Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Walking around Winston-Salem

Signs of spring are beginning to appear here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ve had red-winged blackbirds visit the feeder. On our evening walks, we’ve heard the spring peepers’ call (a type of frog). We even saw a mourning cloak on the New River Trail last weekend.

In Piedmont North Carolina, the warmer seasons usually arrive earlier than here. On a visit to Winston-Salem last weekend we saw these beautiful flowers:

Strollway Flowers

We found these along The Strollway. We have daffodil stems pushing through the soil here in the mountains, but no flowers yet.

This trail is over a mile long and connects Old Salem with downtown. We parked at the end of a street in Old Salem and walked over to the trail. We’d looked for the strollway while wondering around downtown a couple years ago, but, for whatever reason, we couldn’t find it.

Here are some photos from the walk:

The Strollway

Winston-Tower and trees

Winston Tower

Lola — The Muse of the Arts District

Lola — The Muse of the Arts District

Full shot of Lola

Art on a wall behind the bus depot.

Art on a wall behind the bus depot.

Strollway downtown

Shot of Old Salem

Shot of Old Salem

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Mayberry Toy Co., Mount Airy, N.C.

Looking back over my posts from past years, it seems I’ve been pretty awful at noting many of the local stores and trails in my own backyard. I focus more on the local hangouts of the cities we visit. In the next several months, I will try to point out some not-to-be-missed places in the Twin Counties and surrounding communities, including linking to posts from those areas. That includes Mount Airy, N.C., and Floyd, Hillsville, Galax, Wytheville, and Grayson County, Va.

Today, I have to note a really cool store that opened a year or two ago in Mount Airy — Mayberry Toy Co. This past weekend was the first time I’d visited the store. Chris had went in and bought a gift last year while I stayed outside with Sidney. He was thoroughly impressed. So, this time, I went in with him.

The store is pretty amazing. I love the variety of toys, including Melissa and Dog and Fisher Price toys. There were board games, craft kits, stuffed toys, and science kits. I wish we had a niece or nephew old or young enough who would be interested in the DNA or physics science kits! I would love to see those in action.

We left with a Lego train set for our 18-month-old nephew. I wish we were going to live close enough to visit again next year.

So, if you’re in the area, whether you need a gift or not, stop by and check out the selection. Other Mount Airy posts are found here.


Open Farm Days | Goat Lady Dairy

Open Farm Days | Goat Lady Dairy.

My grandma called me this evening to tell me about this event this coming Sunday.

It’s an open farm day at the Goat Lady Dairy and Rising Meadow Farm Sept. 29 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pups are not allowed, so leave ’em at home.

The Goat Lady Dairy Farm is located at 3531 Jess Hackett Road, Climax, N.C.


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Rose Window Beret

I finished a project!

Rose Beret

This is the Rose Window Beret by Anne Kuo Lukito. It was featured in the Spring 2010 Interweave Knits issue.

Interweave Knits Spring 2010

I bought the yarn, a nice wool, at Gate City Yarns (Greensboro, N.C.) two Decembers ago and just now got around to using it. I began the project sometime in June and finished it during our drive to D.C. for vacation in August.

I had to restart the project a couple of times because I was teaching myself how to read a lace pattern. With some help from several sites, I was able to get turned around. Here’s a few places to start: Knit Picks (I used this reference a lot), the For Dummies site (the publisher of the For Dummies books) and Knitty.

The hat doesn’t look exactly like it should because I haven’t blocked it yet. I really should do that so the pretty lace pattern shows up.

I love this pattern! I might make another to give away.


J.C. Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, N.C.

J.C. Raulston Arboretum is a nice park to take an early morning stroll. There were lots of robins, cardinals and other birds singing from the trees as Chris and I strolled through the gardens, checking out the various shrubs and trees planned along the walks.

Pups are not allowed, so Sydney had to wait in the car. Don’t worry, it was a very brisk morning so there was no danger of her overheating. Plus, we never leave her in the car for very long. This was a quick visit.

Because the local police department was meeting at the facility, we had to park along Beryl Road. There’s a nice entry way from the roadside, so you don’t have to walk through the parking lot (though it’s really a small parking lot so that doesn’t really matter).

Chris really liked the well kept the grounds. Everything looked fresh and well-maintained.

I liked how well each of the species were labeled and included the native growing ranges of each of the plants. The park’s lath house and information on it was interesting. This is where most of the plants are kept until they are hardy enough to be moved out into other parts of the property. Some plants are kept there indefinitely.

Since it was still early in the year, most of the plants were not in bloom or even had leaves. We headed toward the magnolia garden to check out the blooms. Fact: lots of magnolias bloom before they get their leaves.

I would enjoy coming here to relax early on Saturday mornings.