Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 2

 After an absolutely awful nights sleep night of not sleeping!  We had some breakfast and decided to do a little bit of sight-seeing, grab some lunch and then see if we were needed to help with anything for the wedding reception that evening.

Our first stop was The Historic Orchard at Altapass on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Historic Orchard
It is a 102-year-old apple orchard turned Appalachian Cultural Center celebrating the people, music, art, and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina. Built by the Clinchfield Railroad in 1908, the Orchard sits right on the Parkway providing some of the most amazing scenery on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
 We ended up staying at The Orchard a little longer than we intended.  They were getting ready for some musical entertainment that afternoon, and as time went by it got busier and busier.  We had lunch, explored the gift shop and people watched for a bit.  Sam and Jim played fetch with the farm dog and explored the apple orchards.

We climbed back in the car and headed down the parkway hoping to get some scenic shots.
Well.........we was a little foggy that day!
We stopped at every scenic overlook, and this was our view.

Except, of course, when the view was blocked by trees.
Here we can see some of the mountains.
As we were driving along, I did notice the incredibly large spider webs.
Now, I am from Australia where everything that creeps and crawls tend to be big.
But, what kind of spiders do they breed here in North Carolina???
This is what I imagine when I look at those huge webs.
 Don't take your eyes off any small children or pets that you may hold dear......they could be snatched up.......just like that.........gone!
This is one shot that I did get of a nice, normal looking spider web.
There are waterfalls down there somewhere........behind the fog

We then received a call from Joshua saying that help was needed with sandwich making, so we headed back to Spruce Pines.

On our way back, we did notice a few things that made us go, "Mmmmmh??"
This truly is a porta potty.......I hope the wheels are immobilized
This sign just cracked me up.  Not a bad shot either, taken from a fast moving vehicle.
 Dropped Jim and Sam off at the cottage so Sam could chill out a little before the reception.
After getting lost a few times because we listened to the GPS, Jessica and I finally found our way to the Heaton's house.  Only to find that the sandwiches were done.

Went back to the cottage to get changed and collect the boys.
To my dismay, I found that in the trip to North Carolina in the car, strawberry milk had been accidentally spilled on my dress.  I dutifully sponged it off and went to iron out the creases.  Unfortunately, I hadn't gotten all the milk off.  Hot iron........sticky stain.......hole in dress.  After jumping up and down and muttering under my breath, I pulled option B out of the closet and discovered that it also had strawberry milk all down the back.  Sponged it, didn't iron it, stressed out because I wouldn't be wearing the wedding colors...........and off we went.
The reception area was done up very nicely
The sandwiches that I didn't help prepare
The cake
Cake topper
Flower arrangement

Display outside reception
table
Sam stimming down the hallway
What Is Stimming?
Just in case some of you wanted to know. 
The reception was very difficult for Samuel.  I was going to keep everything pretty light-hearted, but I also want to use my blog to educate others about Autism.  Autism is our life 24/7, it is part of our family and our lives now.  It is part of Sam, therefore.......
Stimming is repetitive stereotypical behavior commonly found in autism, but also found in other
developmental disabilities. This behavior may involve any or all of the senses in various degrees
in different individuals. Several examples are listed below.  I highlighted some of the things Samuel does.  He also runs.....and runs.....and runs, screams, tantrums, sensitive to sounds (fans, air conditioners, people).  Sam also pushes and pulls hair when he doesn't know what is expected of him, doesn't know how to interact.  Sam was in a strange place, surrounded by people who he doesn't know and they don't know or understand him.  Tough, tough night for our little boy.
  • Visual – staring at lights, blinking, gazing at fingers, lining up objects
  • Auditory – tapping fingers, snapping fingers, grunting, humming
  • Smell – smelling objects, sniffing people
  • Taste – licking objects, placing objects in mouth
  • Tactile – scratching, clapping, feeling objects, nail biting, hair twisting, toe-walking
  • Vestibular – rocking, spinning, jumping, pacing
  • Proprioception – teeth grinding, pacing, jumping
The happy couple about to make their grand entrance!!!
First dance, technically their 2nd :)

Mother and son dancing to the world's longest song!  Beautiful song, sung by someone with a very beautiful voice, but long!  Might not have seemed so long if we knew how to dance!!
Cutting the cake
Feeding the cake to each other.  Tried to get a better angle, but couldn't maneuver myself in there!
Joshua inspecting the cake
I raised him better than that!
Wearing their ears rather rakishly
Sam loves his big brother
 And this is where the battery in my camera died.  
Beautiful reception.  Joshua and Courtney are very loved by their families and friends.  It is exciting to see two young people start out their life together.

Joshua and Courtney exited their reception in a cloud of bubbles.
Purdy clan also exited shortly after. 
They were staying at the cottage with us that night!

PS.  Did you know that Floridians are known as Flor-idiots in North Carolina?  We've lived in Florida for 15 years now, do we qualify?

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