This morning we put on our Red High Heels and headed to Albemarle NC – hometown of country music star, Kellie Pickler, who was ushered into the national spotlight during American Idol Season 5. He said we were going picking, but I know secretly he was hoping to stumble upon Kellie – and in his red high heels, stumble he would. Alas, he found no Kellie but I did find a knight in shining armor.
After the usual “breakfast” stop, we made our way to Albemarle by way of Red Cross NC. Seriously, you can’t miss the huge water tower rising up on the horizon as you travel US Highway 24/27 somewhere between Allen and Albemarle. This little town was once a junction for transportation and got its name from the red clay roads which made traveling during wet weather quite difficult.
Our GPS bypassed our first stop and had us make a series of right turns taking us back to it – no, she was not recalculating because we missed a turn, she was asserting her dominance over us. In our defense, if we had seen the sign, we never would have listened to her. She doesn't totally intimidate us, at least not yet.
So after we completed her right turns – I’m sure she was feeling rather superior at this point – we arrived at Albemarle Marketplace. The first thing you need to know, they have a Black Friday Sale that is legendary. All of their vendors participate with sale prices and special items. They start preparing on Tuesday, so this is no small event. They open at 8:00 AM on Black Friday, have free donuts and coffee and you might win a $50 gift certificate. All of this, and you’re stimulating a local business – what could be better?
Down the aisle and around the corner locked away in a glass cabinet, we just happened to find some Space Ranger Banks and lo and behold, one of them, the Space Scout, we did not have. That’s no longer a true statement. Our guilty consciences wouldn't let us leave him behind. There is a lot to see at Albemarle Marketplace. It’s well laid out, the weekend mom/daughter staff are friendly and helpful and they have a frequent shopper card. We might not make it back for Black Friday, but we will definitely put them on our go-back-again list.
Across the highway we stopped at South Bound Antique Mall, home of the roadside Christmas tree. They, too, will be having a Black Friday sale; however, they already have some sale pricing in place to give their shoppers the opportunity to shop early and avoid the crowds. As we were checking out with our spice bottle, they suggested The Goody Shop Café as a great local lunch spot. Unfortunately, it was closed today so we’ll have to try it again next time.
Driving back home we came upon The Carousel Horse in Locust NC and were we ever lucky! Joyce Belk, the owner hosts a Holiday Open House every year, usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, it just happened to be early. Christmas carols were playing, punch and cider were flowing and snacks and sweets were just waiting to be gobbled up. Chicken salad and pimento cheese with crackers, Rice Krispy treats, brownies, Chex mix, and the best pound cake I’ve ever eaten – just to mention a few. I can’t decide what we enjoyed most about this visit. We will absolutely visit again and I’ve already marked my calendar for next year’s open house.
With our tummies full and our thirst quenched, we found a little blue safe bank and because he managed to open it without a combination, it came home with us. Reluctantly I left the knight in shining armor standing guard over The Carousel Horse and rode off into the sunset with the Great One. Do I really need another knight in shining armor? (See, I can be nice occasionally – after all, Christmas is just around the corner and I need to make it onto Santa’s nice list before he packs the sleigh. Hopefully, I’m not too late, but according to the Wilsons, he starts early and packs alphabetically so my chances might be slim.)