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Hello Friends

Three years ago, without a word of warning, we took a hiatus. What happened? Our children were (and still are) growing into young adults, careers took different paths, and we were tired.

One thing we can safely say is that we have missed this little spot on the internet. Our little home celebrating all things North Carolina. After a lot of thought, we realized that maybe things were a little too granular with what we were writing about – our scope was too narrow.

So we are going to start sharing things here again that we love about our home. Lisa is itching to redesign the site (heaven help us all when she gets an idea like this) and a few folks will be stopping by to espouse themselves in essay form about their love of North Carolina.

Thank you for sticking around and giving us the space we needed. We are truly grateful.

2016 Biltmore Summer Concert Series

Once again, the 2016 Biltmore Summer Concert Series has us queueing for tickets and booking hotel rooms on the estate so we can listen to outstanding artists under the stars on the South Terrace of Biltmore House. We’ve seen quite a few memorable performances at Biltmore, made more so by the mesmerizing sunsets, views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the beauty that is Biltmore.

This year, Biltmore has an eclectic lineup of concerts that will appeal to a wide variety of visitors and music fans. Tickets for all shows go on sale May 18th.

North Carolina’s own, Daughtry, will rock out on the South Terrace on Thursday, July 28th at 7:30 p.m.

Rock General Admission: $62
Reserved Seating: $72
Premium Seating: $87

Daughtry is part of the 2016 Biltmore Summer Concert Series

Casting Crowns, with special guest Jeremy Camp, will perform Friday, August 12 at 7:30 p.m.

General Admission: $60
Reserved Seating: $65
Premium Seating: $75

Casting Crowns will be part of the featured entertainment this year during the Biltmore Summer Concert Series

Twelve-time Grammy award winner Emmylou Harris will perform on Sunday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m. with special guest Mary Chapin-Carpenter.

General Admission: $51
Reserved Seating: $61
Premium Seating: $86

12-time Grammy Award winning artist Emmylou Harris will take the stage as part of the Biltmore Summer Concert Series

photo by Michael K. Riley

The 80’s are back as Rick Springfield will be on hand with Night Ranger and The Romantics on Tuesday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Rick Springfield will take part in the Biltmore Summer Concert Series

General Admission: $65
Reserved Seating: $75
Premium Seating: $90

The 15th Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

The 15th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival will be held Saturday, May 21, in beautiful Surry County at Elkin Municipal Park. Started in 2002 with 7 wineries the festival had 4,500 attendees. Organizers are expecting 10,000 attendees this year

Showcasing the top wineries from North Carolina’s wine country, festival-goers will have the opportunity to sample from 30 wineries that are either located in the Yadkin Valley or use grapes harvested from Yadkin vineyards.

Originally developed to promote viticulture, local vintners now find themselves competing with well-established wine-regions, like California, and are taking home top prizes.

The 15th Annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival

Many people think of wine as a scary adventure and aren’t sure what to expect. Education is an important component of the festival, with winery representatives on-hand to answer questions and help people find wines that suit their tastes.

In addition to wine tastings, the festival includes food, music and crafts. Taylor Vaden’s Tribute to Elvis and Phatt City, a beach music and R&B band, will provide entertainment. Between music sets, kids can participate in a grape stomp.

The 10th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Auction will take place in downtown Elkin the night before the festival, Friday, May 20. The gala-style affair includes dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. Items up for auction include furniture, travel packages, home decor items, college football tickets and more. That event is at The Liberty events hall and starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50, with all proceeds benefitting the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation.


Yadkin Valley Wine Festival tickets are $22 in advance and $30 at the gate. Active duty and retired military can purchase day-of tickets for $20. VIP tickets are available for $100. The VIP package includes preferential parking and access to the hospitality tent. Shuttle service is available to and from participating hotels for $5 per person.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit www.YVWF.com or call (336) 526-1111. To learn more about the Yadkin Valley area and explore lodging options, visit www.YadkinValleyNC.com.

Snow From Winters Past

North Carolina experienced its first blast of winter weather Friday in the form of snow and ice. We’ve enjoyed nesting, celebrated power coming back on to warm our homes, and have tried not to fall into holiday habits that we’ve been ignoring — such as excessive carbohydrates and sugar.

As Mount Mitchell digs out from 66 inches of snow, we thought we’d take a look back into North Carolina snowstorms of the past and share images of winter weather.

Snow looks much more elegant draping across vintage cars and downtown streets.

Snow in Raleigh, NC

From the Charles A. Farrell Photo Collection, PhC.9, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. No known copyright restrictions.

Snow in the Carolinas

Intersection of Cannon Avenue (no longer in existence, present day vicinity of Dorothea Drive) and Saunders Street. Snow is seen on roadways, houses are seen lining the street 2-3 April 1915. From Carolina Power and Light (CP&L) Photograph Collection (PhC.68), North Carolina State Archives. No Known Copyright Restrictions

Can you imagine waking up to see the power lines down like this? We remember it during Hurricane Hugo, but not sure we’ve ever known snow to cause this type of damage.

Snow in Raleigh, NC

Pictured is Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC looking east from approximately present day Horne Street. The landscape is covered in deep snow, power lines are seen toppled over. NC State campus is seen in background with Tompkins Hall, Winston Hall, 1911 Building, and Syme Residence Hall also seen. 2-3 April 1915 From Carolina Power and Light (CP&L) Photograph Collection (PhC.68), North Carolina State Archive No Known Copyright Restrictions

Snow in Raleigh, NC

From the Charles A. Farrell Photo Collection, PhC.9, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. No Known Copyright Restrictions

The Grove Park Inn is one of our favorite spots and this photo of the Inn makes us wish we were sitting in a rocking chair in front of their roaring fireplaces.

Snow at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

E. M. Ball Photographic Collection (1918-1969), D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductees

On Sunday, October 16, at 2:00 pm, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame will induct three new members: Clyde Edgerton, Margaret Maron, and Carl Sandburg. They will join the fifty-seven inductees currently enshrined in the Hall. The ceremony will be held the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines.

North Carolina has a rich literary tradition and heritage that we’re proud to support not only as writers, but as lovers of the written word. Our literary heritage goes back to the strong oral traditions and now includes the includes the non-traditional ways people are accessing and learning about literature including blogs, e-readers, social media, etc.

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductees

Clyde Edgerton was raised in the Bethesda community near Durham and is the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, short stories, and essays. Three of his novels—Raney, Walking Across Egypt, and Killer Diller—have been made into feature films, and seven of his books have been adapted for the stage.

Clyde Edgerton

He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. Clyde is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and is the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington, NC, with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

Margaret Maron is the author of thirty novels and two collections of short stories. Winner of several major American awards for mysteries (Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity), her works are on the reading lists of various courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into sixteen languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America.

Margaret Maron -- 2016 Inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame

A native Tar Heel—and a cousin of 2014 NCLHOF inductee Shelby Stephenson—Maron lives on her family’s farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh, the setting for Bootlegger’s Daughter, which is numbered among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. In 2004, she received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best North Carolina novel of the year. In 2008, she was honored with the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor. In 2013, Maron was named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America for lifetime achievement, and won the R. Hunt Parker Award for Significant Contributions to the Literature of North Carolina.

Carl Sandburg was born in a three-room cottage in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1878. The son of Swedish immigrants, young Sandburg spent time as a milkman, bricklayer, wheat thresher, shoeshiner, hobo, and soldier before making his name as a journalist, biographer, and poet. He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for his multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, and his second in 1951 for his Complete Poems.

2016 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductee Carl Sandburg

In 1945, Sandburg and his family—along with their herd of prize-winning goats and their collection of thousands of books—moved to a farm outside Flat Rock, now the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Sandburg died there in 1967.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame:

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. Inductions are held every other year. A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at www.nclhof.org.

For more information, visit the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame at www.nclhof.org or the North Carolina Writers’ Network at www.ncwriters.org