Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vacations are Great, but There is No Place Like Home (Part Two)

Day Three in Asheville, North Carolina started with breakfast at the hotel before we headed up to the Old Fort area--my mother's birthplace and where she grew up.  Because the wife did not have the opportunity to go to either of my parents' funeral the first stop was the cemetery in Glenwood.  It is here that many of the relatives on my mother's side of the family are buried--and it is the Glenwood area where the old homestead is located.  Set in a picturesque local on top of a high hill that over looks the area rests my parents.  It was a beautiful morning to spend a little time with those departed matriarchs and patriarchs of the family.

 My parents' tombstone

 My great grandparents' tombstone

 My great-great grandfather's tombstone

My great-great grandmother's tombstone

From Glenwood we drove down the road to the town of Marion to check on the tombstone of probably the most infamous relative on my mother's side of the family--the tombstone of Daniel Kanipe.  Daniel Kanipe is my fourth cousin.  He was the first messenger that George Custer sent back to retrieve the supply train at the Battle of the Little Bighorn--or for those of you who are not politically correct, Custer's Last Stand.  Because of his task of retrieving the supply train he missed out on the massacre that took place on Last Stand Hill--he was a survivor of the battle.  At the battle site there is a historical marker with his picture.  With this trip the wife and I were putting the two pieces together.

 Daniel Kanipe--survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn

After a morning of touring the cemeteries we headed down the mountains back towards Asheville, but not before stopping in the artist haven of Black Mountain.  Here we spend time checking out the various shops and artist studios--lots of interesting stuff to look at.  Black Mountain is a quaint little mountain town that attracts lots of tourists.  We got out of there without spending any money--pretty good feat seeing how the wife only saw a million things that would look wonderful in our Montana yard.

The highlight of Black Mountain for me was a chance to check out the local brewery--Pisgah Brewing Company.  This was not an easy place to find as it was located in an out-of-the-way industrial park on the outskirts of the town.  But after much arguing between us and the GPS we eventually found the brewery--the frustration was worth the beer.

From Black Mountain it was back to downtown Asheville for supper at the Jack of the Wood Public House--an Irish pub that is the tap house for the Green Man Brewery in Asheville.  This was our choice as they were having live Irish music.  The atmosphere was a typical pub, the music was great, the food was wonderful, and we had a good time.

After strolling around the downtown area for a little while after our "Irish" meal we called it a day and basically said "goodbye" to Asheville.  Its hospitality and entertainment were well worth the couple of thousand miles the wife and I traveled.  It was fun . . . as they say in Asheville:

The next day of our vacation was reserved for the long drive back to Hagerstown, Maryland.  It was also reserved for stopping at antique shops and wineries--both of which seem abundant in North Carolina.  We only encountered one problem--most of them were not open on Mondays as they were recuperating from their long weekend of playing to the hundreds of thousands of tourists that flock to the area.  But we did get in several of my sister's favorite shops and one winery for the wife.  The winery was straight out of Italy--it sure did not look like it belonged in North Carolina.  The wine?  Well, the wine was a little bland and on the super-dry side for me, but the wife assured me that it was top of the line stuff.  Well, I'm a beer buff, how would I know.  If it has a cork I am impressed.

 Raffaldini Wineries--North Carolina or Italy?

We eventually made it back to Hagerstown . . . the traffic going back was less stressful (might have been the wine we drank).  Outside of a major downpour just miles from Hagerstown the trip was uneventful.  Once we  unloaded the car the decision was made that the next portion of the vacation would be spent in Amish country.  In the morning we would be off for Lancaster, Pennsylvania and its surrounding communities to do a touristing among the Amish and Mennonites.   More about that in Part Three . . . 

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