Last weekend, our British car club had an outing planned. There weren’t any reports of the virus being in our area yet, so we went ahead with it. We practiced our new social distance, and I was using a Asian style bow for a greeting. I find that keeping my hands together reminds me not to hug my friends like I usually do. It is reminiscent of an old habit from the surgical suite of keeping your hands clasped together while waiting for something to be done so you didn’t break your sterile field. For this drive, since we’d mostly be on the roads in our cars, it seemed like an OK activity. So, we gathered at a local store parking lot, and had some chat time before the drive.
This time, My Sweet Babboo wanted to drive his Fiat. Can you see his fuzzy dice in Italian flag colors hanging from the mirror? He loves those things.
Our drive leader has this red Lotus Exige, and he brought some friends from Hickory who own the silver Lotus Evora.
Out of the parking area, we headed up Leicester Hwy going north from Asheville.
Rural roads often have farmers in tractors on the road.
The mountains have yet to begin greening up, but the scenery was nice anyway.
Old barns are a frequent sight.
These pastoral scenes are all over the western mountain area. Those little white dots on the hillside on the right side of the photo are sheep.
Driving a nice rural route took us around valleys, and up mountains with twisty roads that the guys like.
Flowers were often seen, like these blooming golden forsythias, next to a old low barn. It was hard to get a lot of photos of those, as they would come into view around a curve and be behind us before the camera could focus.
Our first stop of the day, a rural general store with a small cafe outside of Hot Springs, NC.
After a bit of chat time and a pit stop for most of us, we set out again.
A tributary to the French Broad river was on the left, and interesting rock formations on the right.
Going through a small town near Marshall, a weeping cherry was in bloom.
A pretty stream runs past an old stable.
Later on, the route took us past the French Broad river.
Once again, interesting rock formations on the side of the mountain next to the road.
The end of the run was at a restaurant. Since there were no cases of the virus in our area yet, we felt like it was safe to eat and we had a lovely lunch with friends before heading home. It was a bit funny, as we drove an Italian car with the British Car Club to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant. It was an international day. But it was probably the last time we’ll do a club activity for some time.
I am really concerned about all the small businesses that are suffering right now, particularly restaurants. Yesterday, our governor ordered all dine-in seating areas closed in all restaurants, going to take out only. This mandate in other states dropped restaurant meal purchases by over 90%, which will put the small family run places out of business in a matter of a few weeks. I had an idea of one thing I can do to support my favorite places while this is going on. I’m going to invite my gal pals for a virtual lunch. Each of us will get take out from our favorite place, supporting our local restaurants, and eat at home while we chat on the phone using the speaker or a video call app. Yes, I’ll be getting my lunch from my favorite locally family owned spot, Champa, a Japanese and Thai place with fabulous sushi in downtown Hendersonville. My first lunch is planned for tomorrow, so will see how it goes. We have to continue to support these small businesses as we can, and since I am used to eating out at least a few times a month, I’m going to continue doing that with take out. The fun part of this is we can do it with friends who live far away too, like my dear pal in Idaho, or a long time friend who moved to Wilmington. Please share this idea, #virtuallunch everywhere you can. Click on the Meme to Pin me!
I’m also going to make an effort to shop my local quilt store by phone too. I’ll bet if I call them to order, then I can pick it up without spending a lot of time in the store. They are at high risk for financial problems with the loss of customers in the stores, and I am concerned for them. Of course, I’ll be washing my hands after touching store and post office doorknobs, but I also realized something else just this week. After going to the PO, I had to open the door to the lobby area, and by the time I was back in the car, I had touched the outside car door handle, the inside door handle and the steering wheel before I picked up the hand wipes. So, now I’ll be wiping down my car door handles and steering wheel when I’ve been shopping, or picking up packages at the post office. I’m not concerned about the packages themselves, the virus can only live about 4 hours on porous surfaces like paper, cardboard and fabric. So even if someone at the PO had it, by the time the mail sits overnight in a locker waiting for me to pick it up, it should be fine.
Are you doing any fun things now, either outside or at home? Who can you have a Virtual Lunch Date with?