Tuesday, October 23, 2012

So many so much so.....

You may be able to sense a theme in my graphics for the next week or so.....

Gotta love when the stock market dips at the same time that the bank account's dry...FWP, I know, but still...meals are gonna be really creative the next week or three.

Not sure it's possible to be less engaged in work today...there's so much going on in my head. The calendar is not my friend right now, my jeans are still a little snug from the trip, and my gods, the work that needs to occur in the next 10 weeks!!!

OK...that was today's freakout...now more about the trip...

We spent Wednesday night in Columbia with Hubs' sister; she has an adorable carriage house rental downtown. Girlfriend knows how to shop vintage too...her place was outfitted so nifty!

Headed straight to the campground the next morning, a pleasant enough 3-hour drive...until we hit the mountain. The weather report was saying AM showers, and we were climbing 5,000 feet on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Around 4,000 feet, we were literally driving in. a. cloud. I haven't seen fog like that since Above All (Warren, CT); we literally couldn't see 5 feet in front of the car. We inched our way to the top, got directions at the Pisgah Inn to the campground, and inched our way to the campsite. Seriously scary driving. Once there, we assessed the sitch, put up the tent, and headed back down the mountain to get provisions. That was better, because in the valleys the sky was clearing, and the Ingles had Starbucks. Hot dogs, firewood, and a latte later I ,at least, was in a better mood, but damn...that fog! You literally could've walked into people at the inn parking lot.

Thursday night was...interesting. We were wiped out from a hard sleep the night before and the stress of the fog, so we just built a fire, had hot dogs and chips, and hit the sack relatively early. It dipped into the 40s, and we were buried in sleeping bags, fully clothed, with blankets galore on top. Ducking out around 5AM to pee was comical....I know I joked we'd be freezing our tails off, but damn!

I adore the cold, but have never slept outside in that level of chill. When we heard the weather report threatening 30s the next night, it was easy to make the decision to pack it in. Our car is perfectly fine for Florida, but with no all-weather tires or 4-wheel drive, there was no way we were taking a chance of the Parkway being icy. I found a library branch really close to us (for WiFi or computer), and we popped down the mountain to see if there were any rooms available for a reasonable rate in the area. There almost weren't, as it was peak. I checked the cut-rate branch hotels first, like Super 8 and Days Inn, and almost laughed out loud when Super 8 wanted $235 a night. I've stayed in Super 8s where they should've paid us!

Managed to find a motel in Brevard, about 45 minutes outside of town. We went to Tupelo Honey for brunch (the rumors are true, it's delish!), and then headed uptown to get more literature from the local Chamber, see if my freelance contact was available, and visit a property management company to get our feet wet in that area. The first and third items were successful; alas, the second was not. We also jaunted around town a bit, grabbing cash in case we needed to park at meters, and then breaking said cash at a tiny pharmacy. I'm glad we did this, even if we never did need to park, because it got us more familiar with town and made Asheville upper and lower less intimidating. We've lived in Jax for 15 years, so anywhere new is gonna be daunting at first.

Those errands accomplished, I kept the phone on high in case my freelance contact called to meet; and we drove back to the campground to break camp and head to Brevard. It was still daylight as we traveled through farmland to the motel, a pretty drive, though we kicked ourselves later when we realized we could've taken Blue Ridge almost all the way there. We bounced around that town a bit, because Les had really bad luck with his e-cig batteries dying the whole trip; and we grabbed Pizza Hut for dinner, which we brought back to the room and hoovered while watching the tube and feeling quite grateful for the roof over our heads, even though the motel definitely had its flaws.

I realized since we were in Brevard, that Sky Top Orchard would be on the way to Charlotte, so that became the plan for the next day. We got up at a decent hour, ate the rest of the pizza for breakfast, I bought a local map, and we back-roaded it to Flat Rock, only about a half hour away. The orchard was hopping, and fairly picked over, but it was still a delightful excursion. We picked a peck of apples, grabbed a pie pumpkin and some peach jam, and snatched up the required, SINFUL apple cider doughnuts. The weather was clear and gorgeous, and the exercise did us both a world of good!

Dinner with Mom and Lil Sis at Mac's that evening, where we gorged on BBQ and then went back to Meara's to chill. We headed out around noon on Sunday, in a hilariously packed car, both ready to get home. It's odd, getting that depressed feeling about being back in Florida and yet relishing being back "home". I'm so ready for "home" to be further north.

It took til yesterday evening to unpack, we did it in spurts between naps and re-acclimating. I'm at loose ends today, would rather be writing letters again to the 2 viable employment agencies in Asheville in my wheelhouse, giving them a timeline for employing me, filling out their apps...but gotta earn some money first. I get paid this week, but rent's due and the stock is doing its dip before the 3Q announcement next week. Planning a move requires a great deal of organizational ability and patience. Both are lacking a little too much here for my liking. Time to do something about that.

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