It's Sunday night and I'm back in Hampton Inn. Surprisingly, I got my old room back :) I was tired yesterday and didn't feel like writing so now I'll have to write about the whole weekend. Yesterday was a really cold day. I got up at around 8 am and had breakfast with Jeannie. She showed me photos of her family and some of the places she has been to.
At 11 am we drove to the building site where Gerry was working. As I already mentioned, they're involved in a program called Habitat for Humanity and are building an eco-house for a family in Ashe County. We went to the building site and helped to serve lunch for the men working on the house. The weather was just horrible - freezing cold and it started snowing when we got there. I really admire the guys I saw working there - they are all volunteers and don't get paid for their work.
Volunteers building a house
Lunch in snow
After serving the lunch we went back to Jeannie and Gerry's house. I skyped home and talked to my guys for almost an hour. They seem to manage there pretty well. Villem played the guitar and Karel had learned a new word - Ameerika :)
In the afternoon we went to West Jefferson with Jeannie. We had a cup of coffee in a small and cozy coffee shop. Then Jeannie showed me the Ashe County Cheese plant and we visited their store.
After that we went to see the art gallery where Jeannie's friend Lenore DePree works. She's just an amazing artist and her paintings were just wonderful. She had just finised a mosaic painting of trees - fascinating! She has lived in China and Saudi Arabia and you can see that her paintings are influenced by that. She was really sweet and gave me notecards with her paintings on them as a gift.
Me and Lenore DePree
Then we visited a gift shop and went to Black Jack's Pub and Grill to have dinner with Gerry and two of their friends. I really liked it there. They were broadcasting a football game taking place at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone (the one where we went to a week ago). We were really happy to see that ASU team won.
At Black Jack's with Gerry and Jeannie
We got back to their house at around 7 pm and I showed them my blog and talked about my trip to New York.
Today I woke up at 9. Gerry and Jeannie had prepared a Sunday breakfast - bacon and different sorts of pancakes - with chocolate chips, blueberries and strawberries. They were delicious. I should try adding chocolate chips to the pancakes I usually make.
Jeannie and Gerry making pancakes
Then we drove to Boone and went to the Catholic church they go to. This was again an interesting experience as the church was very different from the ones we have in Estonia. I liked the music they played there. I could even sing the first song they sang - When the saints go marching in....
After the mass we drove to Blue Ridge Parkway and made a lot of stops and took dozens of photos of the amazing view. It was just breathtaking - probably one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. By the way, the weather today was much better than yesterday - sunny and warmer.
We also went to Cascade Falls. In order to see them we had to walk a bit. So unexpectedly a visit to church had turned into a hike. Again, I was just amazed by the scenery.
Me by the waterfall
Gerry taking a dive into the waterfall
Before getting back to their house we visited a gift shop and they gave me a pair of beautiful earrings I like very much.
In the afternoon Gerry and I made another short hike and he showed me the solar panels and the windmill that produce electricity for their household. He also showed me the stream that flows close to their house. They have lots of beavers there and lots of trees the beavers have cut down.
Jeannie and Gerry's house and solar panels that provide their household with electricity
Then we had dinner. Jeannie had prepared some potato salad, beans and hamburgers and a delicious blueberry pie.
I got back to the hotel at around 8 o'clock. It was a bit sad to say goodbye as I was really enjoying my stay there. But I think we'll keep in touch.
I really liked my host family and the weekend I spent with them.