Off The Eaten Path North Carolina, A Podcast

Off The Eaten Path North Carolina, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

No good deed goes on punished. Originally had a flight out of Cleveland at 5:30 PM that connected in Baltimore and then landed in Orlando right around midnight.
Ended up getting to the airport at 11:30 AM and asked Southwest if there were any earlier flights, and lo and behold there was one leaving at 1:00 PM that connected in Baltimore, then leaving Baltimore around 5:00 PM finally arriving at 7:30 in Orlando.
We get to the gate only to find out that our plane was swapped and was now going to Las Vegas. It would be roughly a 30-minute delay as they send a new plane to our gate. They send the original Las Vegas plane to our gate. The new plane was fueled for Las Vegas which was too much fuel for our short flight. They send the plane to the fuel depot to offload fuel.
Suddenly and there’s an announcement that says if you had a connection going to Orlando to see in the gate, so I comply. They rebook my connection out of Baltimore on a 7:00 PM flight. Back to the gate to find out that my 3 PM flight out of Cleveland was delayed another 30 minutes.
While standing at the gate our the captain passes by, never a good sign.  He gets on the microphone only to tell us during the fuel offloading there was some kind of “problem” and that our plane would not be able to fly. But don’t worry they will be flying in a new plan for us which would be here in 3 1/2 hours. Which is roughly 4:30 pm, still time enough to still make my 7:00 PM connection in Baltimore.
With 3 1/2 hours of free time, I decided to go to Shake Shack and get some burgers. I return to the gate a few hours later only to find that my flight has again been pushed back 30 minutes to 5:00 PM. So after getting to the Cleveland airport at 11:30 AM,  I arrive back in Orlando at 9:30 PM, 2 1/2 hours ahead of my originally scheduled flight.
Here’s a tip for all your baby Road Warriors if you use the Southwest app and your flight is re-booked or has been delayed and requires a new aircraft, do yourself a favor and go to the gate agent and get a paper ticket. What you’ll find is it when you go to board the plane that your originating flight will have more than likely disappeared out of the Southwest app. If you’re not using the airline’s app make sure you don’t throw your paper ticket out till you get home. If for some reason you board and then you are asked to de-plane you will need that ticket in order to re-board.

Off the eaten path, North Carolina.

There’s a lot of family history in North Carolina. My Grandmother’s brother was president of Lenoir Ryan College from 1949 – 1967. Just for reference in 1965 school enrollment was 1200, in 2015 it was 2300. Since I’m not much of a statistician so I can’t tell you if that’s an amazing increase.

My mother spent years managing the Olde World Christmas Shoppe located in the historic village and then she moved on to the now-defunct T.S. Morrisons. T.S. Morrisons was a tribute to the five and dime stores that I frequented in my youth. Thankfully T.S. Morrisons rose from the ashes as the “LAB”. Lexington Avenue Brewing, which has since closed in the last 6 months.

The summers of my formative years were spent at Camp Ridgecrest in Black Mountain, NC. Here’s a peek inside… I never went to college so I look at all of those summers as my youthful male bonding times, minus the girls and booze. At camp, we set out on 3 or 4-day hikes on the Appalachian Trail, the Foothills Trail, up to Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Mississippi), and in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. We spent our afternoons rafting down the Nantahala River. As silly as it might sound, there was a tremendous focus on doing what was right and good, not only to ourselves but to others. The current camp director was one of my counselors in the 70’s and 42 years later he’s still there.

Moose Cafe – Colfax, NC

The Moose Cafe is located inside the Piedmont Farmers Market. Take it from this road warrior anytime you can inside a Farmers Market don’t pass it up. It’s as close as farm to table as you can get unless you happen to own 100 acres or so. My visit was on a rainy cold fall day and of course, that called for chicken and dumplings. Picture a warm flavorful chicken broth infused with chunks of chicken and a wonderful perfectly cooked dumpling. Don’t forget to start your meal with fist-sized biscuits and a side of homemade apple butter. My dining partner went with the meatloaf and their slice was at least 2″ thick.

Banner Elk Cafe – Banner Elk, NC

The Banner Elk area also hits home. During the late 70’s there was a huge push for folks to buy “weekend” property around the Banner Elk area. Located at 3700′ feet it offered cool temperatures in the summer and skiing in the winter, and part of the appeal was that most of the homes were round. There’s not much of a reason to visit Banner Elk but if you do check out the Banner Elk Cafe. They offer trivia on Tuesdays and karaoke on Thursdays with a complementary view of the mountains. Since this about food, start with the Bang Pow Shrimp, Golden Fried popcorn shrimp tossed in Thai Chili sauce w/toasted sesame seeds, fresh scallions & carrot straws. All that minus the extra Bang. Go with the Pecan Trout 10oz Pecan encrusted Rainbow Trout sauteed and drizzled with a honey-lemon burre blanc.

Black Mountain Ale House – Black Mountain, NC

Stopped in on a rainy Sunday, and I’m glad I did. Tucked down a set of stairs off of Cherry St. this place is worth searching for.
We ordered the adult grilled cheese and their oven roasted wings and we weren’t disappointed. The wings were honey & sriracha and delicious. The grilled cheese was hot gooey and better than your Mom made. Plus the bread was soaked in extra butter.
The Ashville area is a beer hub, and our waiter knew his beer. He was familiar both north and south of I-40.

White Duck Taco Shop – Ashville, NC

Worth the trip, tucked in the River District this isn’t the easiest place to find, but search for it.
I ordered two tacos, Thai Peanut & Spicy Chicken, both amazing. Filled with a cornucopia of ingredients each bite presented a different taste. Some of the best Queso cheese I’ve ever tasted. If you’re in Asheville stop in.

There you have it, thanks for listening and safe travels.

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