Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Sep 25, 2013
Jessi Stone and husband Matt Welborn on top of the Empire State Building.

Eight states in five days

Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing road trip East — but I am so happy to be home! Just being gone a week I feel like I missed so much. The first thing I did, (after sleeping all day Friday), was go by the office to pick up copies of The Mountaineer and The Guide to see what happened while I was away. Of course the news went on without me!

But the news seemed to follow me along my trip as well. We woke up last Monday morning in our hotel in Washington, D.C., to find a mass shooting had occurred at the Navy shipyard just a few miles away. We attempted to get out of the city mid-morning, but all the road blockages prevented us from our normal route as law enforcements was still trying to get people out of harm’s way and were looking for possible shooters.

Our GPS navigation and cell phone mapping couldn’t get a signal because of all the helicopters hovering overhead. After being rerouted several times, we had to take many back roads out of the city to get to Baltimore. The shooting left 12 dead and many more injured. It’s heartbreaking to think of all those people who were just getting to work on a Monday morning with no idea of the tragedy ahead.

You can always bet on getting into the middle of something in New York City whether it’s traffic, a sidewalk jam or other NYC clichés. We just happened to walk into Occupy Wall Street second anniversary protests. As we passed this spectacle about 5 p.m. last Tuesday there were cheers about passing the Robin Hood Tax.

As much as I wanted to stop and watch — our stomachs were growling and we had to eat before our Broadway show started at 7 p.m. My dad, who went on the road trip with my husband and I, insisted we had plenty of time to get back to the Majestic Theatre.

His casual schedule caused us to get to the theatre at 7 p.m. just as the lights were going down and we had to crawl over people’s legs in the upper balcony to get to our seats. Broadway tip: Apparently no one dresses up to go to a Broadway show anymore so don’t even bother trying to walk in those stylish heels and dress.

So we returned with many great stories, many hilarious mishaps and new memories I will never forget with my husband, my little sister (who is quickly growing up so quickly) and my father. We explored D.C., saw my sister’s school and dorm in Delaware, had a Philly cheesesteak in Philly, looked out over the city from the top of the Empire State Building and enjoyed a scenic drive home through the Shenandoah National Park. What more could I ask for?


Back to reality

Now it’s back to work here in Haywood. They say it’s a sign that you’re unhappy with your life if you return from vacation without a renewed since of energy. Luckily, that is not the case with me. I was ready to get home, get my things squared away and get back to checking my emails obsessively. The fall weather is in the air and I’m filling up my Guide calendar as we speak with incredible events coming up in the area.

The Apple Harvest Festival is just weeks away and Maggie Valley will be holding its first Oktoberfest in years next weekend at the festival grounds. But for those who can’t wait that long, the 39th annual Mountain Heritage Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Western Carolina University.  The event will feature mountain music, food, arts and crafts vendors and other free activities. Read more about it on page XX.

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