I know, complain, complain. But at least this morning I'm not talking about food! I just read through all of the posts I've made on the tour and I talk about food in every one of them! Sheesh! Okay, I'll get through this one with no further mention of food.....
Where did I leave off? Oh yes, the trip from Gloucester, VA to Ennice, NC on Saturday. I was slightly trepidacioius about that trip because I'd heard that the weather was iffy, but it was actually pretty uneventful, until I got within a half hour or so of my destination. The Garmin took me up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Now I'm sure this is a lovely, scenic drive in the spring, summer and fall, but apparently no one plows or sands it in the winter. Hey Garmin....George Sayward (that's an inside joke for my family, I haven't suddenly gone off my rocker.)
The drive up was horrendous. I went about 15 miles an hour and the van was slip sliding all over the place. At one point I came around a turn and saw the valley below, and realized I was just one slip away from crashing over that teeny tiny guardrail and meeting my Maker. I was very relieved when I reached the top.
It was dusk at this time and very pretty up there in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but let me tell you it was kind of eerie. I felt like I was on Walton's Mountain or something. There was NO ONE around.
I finally got to a more populated area and saw a great big sign on a building that said BOTTOMLEY (this is so horrible...I can't remember what else it said...I think it was Evergreens & Farm maybe? It was a huge building). This was my host's last name, so I knew I had to be in the right place. I was so fixated on that sign that I didn't notice the Fire Station, where I was supposed to do the show, and went sailing right past it. When I began to reach the outlands again I managed to find a driveway to turn around in and headed back, finding the Fire Station right there where I'd left it.
I was very surprised to see what William Bottomley looked like in person. He's a young, trim, handsome guy. All this time we had been corresponding I had been picturing someone who looked like the Mayor of Weeble-ville, and, of course, in my usual habit of spilling out everything that pops into my brain, I told William this. He was cool about it, and actually laughed.
This show was unique because William had decorated the Fire Station and its grounds and the show was to benefit the Glade Creek Volunteer Fire Department. William is a cameraman for a local TV station,WXII and he had his truck there and a live stream video camera going to his site. He also invited the station's meteorologist, Austin Caviness, to host the show and, of course, I invited him up to do" Candy" with me. He was pretty good with it, too! I did two performances with a half hour dinner break in between (does that count as mentioning food?). Santa Claus was there and he was a lot of fun. I did notice he had awfully hairy arms poking out between his suit sleeves and glove...didn't know Santa was such a mountain man!
I enjoyed the second show the best because there were more kids there and everybody was dancing. William had rigged things up so people could hear me on their car radios and every once in a while I'd ask them to toot their horns and blink their lights and it was so COOL. I loved it! There was a white SUV parked up on the hill to my right and the crowd in that vehicle was just INSANE! And of course, as I'm sure it is with every performer, the more responsive the crowd is the more fun the show. It was definitely rockin' during "Run Run Rudolph!" especially.
William was the consummate host, making sure my every need was met. He had arranged for me to stay at a B&B in Mt. Airy which was lovely and all decorated for Christmas. I fell asleep to the warm glow of a lighted Christmas tree in my room. I was DOG TIRED from the drive and even though I attempted to watch SNL I conked out within a minute of putting my head on that very comfortable pillow.
I do want to say that ALL of my hosts on this trip have gone out of their way to make sure I was well fed (here we go again) and had nice accommodations. That has been VERY MUCH appreciated as most nights I've fallen asleep like a rock as soon as I got in bed. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I have to head out now; Larry & Rachel Charpiat in Pilot Mountain have promised me a trip up the mountain if I get there early enough. By the way, I am doing regular quickie posts along the way on my Facebook pages. If you haven't reached this blog through Facebook, please go over there and "Like" my fan page or send me a friend request. I update both pages and post pictures from my cell phone every day.
Ok, now I'm only one show behind on the updates. Will try to catch up this afternoon/evening. Oh..here's a special shout out to the kids at Fred Olds Elementary School in Raleigh....I'm coming to see you tomorrow and I can't wait!!!