"" Writer's Wanderings: The Rest of Our Migration

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Rest of Our Migration

Originally our migration south was to follow our usual route of home to Dobson, NC, to Fernandina Beach, FL, to our new destination in Venice, FL. Unfortunately when Bob tried to book our usual Hampton just off of I77 in Dobson, there were no vacancies. Unusual because we were booking months in advance. He booked our second choice, the Hampton in Mount Airy. He continued to book our stays and restaurant choices (we have some favorites) and paid ahead making them impossible to cancel.

Of course then he decided we needed to do something more with the Christmas season and we found the information for Christmas at Biltmore. That meant that after our Biltmore visit, we would have to backtrack a bit to Mount Airy for our stay there.

Mount Airy is Andy Griffith's hometown. It is Mayberry for all intents and purposes. Stores full of Mayberry themed products dot the downtown streets. We did a great tour on our own a few years ago and I posted about it. You can find it here: Mayberry USA.

It was still very cold and a bit windy so a lot of exploring in Mayberry was not going to happen. We were hungry when we arrived and sought out a place to eat. Where we parked was close to Barney's Cafe so we ducked in there. Lots of good choices on the menu that struck a chord with us. I ordered a PBJ with fruit cup and Bob got a grilled cheese sandwich, his favorite. It's a tiny cafe but very nostalgic.

We visited a couple of stores and then retreated to our hotel room for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was at our favorite boutique restaurant at the Shelton Vineyards, Harvest Grill. We sat by a crackling fireplace and enjoyed a delicious meal.

On to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Our favorite little French restaurant has been changed to a more contemporary restaurant and we had to sit outside on the patio with the aid of area heaters to keep us warm. It was New Year's Eve and they were busy.  The plan was to walk down to the marina and watch the shrimp drop (a giant lighted shrimp they drop from a big crane). Unfortunately we didn't realize the drop wasn't at midnight. It was at seven o'clock followed by fireworks. We did get to see the fireworks. The early hour for the drop and fireworks explained why there were so many kids around to celebrate.

We arrived at Gran Paradiso in Venice the afternoon of New Year's Day and after a phone call to the management rental company, we received our information to get into our villa. The villa is lovely but we have given up our wonderful view of the Florida Bay for grass and shrubs but we are closer to where our kids now live. The things you do for grandkids.....

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