We were opposed. Very opposed. And obviously nuts. This little baby turned a 20 hour car trip from-- well, what a 20 hour car trip with a toddler and a 3 year old could be-- into a snug and cozy time. Snuggling commenced, popcorn was eaten, and much, much vintage Sesame Street was viewed. It was just about pleasant. And if you don't want to know everything I've eaten for the last 48 hours, just skip on over this post!
The first leg of the trip took us through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. A rockslide closing our usual route gave us the excuse to stop off in downtown Ashville (where, HELLO, there is now an Urban Outfitters. Nobody but me wanted to shop. Boo.) You know me, Ashville, and the camera in the car, so I'm borrowing other folks images for this.
Tupelo Honey won out-- as it always does-- for lunch. I love this place-- so very hippie-in-a-great-way. Much of the produce comes from the restaurant's own gardens. The meats, eggs, and breads are all local and artesianal. You never have to worry for one second about what's going into your mouth because every delicious morsel is food. I decided to skip my usual Eggs Betty in favor of a chicken BLT and sweet potato fries. This was a most excellent decision. . As was this.
Know how you've been doing yoga and fasting and meditating and looking for the secrets of the universe? Well, you can stop right now, 'cause I found it. Right here. Mocha Magic. Yes indeed.
Undoubetedly the single greatest thing I've ever taken a bite of. I actually felt tingly and floaty and not entirely unlike I do when the dentist lets me use that fun little gas mask. What do they put in those things???Thanks to my good pals Big Bird and Oscar, we breezed through the rest of this leg, and ended up here, completely underdressed, for jazz, dinner and drinks with a dear, dear friend. And the halibut over lemon risotto was mighty fine, too.
The second leg of our trip added Baba (my mom) and Bas (my aunt) to the van, and took us through Mempis. We stopped in downtown, ate oyster po' boys somewhere wonderful that I forgot to get the name of (it's on Second Avenue) and debated going to visit the ducks at the Peabody. Since we were all in jeans, we decided to skip it, but I'm determined on the way home to pop in. High Tea there was a time of my childhood I still look back on fondly, and I know my boys, huge fans of Make Way for Ducklings, would get an enormous kick out of it. Two hours of the ugliest country pretty much in the world (sorry, Eastern-Central Arkansas) and we began to climb up, up, up into the Ozarks, to the little town where my mother's people are from. I'm headed out with the camera today to get some pictures-- it really is magical here. And the very best thing, EVER, when you've traveled from here:
to here, and you think you're ending up in a dry county, is to find the ONE restaurant for 50 miles that can serve you one of these:
Dinner on a sunset patio, with a fenced playground to the side-- heaven.
John Harper eating his first real meal in days-- all manner of carbs from Trader Joe's not withstanding.
Grady and my mom getting their Jackie O on.
My husband is really not too hard on the eyes, is he? In case you were wondering where my boys get their chin....