We spent Sunday night in Boone because as many of  you know I am not a morning person. Sunday we met our good friends the Jordans at Shatley Springs which is one of my kids favorite places to eat.

Our first stop Monday was Linville Falls. We had four families with kids ranging from 2 1/2 to 13. We decide on the Erwin’s View Trail which has three overlooks and is a round trip of two miles. It is a moderate trail that is wide and has gravel. The family with the youngest struggled some but we all managed well. I would plan on at least two hours to enjoy the overlooks and make the round trip.

Our second stop was Linville Caverns about 15 minutes drive. We met up with another family at the caverns and split up into two groups. They take groups of less than fifteen at a time into the cavern which is really nice to be in a small group. I thought the tour was great. It gave a little scientific info but not too much to bore. They did not say millions of years but just many years ago which we appreciated.

Our last stop was Grandfather Mountain. We had a class about animal behavior where the kids were scientist in each of the animal habitats recording animal behavior. Mickey did a great job and the kids had a good time. We ended the glass by playing The Thicket Game which taught about camouflage and predators. We all ended the day on top of the mountain where we all braved the bridge even those afraid of heights. It was a fabulous day!!

We wrapped up the day with three families stopping at Cafe Portofinos in Boone. Kids Eat Free on Monday-Thursday with an adult entree. That is a deal. I had steak, pub fries and a salad. Claire had corn dog and Cobey had pizza. It turned out very reasonably priced.  Some of the kids got the kids spaghetti and it was a good size portion. I have eaten there several times and I have never been disappointed.


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Highland Games and Horn in the West

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Jul 10, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Good Eats/Not So Good Eats, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

I had heard about the the Highland Games while I was at school at ASU but never attended. They are held at Grandfather Mountain each year. We got there shortly after lunch and spent a few hours there. The tickets for adults are a little pricey I think at $30; but, the kids are only $5 so that helps. You also have to pay $5 each for the shuttle up to the event.

It really is hard to review the games because we got an inside view with the MacMillan Clan. They have tents surrounding the main field for each of the clans. Our tent even had great food which the kids loved.  There are all kinds of different sports to watch on the field. Claire loved watching the dancing and the sheep herding but did not care for the bag pipes. Cobey was fascinated with the whole thing and wanted to look up to see if we were in clan. We are still trying to figure it all that out. We are worried we may have been part of the clan that joined the Tories in the Revolutionary War. There is a lot to see, do and eat!  It reminded me of a huge family reunion with great entrainment.  I think we will now have to add a family history to our studies next year.

That evening we went to Horn in West. We got there 30 minutes early to purchase our tickets which worked out great. They have a living museum there with frontier home, blacksmith, tavern, and store. They have costumed interpreters to tell you more about the structures and items in them. We went through each of the buildings and then found our seats.

The show was outstanding. It starts with the Battle of Alamance and ends with the Battle at Kings Mountain. The kids had been to the site of the Battle of Alamance and learned about Kings Mountain. I think this made the play even more meaningful to the kids. But even if your kids do not have the background mine did,  the action will keep them interesting and the story line gives them an insight to the people during this period.  If you have an upper elementary or older student you should add it to your must do list.  When you do, rent the 50 cent cushion- the seats are hard and bring bug spray.

We had two great meals at Shatley Springs outside of Jefferson. If you are in the area and would like a great home cooked meal then check them out. We also ate at the Mountain House in Boone. I still don’t believe it is as good as the good ole days. The menu has shifted way from the country cooking and has more steaks and fish. The food and service were good not great.


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