Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pleasant company

I've had a pleasant distraction this past week. My husband Jim came for a visit. He arrived on Thursday and we've had a whirlwind tour of Floyd, Virginia and the Piedmont Triad area. It has been a very long separation, so his visit was a welcome distraction. I just dropped him off at the airport and he's now dodging thunderstorms across the country. I'm sure our kitties will be thrilled to see him again.

I surprised Jim at the airport last Thursday. Carrie Carrie dropped me off at GSO and I waited patiently for his plane to get in. Somehow he spotted me first and came running over to me and gave me a big hug. Six weeks of separation has been very hard for both of us. It was wonderful to see his smile again.

We got the rental car and drove back into Greensboro. He was hungry and it was around 5:00pm. What's on the menu? Barbecue! Stamey's barbecue to be exact; a Greensboro institution. Pretty good stuff for mass produced 'cue. The sauce was nice and peppery, but not overly spicy. The vinegar made the hints of smoke and tender pork dance across the tongue. Jim's comment, "Oh, this is GOOD." I had to agree with him. We really liked Stamey's. The hushpuppies were good, but could have been a bit hotter. I like them fresh out of the fryer. I got the small plate (4oz of meat) and Jim had the large plate (6oz). The total bill with tea was under $9.00! This place is super easy on the wallet! If I happen to be in the Greensboro Coliseum area again, I'd stop at Stamey's Barbecue.

Friday Jim and I drove northwest of Greensboro to Floyd, VA. Why Floyd? Because I was there with my mother in 2002 and fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and Floyd in particular. Another reason to be in Floyd, VA on a Friday night is the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store.

Jim and I headed out of Greensboro to Winston-Salem and headed north to Mt. Airy, NC on the Virginia border. Jim is a fan of the Andy Griffith Show and Mt. Airy is Andy's hometown. Mayberry is supposed to be Mt. Airy. We arrive in Mt. Airy in time for lunch at the Snappy Lunch, and old lunch counter. Jim had a "famous" pork chop sandwich and I had a burger. About and hour later we regretted eating a the Snappy Lunch. Big belly aches. Ugh. I can't say I was thrilled with Mt. Airy, but I walked around with Jim while he checked out the tributes to Don Knotts, and the cast of the Andy Griffith Show.

We headed out of Mt. Airy and picked up the Blue Ridge Parkway a few miles outside of town. Since we were up in the mountains now, Spring was still a week or two away. The trees were still bare, unlike at lower elevations like Greensboro. The naked trees were surrounded by a blanket of rhododendrons, waiting for May when they'll bloom. The Parkway was beautiful. There was absolutely no traffic. We passed about four cars while driving up to Floyd County. It was really relaxing. The weather was perfect. Bright blue sky, breezy and warm. We had amazing weather all weekend.

We stopped a Mabry Mill, south of Floyd and checked out the old mill just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a working mill used to grind corn and wheat. During the summer there are other traditional crafts like blacksmithing and sorghum molasses making. It was very quiet last Friday.

The reunited couple at Mabry Mill. A nice spot to stretch your legs. Just don't expect anything to be open in the off season.

Coming up next: Old time and bluegrass music is thriving in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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