we've had a full weekend around here, with one day off still to come. thank you, veterans (especially you, pop, and not just for the day off, of course). my in-laws were in town thursday through saturday morning, and while it wasn't the most opportune time for a visit in terms of my schedule and papa's, they got to spend a lot of time with the little miss and saw us 'catch-as-catch-can'. which, by the way, may be a new favorite phrase of mine. so, we caught-as-caught-could (?) and had a grand time. mostly, we ate several meals together, chatted a good bit, and we grown ups sat up late one night playing bananagrams and quiddler.
saturday morning, after my boss dropped off her sweetie-pie dog for me to watch while they were away in atlanta, and just after my beloved in-laws headed north, my grandfather and his wife stopped in on their way back to memphis after spending some time in florida. Claire and I spent a few hours with them catching up, eating, and walking around town just a bit. I've said it before, but think it's worth saying again~ I am ever so grateful that she is getting to really know so many of her great-grandparents. what a gift.
and then today. today she and I headed out to weaverville for the first annual CiderFest. we parked in a big lot and got to ride one of the asheville trolleys over to the venue, the newly built (the first LEED certified working mill, I believe, in our area anyway) echo view fiber mill. a big and beautiful building that made me think about our recent dream-talk of buying some land and on it building a house made out of shipping containers and straw bales. dream-talk.
there was music (the fiddler you can barely see is actually my fiddle instructor... I should be seeing more of her soon, I hope!), good food (think local artisan crackers and bread, multiple goat dairies and their delicious cheeses, fresh apples.... and some pretzels and cookies, too), tours of the mill, kids running around playing, and of course lots of cider to be tasted. six local cideries were represented, some with a few different kinds to try. one of those 'stand in line with your cup, get a taste, get in another line' kind of deals. she tried some (not the hard kind, obviously) as well and had a blast playing with some friends we bumped into on the trolley ride over. fine folks whom we haven't seen in a long time, and plan on seeing again soon. the plan is for us to go back out to their place to help them identify their sugar maples and get set up to tap them next year. pretty cool stuff.
that's me, trying unsuccessfully to coax her away from her dancing to take a picture with me.... ah well.
ohmygoodness. this stuff is softer than anything else in the world. maybe. probably. the range of colors and the textures.... just, wow. she had a favorite right away, and we came away with two small bags stuffed with many different colors of the softest possible hand-dyed merino-blend wool roving. I've been thinking about making her a large felted play-mat for christmas, and it turns out the fine folks at the mill just may have some ways to make that more likely to happen- we shall see.
also, they have a particularly awesome dog sculpture. she and I were both quite taken with it. I mean, I bet you are too, right? just look at him!
after the trolley ride back we were off to downtown weaverville to have a dinner and dessert date at one of my favorite places ever. ever, ever. the well-bred bakery & cafe is just wonderful. had I not left the camera in the car I would be sharing photos of our delicious meal, but alas, it was all business. fork to food to mouth kinda business. we shared their vegetable borscht (a pleasantly warm and chunky version of the classic, much enjoyed by moi), sesame noodles, and lentil salad. mmm mmm good. way before we even got dinner she was already eyeing a little red velvet cupcake. told me at least ten times that she wanted it. dessert was said cupcake and a mini hot cocoa for her, a blackberry topped swedish cream and decaf americano for me. plus a bag with a few things to go. because, well, because we don't get there often and all. and we had to bring something home for papa. and, um, for me to eat later on....
bellies full and hearts happy after a full and good day together (we've had a few rougher days, and particularly nights, lately) we headed home to start a fire, get in jammies, and bid dear grover dog adieu. his mama brought me a bag of doughnuts from an allegedly amazing shop in atlanta called revolution doughnuts. I haven't tried them yet, but it's only a matter of a very small amount of time. basically, I don't want doughnut crumbs on the keyboard. so as I sign off her you know where I'm headed.
looking forward to this extended weekend tomorrow~ wondering if I'd rather fill it with couch time or a hike up off the parkway....... we shall see.
but this I know...... baked goods? I got em'!
*weekending with amanda