The visit to Mercier’s Orchards was great and we left there around lunchtime. Our original plan was to eat lunch at the Pink Pig and then have the chili we had brought with us for dinner. We had already driven past the Pink Pig and I was a little hungry but hubby had made us a wonderful breakfast so I figured it could tide me over for a little longer.
We headed over to the Blue Ridge/Fannin County Chamber of Commerce/Tourism info to see what we could find in the area. I was wanting to find a quilt shop because I know how much hubby loves quilts and that was one thing they had not had an abundance of at Mercier’s store. The lady at the tourism information desk informed us that she thought there might be several in downtown Blue Ridge so we got directions and left.
Hubby decided he wanted first to go see if he could find his boss’ cabin that they had stayed at once for a meeting at work. He didn’t have an address but said he thought he could find it. Trust me, he is not the greatest at direction when he has written direction and after telling me he had gotten lost going there the first time he went I was not filled with confidence.
We stopped at a little country store at the corner so I could get a tea to drink. The station had a big sign that boasted “fresh made sandwiches” so we figured they would probably have tea too. Hubby came back out a few minutes later carrying a bottled water. When I asked what happened he reported he loved me too much to have bought me anything they made there. Apparently the woman preparing the sandwiches behind the counter was not wearing a hair net and had a lit cigarette dangling from her mouth the entire time she was making a sandwich for the man in front of him. He was appalled by her demeanor and purchased the water and left. I am so thankful he loves me!
We found his boss’ cabin and the view from there was beautiful too AND the driveway was PAVED! After our harrowing adventures that was a BIG plus! We took some pictures of the view and then took a ride to see where we ended up and somehow, despite ourselves, we actually ended up in downtown Blue Ridge!
Unbeknownst to us, they apparently had just had a parade and had their tourist train which usually travels a two hour loop doing a “Santa train” with a one hour loop and the whole downtown area was filled with kids and their parents. We weren’t paying attention and were trying to find a place to park and people were milling about everywhere. Several times we had to wait for the people to get out of the road so that we could pass by. We eventually motored through the crowds and found a parking spot a couple of blocks over. As we walked back to the area where the throngs of people were we now saw that they had put up barricades. Apparently the street was closed and dummies that we are, we had no idea, so AFTER we came through I guess they figured they better put up the barricades to save the throngs from US!
We only found two actual quilt shops although several of the “antique” shops had some quilts. We didn’t find any that we liked (that we could afford). We found a couple of pretty ones but they were in the $500 and up range which we weren’t prepared to spend right then. We did see where there was another “Quiltte Shoppe” on the other side of the tracks nearer where we parked. It was a little cozy converted house but after venturing inside we realized that they sold quilting supplies NOT actual quilts. They did teach quilting courses but that would be an awful commute to go to class!
We did find a really good fudge shop and the woman who was in front of us said she went there specifically for their pumpkin fudge. The owner gave us a sample of the pumpkin fudge and OMG it was SO good it would make your tongue slap your brain! We ended up getting a couple of dark chocolate “turtles” although they called them something else (I forget what it was) and we bought a half pound of the pumpkin fudge with pecans. REALLY tasty!
We did get to see a bear mascot. Bears seem to be a theme up there. Everywhere we went had bears in every shape and form so I guess it makes sense that they had a guy dressed up like a bear walking around talking to the kids! I’m wondering if he got fed lunch since they have signs everywhere saying NOT to feed the bears? We also saw someone dressed as an elf, a gingerbread man and the Grinch. What an eclectic group for their Santa train!
We didn’t leave there until probably 3 or 4 so we were both starving since we hadn’t eaten lunch. We stopped at a place touting real “Amish” fare but didn’t find anything we wanted to buy although they did give us samples of some of their alternatives to potato chips. They said it had about ¼ of the fat and calories of fried potato chips even though these were fried. I don’t remember the process they said they used but everything was crispy and almost seemed freeze dried fried if that makes any sense. Anyway, they had pumpkin chips and sweet potato chips and then “fried” okra chips, green bean “chips”, beet chips and I’m not even sure what all was in the mix. It was interesting and different to say the least. I think in small quantities it might be good but to eat them like chips? I think that might make you a little queasy. I wonder if that’s why it’s less fattening? You can’t eat as much? They did have some beautiful Amish furniture but nothing we could afford to buy.
Since I want to post a lot of pictures with this I will tell you about the Pink Pig in a separate post. Enjoy our views of Blue Ridge.