Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
We went to visit some old friends up on top of Beech Mountain. Mrs. Phred used to babysit for them back in Miami when she was 13. He's a very bright old CPA. She's Cuban. Actually, she's Jewish and Cuban, which is fairly rare. Harvey tells me he placed number two in Florida father/daughter tennis. Serita say the daughter carried him. Beech Mountain is up a steep winding road from Banner Elk. The elevation is between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. There's not much commerce there: just a couple of restaurants and real estate firms. numerous old Floridians in the summer and college kids in the winter. Traffic was acceptable.
There are lots of homes and condos for sale at reasonable prices. It's very cool there in the summer. I had to get out a winter jacket to listen to a free concert next to Fred's Restaurant and General Store, Fred is the Mayor. You can buy a place right on the ski slopes for a reasonable price. There is a country club with tennis and golf. If you buy a house, you can join the club for $1,100 a year. I was ready to buy, but Mrs. Phred had some reservations. She says she would rent first to be sure.
I've been doing this travel blog since Mrs. Phred and I retired in 2005. It was fun at first, but I think maybe I've been losing my sense of wonder and sense of humor about all the new places.
My son and I stand watching my oldest grandson in soccer practice for two hours in the rain yesterday evening. My son asks what I've learned in my travels and what my future plans are. He wants to know how I plan to spend the rest of my life.
I don't have any answers. I tell him about a cruise out of San Diego that goes to the Hawaii Islands and Tahiti and Bora Bora that I'd like to take to see the Southern Cross and dive again on a Pacific atoll. Mrs. Phred is not ready to sit on a boat for a month just yet. I'd settle for snorkling. I tell him about the dive trip coming up in Puerto Rico. These are both short term ideas, of course. They don't speak to the distant future.
The current trip is coming up on five months in duration. We've circled the US again and are within 700 miles of our starting point. We have gone out to Arizona and Utah, up though the Dakotas, across the Great Lakes and Canada, though New England and down to the Carolina. We have the winter in Florida and maybe a trip to the Keys and Everglades. After that, it's all very murky. We need to hit the Fantasy Fest in Key West again in October. That's been my most viewed album. People like to see naked painted bodies more than they like to see butterflies.