HB2Me in NC: Year 2

"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words."

- Plautus
And cake.  Don't forget the cake!
"Thirty five is a very attractive age;
London society is full of women who have of their own free choice remained thirty-five for years."

- Oscar Wilde

Ok, so it was the twenty-second anniversary of my 35th birthday.  And I wanted it to be a memorable day, from start to finish.  Mr T took the day off work to spend it with me, and wonder of all wonders...he turned off his Blackberry.  Amazingly, the world did not stop turning.

I got up extra-early to catch the sunrise, but the early morning clouds kept the sun from making an appearance until just after 7:30.  No matter.  I did a little gardening while I was outside.  Picked our first cantalope and several tomatoes.  Hey...it's about what's fun for me, right?

Showered and dressed, we then headed to IHOP for breakfast (yes, we both qualify for the Senior Specials now...:).  Thus fortified, we pointed his bright red Outlander toward Pilot Mountain, taking I40 out of the Triad to US52, heading north at Winston-Salem. 

On the ride, I plugged in my iPod, so we could listen to my music, starting with playing Toronto's Celtic rock band Enter The Haggis' One Last Drink about 5 times.  Love that song!  (Heard it first on my favorite knitting-related podcast, Cast On.) Next came several Alison Krauss favs, like Down to the River to Pray and Oh, Atlanta.  Some Memphis-reminder songs like Marc Cohn's Walking in Memphis; Johnny Rivers' version of Memphis, Tennessee; Tina Turner's version of Proud Mary, and then those last two again, followed by Old Man River...all played by the Tiger Marching Band, finishing up their set with Go Tigers Go.  Then, we progressed to Dvorak's Symphony No. 9...the New World Symphony.  I know, I know...I have a rather er, eclectic (some might even say "odd") taste in music.  But, Mr. T was a good sport, even doing a little maestro-magic on the symphony.

At the Pilot Mountain State Park exit (shown on the left), we followed the directions to Pinnacle, NC, where we found Daylily Meadows day lily farm.  Fabulous!  The owners are also hybridizers of day lilies, which means they have a remarkable collection of plants, most of which we'd never seen before.  We left with three varieties:  Symmetry in Yellow, Forever Redeemed, and Joe Marinello...that last one, a gift from the owners to honor my birthday!  How sweet can you get?!!

As you can probably tell from that photo, it was hazy...and hot...and humid:  the dreaded Three H's of July.  And, as usual, those conditions get together to stir up an afternoon thunderstorm or two.  Taking stock of the surrounding skies, we decided against our next stop at Hanging Rock State Park.  It was just too hot for a picnic, and those clouds were threatening to dump buckets at any minute.  [Fortunately, we missed all the "widely scattered showers" all day.  Just lucky I guess.]

Revising our itinerary, we next drove to our first winery in NC...appropriately at "The First" winery in NC:  Germanton Vineyard & Winery, which has been around since 1981.  We tasted their wares, purchased a few, and pointed our ride toward Winston.

We finished off the day with some good eats, at a restaurant we first discovered when we moved to NC in 1994.  I had the Chicken Scallopini, my favorite menu selection at Macaroni Grill.  Mr. T tried the salmon (his go-to order almost anywhere...:).  And, we lingered over the cups of dark coffee as long as possible.  Who wants a "special day" to end?

End?  Remember, there's still cake!

We got home to find that the storms we had eluded all day had zapped the electricity in HPNC.  N/M/E said a loud clap of thunder about 20 minutes before we arrived had knocked out the power immediately.  And, it stayed out for several hours...into the night.  No matter...Mr. T lit the candles (just three:  one each for past, present, and future) on my cake, and I opened my cards and presents.  I loved 'em all!  Hugs to each of you for a perfect ending to my perfect day.

Just as we were beginning to get a bit warm without the AC, the lights came back on about 10:30.  All's well...


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