Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Lovely Maggie Valley

We've had the opportunity to visit Maggie Valley, NC this Labor Day weekend. My mom and my Aunt Myrna rented a little house up here from August thru September to get away from the Florida heat. We have never been to this part of North Carolina before and it is absolutely charming! The views of the Smoky Mountains are breathtaking; the people are so nice; the weather is lovely and we don't want to go home!! The house is located in the heart of town but tucked away on private backroads and surrounded by peaceful wilderness. We spent our first day fishing and feeding the ducks, geese and swans at Lake Junaluska. My mom and my aunt walk the path around this gorgeous lake every day. There is also a big swim club open to the public and canoe rentals as well. Mark took Jake panning for gold and rubies this afternoon and they came home with a big bag of treasures. 
And the donuts..I have to talk about the donuts!!  There is an amazing bakery within walking distance of our house called the "Nutmeg Bakery Cafe." They make fresh donuts every morning that are like nothing I've ever tasted! Big gobs of dough freshly prepared (then fried) and dipped in a buttery glaze. OMG..I can't even describe how good they are! Forget eating healthy this weekend..we have been back to the bakery every morning for more donuts! My mom and I went out to the "Stompin Ground" last night to hear the country band and to watch the Cloggers perform. Apparently Maggie Valley is the Clogging Capitol of the World...who knew? And let me just say that Clogging is seriously underrated. It is so fun to watch and there is so much audience participation. I loved it! Mostly I loved the alone time with my mom..we never get that! She and I walked along the local shops, sat outside eating ice-cream & talking, and then ended up at the Stompin Ground. It was a perfect night! One of my favorite things from that night was watching my mom as she interacted with another woman alone at the club who looked like she might be undergoing treatment for cancer. This woman was reading a card that was obviously special to her and my mom commented on the cute picture on the front of the card. I would never do this; it's not in my nature to strike up a conversation with a total stranger. But my mom did it and it made this woman really happy. I love that about my mom! She has such a big heart and she's so friendly and truly the most thoughtful person I know. I could Blog about my mom for an hour and I will one day, but for now I'll just say that it was a perfect evening with one of my most favorite people! Today we took the kids to "Santa Land" in Cherokee, about 15 minutes away. It was adorable; the kids loved it! We fed Santa's deer and got to see lots of other animals..a baby black bear, a zebra, a camel, monkeys, donkeys, goats, macaws, etc. There was a Rudolph roller coaster, a huge ferris wheel, a train-ride, paddle boats and lots of other kiddie rides. Ofcourse there was Santa's House too and lots of busy elves running around. I would recommend Santa Land to anyone with small kids visiting the Maggie Valley area. When we left, we drove through the Indian Village in Cherokee. So cool! Jake & Will bought real arrowheads and there were Indians in full dress standing along the sides of the road. There was a big Harrah's Casino there too with a Paula Dean restaurant inside. Yum! Tonight we had dinner at "Legends" which boasts the best hamburgers in town and a macaroni salad that is to die for! I don't even like macaroni salad and I can tell you that I didn't leave one morsel on my plate. Tomorrow we drive over to Black Mountain to visit my friend Kari and her family. I can't wait to see them but I'll be sad to leave Maggie Valley and my mama. It's been a perfect holiday weekend for our family. Hope you're having a great one too!! -Annie

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