Sunday morning we got up and went over to the McDonald’s for breakfast. Sure, there was a continental breakfast in the hotel, but the hotel didn’t have a floor-to-ceiling double-sided fireplace, and a baby grand piano in the corner. I KNOW, RIGHT? I only eat at McDonald’s about once every five years, but this was totally worth it to be able to see that. I will have a couple more photos when I get the camera hooked up to the computer.
Cetty had already been to the hospital to see Joe that morning, and it sounded like they might actually release him that day. We talked about that, and also about how the Biltmore, which I do want to see, was $60 to get in, and how it was too cold do do anything in the outside part of it (barn, animals, gardens). So we decided to drive over to Highlands (locals, it’s like Melrose, with all the antique shops, but in the mountains) and that if Joe was released that day we would stop at Cashiers on the way back and see if Cetty and Joe needed help with anything. That meant some fun mountain driving — I’ll have about a two minute video I’ll post to YouTube when I get home, that will frighten my mother. The Rav, by the way mom, handled both the mountain driving and the light snow driving quite well!
While we were in Highlands we stopped and had lunch at this crazy Inn… I say “crazy” because the food and the service and the ambiance was four-star, but mostly they get in tourists like us. So it’s weird. The clientele doesn’t match the vibe, if that makes sense. But the food was good, and again I got a couple of photos that I’ll post later, of some of the woodwork which was of course beautiful.
We were able to help Cetty and Joe get settled a bit. Joe looks great; you would never know he just had major abdominal surgery. He’s lost weight, sure, and he’s pale (but to me everyone up here is pale) but other than that he’s doing fantastic. Their dog Ashley, who had been staying with a friend, was so glad to see her mommy and daddy. I thought I had a great picture of her sitting under Joe’s recliner, but it looks like I only uploaded that to Facebook and not to Flickr. I’ll have to get it off my phone later. Anyway, Tim installed a new TV for them, Amy went grocery shopping while Cetty picked up Joe’s meds, and I took Ash for a little walk around the property (Ashley was very glad to show me around, and she’s a lovely and happy dog… but it sure did make me miss my puppies).
For dinner we decided to find someplace local. I looked up vegetarian-friendly restaurants because by this point in the trip I would have sold my grandmother for some vegetables. I really wanted a salad. We found one that got good reviews, the Tupelo Honey Cafe, and I could tell when we got there that the food was going to be good because the place was PACKED on a Sunday night. I don’t think there are too many places I’ve been to to eat that had a wait on a Sunday night. I got a great salad and some to-die-for goat cheese grits (you know I’ll be making some of those when I get home… they have a cookbook and Tim’s going to pick that up). Then for dessert we went to a place called the Chocolate Lounge, which is… it’s like the Sweet Dreams Ice Cream of chocolate. Chocolate bars, truffles, caramels, cakes, brownies, hot chocolates… it was a little overwhelming! And delicious. Good times, y’all, good times.
OH! I didn’t get a picture of him, but when we were going into Tupelo Honey, we were passed – and I’m not even making this up – by a tall guy in a Gingerbread Man costume, but instead of being bald he had dreadlocks down to his butt. Later on he ran past the restaurant. When we saw him the second time we were all, “if he comes by again, GRAB THE CAMERA!” but unfortunately he didn’t come back again. Run, run, run, as fast as you can… you can’t catch me, I’m the GingerDread Man!
After that it was back to the hotel, and to sleep, so we could get moving in the morning.