Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Larry & Rachel Charpiat's Pilot Mountain Christmas

I drove over the Blue Ridge Parkway to get to Pilot Mountain, and it was just a beautiful drive on a beautiful day.  The views were breathtaking.  I was happy to be going to see Larry and Rachel, who I first visited on the tour three years ago. We became fast friends that first time, and for the past two years I have stayed with them when I've gone to NC.  They treat me like family, and it's wonderful.
I talked about their display here last year, but just for a recap---they have three acres out in the country, but they get thousands of visitors every year.  One whole acre is a parking lot they had made for their visitors, and people come in and walk through two acres of Christmas lights and get free hot chocolate at the hot chocolate house.  They were actually featured in a magazine this year as one of NC's top holiday attractions!! They do not charge admission, although I'm sure they could and people would still come, but they do have donation cans around if people want to  drop money in to help defray their electric bill.
Larry and Rachel are a retired couple and they are just so perfect for each other. This display is a labor of love for both of them, and they both take pride in it and enjoy working on it together.  They live in a lovely, cozy home with their three kitty cats and lots of relatives and friends join them, especially on weekends, to help park cars, direct traffic and give out hot chocolate.
I guess it was because it was a Saturday night, but there were a TON of people who came to the concert and it was really great. The little children, the people dancing...another wild and crazy night!  Here's some video that Larry put together:

And here are some photos:

While I was at Larry and Rachel's a weird thing started happening with my van....it would not shift into Drive and then suddenly it would. So on the morning after the concert, after they treated me to a yummy breakfast, we went to Wal-Mart and got this "transmission fix" stuff and Larry put it in for me and it started working just fine. This Wal-Mart was also the only place I've ever seen an inflatable snowman dressed in a camo vest and carrying a shotgun. Weird. It was especially disconcerting in the light of the school shooting in CT.  I didn't like it.
I'm not going to get into a big debate about gun control here, but I would like to say that my prayers are with the families of the children and adults who were lost in the melee.  I can't imagine such horrible grief. I do believe the souls went straight in to the arms of Jesus, but that's probably cold comfort to the families who are so desperately missing their little ones.
Well, I digress.  I had a really great time at Larry and Rachel's and am so grateful for the friendship of these two wonderful and thoughtful and generous people.  And I hope I didn't get them hooked on Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars!  Even though they ARE delicious, aren't they, Larry and Rachel??

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