December 17, 2012

Boone, NC: High Country Relaxing

This year was going to be something different for the holidays. My in-laws recently bought a soon-to-be retirement home in Boone, NC, so instead of spending time down in Florida we all opted to break in the new place in what the locals refer to as the 'High Country'. The folks back east are very proud of this fact, every ad we heard seemed to reference the High Country. Boone sits at 3,333 feet above sea level, making it the highest city in the east of its size or bigger. Who knew? Living out west, the High Country brings a whole different meaning. Here in Arizona I tend to think of it as anything above 7,000 feet.

We packed up and made our way to the airport for our red-eye standby flight to Charlotte. Charlotte non-stop flights usually fill at the last minute, but it seemed like our vacation planning had paid off by going a full week+ ahead of Christmas. We were able to get right on and before we knew it we were making the 2 hour drive up to Boone early the next morning.
Early morning fog in the Smokies.
We really didn't have plans for the week, just some R&R and good eatin'! I have two childhood friends that are only a few hours from Boone, so I tried to make arrangements to catch up. I was only able to meet with one of them, but it was a great visit! K also had a close friend in the area and she was able to come spend an  evening with us in the mountains.

Our highlights included eating homemade butter-butter biscuits made by a local & sold only at Boone Drug!! Best biscuits any of us had ever eaten! We went to a some beer/wine tastings, did some hiking at a mountain bike park (more on that in a separate thread), hunkered down during a 60mph wind/snow storm and generally just relaxed. Oh and of course some Carolina BBQ!
The view from the house. It seemed to change every day.
Christmas ham!
Boone homestead.
Calm before the storm.
Found this during the beer tasting at Peabody's.
Found out about this place while reading my issue of Mountain Flyer mag (it's a Rocky Mountain area magazine, but happened to have a writer who grew up in Boone!). It ended up only being 5 miles from the house, so we went out to hike it. Very cool place.
Homemade pecan pie, so good.
Sure was nice having a fire going.
Temps hovered around 20ยบ most of this day, brrrr.
Nice dusting of snow the day after.
He doesn't get to do this in Tally-town!
ASU = Appalachian State, not Arizona State.
Found this in a remote corner of Virginia.

I can't seem to shake the plants with spines.
200' half frozen waterfall.
Dave and his son, It had been 25 years since we last saw each other!
We had to take a last minute detour flying home as all the CLT-PHX flights were over booked. Fort Lauderdale (FLL) was available and as luck would have it, we were able to upgrade to 1st class for the long haul to PHX!!
Flying over the Mississippi delta.

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