My cousin turned 60 last week. Her mom decided to throw a surprise party. So enlisted the help of two of Sherry's dear friends, Peggy and Linda. Aunt Judy called to invite me to the party. Shoot yeas I'll come, an adventure with my two crazy aunts...can't pass that up. I've heard about their epic road trips! My cousin Kim is the designated driver.
Friday night after all the yahoos were picked up I rushed to pack my bag. Off I headed to my first pit stop, my cousin Kim's new house that I swear to you looks like it just popped out if the pages of Country Living magazine only better. We stayed up late (11pm) but were up bright and early to drive to Craigsville, WV. I love driving in WV. There is no where on earth that I think is prettier, smells and feels better than the hills and hollers of my beloved home state of WV.
Lots of prep work by the ladies. The decorations looked beautiful.
Ms Linda makes the best cakes. Sherry loves them! She had asked if Linda would bake her one the week of her birthday and Linda kept putting her off. Well, needless to say, Sherry was a little upset about that. She even called Linda a poop! But when she saw the huge cake and all the teacup cupcake centerpieces on each table, she was really happy.
It was so fun to go back and look at the pictures that were chosen for the display board. Precious memories everyone of them. My favorite was the big one in the middle only because of the extremely awesome haircut...check out those bangs.
We did some waiting....
...and we made a few trips to the grocery store in town. On one trip I risk life and limb to pick up this plate...out in the middle of a busy intersection. Ellis, you would have been proud.
Sherry thought Missy was bringing her to a jewelery party. Nope.
I think it was more like SHOCKED1
There was a crown, a scepter and a banner hand cut and stitched my Dory and Judy
The happy birthday girl.
These ladies worked so hard to make the birthday a really great one for Sherry. They had a roast and everyone told nice stories...everyone very sincere when they told what a kind and giving person my cousin is. Not a dry eye in the room. Some from laughing so hard and others from sweet stories shared.
Sisterly love, that's Kim, Sherry's baby sister and our designated driver for the day.
After the party Kim and Judy conversed in the front seat about some special WV kind of things we could do. First was a trip to Sherry's house where she is doing a little remodeling. Where she lives is on top of a ridge and down below you can see and hear the Gauley River. Since she is so far out there are lots of BEARS. She has lots of stories to tell.
Our first stop and pullover to look at the river. Did I mention we were on the top of a mountain? And did you know I am afraid of heights? I got out and was hugging the van. Hands and feet sweating like no other. My Aunt Dory assured me that there was a little bit of hillside on the other side of the rock wall. I still didn't get too close. I am such a chicken. And you wonder why...when we were little our dad let us climb up on the roof of our house. Then he removed the ladder and told us to figure out how to get down. I think I was up there until dark. I finally jumped off on to a hillside that wasn't too far down. Don't ask me how how I learned to swim...
My attempt at a panoramic view. The river actually goes around that mountain in the middle of the picture.
Country roads...I love going down them but today was not to be that day. We had places to go and people to see. But we did get to stop and put our hands in the Gauley River...COLD.
Kim being the adventurous one said she knew of a place with good pizza and it is a place that bikers frequent...she rides with her boyfriend and they have been here. Delicious! You'll need to go to one of my other blogs, Eating Our Way Thru OH, to check out our lunch/dinner.
My dad's two sisters, Dory in black and Judy in Red. They are the funniest two ladies ever. Never a dull moment. And I heard some stories on my dad I am going to need to verify with him.
And the cousins...the old one and the young one...the inn keeper.
I usually take pictures of what I am shooting so I remember what and where I have been.
The Gauley Bridge Waterfall.
Crystal clear cold water.
The blackberry bushes are turning green.
The golden hour was upon us. And Kanawha Falls were beside us. We had to stop.
And from Kanawah Falls the adventure kept getting better. We almost ran through a detour that we didn't know was coming. Went by Montgomery three times...twice on one side of the river and once on the other side. Made a few wrong turns because the sign to the Interstate pointed to Paint Creek Road. I hear you don't want to go up Paint Creek unless you are packin'. Saw lots of four legged creatures scurry across the road. Oh and I failed to mention that we drove with only our parking lights on for a long time before Kim noticed it. It is amazing what you can see when you have elimination.
I made it safely to my dad's and my bed buddy was waiting for me. Robin provided the blow up bed and quilts and Stitch was the heated rice bag on my hip. Getting old and carrying on the Meadows family bad hip tradition. Our night went well after about 3AM when I went around and unplugged all the 'Vegas lights'. Seems like there was one in every light socket. I understand why but Stitch come on stay in bed.
Just me and a good book out on the deck watching the river. I could get real used to this.
Stitch and I got up bright and early and went outside. I heard a barge coming up the river. Slowly making it's way up stream. I can remember being on the river at night with all my cousins camping and barges would go buy and shine those powerful spotlights on us. We would run up and down the river bank like wild Indians. Oh, those good old days!
I stopped by to check on Papaw and had to fight with myself not to drive up the hill to see what if anything they had done to the house. Thought it best to go partake in an Ellis family leaving Huntington tradition...as stop for some peanut butter chocolate ice cream on 16th Street.
It rained all the way home. A nice quiet ride with nothing on my mind but the chickens. Would they recognize me? Had they missed me? Did they lay? Did Michael take good care of them? Are there still 12?
(Michael had a check list of chores for everyday I was gone. If he completed his mission he got paid. I found the list on the fridge with checks in each box. And Mark verified the checks. Michael is saving his money to help a friend buy a laptop...very noble I think. Makes this momma proud!)
I made it home before dark with a few WV treasures...
Lim gave me this to add to my collection of all this with paint coming off. Kim says that it is called a corbel. I call it awesome!
Sherry's husband dug me up a bag of ramps. Info I have gathered for you...Ramps or Allium tricoccum (commonly known as ramp, ramps, spring onions, wild leek, and wild garlic. They grow wild in the words. I have never had any but I have heard stories of ramp festivals. And it is that time of year. They are growing everywhere. Some say they are really A LOT stronger that onions. I think right now they smell wonderful. I planted some in a container for the yard. I'll let you know about the recipe I try them in.
My Aunt Dory said that she goes to this really cool little store near her house in Silvia, NC.. She saw this chicken bowl and thought of me and my girl. Already decided that once the girls really get to laying I can store eggs in my new chicken bowl and on the egg skeltor. Going to look like an egg factory in my kitchen...and I love it.
And then there is the wood that I am going to use to make frames like Kim had in her house, They are awesome. This wood is from the house Kim tore down to build her awesome place. The old house was her Nonnie and Poppy's house. So there is a lot of love and stories in these boards. I can hardly wait to get started. Just need to wait for Mark to get home so he can get out the saw and we can figure out how to cut the 45's.
I had a blast and I can't wait to do it again. Aunt Dory thinks we need a road trip to her house. I'm think a road trip around here to all the Amish. Maybe even a visit to Cedarmore. Who knows. the sky is the limit!