Highlights !

I have been pretty busy and have neglected the Blog. It would be long and probably boring (at least for most people) if I tried to cover everything that has gone on since the last post. I considered trying to write several short entries in quick succession, but have decided to just hit the Highlights of the past six weeks.

I have spent a lot of time up at the Condo in North Creek, and snowboarding at Gore Mountain. It has gotten to the point where it feels like my home away from home.

Home Away From Home – Pretty Sweet!

There have been so many really great days on the mountain. I am so grateful that we got this place and that I am able to use it as often as I have (today was my 22nd day at Gore this year!).

Back in early February, I had my second guest at the Condo. I have been friends with Jim Cribbins since Junior High (for any younger readers, that is what they used to call “Middle School”). It had been a long time since Jim had been skiing and a longer time since we had been away together. It mattered, not at all. We had a great time for the four days we were up here. Other than the Football games on Sunday, after we arrived, we never turned on the TV. Before passing out from ski exhaustion each night, we spent hours just catching up and discussing the past, present and future. I hope we can make it a regular thing in the future.

Old Buddies! We may not be smiling but we had a great time! It was very cold!

I had not been to the Condo for a couple weeks, before coming back up yesterday. Last week was Presidents Week (no holidays at Gore, for me), and the week before that we travelled to Atlanta for Clint Morano Jr.’s Wedding. For several reasons, Debi and I decided to make it a Road Trip! As is usually the case, getting off Long Island was a challenge.

The Belt Parkway in the AM! This wasn’t bad!

But not the only challenge. We lost about an hour at the tunnel in Baltimore, but made it down very comfortably, in two days, and by late Friday night, Karl (unfortunately, without Elise) and Diana (fortunately with Jon) were there as well. It was great to see our old neighbors (who are still dear friends) and to see their son, so happy. It was a lot of fun.

Flagstone Forever!

We spent Sunday walking around Piedmont Park in Atlanta on a beautiful, sunny day. On Monday we headed to Greenville, SC, about two hours from the ATL. I have been to Greenville a number of times and have always loved it there. It is a beautifully laid out small city, which gets high scores for walkability (I think that is a real thing). We had a terrific BBQ Lunch and walked along the Reedy River and the Falls Park which are so nice.

Monday night we met my old work friend and colleague, Dave Sanford. I had not seen Dave in more than six years (since I am retired that long already)! We sat next to each other in training, nearly thirty years ago, have always gotten along, stayed in touch and even got to do some work together. Even though it was only a couple of hours, it was the highlight of Greenville, for me.

Tuesday we were back in the car for another two plus hours, as we had 11:15 Ticketsfor The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. This former Vanderbilt Property, is stunning in every way. The building is incredible and the grounds are gorgeous. But the Views and the way it is nestled in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, are what amazed me. If you ever get the chance, it is definitely worth visiting.

The Biltmore Estate!

Wednesday, we continued our drive north and east, and made a point of getting to The Blue Ridge Parkway. To call this a scenic byway, does not do it justice. The speed limit is 45mph, though I rarely approached that speed. It is majestically beautiful with many scenic overlooks to stop at and marvel at the natural splendor of these rugged mountains. It took us over two hours to go about 35 miles, but it was so worth it. I felt like we were hiking, while still in the car.

With bad weather on the way, we decided to get back to Long Island a day earlier than planned. So Thursday morning we took 81 North, to 78 West, to good old 95, the GW Bridge, the Cross Bronx Expressway, Throgs Neck Bridge … you get the idea. It actually wasn’t a bad ride home and we beat what turned out to be, not such bad weather. We had been away for a week, covered a lot of ground and did a lot of great things. By Monday morning, I was rested and ready to get back on Road. Back to the Condo, and Gore Mountain for what may be my final snowboarding trip of the season.

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