Saturday, August 18, 2012

So, I still have yet to call 911, depsite haivng a bad customer service experience that could have warranted a 911 call!

"On the road again...just can't wait to get on the road again..."

Does this really need a caption?
This is her idea of fun.
This morning, after checking out of the hotel (after eating breakfast - thank goodness), we headed to Linville Falls.  Now, looking ay the internet Betsy told me that it was right off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  My GPS, decided he had never heard of the place - so we took a chance and followed her directions.  It was a beautiful drive on the parkway for the most part. We got a little lost, and it's called "Pisgah National Forest - Linville Falls" which is why when we followed the directions and ended up in Linville Falls the community, it was a little like "uh...and now what do we do?" when we saw that there were no falls in Linville Falls. I am happy to report though, that we did finally find the falls (hence me being able to tell you what the hell they're actually called - and the picture below).

Leilani with Linville Falls in the
Hiking to the falls was a downward affair.  It was a beautiful hike, filled with moss covered trees, and so many mushrooms I can't even begin to tell you!  When we got to the falls we took some beautiful pictures, and then hiked back.  However, Leilani fell 1/2 way back and so she and I rushed (uphill) to the car so I could bandage her with the first aid kit I (so conveniently) left in the car.  While I bandaged her, I recovered my lungs (holy CRAP what a hike uphill that last part was!) and we waited (not long) for Betsy to get to the car.  By the time we left however, it was 1pm and we were starving! (sound familiar?  It's like a recurring theme lately!)

Little Switzerland Downtown.  Sadly, this was the
best part of "LSD"
So, our plans were that we were going to go to Little Switzerland and eat there.  There must be a ton of cute places in a little "Swiss village," right?   HA!  Little Switzercrap had a bunch of winding roads that went to a post office, general store, and the "Little Switzerland Cafe."  By this time it was about 1:30/1:45.  Now, we were really, really hungry.  But let me explain to you the entire saga:  When we got there, it said "please seat yourself."  When we attempted to do so we were told in no uncertain terms that there was a waiting list and that we should get on it.  okaaaay, put us on the list then.  (meanwhile other people ARE seating themselves.)  So, we look around the adjacent General Store and we bought Leilani 2 postcards and a walking stick (a little late in the game, since I haven't been buying the tags to put on the walking stick,but whatever).  This takes a little bit, since we're not the first people in line.  But, we're still waiting on a table (that STILL hasn't been cleared since we put our names on the list) so no biggie.  Well, we go up to the girl and she's like, "Yeah, you can sit here - let me just finish wiping it down."  okaaay (by the way, this was the original table we tried to sit down at).  So, Sabrina (the girl who snootily told us that there was a waiting list and we should get the hell on it) comes over and asks us what we'd like to drink.  Betsy and I ordered water, and Lei ordered Sweet Tea.  When she came back with the drinks, we were discussing having the BBQ chicken, when Sabrina piped up and told us that "We're out of chicken!"  okaaaayy.  Now, this menu is pretty crappy, but we take a look.  And look.  And look some more.  Well, Sabrina never comes back to the table.  So, we decide we've waited this long, let's just get the ham sammich outta here.  So, I leave 2 dollars on the table (which should cover Leilani's tea) and leave.  We pulled out of the parking lot down the road, and drove past.  She still hadn't come back to the table.  We must have been SUPER important to her.

Now, let me say that if that were the only problem with this town, that would be ok.  But, we thought it was going to be "more" and that we'd end up spending the rest of the day there.  But, it really was only a post office, a cafe, a general store, and a coffee house.  That's it.  Totally not worth the stupid road.
Leilani finds cool stuff at the mine

However, what WAS worth the stupid road was the gem mine we went to next.  It was also in Little Switzerland.  (How important is food anyway?)  We decided since the mine was there that we'd take a trip to do some mining.  It shouldn't take too long.  So we ordered the smallest bucket ($20) which was about a 5 gallon paint bucket.  Leilani got to pan for gems, and we came away with a WHOLE mess of stones.  Some Rubies & Saphires, Emeralds, Peridot, Topaz, Quartz and Amethyst, Moonstones and more.  For $20 we got a whole lot of stones.  And they labeled them and put them in baggies for us.  And they told me all about how people get different colors of topaz (the different hued blues are just the amount of exposure to radiation - did you know that? Yes, Dad, I know you did!).  Anyway, if you have the chance to go, definitely check it out.  Although we didn't get any gems refined today (we were too hungry), their prices are good.  $35 to cut a stone, and $70 for 3 stones.  That's an awesome deal.  And when we have a moment to look through, we'll probably ship some back, and have them refined.

Where Leilani refuses to put her roll
down for a picture.  Admittedly,
they were amazing rolls.
So, it's about 3pm now.  We decide that we should just go for an early dinner (like yesterday) and find the hotel first.  There's just one problem.  We don't have an address for the hotel we're staying at.  hahaha.  So, I told the GPS to take us to Marion, City Center and hoped that we would find it on the way.  It did...we didn't.  Betsy went to the trunk (I pulled over in old downtown Marion) and got the hotel information.  So, we plugged that into the GPS.  Long story short, we got to the hotel, checked in, put the luggage in the room, and RAN to the closest deliciousness we could find.  Which happened to be FATZ.  I've been to a FATZ, but Leilani and Betsy had never been.  What can I say...We had a wonderful waiter who was laid back and didn't bat an eye when Leilani ordered 2 kids meals, and I cleaned my plate entirely.  Lets just say that we don't even have pictures of our food tonight because we were RAVENOUS!  After we devoured our massive plates of fantasticness, we went to the Peebles that was next door.  It was cool.  I bought Leilani some boots for the upcoming fall weather.

Now we're back at the hotel chilling.  Leilani and Betsy had a tie for UNO cards tonight.  4 to 4.  So, Leilani beat Betsy in the head with Betsy's own Kindle.  (by mistake, I'm told.)

Tomorrow is Linville Caverns, and then we head out to Cherokee. 
We may get out of this trip without a single rescue squad being called into action.  But, I promised to drive again tomorrow, so nothing is certain yet.  ;)

Tune in for tomorrow's segment currently titled "This is the day that I blew a WHOLE 5 dollars at a casino!"

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