To be, rather than to seem (to be)

'Esse quam videri' or 'to be, rather than to seem (to be)' is North Carolina's state motto. And how right it is that the very people we love and hold dear in this state exemplify that phrase. The Garners are, as we put it, the 'very salt of the earth'. The kindest, most giving and genuine people we know. They were there for Kyle when he lived in Roanoake Rapids doing Teach for America and would have him over for supper all the time. Once I entered the picture, they welcomed me in with open arms and I stayed with them a couple of times when visiting Kyle. It's become tradition for us to drive down and visit with them over a weekend in October. You can see 2013 here and 2014 here. We love it! This year we skipped the NC State Fair (deciding to spare our bellies and wallet) and took a drive out to Blowing Rock, NC and saw the neatest community along with plenty of beautiful fall leaves on the Blue Ridge Drive.  
Christmas tree farm!
Fall decor. Dying I loved it so.
The best ice cream (besides Kyle's homemade, of course).
And the drive begins. 
More Christmas tree farms!
We stopped to pick us up some apples and fresh vegetables for dinner the next day.

Kyle and his apple slushie (yes, there is such a thing).
We pulled over to different lookouts and the day was mysteriously foggy. Just in time for Halloween.
The most wonderful people on the planet. 
They wouldn't let us leave without getting a good old fashioned North Carolina meal complete with ham, sweet potatoes, coleslaw, white bean soup with tomatoes and vinegar and hush puppies with cooked apples and vanilla ice cream for dessert. We are spoiled by them every time we travel down. Thank you Garners for having us down again for another adventure! 

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