Framily Vacation to the Mountains

What started as a trip out west (western North Carolina that is) for a climbing comp, quickly became a framily birthday celebration when Laura suggested renting a cabin and bringing the whole framily.  I’d say the vacation really began Thursday night with some Bub’s karaoke…

REDISCOVERING THE RATING CARDS: 10!  When Rate Your World first began, I made my very own, color coded, rating cards that were conveniently clipped on a ring for easy transport.  Almost all my ratings involved them, and the colors prevented any sort of skewing of ratings later.  I whipped out an old purse on Thursday night, and what did I find inside but the original rating cards.  THANK GOD!  I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them until I rediscovered them.

SUMMER NIGHTS: 8.  While Snooky rated Paul and my duet a 10 (both for performance and vocals), I had to average that out to get an 8 (cause let’s be honest, Paul didn’t hit the high note at the end and I didn’t hit a lot of notes).  But I will say, we knew almost all the words by heart so there was little use of the monitor and a whole lot of stage presence.  Well done us.

The next day we all packed up the cars and headed up to Black Mountain, an old favorite of mine from high school days of Youth & Government and the Conference on National Affairs, and one of Laura and Snooky’s favorite places.  We lucked out with a pretty incredible cabin.

OUR LOG CABIN: 9.  Set up with three bedrooms (two with big beds and one with bunk beds), a sweet kitchen with everything you need to cook/eat, a beautiful living room, game room downstairs (with foosball and air hockey), a hot tub and outdoor fire pit.  It is virtually brand new, beautiful and very ‘log cabiny’.  I’d say we lucked out.

-.5 for the hardwood floors.  It’s only .5 because I actually award .5 for the entertainment of chasing Murphy and watching him slide everywhere.  However, when Dakota got worked up by a dog he saw out the window, he started to rush down the stairs, quickly slipped (they were hardwood after all), and slid the entire way down the stairs, then faceplanted right into the wall.  I was super worried, and he looked scared out of his mind, but eventually got up and walked away with little damage (we found half of a toenail later which couldn’t have felt too good).  I tried to keep him on the rug in the living room the rest of the time.

LAURA’S PINK SNUGGIE: 7.  Warm and cozy, and pink, however I just can’t get over the fact that they’re basically just backwards robes.

LAURA’S PINK SNUGGIE ON JAY: 10.  A picture is worth a thousand words.


Doesn’t it always seem that the body allows you to get sick at the time when it knows you can most afford it?  I don’t find myself sick very often, but sure enough I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat.  This quickly turned into a really sore throat, some serious stabbing headaches, and a fever.  Not ideal considering I’ve been looking forward to this vacation for awhile, but I did have some homemade soup, a hot tub, a snuggie and a comfy bed to help me heal.  Woke up the next day feeling 10 times better.


I must say, while hot tubs sound good in theory, they’re INCREDIBLE in actuality.  Everything I imagined was true, and it was brilliant to arrive Friday night only to immediately all jump in the tub.  The next day after the comp, while suffering from some pretty serious headaches, it felt even better.  Right on the large porch of the cabin, it almost fit everyone (minus 1 since it was only a 4 seater technically, but we managed to get 6 in), and you could even see some stars.  If we were there in the winter and could play snow games like when I was a kid (who can jump out and run around the house the most times, or lay in the snow the longest) it might have been even more fun 🙂  There’s always next time!


You can hardly go wrong with a funfetti cake topped with funfetti icing, however my decorations were somehow wrecked along the way.  The taste was delish (I’m not biased at all), but I wish the appearance were a little more beautiful.  However the ‘Birthday’ on the cake led to a pretty interesting singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ later that day…


When I was in high school I was involved with a pretty awesome program called Youth & Government.  Similiar to Model UN, but simulating state governments instead, we convened once a year at the state capitol for a conference with students from all over Pennsylvania.  At the state conference, you then had an opportunity to apply to attend the National conference, where each state sends a select delegation.  That conference is called the Conference on National Affairs, and is held at an incredible conference center in the mountains of North Carolina.  I attended CONA my junior and senior years, and found it to be a truly incredible, life-changing experience for me as I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.  In fact, when I applied to Teach For America, a large reason I chose the Eastern North Carolina region was due to my fond memories of North Carolina at that conference.

So when I realized the conference center was about 10 minutes from where we were staying, I had to check it out.  The framily headed over on Sunday morning before rolling out, and I’m so glad I got a chance to see it again.  While not quite the same as while I was there before, the view was still beautiful, and it was great to share it with important people in my life.

The famous green rocking chairs.


During our stay in Asheville we happened to discover the strongest little magnet of all time, under Jay’s chair at the Woolworth’s diner counter.  Way too much fun was had with a magnet… that is until Jay started cutting her off from the camera (-1).

Where we found Maggie…

Jay using Maggie to hold his keys…

Maggie at Lee Hall…

Getting creative with Maggie…

Maggie slowing it down a little…

From there we hit the road home, stopping at Cracker Barrel for a delicious dinner on the way.


While never the healthiest option, there’s something about the incredible rocking chairs, the oversized meals, and the plethora of comfort foods that keep you coming back.  I enjoyed grilled chicken with mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes and corn.  Exactly what I was hoping for!

After we arrived back home, we ate some of the delicious leftovers (we came back with a cooler of food remaining) and enjoyed the Amazing Race as we began backwards planning our application video.  Stay tuned for the team of Laura and Janice taking on the race…

Until then, just living for the tens 🙂



  1. Great post, thanks!

    However, I think it would be wise to add a point to the rating of the Snuggie, being that it helped provide you comfort while you were sick and helped in healing.
    Not that the Snuggie itself has healing properties, mind you.
    And, because it is essentially a very big, backwards robe, your arms don’t get cold when you try to utilize them for reading, playing games, eating popcorn, etc. That is the true essence of the Snuggie.

    (hmmm…I’m starting to sound like a convert…see what happens when you have a Snuggie guru of the might mountain order in the framily!)

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