I don't even know when my birthday is anymore (much less how old I actually am), but Rose does! And this year she decided to surprise me with a "Banner" birthday trip! That pun will make sense in a moment...
I had no idea where we were going, and she kept the destination a surprise for months — which is a first for us. We hopped in the car, she put the address into the GPS while I looked away, and off we went into the unknown!
I really had no clue where we were going. The compass kept saying North, and I kept asking where we were going. Rose was standing tough and remined silent. As the GPS mileage started to dip into the low double digits, I realized we were headed to Banner Elk, North Carolina! (Told you the pun would make sense.)
We've never been to Banner Elk before. It's a little town nestled way in the mountains. There are actually a bunch of ski resorts in the area. Yes, snow skiing in North Carolina. Who knew?
Rose rented a little cabin for the weekend, and it was just my style! Small, cozy, quiet, and right next to a gorgeous little river.
There was bound to be some serious front porch sittin' this weekend! Eugene even looked right at home in the driveway. It's almost like the whole crew was meant for the mountain life...
The weekend was calling for chilly rain, but that was a good thing for me! I've never been a big fan of sun anyway, so it was perfect for MY birthday weekend.
After a little sitting on the front porch with a few "sodas," we did a bit of research for the best pizza place in the area. What's a birthday without pizza!? We headed into the lovely little town of Banner Elk for dinner at the local Tavern.
It was good... Rose sure knows how to treat a fella to a good time. After dinner, and sufficiently stuffed, we headed back to our weekend retreat for some relaxing before bedtime.
The next morning was cold! We bundled up and did a little more front porch sitting while we sipped on our coffee. At least for as long as we could feel our hands. I guess there's a reason they put all those ski resorts up there!
For a long time, I've been raving about wanting a pair of denim overalls. I drive an "old man" two-toned truck with a cap on the bed, I started whittling in campgrounds, I like sitting on front porches, I figured I should just lean into the lifestyle. I guess Rose agreed because she totally bought me a pair of overalls for my birthday!
Being in the mountains was the perfect time to try them out, so I popped them on with a nice flannel shirt to embrace my newfound mountain man old age image. They were super comfy and had so many pockets for all my stuff! Of course, they were also fashionable to boot, so we did a quick photoshoot.
And before you ask, yes, I definitely wore that outfit for the rest of the day!
In my awesome overalls, we toured the rest of the town. We decided to have dinner in the cabin that night, so we grabbed a few essentials from the grocery store — like sushi and Doritos to mix with leftover pizza, the dinner of champions.
On the way back to the cabin, we stopped at a little brewery on the outskirts of town. I'd like to say it was good, but we've had better... We were more excited to head back to the cabin with our treats, have a few of the "sodas" we brought from home, and sit around in our overalls looking at the river.
On the final day of the "Banner" birthday weekend, we decided to hit brunch at the Tavern before heading back home. Since the Tavern was really the only place in town, there was a bit of a wait for a table. We eventually got seated, and I had some awesome eggs benedict with a bloody Mary with the fixin's piled high. It was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
What did Luna do all weekend, you ask? Well, this pretty much sums it up:
I still don't know how old I am, but I'll definitely remember this trip to Banner Elk.
Thanks, Rose! (and I'll get you back this September...)
He likes pizza.