Mockingbirds, Mountains, a Madhouse and Millie’s Milestone.

April 17th, 2016.

When we were on Tybee Island in Georgia, there was a morning bird visitor in the tree by our bedroom window.  I commented to Doug several times about the bird’s expansive repertoire.  It could sound like a Cardinal one minute, then, 4 bars later, another bird song was sung and so on for 5 or 6 varying tunes.  I spent some time scoping out who was putting on this amazing avian concert.  Doug installed a “bird app” on my ‘phone as we both love feeding and watching birds at home in Maine and there are so many different types of birds here.  My learning curve is straight up.  I love it.  Researching keeps me alive.  If you are not constantly learning, you’re not growing.

Now we’re in WNC (Western North Carolina) we are seeing a whole new slew of birds and this humble-looking grayish bird wakes me up every morning; he is very entertaining and makes me awake with a smile.  With a flagging tail and modest outfit, it turns out this is a Mockingbird, Tennessee’s State bird, and while it is a talented imitator, it is a bit of a problem.  The Mockingbird has the nasty habit of laying it’s eggs in the nests of other birds.  Once hatched and fed lovingly by other naiive birds, the baby Mockingbirds are known to gobble up all the food they can from the unsuspecting parents, then these infants instinctively kick the legitimate babies out of the nest and fledge.

I love their songs, even if they are the douche bags of the bird world.  Apparently, they can imitate other sounds like car horns, etc.  I’ll try and post a pic but while they are LOUD and expansive in their songs (they didn’t buy the single, they own the long-playing edition and mimic it) they are not into portraiture.  They perch near our car most of the day and serenade us, but they are camera shy.

Yesterday, the 16th, we went to the Asheville Artisan Bread Festival “celebrating local farmers, millers and bakers”.  Seriously, it was a complete madhouse, everything I hate from scrambling for parking to jostling shoulder to shoulder with rabid shoppers.  Too many loaf hungry people for me, held in a very small venue, not well organized, ugh.  I don’t do well with that. Crowds are unappealing to me and I don’t need carbs and we are totally loyal to Simple Breads, a local couple who make whole grain breads with LOTS of  WHOLE GRAINS. We tried a few cubes of bread at the event but nothing matches Simple Breads.  So we departed without buying a crumb.  My largest regret is I didn’t have the space to take a photo of a priest in his humble long black gown hugging a warm loaf.  It was a fantastic moment.  Let them break bread.  I’m still smiling thinking about it.

We cruised the Asheville Market on the 16th and bought some nice produce.  Then we had Zuma’s nails trimmed at The Soapy Dog and booked her in for a bath to battle her skin allergies.

You can bathe your dog here (no, but thank you) or have the lovely groomer do it for you.  She did a fantastic job; Z was really happy and it only took an hour.

Zuma just doesn’t fit in the shower in the RV Hula Girl and we’re not allowed to bathe dogs in the bath/shower rooms here.  We’re so glad there is this nice grooming place nearby and Zuma loves going there because the staff are so sincere and kind to her. Which gave Doug and I time to explore a part of Asheville we hadn’t been to and we had a yummy date at a Latino restaurant with delicious paella and fajitas; this is the calamari appetizer we shared:

It was fantastic.  The lunch entrees were so generous we shared mine for dinner.

On the 17th, we headed for  Little Switzerland, a mountain town with a fabulous general store and cafe.  Service is fantastic and so is the food.  They are written up in many websites and magazines.

We heard that Oprah  had a very positive shout out about the place Fresh, innovative and delicious food.  Delightful waiter. Five Stars from us.  We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is breathtaking.  Here’s a pic of me and Z at the Green Knob overlook:

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I’m sparing you the large photo version so you don’t have to see my flying squirrel arms, lol!  I’ve lost a lot of weight (necessary for health reasons) and now I’m working on getting “toned”.  I’m working on the flying squirrel arms. Thank you Kelly for the lunch lady tip, lol. You always make me laff.  Seriously, is it too late to work on the lunch lady arms?  Kelly is our friend from Tybee and she’s coming here in mid June for a week.

We met a lovely dog named Millie who hangs out in a great store in Asheville.  The owners held a birthday party for her, complete with cake and party favors for dogs.

It would have possibly been disastrous taking Zuma in there; with her 4 foot tail swath I could imagine the table being cleared.  We stopped by to wish Millie everything good, she is adorable.

We love how Asheville people celebrate their canines.

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