So, we’re back from our weekend in the woods with The Round-The-Way-Gays, Neal and David. And we had such a wonderful time.
It was nice to get out of Smallville and up into the mountains–even though neither Carlos nor I are what one might call ‘Mountain Boys’–and nice to spend the weekend with good friends.
Neal and David’s cabin, dubbed Holiday House, I assume because being there is like a holiday–or at least it was for us–is just a couple of hours or so from home, but seemed a world away. Up in the Blue Ridge Mountains it is much cooler and quieter–yes, there are places quieter than Smallville–and just so peaceful. And, being our first trip up there, though we’d been through there a time or two, it was a treat to have Gladys The Tour Guide, aka Neal, to show us around.
If there is a corner of the area that Neal doesn’t know about, well, then it probably isn’t worth knowing about; he took us on tours around the mountains–with our trusty chauffeur David at the wheel–and through Saluda, which is tinier than Smallville, yet oddly more bustling, and up into Hendersonville, which is bigger and more bustling than Smallville.
We took the Pocket Dog, Ozzo, with us, for his first road trip, and he was quite well-behaved, for the most part. There was those awkward moments when he tried to hump Neal and David’s dog, Beecher, and there was an incident where, when Neal and David returned to the cabin without us, and then let him out of his carrier, that Ozzo ripped through the house, out the door, across the deck, into the yard, under the fence and into the woods. Neal and David were certain that Ozzo was lost to us, but, well, the little bastard found his face right around to the front door; he was just looking for his two daddies.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Saluda Grade Restaurant. Now, Carlos and I love cooking turkey for the big day, so this was quite different for us, but after stuffing ourselves with stuffing, and turkey and all those fixin’s, it made no difference to us. It was a wonderful meal.
And we walked into every shop in town. One morning, Carlos and I went by ourselves into Saluda and walked through the shops. The first one, a garden shop, we talked for a while with the owner, who finally asked where we lived. We mentioned Smallville and she told us she had two friends, Neal and David from there. We laughed and said we were staying with them, and then she said, “Oh, you’re Bob and Carlos.”
At an antique store down the road, we bought a couple of things and once again were asked where we lived. Smallville, we said. the woman asked her father, “Who’s that guy we bought that stuff from? Neal….something?”
That’s who we’re staying with, we said.
Of course, then Hendersonville was bigger with more shops and more little nooks and crannies to explore. There was a Mast general Store, and as usual I couldn’t walk out of there without something, and neither could Carlos. There were art galleries and home stores and book stores and music stores, and, perhaps strangest of all, people on the streets….walking….shopping. At one store, owned by yet another friend of Neal and David, Carlos met a woman who lived in Spain for a few years so they prattled on in Spanish. I browsed the store,. listening for my name and the phrase “idioto esposo”. Then we walked down to the courthouse to see the Christmas Tree and, I want to say it was beautiful, but, as we all stared at it, with it’s limp strings of lights, we decided Hendersonville needed a homo to do the tree. Carlos volunteered, so, if all goes as planned, next year Hendersonville will have the most fabulous.tree.ever.
We ate; we drank; we drove; we bought; we shopped; we talked; we laughed.
All in all, a truly wonderful weekend.
Thanks Neal and David for such a great time.