Last weekend, we decided to have a family fun moment. JR had went to Shatley Springs a few days previously for a work trip and fell in love. He talked about it when he got home. He talked about it the next morning. And he begged to go back, soon. Since we didn’t have anything planned for Saturday morning, we decided we would head over with my parents for a relaxing lunch. Here’s some fun details and stories about our trip.
We planned to head out at 10:30 that morning, so in normal Puckett-Linkous fashion, we left the house at 11. We made it all the way to exit 19 (less than 5 miles from our house) before needing our first pit stop. Mom, JR and I cannot say no to Dunkin Donuts. It’s not physically possible. Luckily dad understands and always stays behind to fill up the car with gas. Thanks dad! After loading back up, Emma shared a few words of her own and then nodded off into a deep sleep. We got to relax and hang out on the ride there. It was great family time and a wonderful opportunity to just hang out. About halfway there, JR realized his phone lost service. Luckily, mom and dad always come prepared with their GPS. Thanks goodness. We would have been lost in the mountains of North Carolina without it. We pulled it out and got the directions in about .05 miles before we needed to make our turn. Shew! Talk about a trip.
When we finally arrived, after traveling down multiple back roads, we fell in love. The scenery is beautiful- mostly outdoors with a few cabins surrounding the restaurant. Everything else was land. It reminded me a lot of a smaller version of the resort Baby and her family went to in “Dirty Dancing”, however, there was no dirty dancing and no Patrick Swayze. What we did find was great southern hospitality- people to greet us, stores to shop in around the restaurant, people selling fresh fruit and veggies, and a man singing for us. I loved the singer. He sang everything from Eric Clapton to good ole country music. What a variety! We got to hang out on the front porch for about 30 minutes and we soaked it all in. Emma soaked it in, too. She crawled around on the floor. I tried not to worry. That’s what hand sanitizer is for, right? She played with her Mimi and Papous and went for a stroll with daddy. By the time we finished all of that, it was time to start eating. JR knew what was getting ready to happen but the rest of us couldn’t even imagine what was going to happen. Our waitress asked us what we wanted to drink and JR basically demanded we all drink tea. Let me stop by saying this is uncharacteristic of JR. We are all water drinkers but he said if we were going to do it right, we needed to get tea. And he was right! Finding good southern tea is the best. Emma stuck with her water but was given her own cup, with a straw. Emma has never been a big fan of straws and has refused to drink out of them. Until Shatley Springs. She went to town and used her straw for the first time! Go Emma! It was so funny watching her. It took all of her strength and concentration to get a few sips. After that, the straw became a toy and the lid came off the cup. Oh well. It wasn’t long before they brought out the family style meal of everything you could expect. Emma was amazed. She couldn’t even fathom it all. Several of the things she knew and knew well- green beans, corn and chicken. Other things were new to her- cinnamon apples and mashed potatoes. Emma was open to anything and everything and dug in. Let me add here that Emma is also a lazy eater. She wants food but she wants someone to feed her. I wanted to eat, too, so I encouraged Emma to feed herself. I put food on a napkin and let her check it out. She touched it. She picked it up. She put it in her mouth. And then she spit it out. Seriously? Oh well. I didn’t have time to play so I gave her a bite, then I took a bite. And that’s how we ate until she was full. It’s hard to get Emma full when corn is involved. She loves it so much that she laughs while eating it. Have a I said how much I love that child? She is too much. When she finished, she was tired of being in her highchair so I held her. She played with my necklace and I ate corn. I felt like it was a good trade. Just when I thought we couldn’t possibly eat anymore, the waitress asked what we wanted for dessert. Are you kidding me? Yes! I will take dessert. I downed my blackberry cobbler and never thought twice. It was DELICIOUS. And I had coffee with mine, which made it extra good. After we finished, we had to pay and let me tell you right here: BRING CASH. If you don’t have cash, you will have to use the ATM and pay the fee. I hate paying for a fee at the ATM so dad picked up the tab. Thanks again, dad! Which reminds me, we still have to pay him back.
After eating until our heart was content, we decided not to try out Grayson Highlands and to make the trip home as we all have plans for the rest of the day. I think from now on we’ll go hike and then go eat. We’re hoping next time we don’t feel too bloated to drive. Mom and I ended up navigating on the trip back while the men and the baby took a nap in the back. Another good point to add here: PREPARE YOUR GPS. We had the GPS set up to include back roads instead of leaving it as just highway. We traveled into the depths of the unknown and we’re certain people with banjos would come highjack the van. What was suppose to be an hour and a half trip turned into two and half hours. Thanks Tom-Tom. The trip back was definitely longer than expected but we enjoyed it. Family bounding is best found on long road trips. Emma ate til her heart was content and slept the whole way back. Some days I wish I was a baby. It’s such a great life.
We are definitely making plans to go back to Shatley Springs soon. We loved the food. We loved the service. We loved the location. Next time, I think we will attempt the family style breakfast. I have heard rumors that they have all you can eat bacon. Um, yes? Let’s definitely do that. I love bacon. And all you can eat bacon might possibly be the closest thing to heaven on earth.
What family fun days have you had that you’ve really enjoyed recently?