Saturday, October 15

I was concerned that a rough night would result in a cranky day for me, but who can be in a bad mood when you wake up and spend breakfast with your loved ones? My brother and his wife prepared a nice breakfast to start our day as we soon headed off with my oldest nephew in tow to see the soccer game of my youngest nephew.

A bright and beautiful day, a sweet little boy running around tiredly after a ball made for an entertaining morning. It was nice to see my youngest brother. I miss him often and talk to him rarely. And to spend a little time with my oldest nephew was priceless.

Cynical and I found ourselves with some time alone and we used it to catch our breath a bit and formulate some thoughts about the rest of our trip. We eventually connected with our hosts and made our way to Friends and Fiberworks for a little yarn perusal. A big comfortable store with a variety of yarn and fiber. My sister-in-law and I opted for the same pattern and plotted a knit-along. Striped sweaters all around.

Lunch at Nona Mia gave us all a chance to visit, play with the sweet littlest one and steal some bits of her gelato. Per our suggestion, we headed out for a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway just outside of Asheville. Gorgeous views, a sunny and pretty day. Good company as I rode along in the backseat with my brother and the little one.

My two backseat fellow passengers napped while the remaining three of us braved it to the top of Craggy Pinnacle. And even though at times I doubted my own stamina, we made it and it was well worth the crooked and steep path that took us there. “Breathtaking” doesn’t describe it. I will forever be grateful for the patience of my sister-in-law as we trudged up that pathway.

The sleepy ones joined us along the path and we made our way back down in time for a short visit at their home, some knitting, some hot chocolate and some more gabbing. In addition to Craggy Pinnacle, our host introduced us to Abuelita’s, a Mexican-style hot chocolate that I am not obsessed with.

The little one and I fed the chickens before heading to dinner downtown. Plans toggled a bit between several choices, but as it the gathering was in celebration of my brother’s birthday, it was his option to choose. And the Lobster Trap it was. . . and despite some very tired kids, a spilled beer and a crowded restaurant, we had a wonderful time. My youngest brother gifted me, with a nod to my teenage past, some Duran Duran mags from the 80s he’d found at a yard sale about to close down. It brought back so many memories and I was so touched he made the connection. Occupy Asheville was in full force and it was peak season for tourism, so we headed home. I was sad to cut the night late as I knew my youngest brother wanted to visit a bit more and it broke my heart to leave him as I knew we were heading out the next morning. He seemed so eager. I was touched he wanted more time with me and there is a part of me that hopes he understood.

It wasn’t long before another day was behind us and we were safe and sound in bed, my mind racing. I hate leaving them. The visits are always too short. I always cry, each and every time, no matter how hard I try.

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