After Christmas we made it back down the mountain to Johnson City.
We spent Friday night at home washing clothes and unpacking. On Saturday after lunch, we parked the kids with my parents and met three other couples for a trip to Asheville for drinks and dinner.
The occasion for the trip was our friend Kristen’s 40th birthday. Kristen’s husband scored a luxury sprinter van (TV, massage chairs, the works) for the trip.
We parked the van at the Asheville Visitors Center and then made the short walk to The Montford, a rooftop bar at the top of the Hyatt Place hotel. After that, we walked over to Cucina 24 on Wall Street. MC and I have eaten there twice, and it’s one of our faves.
From there, we walked over to Biltmore Avenue and down a side street to a place called En La Calle, which is billed on Google as a hip Latin tapas and cocktail bar. After that, the evening slid into chaos and we ended up at a dueling piano bar.
After an hour or so at the piano bar we called it a night and trekked back to the van to ride home. We capped the night with a visit to Waffle House.
On Sunday, we got up and re-packed, then picked the kids up and headed back up to the mountains. We’d made plans to attend the club’s family-friendly NYE party on the night of the 30th, and some friends were driving in from Knoxville to stay an extra night.
We made a big batch of tacos with cookies and ice cream for dessert. After dinner the kids (eight of ’em) disappeared downstairs to play Jackbox TV and try out Buddy’s VR gear.
On Monday, we sipped coffee and sat around for most of the morning. After lunch, the other dad and I went down to the gym and got a workout in. When we got back, I had lunch and then collapsed in bed for a 20 minute nap that ended up lasting about 90 minutes.
When I got up, another set of friends was arriving from their house in Banner Elk, so we all sat around and enjoyed a chat and a beverage before it was time to head down to the clubhouse for the party.
We were among the first to the party but when we got there the clubhouse was decked out with a DJ, a dance floor, appetizers and a bar. We hung out for about an hour and then when through the buffet line and ate dinner. Not long after we sat down to eat, bingo games started, so we tended to our bingo cards while we ate dinner.
In the last game of the night, Buddy and his friend won $160, which they’d agreed beforehand to split.
After dinner the younger kids danced while the older kids did whatever teenagers do.
At some point in the night, Blythe performed her tap solo on the stage and got props from all the in-the-know dance moms in the room.
The party wrapped up with a balloon drop at 9:00, then we all came up to our house to hang out for a while longer. The adults took turns trying out Buddy’s “walk the plank” game on his Oculus headset.
On Tuesday our guests packed up and rolled out, and I ran some of the kid guests back down the mountain to Johnson City.
Buddy and I got back up here around 4:00 p.m. yesterday. MC spent the day taking down Christmas decorations and then launched into making a batch of fudge when I arrived with ingredients.
After dinner (baked potatoes and salad) we piled up downstairs to watch the Lego Batman movie on the big TV. Very funny. Highly recommend.
Franklin went to bed after the movie and MC and I stayed up for a bit with the other two kids, but ultimately we folded and went to bed around 10:30.
The page turned quietly from 2019 to 2020 as we slept.