Kilwins Ice Cream – Blowing Rock, NC

There’s no better way to beat the heat in the summertime than coming up to Blowing Rock, NC and stopping by Kilwin’s Ice Cream!  “Sweet in every Sense since 1947” is their motto and you better believe they have something to satisfy your sweet-tooth.  Fudge, homemade ice cream, candies, chocolate, you name it!  Sara got the turtle cheesecake and I got the peppermint.  Both come very highly recommend.  Of course, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong at Kilwin’s in Blowing Rock!

The Original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC

It’s a gorgeous weekend up in Boone, NC. This weather is perfect for walking around with the whole family. If you’ve never been in the original Mast General Store it’s definitely worth the trip.  The Mast General Store is a trip into 19th century America.  It’s a trip back to an era where people took time – time to talk to each other, to get to know their neighbors, to appreciate and savor the importance of mere moments in time.  Time slows down the moment you walk in.  You can’t stroll through the Mast General Store without recognizing how life must have been a hundred years ago before all the newfangled inventions of  the modern era like automobiles and airplanes.  The building itself is the first harbinger of things gone by.  The floors have an honest creak and have been here so long that you’ll find plenty of tin floor patches where the knots have given way.   Nothing is automated or over-packaged.  You’ll find goods in stacks and barrels.  You’ll find folks standing around shooting the breeze.  The staff are unhurried almost like there’s nothing more important they have to do than serve and maybe even get to know you.  Winter days you’ll find old-timers sitting around the pot-bellied  stove radiating warmth and winter cheer.   At some of the general stores you’ll stumble into a group of blue grass players hitting the banjo.  What you’ll discover most of all is how time slows down when you walk in and that you’ll walk out feeling a little healthier and fresher for having stopped by.  Next time you pass by the Mast General Store in Boone, NC or Valle Crucis, stop in and say hi.  You’ll be glad you did.