep, healing belly laugh. It was so wonderful to be with the people who lift me up like no others. For those weekend friends who might be reading (and blog followers as well, because you lift me up, too!), here’s a little tribute:

Thank you for accepting me for who I am! :)

Before leaving town, I stopped to stock up on apples at Spicknall’s Farm Market.


There were so many varieties from which to choose, and I took full advantage of it. I also bought some apple cider vinaigrette that I hope is as tasty as it looks!

My trip home was winding and fairly uneventful. I was exhausted from the weekend and the weather was rainy and blustery and cold for the first two days, so I drove and slept and nibbled too much. (I am walking, talking, blobbery proof that sleep is an essential element of healthy living/weight loss/weight maintenance.) I managed to run off and leave both cameras at home (positive: they’re both charged and ready for the next trip!), so my few photos are iphone quality.

Even with the snacking, vacation nutrition was generally good if we don’t count sugary treats. And really, why should we? It was vacation. The best meal I had was Chicken Parmigiana from Mama Lucia’s. Much to my dismay, I filled up on salad and sent 2/3 of my meal home with local friends, where I was assured it would be put to good use.

The most interesting meal I had was at the Blue Ribbon Diner in Burlington, NC, where I ordered a grilled chicken dinner with salad and mashed potatoes. The chicken was marinated in applejack, which is a type of brandy. I love chicken and apples together, so that was a tasty treat but what was interesting about the meal was the (diner-style) plating:

grilled applejack chicken dinner

Note the properly portioned chicken breast, the tiny corn muffin, the small salad, and the ginormous serving of potatoes! There were more potatoes than there was chicken. It was a struggle to eat them all. :)

Exercise during my weekend event was good, primarily because I was part of the organizing committee and my duties included lugging boxes and display panels into and out of the hotel. Excellent workout, one that made me grateful I concentrate on functional exercise in the gym! Other than running stairs to and from my room, I didn’t do much in the way of cardio, but I did move around a lot. One of my friends commented that I seemed to be in perpetual motion. :)

I didn’t get much official exercise on the driving days, but I did have a couple of good walks in Waynesville, NC, first at Lake Junaluska:

Lake Junaluska
Lake Junaluska

The Smoky Mountains were nicely smoky that morning. They were also COLD, so my walk was very short. Besides, I’d been driving for about an hour and needed a pit stop. I drove into Waynesville proper and after finding the very clean public restroom, I walked around town for a few hours.
waynesville, nc

Waynesville is a lovely little town, and all the shopkeepers I met were very friendly and helpful. I only wish I’d had more shopping $$$ for purchasing power. As it was, I bought only two things, a t-shirt from Mast General Store, because I needed a long-sleeve t-shirt (see: COLD):


I also bought a cute weekend handbag from Beth at The Jasper Carrot, a fun and funky eco-friendly store located on Main St., and stuck around for a bit of chit chat which I thoroughly enjoyed.


And then I had an unremarkable tuna sandwich at a little hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop with friendly people and affordable prices. In other words, my kind of place. They won this trip’s best sign award, even with the punctuation error:

bathroom sign If you are not eating here you are not peeing here.

Nothing like direct and to the point, right? And so much less threatening than this sign, spotted earlier in the trip:

jesus is lord we buy guns sign

That one irritates me every time I see it.

After lunch, I hit the road again for exploring and stumbled upon another farm market, this time Carver’s Apple Orchard in Crosby, TN. Since I was still flush with apples from Maryland, I mostly walked and looked. They had great pumpkins:


Knowing I had half a pantry shelf with canned pumpkin on it, I didn’t feel the need to buy one, but I enjoyed watching other folks wrestle theirs up to the pay area. Mostly I enjoyed lingering in the sunshine. I ended up finding an inexpensive hotel in the area, just so I could be still and enjoy it.

Unfortunately, inexpensive lodging often comes with a compromised view and such was the case with this one:

compromised view

But if I squinted, the signs kind of disappeared. I sat out on the pool deck and read and enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine.

As it turned out, I’m glad I lingered as that was the end of the sunshine. The drive home was gray and sometimes rainy. The good news was that the gray backdrop made the early fall foliage “pop” a little more, especially when I was in middle Tennessee.

And now I’m home and back to my fully-on-track ways. I probably won’t make it to the gym until tomorrow, but I’m planning for a walk later today. Between that and the piles of laundry to be done, it will have to do for today.

I’m behind on my reader, but I hope to catch up tonight and tomorrow. I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled random posting on Monday. :)

8 thoughts on “And…I’m Back!

  1. So fun to see and hear about your trip. Oh my gosh. That second sign. It made me laugh, but yes. That is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts about ‘conservative’ Christians. They see nothing wrong with that kind of rhetoric.

  2. Yay – you are back!! Glad you had such a great time. I love the divider plate. No food touching allowed!

    And I literally laughed out loud at the building combining Jesus and guns. Classic.

  3. SO MUCH covered here!!!! Love the pics & the beauty & all the fun you had! Well, that Jesus one – really irked me too! Hmmmmmmmmmmm. 😉

    I so love that first poem!! Thrilled you had such a great time Cammy & welcome back for however long it is till you are on the road again! 😉

  4. Welcome back Cammy. What a wonderful vacation. I love the saying on the shirt you bought. That Jesus/Gun sign bothers me too!

    Very cool purse! Hope you get some rest and enjoy being back home.

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