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Thursday, March 8, 2018

February Summary - Part 2

Okay, I know I am boring some of you, but, I promised part 2, so here is part 2!

A-man had a buddy sleep over for his birthday.  They decided it was a great idea to jump in the pool so they could say they were the first ones in.  Lol! (If you can, zoom in on his face when we comes off the slide!)  They actually stayed in longer than I expected.  Good thing we splurged and got a hot tub too!

A-man, has also succumbed to the lure of the t.v. show Vampire Diaries....thanks to his older sisters.  Much of it is filmed in a nearby town, and friends just named their baby after one of the characters in the show. So, for his birthday lunch, he picked the restaurant from the show.  (I will admit I have never watched the show, so I know nothing about the show or the restaurant - but apparently it is a big deal to be in the same spot that you have seen in the show)

 Isn't he looking like a man?!?

I will say the food was quite good and not super expensive.

We didn't really celebrate A-man's birthday much on his actual birthday, because D-man wasn't around and Rainman was working.  We waiting until the next day, because we took a drive up to North Carolina to go tubing.  We have timeshare points that we could use up there, so we could stay for free.  With all the almost snow events we have had here that last few years, the kids have really just been heartbroken that they don't get to build real snowmen or go sledding.  So, Rainman said, this year we were going to take them up into the mountains and do some snow stuff.

We just barely succeeded.  They have had a very warm patch and we happened to get there on the very last day that they had the ski slopes and tubing hill open.  It was a balmy...50 or so.  It was wet and slushy on the hill and brown and bare ground everywhere else.  Not enough for snow for snowmen, but we did throw a bit of it at each other.

When we got to the hill, I scoffed at its size.  It seemed small and I totally did the mom thing  - inside my head "What a rip off!  We paid that much for this little baby hill!  What are we going to do for 2 hours?!?"

Let me just say, that hill was a lot scarier at the top than it was at the bottom.  We spent the entire 2 hours going down in various formations and partnerships.  All of us.  I will say I didn't go as many times as everyone else.  After the second time I landed at the bottom of the hill and whooshed right past the protective rubber mats onto the gravel and tar beyond, at speeds that made me realize why they had me sign a waiver acknowledging that I may get hurt and releasing them from any and all accountability, I took a break and watched.

I left my phone/camera in the car, but, luckily, my teenagers didn't and captured some of our fun for you.

 See?  It doesn't look that big and scary, does it?

We succeeded in doing an 8 person train a few times.  The people at the bottom said it was like a Christmas card was coming down the hill.  But, somehow, none of us thought to leave a camera with one of them and ask them to take our picture or a video while we careened down the hill.  So, we have these action shots instead.

The warm weather took its toll on the businesses around town too.  We had a hard time finding a restaurant that was open or didn't have an hour wait.  Plus, many of them seemed to be shutting down the next day for renovations or spring cleaning. (more later on why this is important) We ended up eating at the first place we had tried and walked out after were were told it would be an hour or so wait, not because they were busy, but because they had 3 staff members up and quit earlier that day.  But, as we traipsed around town trying to find something else that was open, the ones that were all had a long wait too.  We realized that the first place had smelled fantastic and was close to our hotel, so we really wanted to eat there.  So, we called them and made sure that they would still seat us if we came back and they did.  They even remembered that we were the big party with the birthday boy.

As D-man said later that night for a night were just about everything that could go wrong....actually went wrong, it was one of the best experiences that we have ever had at a restaurant. Food wise and service wise.  Seriously.  They had 3 workers quit and they were closing the very next day for renovations.  What went wrong?  For example, we would order a salad with spring greens and ranch.  The waiter would take our order.  Go to the kitchen.  Come back and say, that he was very sorry, they were out of spring greens....would be like a spinach salad instead.  Sure, we would say.  Then he would come back and say that they no longer had any ranch dressing and give us another option.  Seriously, just about everything we ordered initially they were out of and had to be tweaked somehow.  We lost count of how many trips back to the table our waiter and the manager made to apologize and offer us a different tweaked option than what was on the menu.  It was almost like we were being punk'd or on candid camera, except we weren't.  We just laughed.

The skeleton staff that was still employed there was super nice.  We were planning to go back to our hotel room and open presents, but A-man wanted to open up with birthday cards while we were there and lo and behold, turns out it was the manager's birthday also. (For real.  We thought maybe he was lying to try to bond with us, but we overheard him telling someone else it was actually his birthday, so we know he wasn't just sucking up to us.) We were just getting ready to leave and he sort of corralled us and said that we had to go sit back down.  Out he came with cupcakes for the whole family and singing Happy Birthday for A-man!

We realized later that we are pretty sure he sacrificed his own birthday cupcakes  that his staff or someone had gotten for him and gave them to A-man, because this was kind of a little hole in the wall bar and grill that didn't even have dessert options on the menu.

The next day, we drove about a 45 minute drive through the foggy mountain roads to visit with our niece and her family who run an outdoor store there.  We stopped to see a few waterfalls along the way.

This last one was a big beautiful one with walking trails down the side.  But, the path had a chain across it and said it was closed because of icy conditions.  Guess who that stopped?

A-girl and I were the only rule followers who wouldn't climb over the chain and go to the bottom.  LOL

D-man had to get back to campus, so he left from there and we took a different twisty road through the fog back to our hotel and the next day, headed back home again.  When we got home it was like summer.  It was in the high 70s/low 80s and the kids decided they were going in the pool....even though the water was only in the low 70s.  But, it was a fun finish to our quick trip away for some winter-ish fun.