I was just shy of turning 29. I had just started shaving my head. I had the most unfortunate glasses on the planet. And selfies were a thing even with a digital camera that stored it’s files on a 3-1/2 floppy disk. Hello, 2000!
The trail guide lied to us about a few creek crossings that could be rock-hopped. The water was too deep and we had to take off our boots and wade. I was a bit annoyed by this and attempted crossing a tributary with my boots on. Needless to say, I fell and ended up with a couple of trail trophies and totally soaked boots. Hiking in wet boots and socks is not fun.
We ended up wading through a pool of water on the left (just out of frame in the above photo) and along the left side of the creek until we climbed over the root ball of a blowdown.
After nine miles, We got into camp early enough to have the pick of the best spot, get set up, and even take an afternoon nap. Heavenly! I always set my tent up close to JR’s so he can rescue me if there are any bear attacks in the middle of the night.
We had a relaxing, uneventful night and were up on the trail early the next morning. Five miles later we arrived at the lower trailhead outside of Bryson City.
And for no real reason, here’s a collection of trail signs along the Deep Creek Trail.
Kiki and I took a hike on Saturday to soak in the views from the rocky outcroppings near the summit of Chestnut Bald. I also showed her one of my most favorite places on the planet.
If the weather cooperates, JR and I will be off this coming weekend for an overnight backpacking trip on the Deep Creek Trail. Please be sweet to us, Mother Nature!
Here we are on week “whatever” of our “stay at home” adventures. North Carolina has extended our stay at home orders until May 8th. After that we will begin a slow 3-phase reopening plan. Hopefully, this is the smart way to make things happen. It’s going to be interesting to see if Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina get spanked with a lot of new infections because of their sudden re-openings. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, these Cheese Sticks from Sauced were one of the major highlight of the weekend. Ha, ha.
We *might* have disobeyed those stay at home orders and tripped to Gatlinburg on Sunday to pick up some moonshine from the two distilleries that were open. It was a bit weird to see NOBODY out and about on streets that are normally teaming with tourists. We saw maybe 10 other people and about as many businesses open. Craziness.
Back at home, we tried out some new things with the moonshine that was purchased. Needless to say, Moonshine-Laced Mini Milkshakes are gonna be my new lover. Sugarlands‘ Dark Chocolate Coffee Sippin’ Creme is perfect for this task. Yum!
After a week and half of me stressing out totally over going to New York City in the current world situation … we went to New York. The idea of loosing the money on the theater tickets and hotel was just too much to bear. So we headed out last Thursday.
We arrived in New York City to the news that Broadway had closed down and we were not going to get to see any theater. Well, shit. We Uber-ed into the city, checked in the hotel and got settled.
I love this They Live themed billboard at the corner of 7th and 48th in Times Square.
We had an incredible dinner a OBAO on 9th in Hell’s Kitchen. Yum.
We went back to the hotel, but I was craving donuts. So, I went back out and got some at the Dunkin’ across 8th. Jelly Filled and Chocolate Covered with Sprinkles!
We also found out on Thursday that all the museums had shut down as well. There went our backup plan. Dammit. So, we Uber-ed into Brooklyn and had an early lunch at Junior’s. It’s my kind of place!
We caught a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. I now know I would give my left nut to have an Alamo Drafthouse close by. Such a cool movie theater chain.
And then we just kept on walking. We navigated up into the West Village and had drinks at The Stonewall Inn. Then we went around the corner and found my old friend, Ian. I hadn’t seen him in years, so it was great to show up unannounced and surprise him. For the record, this picture is not a good example of social distancing.
Then we continued our walk up to 44th and had pizza at John’s Pizzaria. I guess that was the one good thing about Broadway being shut down. We were actually able to get a table there with no wait. Once back at the hotel, I decided to go out one last time to see Time Square. I might have stopped at the Junior’s Bakery on 45th and gotten a slice of Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake. Yum (again)!
We were supposed to be in the city until Sunday but had decided to change our flight to Saturday just to get out of the city early (and away from any carriers). Delta let us switch with no added fees and we were able to upgrade to first class for cheap. So fancy!
We did end up loosing to money on the hotel for Saturday night. Oh well. We made the best of it but the trip was a bit of a bust. Had we know one day earlier that Broadway was going to go dark, we would have cancelled the trip. Double oh well.
We were very proactive in regards to our safety with lots of hand washing and sanitizing and touching as little as possible … especially our faces. As a precaution, we are self-quarantining for the next 14 days since we were out and about in (what I suspect is) a fairly active contagion zone.
Hopefully, this mess will pass through quickly and with as little death and disruption as possible. Everyone stay safe (and stay socially distant)!
A couple of weeks ago, the boyfriend got diagnosed with Strep (and the Flu). Fun. I felt fatigued and not great all that week but managed not to get fully sick. Everyone was better for one day and then I came down with a cold. Ugh.
Thankfully, the one good day for me was the day we had long standing plans to go drink moonshine in Gatlinburg with A&A. We might have even thrown some cider from the Tennessee Cider Company in there.
Michelle is unexpectedly back in town … now a refugee from China due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Even with me not at 100% (yay, cold), we went for burgers, beer, green bean fries and karaoke. Michelle seriously is the best.
And, on Saturday, we tripped down to Anderson, SC for a super tasty dinner at Reed’s. The Mac ‘N Cheese he made was off the chain!
The work week is now underway. Ugh. But, the big excitement for the week will be going to see The Lodge tomorrow night. Whoo!
Yeah. Things have been going. Last week was stressful as one one my bosses ended up in the hospital and I had to cover all her work (on top of mine) for three days. Ugh. Thankfully, things are looking up and she was back at work today.
I got started on and finished the Stranger Things: The Upside Down LEGO set that I got for our anniversary in December. It was fun to make … but, I really do hope Will Byers survives. Plus … how cute is that Demogorgon minifig? Very!
I took my sister to Biltmore. I love this picture I took (near the grand staircase) with lots of overlapping archways.
We went bowling with our friend, Chris, at Sky Lanes. My highest score was 86 which confirms that I suck as bowling. Here’s David getting ready to gutter-ball it. 😛
Meanwhile, meanwhile …
I watched two more of the Best Picture nominees.
– 1917 (Technically impressive but DOA as far as tension and emotional engagement.)
– Joker (It’s Taxi Driver-Lite. Just watch Taxi Driver. It’s sooooooooo much better!)
So, yeah. Totally bumfuzzled as to how Joker scored the most Oscar nominations this year. Parasite is still the movie to beat. Seriously. Go see Parasite!
So … a new year. Hopefully it will be better than 2019.
Yeah. I am really living for these horror-themed memes about what a shit year 2019 was.
Meanwhile, meanwhile … Pet Shop Boys have dropped a new single. Delicious!
So, yeah … the first Christmas after Dad died. Survived it. My step-mother decided to still have the annual Christmas Eve Breakfast for Dinner Gathering. The familiarity of it was nice but sad at the same time without Dad running around handing out presents to everyone. Nobody got weepy which was good. I saved that for a few of days later.
I was in Walmart on Friday evening and walked past a guy who was wearing a uniform from the place my dad managed right up until he got too sick to work. Dad generally wasn’t seen out of his work shirt the last few years. The loss and sadness really hit me. I managed to make it out of the store and back to the car before breaking down and creating a scene.
Saturday we tripped over the Gatlinburg with Graham and Kristen for moonshine and an escape room adventure. The usual places were visited … Ole Smoky, Sugarlands, and Doc Collier.
Graham and Kristen are big into escape rooms and wanted to check out MOONSHINE HILL HOOTENANNY at Gatlin’s Escape Games. The room was fun and way more high tech than I thought it would be. I felt like we overthought some of the puzzles and that got us behind time with only one hour to break into Maw’s shack, sabotage her moonshine recipe, and blow her ‘shine still to smithereens. SPOILERS: We failed (and found out that Kristen’s desire to win is both awesome and a little scary). But it was fun and I am looking forward to trying another escape room sometime soon.
And yesterday, I was bummed to read about the passing of Vaughan Oliver, mastermind designer of some the most iconic album sleeves of the 80’s and 90’s. He provided the visuals that went right along side of some of my favorite albums of the era (most notably for me are Cocteau Twins’ Treasure, The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, and The Breeders’ Last Splash).
Yeesh. December has been too busy. When did I become such a social butterfly?
Friday: Shortlegs and Tom came over with pizza and we watched Midsommar.
Saturday: We went to the annual G&S Christmas Party. I got very drunk.
Sunday: We went to a WNCAP fundraiser at a bar. I didn’t get very drunk.
Monday: Ev & Em came over for egg nog and we had pizza and watched The Long Kiss Goodnight.
What’s the best way to not overeat and get too drunk at Thanksgiving? Why, plan a hike for 8:00 am the next morning! Jack, Josh and I romped over Waterrrock Knob then over Browing Knob then over the summit of Mt Lyn Lowry and out to the memorial cross on the ridge.
And here’s some other things that have recently happened …
We went to taste wine at Biltmore with Alvin. We also got to have a glass of wine in the special Wine Club members only area of the Winery. Talk about feeling classy.
We went and saw Knives Out. I really dug it. As a friend said … “Let’s see, murder mystery, twisted humor, Chris Evans… yep, that checks out as a Chuck flick.” Ha, ha.
And I might have (yet again) gone crazy buying movies in all the Black Friday insanity. There will be a photo posted once all the online orders arrive. Someone needs to take my bank account away!
I have been in a pretty weird head space since last Wednesday. We went to see Doctor Sleep (which was really good) and a scene in it set me off. I have known that would happen after all that went on with Dad. So, It’s taken quiet a few days to maybe start feeling like myself again. I have hopefully hit that point today.
Over the weekend, we were back in Gatlinburg for moonshine on Saturday and ate a fancy brunch yesterday. Last night I was sitting on the sofa reflecting on the events of the weekend and they already felt distant … like I had been outside myself watching them happen but hadn’t actually been participating. It’s a weird sensation that I have never experienced before and it was a bit freaky.
Regardless, the view yesterday from a friend’s house was quite spectacular. The mountains here are majestic and awesome.