Author: Sharon Gubbins
Date of Trip: October 2007
Ever since I was young, our family always watched “The Andy Griffith Show”…..ahhhhh – life seemed so simple back then….small town, friendly folk, slower paced life, home cooking, fresh baked pies, etc.
I have worked full-time for 30 years with an agency who houses court ordered teenage delinquent youth. My husband told me I could do anything I wanted to do for my retirement celebration. As I just love to travel, I picked Mount Airy, North Carolina (the town the show was based on). I also love the mountains, so this would serve as two of my favorite things to see!
Upon our arrival to Mount Airy, Randy & I did the usual tourist attractions: Floyd’s Barber Shop, Wally’s Service Station (where we rode through town in the squad car), a replica of the Mayberry Court House and the Andy Griffith Playhouse. We also ate at “Snappy’s” (home of the famous Pork Chop sandwich) as Andy ate there as a young boy.
Everyone was so friendly and nice to us while we were vacationing. The restaurants where we ate treated us like “regulars”, asked where we were from and shared some of their stories about how long they have lived in the area, their employment, etc.
Randy & I spent our first night at the “Mayberry Motor Lodge”. I had researched this establishment and knew there was some Mayberry memorabilia there. Parked outside was one of the restored Mayberry squad cars along with “Emmett’s Fix It” truck. Of course, we took pictures of all of this. Also located at this motel is a room totally dedicated to memorabilia regarding Francis Bavier (Aunt Bea). Several of Francis’ personal items were on display in this room. The owners of this motel were so friendly to us and we spent a long time talking with them. It seemed like we knew them for twenty years!
Best of all, the next night, we stayed at the “Maxwell House Bed & Breakfast”. Randy & I have stayed at several Bed & Breakfasts over the last ten years. I am very particular where I stay, and will only book a reservation at a Bed & Breakfast that shows pictures of the accommodations. After searching through many sites, I decided on this bed & breakfast. My husband & I enjoy history & meeting people. We tend to lean toward staying at older Victorian and historical homes. The innkeepers, Twyla & Roger, treated us like royalty! Twyla shared many interesting facts about some of the characters from the Andy Griffith show, as she has met most all of them. We felt like we knew Twyla forever! We couldn’t stop talking! “Thelma Lou” resides in Mount Airy, however, Twyla states many people don’t recognize her so she is able to walk about town. “Thelma Lou” even eats at “Snappy’s”!
This innkeeper shared her story with us about how the Maxwell House coffee company phoned and told Twyla that she could not use their name for her Bed & Breakfast. Twyla said, “I beg your pardon…..I am related to the Maxwell’s!” This person didn’t believe her and announced she would have to find a new name for her Bed & Breakfast. Determined to prove him wrong, Twyla set out for the library to gather information to prove her case. After proving her ancestry, the man agreed that she could use the Maxwell name for her establishment – but he wasn’t too happy that she proved him wrong!
The Victorian home was beautiful. I have pictures of our room and some other areas for your viewing. Breakfast the next morning was absolutely delicious! It consisted of a recipe passed down from another generation which included cherries & chocolate. I wasn’t too sure how I would digest chocolate for breakfast, but it was divine! My husband and I had never seen that type of recipe at any previous B&B’s.
When staying at any Bed & Breakfast, Randy & I always spend the evening at the inn, so we can just take in all the beauty and charm only a Bed & Breakfast has to offer. Years ago, Randy & I only stayed for one night each time we visited a Bed & Breakfast. Now, however, we have to stay two nights, as one just isn’t enough anymore!
I encourage anyone who has never spent the night at a Bed & Breakfast to at least give it a try! We have not stayed in a hotel since, and do not ever plan to on any future travels!
Lastly, the mountains in North Carolina were breathtaking! Randy & I traveled the Blue Ride Highway for approximately three hours. It was beautiful! A tip to those who have never traveled this before: DO NOT travel this road for three hours – Randy & I got motion sickness and had to leave this beautiful highway for some Vernors and crackers! But it was well worth it!
Have a wonderful holiday season!