Christmas with the MINI Club

This year, we were once again able to spend a weekend with our MINI club at a resort to party, have fun drives and do fun things. The directors chose to bring us back to the Lake Lure Inn where we’ve been before. I posted a lot of pictures and history about the inn two years ago in this post – Christmas at Lake Lure Inn. Settle in for a long and picture heavy post. Arriving in the late afternoon, lots of MINIs were already in the parking lot. Ours is the red one. My Sweet Babboo put the club magnetic signs on it.

The rooms have huge windows that open inward, and no screens. You can open them up wide for lots of fresh air and lovely views even in winter.

Leaning out the window, to the left is the lake. It had been drained down so the city could work on the dam and homeowners with piers can do some maintenance. Still, it was a nice view even with the bare trees.

I mentioned last time that this hotel was a location place for the movie Dirty Dancing, and the stars stayed here for a part of the time while filming. Here is Johnny’s cabin.

You might recognize this gravel path and railing from the movie too, leading up to another cabin.

So, Friday evening was a dinner at the Lake House. The food was great and they served 36 people with ease. I had a Salmon BLT, but I was most impressed with the prime rib served to another member. It was fun to see old friends and catch up a bit. The next morning, we set out for the first drive of the weekend along back roads. The day was heavily overcast with rain predicted, but we didn’t let that stop us.

Naturally, the rain did come, but we were lucky that the showers were scattered and not a deluge.

The drive was over an hour, and we arrived at our lunch spot, taking over the parking lot. There are more MINIs on the next row and around the corner.

A short drive down the road after lunch took us to our next destination.

Our directors had arranged for the Bennett Classics Museum in Forest City, NC to open just for us.

Some of the volunteers were present to give us history lessons on the individual cars. Every one had a story about how it was acquired.

More than 70 cars were on display, from early Model Ts up to the 1970s. If you are interested, or your significant other would like a better view, you can see a 360-degree panorama of the museum and its cars HERE.

Back to the hotel to set up the silent auction and get ready for the big dinner. I was so busy, I didn’t get photos of the auction tables at all, and the ones I took of the fabulous food didn’t turn out. While we had cocktail hour and our meal, the silent auction was going on. We donated several things to the auction, one was my Starry Charms Christmas Quilt. The buffet was spectacular with tender roast beef in a thick brown gravy, juicy and crispy boneless fried chicken, veggies and sides, along with yummy desserts of cheesecake, cookies and cream pie, chocolate pie and an apple pie. After dinner, we played a couple of fun games, one where you had to take the wrapper off a Hershey’s kiss while wearing oven mitts, harder than you think it would be! First table to get all their kisses unwrapped won a prize. Then we did a gift exchange by passing gifts right and left as a story was told. Finally, it was last call for the auction. All our items got early bids, which made me happy that I had brought things people wanted. I was really amazed that there was a bidding war on the quilt, and it sold for $85! All the money raised went to the relief fund for the flood victims in Haywood county.

Sunday morning brought the last event of the weekend, with My Sweet Babboo leading a drive south from Lake Lure up to the top of White Pine Mountain. Tight switchbacks and twisty roads made for an interesting drive up. I got a photo in the rear view mirror of a few cars behind us.

As the lead car, it was hard to get photos of the MINIs on the drive, but I managed this one at a stop sign, again in the mirror, using the zoom on the camera.

Coming around a tight switchback, a small herd of deer were standing in the road! We stopped in time, and waited for a moment. You can see four in this picture. Even honking the horn didn’t get them moving very fast. How perfect is this to actually see deer on our drive called the Reindeer Run!!

At the top, a short stop for photos of the stunning view. It seems like you can see for a hundred miles, doesn’t it? Right in the middle of the photo below, you can see a vulture circling around. There is a second one below him, very difficult to see, but he is just below the highway, a dark spot in the photo. They were spectacular to watch.

Our stop for lunch was at the wonderful Rural Seed Restaurant in Columbus, NC. They are known for their huge cinnamon rolls, and they only make a limited number for Sunday brunches. This is one, enough for our entire table of 7 diners to have a piece! Scrumptious!!

My Sweet Babboo had the Cherry Blintzes. Oh, my, these were soooooo good!! Tender crepes are filled with large curd ricotta cheese, then topped with whole cherry sauce. They were served with eggs, bacon, grits and biscuits. I had ordered a sandwich for lunch, and wished I had gotten these when I snitched a bite of his. I was able to get some photos of the dishes what our friends were eating too, and put those up on my Trip Advisor Review.

One more view of the ridge before heading home after lunch. What a great weekend!

After that, we barely had two days at home to do laundry and errands, then off to see my mother in law in Atlanta for a couple of days. We took her Christmas gifts to her and did a bit of shopping. Then back home again. Hopefully, this week I’ll get back to the quilt on the frame, and maybe get the next top assembled. Yikes, Christmas is less than a week away! I think I am ready, just one more trip to the grocery store for the last minute items and more egg nog.

Are you taking any fun trips this holiday season?

20 thoughts on “Christmas with the MINI Club

  1. Mary Stori

    How very generous that the proceeds of your silent auction were directed toward the flood victims in Haywood County. The terrible damage is still very evident in many areas with many residents still living in temporary housing. It’s what the Christmas spirit is about isn’t it?

  2. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    What a fun trip, Carole! We’ve been to Lake Lure. I love the area. It’s about an hour’s drive from my brother in Mooresboro and about the same from my brother-in-law in Gerton. Next time we visit we definitely need to visit the car museum. We both love the old cars! Have a great week and Merry Christmas!

  3. Julie

    Another enjoyable virtual road rally with you & the Mini club. What a treat having a private tour of the Bennett Museum. The classic cars have such pretty & friendly faces. I always think Minis look like they’re smiling. It’s not surprising there was a lot of interest in your Christmas Stars quilt. The deep rich colors surrounding golden stars creates quite a striking quilt. Looks like a fun holiday party topped off with a donation for those in need. And you even managed a family visit! The clock is ticking – must get back to holiday sewing – no time for actual trips here especially as we’re in an area of substantial transmission.

  4. karenfae

    sounds like you had a lot of fun – the places you stopped at look great and the places to eat along the way – I’m glad you had this time as with Covid picking up again some of them might be closed again soon! And a trip to Atlanta was tossed in too – that is good

  5. Sounds like a really fun trip! I think minis are so cute; love to see them in rows! We are flying to California/Washington to visit family- my mother-in-law is in hospice and we want time with her. We also will have a nice Christmas with both sides of the family. I’m a little nervous about travel but we’ll take all precautions. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  6. Jean McKinstry

    The car Museum video , what a grand collection. Lovely scenery on your trip, and wonderful to be able to get together and still be safe. Hand delivery of a Christmas gift is the best. Our Grandson will stay here Thursday night and take the northern parcels when he goes there on 24th. A regular family Santa , postage is so slow here right now, I am so thankful he will be the courier.

  7. Melanie

    What a fun and delicious trip you had! Great narration and photos. You are a pro with your camera, Carole. Thanks for the tour! Merry Christmas. We’re staying close to home, so enjoyed your tour very much!

  8. What a wonderful trip you enjoyed with your car club. I always enjoy seeing the pics of your gorgeous scenery, and the food, too of course. Merry Christmas to you both, and I must tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog throughout the year. Great projects, table settings, and recipes too, thanks so much.

  9. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Those Blintzes! Yum!!!!

    We just had an outdoor “Christmas lunch party” planned by my husband’s hiking group, canceled due to sudden cold and no one willing to eat inside with the Covid counts still so high in our area. This, despite being a highly vaccinated state and county. Santa Fe is a tourist destination so that might be part of the problem.

    No traveling plans for us, just a quiet Christmas together at home. We’re putting up the rest of our 32” high garden beds. We’re using the Hugelkultur method of piling logs, tree limbs, wood pallets, cardboard, lots of big organic material in the bottom third of the three beds we’ve put together. We’ll continue to build up with larger compostable items before adding soil and compost in the top third of the beds, in the Spring. These are waist high raised metal beds made by Vego Garden.

    Have a most wonderful Christmas!

  10. What a grand tour you had! The scenery is beautiful, and the car collection a treat. My father sold cars in the ’50s and ’60s, so many of those models looked familiar to me. The blintzes look so good, and I could pass out just looking at the cinnamon roll! And your silent auction donations went to a worthy cause. Glad yours raised a generous sum. What fun.

  11. I’m so glad you were able to get together with your group this year. Those fun times mean so much. I remember our first Cork Poppers back in gear and it was so joyful! Merriest of Christmases, Carole! I’ve so enjoyed following you this year!

  12. oh Dirty Dancing……..Mr Chooky told me it is on TV this weekend so I will be watching it again I am sure…….the trip and the food looks great……..always love your tours……..

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