Years ago I wrote a story for the “The Minute Magazine” about a dream vacation. This year I used the excuse of a Honeymoon to make many of those dreams happen! I think the only part of it that didn’t happen was visiting the Walton’s Museum in
. But the rest was perfect and the man I was with (my husband) made it even better! The fact that I did it on a Harley and not in a 37 Buick or a Model A was ok too! West Virginia
When Danny and I got married in April everybody asked us if we were going on a cruise, or Vegas, or some of those other normal honeymoon trips. We would smile and say we are going to the “Andy Griffith Mayberry Days Festival” in
in September! Yes we got a few looks but most folks were very envious of our plans. We had talked about doing this for a long time so a honeymoon was the perfect time to go! Mount Airy, North Carolina
We arrived in
first with another dream come true (our toy hauler)…our adventure was about to begin with this purchase from our good friends Debbie and Barry. It still had that new smell and we were thrilled to get it…I was more thrilled for sure. In fact it brought tears to my eyes. Our RV Park was beautiful and I am afraid we are spoiled now for other RV parks that may be in our future. Maggie Valley
We headed to “Wheels Through Time”
next in Motorcycle Museum . Dale Walksler is the owner and collector of everything old motorcycle! I had met him during the Cannonball Run in 2010. To say this was a highlight of the trip is a BIG understatement! We had a blast and were in Harley Heaven. Dale is great and he rode me in a vintage 1920s Harley with a sidecar! (Another bucket list item checked off.) This is the most amazing collection we had ever seen and it all runs and Dale will crank it and take off on it. We spent a good part of our day just amazed at the amount of stuff inside this museum. Maggie Valley
The next day of course we headed out to
! I just can’t even describe the feelings we had when we arrived. On Thursday there weren’t many folks in town yet so we got to walk around and really look the town over good. It was nice being able to do that before the crowds rolled in! And boy did they roll in over the next few days. On Friday we got up early to head to the Snappy Lunch to eat breakfast. That was our first encounter with a look-alike from the show... Briscoe Darling was up early too. Then Mayberry Squad Cars started to appear on the streets. It was raining but not too hard and we made the best of it and bought a big umbrella. Everyone in town was so nice and all had stories to share. Mount Airy
We then headed down to Wally’s Service Station to take a squad car tour. This was perfect and our driver even sounded a lot like Barney Fife. We got to drive by Andy’s childhood home (they rent it out like a B&B now). We saw a large granite yard and other points of interest. But riding in an old squad car was a big part of the fun. Next to Wally’s is a recreation of the Jail and we made a few pictures inside.
We headed back to Snappy for our Pork Chop Samich. It was great and Floyd the Barber was inside and decided to give Danny a little trim. The rain stopped while we were eating lunch so we did some more site-seeing. We toured the Andy Griffith museum, lots of history inside the museum on the show and Andy in general. We watched a
TAGS Rerun Watchers contest and these folks are good. We only got one question correct. (What was the color of the saddle on Opie’s imaginary horse Blackie? Silver) these folks were serious about their trivia.
We had tickets Friday night to see Doug Dillard (Darling) it was our first show for the weekend. We enjoyed seeing all the look alikes and the old cast members that took part in the show. One was Charlene (Maggie Peterson), she sang a few of the songs like Salty Dog and some others she sang on
Saturday morning was the BIG day! Parade day was the happening day. The town was packed with folks…lots and lots of folks. The best thing about it was that we all had the love of
TAGS in common and people would just come up to you and start talking about certain episodes. It was perfect! The parade was PERFECT too! We loved it. The old cast members and the impersonators made it so special. David Browning (Barney) makes this festival SPECIAL for everyone. I think he IS Barney… we were just thrilled to meet him.
We toured the local museum and they really have a
NICE one! Learned a lot of moonshine history. We ate at a really nice place across the street, went in a few wineries and purchase a few souvenir bottles. We looked at the famous Siamese twin exhibit. We just sat and people watched this was a great place to just sit and relax and take it all in.
We had tickets for Colonel Tim’s Talent Time Show on Saturday night and boy were we in for some treats! This show lasted about 3 hours…so we got our money’s worth. It is the Grand Finale of the festival and everyone participates that has anything to do with the festival. It was a perfect ending to a great weekend and WE LOVED IT
ALL! (check one off the list)
On to the Biltmore Next! What can you say expect we know why they call it the Biltmore…They Built More House than Anyone Would Need! It was so amazing. We spent all day touring the estate. (One more check off on the list)
Now for some riding on the Harley! First on the
Blue Ridge Parkway! All I can say was AMAZING! This is the perfect place for a Harley! We LOVED it and the weather was PERFECT! The next day was through the . Again it was gorgeous riding. Cades Cove was the only thing not motorcycle friendly. I even saw a baby bear hanging over my head. We saw lots and lots of turkey crossing the road. The leaves were turning and the weather was wonderful. We saw so much and had a wonderful few days of riding. I can’t imagine seeing these places any other way than on the back of a Harley. It wouldn’t be the same in a car. (2 checks on the list) Smoky Mountain National Park
On our last day we traveled by truck to a part of the
to see Elk! This was a big treat for Danny. We sat behind a 100 year old barn and listened to them bugle before we ever saw them. We got some great pictures and were able to get pretty close to them. Smoky Mt. Park
All I can say was this was the most relaxing and best trip that we have ever been on! We had the best of time and made lots of wonderful memories. And isn’t that what life is all about making beautiful memories with the ones you love!