March 30

North Carolina, Day One – AKA: Vera Bradley Fest

Our decision to visit home was a sudden one.

Knobby’s grandmother was very recently diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer.

If you’re a somewhat frequent reader of my blog, you’ve probably read that I’m a believer in “signs”.  I’m always on the lookout for, and amazed when, things so obviously happen for a reason.

I had previously debated the need and purpose for the new Overland with this Adaptive Cruise Control feature that Knobby insisted he wanted.  He was so close to buying the one on the local lot that has been a constant disappointment . . . when the next day we were lead to the perfect car with all the features he wanted at a dealership that excelled.  I still debated . . . we live inside the city limits of a tiny town.  His commute is two miles over city streets.  Our errands are usually no further than a five mile radius from our house.  All over city streets that are stoplight stoplight stoplight parking lot.  Our daily lives have no use for Adaptive Cruise Control.  Heck, our daily lives mostly don’t even involve speeds over 35mph.

But . . . what a blessing that ACC turned out to be.  Yes, of course it was inevitable that it would get used at some point, but our regular everyday plans put that being, oh, somewhere in summer or maybe not even till Christmas.  How wonderful that we had such a feature at our disposal for this unexpected trip.

We discovered . . . that my Big Red Suitcase DID fit in the back hatch!  And Knobby’s “Jeep” suitcase went right alongside it.  Plus pillows and hockey skates and hanging Sunday clothes . . . Our trunk was so, so organized.  Our backseat was so, so spare.  It was so calming to have nothing flying about or shifting when we turned corners and curves.  And, you know, being able to see out the back window . . . that was a plus.

Definitely NOT like our usual travels home in the BabyBentley (above).  AKA, the CLAMPETTMOBILE.

Everything packed succinctly, we hit the road to visit Knobby’s Grandma.  We hadn’t gotten far down the road when we passed this milk truck.


*Sigh*  Maybe I should say . . . Knobby’s FAVORITE milk truck ever.  We’d passed it at significant speed, and when he fully realized what the little slogan on the back actually said, he slammed on the brakes so that it could catch up and pass us, so that I then could take a picture.

I’m ashamed to tell you that it’s now become a favorite slogan that he throws out like someone with Tourettes, with much aplomb.

Milk truck captured, on we went.  We arrived in Winston around two in the morning, collapsed, and woke up the next day in time to go out to . . . CHICKAFIL! . . . with his mom and sister and her kiddies.

I want to commend the Stanleyville Chick-fil-A in Winston-Salem.  Knobby’s sister does not have Chick-fil-A, we don’t have Chick-fil-A, so together we were hitting that restaurant for every possible mealtime.  Such pleasant employees.  Such gracious manners.  The employees would gladly offer to bring out all our food to us instead of our waiting at the counter, and the ladies minding the dining area were always checking on us, handing out mints, offering to refill our drinks, taking our trash . . . all the while a Christian radio station played current family-friendly tunes.  Stanleyville Chick-fil-A is an OASIS.

Plus, they are hosting a charity drive for Light the Fuse on Hunger in Winston-Salem.  Cards are stamped, and when you purchase six lunch or dinner entrees, you get a free Chick-fil-A sandwich AND one is donated to the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission.  Of course, you can always donate your free sandwich to the cause as well.  If you are in Winston-Salem, this is a great cause to support.

After Chickafil, Knobby’s sister reintroduced me to the world of Vera Bradley.  Vera hit it big in college, and my roommate was on a mission to collect every single pattern.  She bought the standard class-size tote bag and had a huge shelving system built for her side of our dorm room which displayed all her Vera totes lined up the length of the room, up near the ceiling.  I haven’t seen much Vera around here . . . there don’t seem to be any stores that carry it, the closest being an hour away and a small selection.  So, over time I’d gone off of it, thinking maybe it was just a phase and I was over it . . . then Knobby’s sister took us to buy a new pattern and get something in a discontinued pattern . . . and the spark was fired again.

My sweet husband is so indulgent with the Vera Bradley.  You know how they have all the colors crammed in together sorted by style . . . well, I imagine while I’m standing back and visually searching the racks to spy the color I like . . . I imagine that he instead is thinking I’m scared to approach the racks because I will swoop them all up into my arms and run out of the store screaming with an overwhelming AcquireDesire.  And that man HUNTS in those shelves, dives in and extracts everything in the color I like.  And then . . . “Don’t you want this too?  Don’t you think it would be nice to have this one?”

WHEW.  Now, he is always indulgent, don’t get me wrong.  This is how any trip to Target or the Mall ends up . . .pointing and “do you want a _______?  why don’t you get that _______?”.  But I still think he believes if I don’t have a collection that exceeds what he remembers of college roommate’s . . . then my heart will never be full.

In August, when we visited the AppState Bookstore (HUGE VB Selection!), I had loved this bag, but we’d bought a lot that day (massive ASU mug that is now a candy jar, ridiculously expensive sweatshirt, golf tees with Yosef heads on them . . . ) and I thought enough was enough, I could always get it later.         But I didn’t.        And so . . . there was the “Julia” in Slate Bloom sitting on display, as pretty as you please, and . . . this time, it came home with me.

Along with some little accessories in the English Meadow print, which is so springy and delicate and feminine.  I get absorbed in the bright springy blues and greens . . . it cheers me.  See how pretty?

Hmmmmmm.  You know, looking at the English Meadow print in the “Julia” style . . . I might need to order one of those as well.


(Later that night, Knobby had fallen asleep while I was doing a little iPad shopping.  I got in a panic and ordered some discontinued Vera prints off the website . . . Shhhhhhhh.)

“Bowler” in “Sittin’ in a Tree”

(Sorry, K, I think I copied you here.  It was the most attractive style that was left in the pattern!)

“Bowler” in “Hope Garden”


Then it was time to go pick up Garm and K’s kids, and meet Knobby’s Dad for dinner in Greensboro . . . because the kids had planned an ice skating night with their Uncle Knobby.  Fun fun fun.


Did you like this? Share it:

Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 11:04 am. Etiquette, SouthernBelle, The Art of Commerce.