Day 4 - Maggie Valley
When I climbed in bed next to Mark tonight, I said, "this was the top 5th day of my life; do you know what the other 4 were?" He smiled and said, "our wedding day, Jake's birth, Will's birth and Laine's birth." I gave him a big kiss and said, "You're right!"
I was the first one up, so I snuck out to "The Nutmeg Bakery" to grab our donuts and was shocked to find that they don't open until noon on Saturdays. What? (See note at bottom of Post.) But then I remembered my mom saying that "Joey's Pancake House" down the road served great pancakes so I headed that way. I put in my to-go order and then settled in to their lobby with a nice cup of coffee and some area brochures. Betty White was the hostess and it was clear that I was not going to be sitting there quietly. Here's how she struck up the conversation with me and where it went from there:
Betty: "Those bunnies look out of season."
(I glance up to see what she's looking at and there on the top shelf of a cabinet filled with country knick-knacks is a framed painting of bunny rabbits that does have an Easter look about it.)
Me: "Ya I guess they do a little."
Betty: "Ofcourse there was a group of Playboy Playmates that came in here a few years back and they all signed it so I guess that's why the owner keeps it up."
Me: "What?" And now I am standing because I have to take a closer look and yes--it's filled with signatures. (None that I recognize of course.)
Betty: "What are your plans for the day?"
Me: "Well, I have 3 kids and they are SO excited because we are going to do that 60 foot waterside at Sliding Rock in the Pisgah Forest."
Betty: "No you're not."
Me: "Why--are they closed?"
Betty: "No ma'am, it's a National Park open year round but if you go down that slide today you better have an electric blanket and a Paramedic waiting for you at the bottom."
Me: "So you're saying it's a little cold right now."
I LOVE people like this!! Seriously--my favorite type of character. She made my whole morning.
So, I head home knowing I will be very unpopular with NO donuts and the added downer that we are not going to Sliding Rock. :( Could have been a crappy day--right? And yet it turned out to be one of the best days of my life!!!
The kids ate their pancakes while Mark and I regrouped to form a new plan. We decided to go flying at the "Appalachaian Amusement Center."
Here's my brave 8 year old Willy. When he got down he said, "This is the greatest day of my life!" Next it was daddy's turn:
When Mark got down, he honestly had the biggest smile on his face that I have ever seen. Their joy was contagious and I was so excited for them! Jake hung back with me to take photos, but he said he'd probably do it next time. (Maybe he just takes after his Mama because this is SO not my thing.) And the instructors were so cool--the nicest people! They even gave the boys a DVD of their flight!
Next we decided to go Trout Fishing. Let me pause here to say that my mother expressed sadness on this trip about having never seen a Wild Elk which is most certainly on her Bucket List. In fact, I grabbed a brochure for her at the Pancake House on "The Wild Elk of NC" and where you can spot them. As we were driving to the Trout Pond, I handed her the brochure to read. About 5 minutes later, Mark pulled the car over abruptly because THIS was on the side of the road just staring at us:
I mean...what can I even say? I'm pretty sure my mom had tears in her eyes. If this wasn't a Godwink, then I don't know what is!!
We got to the Pond and ALL THREE of my children caught their very first fish!! I think the photos speak for themselves:
And just when I thought my children couldn't possibly experience any more joy in a single day, they found a puppy that loved them and gave them 100 kisses each. His name was "Bear."
We got home and Grandma sent Mark and I out on a date-night. Could this day get ANY better? YES because we went out for a yummy seafood dinner and then we went to the Stompin Ground to hear the band play and we slow-danced. Heaven!! Just heaven! Thank you God for this perfect in every way, memory making day. I feel SO blessed! Night, xo
NOTE: I later learned that I was WRONG about the Nutmeg Bakery Cafe not opening until noon on Saturdays. They had a special event happening at noon and I read the sign wrong. :( Oh well...I still loved my chat with Betty White!