csp, fun


There’s one main road that leads into Valle Crucis. While we’re in the mountains we drive back and forth on this road constantly. It’s the only way into town (Boone). While we were there this last time I noticed a donkey in a fenced off area on the side of the road. Donkey! in Valle Crucis, NC I LOVE donkeys. LOVE. I want a mini donkey so badly. Anyway, each time we’d pass the donkey I’d want to stop to pet it and photograph it but it was raining. I made sure to remind CSP each day that we’d have to try and work in some donkey time if we drove past his enclosure.
After we took the pugs to the park we drove down to see if the donkey was out. And there he was! I was so excited! I got out of the car, got my camera ready and headed over to see him. But first I stopped to take a picture of a flower. This flower reminds me of fireworks All the sudden I heard CSP yell out the window (he stayed in the car because once again, he was convinced I was trespassing. I have never been arrested, by the way.) “The donkey’s leaving!” OMG! NO!
So I take off chasing the donkey. There was a fenced in hallway type thing that led from the donkey’s roadside enclosure to a big field behind the barn. I knew if I didn’t get to him before the field I wouldn’t be able to pet him or photograph him. So I started yelling “DONKEY!” you know, to get him to stop. He went faster! I kept calling for him and running after him around the barnish building looking thing. At this point I think I was on private property but I didn’t have time to check.
I made it to the fence where the pasture started and the donkey finally decided to humor me and come over for some petting and pictures. Donkey! in Valle Crucis, NC He was so sweet! I had to be careful of the electric fence, and I noticed a deck, sliding glass door and some furniture on the other side of the glass. I snapped my pics Donkey! in Valle Crucis, NC and headed back to the car to find CSP laughing hysterically at me. He said “I’ve never seen a jackass chasing a donkey!”
Apparently the deck & glass door go to part of a bed and breakfast. Some poor tourists were probably trying to get a nice nap in and here comes this crazy woman yelling DONKEY! right outside their door. Oops. Welcome to North Carolina!

csp, fun, travel

High country, low key

When we are in the mountains we chill.  We might go check out some of the touristy stuff every now and then, but mostly we just hang out.  We watch movies, read books, play games, sit on the porch and watch the tourists at the store across the street.  I get a lot of knitting done in the mountains.

There are a few things we always do, no matter what, when we visit.

  • We go grocery shopping at Ingles.
  • We browse through the Mast General Store, usually a few times.
  • We have breakfast at the Mountain House restaurant.
  • We stop by the pet store so I can visit the birds.
  • We play games at least one night.

I like having this wonderful place to return to every year.  Even though we keep to a little bit of a routine, there’s always something to discover.  This time when we went grocery shopping I found this: Iced Tea from Beacon Drive In.  Found @ Ingles in Boone NC
I couldn’t believe it!  CSP & I first learned about the Beacon Drive In on the Food Network.  I think it was Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.  We’ve been wanting to go there ever since.  I’ve never seen Beacon Iced Tea in a store in Charlotte (and CSP is a grocery store manager so he’d know) so we were surprised to see it in a grocery store up in the mountains!  I bought a bottle of the peach flavored tea and it was so yummy!  The Beacon is off hwy 85 on the way to Atlanta.  Ever since IKEA opened here we haven’t had a reason to go to ATL.  Maybe we’ll have to make a special trip!

family, fun, pugs, travel

Park Pugs

While we were in Valle Crucis with CSP’s mom (MIL) it rained 90% of the time.  As soon as it cleared up for a couple hours we jumped at the chance to take the pugs to the park.  The park in Valle Crucis is CSP’s & my favorite place in the world.  It’s just gorgeous.  HUGE, with soccer fields, a field for families to picnic & play, a big playground, a sheltered picnic area, a fishing pond, and a walking pathLittle girl rocking the big wheel at the park in Valle Crucis, NC that goes all around it and down by the creek Creek at the park in Valle Crucis, NC where you can go tubing when it’s warm.  Papa’s daddy has a memorial bench there and we go to visit it to say hi to him each time we’re there.
CSP, MIL, & the pugs with a bear statue at the park in Valle Crucis, NC
The pugs love it there too.  Walking the pugs at the park in Valle Crucis, NC As soon as Molly gets out of the car she about hyperventilates with excitement. Molly's tuckered out from walking at the park. Spoiled! So many things to smell & see.  Kiki loves to bark at everyone Kiki at the park in Valle Crucis, NC & Zoe wants to give everyone kisses. Zoe at the park in Valle Crucis, NC
More pics here.

csp, family, food, fun, pugs, travel

Mountain Mama

CSP’s Mom’s (MIL) birthday was September 18.  We had planned on being in the mountains for the week so we invited her along.  She was really excited to get away from work and get some mountain pug love!  MIL & I are both interested in old churches so I made sure to take her to see two of Valle Crucis’ oldest churches- St. John’s Episcopal est. 1862 & the Church of the Holy Cross est. 1842.  We went to St. John’s first St. John's Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, NC and found it all locked up.  So we climbed over the gate and were looking at the church St. John's Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, NC when a man pulled up in his truck.

“Are y’all trying to get in the church?”

Uh…No?  Please don’t arrest us!  I’m SURE committing a church crime will get you sent straight to hell!  – this was going through my head as he yelled to us:

“Cause I’ve got the key & can let you in.”  Score!  Such a sweet, charming church! St. John's Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, NC CSP wouldn’t come in.  I think he was convinced we were still going to hell even though we had permission.  It backfired on him though because while he stood outside enjoying the view,Looking out the window at CSP at St. John's Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, NC the church dude let me ring the church bell by pulling on the rope. I got to pull the rope & ring the bell at St. John's Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, NC You really have to put your weight behind it to get it to ring.  Scared CSP’s pants off! ha!  Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor??

While we were there a couple pulled up.  MIL immediately made friends.  They were visiting from Indiana for their anniversary.  So I took some pics of them for them.  I know how it is to travel as a couple and not be able to get pics together.  All our vacations look like CSP went traveling with a hired photographer.

While MIL chatted with the Indiana couple CSP & I explored the cemetery. CSP looking at a child's gravestone at St. John's Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, NC There were graves there from the 1800s.  Such beautiful script carved on their grave stones.

We weren’t able to get into the Church of the Holy Cross Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis, NC as there was an event going on.  But MIL still liked seeing the outside of it. Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis, NC

On her birthday night we took MIL to Vidalia in Boone for dinner.  It was SO good!  She & I got a little tipsy on martinis.  Pomegranate martini Mine was a pomegranate martini and her’s was a vidalia onion martini.  I’m not a fan of onion cocktails but mine was delish!  I had yummy shrimp & grits, Shrimp & grits at Vidalia in Boone, NC she had trout & CSP had beef with bleu cheese.  For dessert she had a basil blueberry ice cream cake with chocolate crust & raspberry sauce.MIL-s birthday dessert. Basil blueberry ice cream cake. Yum! Odd combo but fabulous flavor!

She really enjoyed her birthday and we were glad to be able to have her with us.  So were the pugs!  Kiki especially got spoiled with Grandmama lap naps! Porch time- kiki & grandmama

See more pics here.

house, shopping, travel

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby

money_tags_1Recently a friend of mine told me “You’re always on vacation!”  Which isn’t entirely true.  But, vacation & travel rank very high on our list of things we like to spend our money on. There are tons of things we have to spend our money on.  So when we have any left over we are very picky about how we spend it. Continue reading “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby”


Picky, picky

While we were in the mountains we had a conversation with my MIL about this Christmas.  We are spending this Christmas day with CSP’s side of the family.  MIL asked what did we think about a Christmas goose for dinner?  I’d only ever heard about Christmas geese in Christmas stories and carols and thought that they only ate geese until turkey and ham was invented.

CSP & I exchanged a knowing glance that did not go unnoticed by MIL.  She asked what was going on and we admitted that if she were to serve goose that we’d be eating before we came over for dinner.  This led to the admission that we’ve pretty much made a habit of stopping at Jack in the Box on the way to dinner at their house.  A lot.  What can I say?  They cook weird food.  And it’s not just me.  CSP has enjoyed many a road burger on his way to his parents’ house for dinner.

So MIL said we could stop being polite and just tell her what we don’t like to eat.  She asked me to write up a list.  I pulled out my new, handy notebook from Carolina Pad (more on that later) and started writing.  And writing.  Who knew I was this picky?

Here is my list.  Please tell me I’m not the only one out there who’s a picky eater! Continue reading “Picky, picky”

christmas, holidays

Such a girl scout

Always planning ahead. Christmas cards are a big undertaking every year. I believe in hand written, hand addressed cards with personalized messages Retro Tree Pictures, Images and Photosto my loved ones. This means starting early to get them out on time.  And that means I need your help.  When my Blackberry died I lost some addresses.  And during the year people move.  My address book needs updating. So, if you’d like to be on my Christmas card list, please shoot me an email at heyshanny at gmail dot com with your current address.  You’ll get a fun Christmas card and a cute pic of the pugs.  Plus a whole lotta Christmas spirit and cheer from me!   And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love fun mail!

shopping, techno geek


As you know, the iPhone comes with Apps.  And the App store on iTunes is so FULL of cool, useful apps.  And a lot of them are free!  Which is fabulous because I am not a fan of paying for something I might not like.

One of my favorite apps is Card Star. mzl.lbzxupbm.100x100-75 It is so awesome!  Card Star is a member card manager.  Like your CVS card and Petco card, etc.  You input your card numbers.  Then when you go to the store you don’t have to take your card.  You just scan your iPhone! CardStar Genius! No more rifling through the stack asking the store clerk “what color is this store’s card?”, no taking up a bunch of space in your purse/wallet with a stack of cards.  Genius I say!  I used it for the first time in the mountains last week.  Worked like a charm!  Lots of oohs and ahhs from the store employees.

Another app that I loved being able to use in the mountains is the Directv app.  I didn’t realize that some shows I was interested in watching were having their season premieres but we were away and I’d forgotten to set the dvr.  It was so easy!  I just pulled up that night’s schedule and boom!  Community was being recorded that night.  I was so excited to get home and see that it had worked!  Brilliant!tip_trick_iphone_lg

My list of fun apps that I like is too long for one post. What apps should I have? Which ones do you love?

techno geek


So I had to replace my Blackberry.  I went a week without a mobile phone while researching phones on the internet.  During which time I found out that Apple iPhones have a 3G model that is the same price ($99) that we paid for my Blackberry.  Well!  That was certainly good news!  All the recent commercials talked about the 3GS which was out of my price range.  white-iphone-3gLucky for me it was recently my birthday and I had received just enough cash to cover the $99 price tag.  I had been coveting an iPhone since its release a couple years ago.  Now, it’s no secret that I’m a techno geek who loves gadgets and Apple.  But y’all. Srsly. I am so in love with my iPhone. I literally lost sleep playing with it the first couple nights.  I spent way too much time downloading all the free apps ever made.  I have a few apps to tell y’all about that I just love, but that’s another post.

If you know me and my history with electronics, one of the first things I do is buy the accessories to go with them.  I totally scored when I ordered my iPhone accessories.  Wanna know what I got for $22 including shipping?

Yeah that’s right, all that for $22 including shipping.  Where?  Here.  At Cellphoneshop.net AND they partner with Ebates so after my purchase another $1.90 went into my Ebates account. Oh snap.

Who out there also has an iPhone?