Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure, a Movie Filmed in the High Country

After filming at locations throughout the High Country, including Tweetsie Railroad, Cone Manor, and Linville Caverns, Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure will premiere at Blowing Rock School on November 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

MAndie Movie Blowing RockApproximately one third of the motion picture, which is based on the popular Mandie children’s book series, was filmed at Tweetsie Railroad in April 2010 including scenes in the park’s Old West Town and Tweetsie’s historic steam engine No. 12. Set at the turn-of-the-century, the movie is filled with rich history about Mandie’s Cherokee Indian heritage and life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, which made Tweetsie Railroad an ideal setting.

“There were several reasons we chose to film at Tweetsie Railroad,” stated Joy Chapman, one of the film’s producers. “Tweetsie offered so much that fit in perfectly with the Mandie stories including the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the authentic Main Street and an early 1900’s steam locomotive. In addition, the Mandie book series is geared towards children and perfect for family reading, and it doesn’t get more family-friendly than Tweetsie Railroad!”

Several of the film’s stars will attend the November 6 premiere which benefits Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S., a non-profit organization helping local families in need of food, non-perishable items and clothing. Attendees are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items. Tickets are available for purchase at Blowing Rock School (828-295-3204) for $8 each.

Both the first movie in the Mandie series, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, and Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure will be available for purchase at the premiere, and drawings will be held to win autographed photos of the film’s cast, including Lexi Johnson as Mandie.

The Mandie books, authored by the late author Lois Gladys Leppard, have been charming the hearts of young readers for almost 20 years and over seven million copies are in print.

About Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S.
Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S. is a non-profit organization helping local families in need of food, non-perishable items and clothing. The organization also works with parent teacher groups including the PTO to fill the educational needs of teachers and children including classroom supplies, books and field trips. For more information, visit

About Tweetsie Railroad
Tweetsie Railroad is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the upcoming 2011 season at Tweetsie Railroad, call 1-877-TWEETSIE or visit Become a Fan of Tweetsie Railroad at or follow Tweetsie on Twitter:

Blue Ridge Heritage Days in Blowing Rock THIS WEEKEND (Sept 17-19)

Blowing Rock will be a hub of Family Friendly Fun this weekend, with Blue Ridge Heritage Days! For the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock will celebrate the art, history, and culture of mountain living with exhibits, demonstrations, performances and interactive experiences.

From Friday to Sunday there are all kinds of activities for kids, parents and grandparents!  I’ve gathered just a few of the events to experience with the family!

Friday, September 17: Tours and Movie Night!

Movie in the Moonlight– 9:00pm
Disney’s Cars at the Blowing Rock School Soccer Field (Rain location: School gym)
Tickets: $5 adult. Up to three children (age 11 and under) will gain FREE admission with each paying adult. Additional children (age 11 and under) are $3. Advance tickets can be purchased at Chamber of Commerce.
Sponsored by NCMB Enterprises.

“Chapels and Churches” Tour– 4pm & 6pm. One-hour trolley tour of local churches with history and anecdotal tales of the buildings and their congregations. Tour departs from First Baptist Church on Sunset Drive. Tickets are $7.50 each (limited seating).

There are LOTS more tours scheduled, click here to see all of them.

Saturday, September 18: Street Festival

Tents on Main Street will house artists and crafters who will demonstrate everything from broom making to pottery turning. Plus, enjoy a farmers’ market that highlights the edible products, plants and cut flowers as they were presented and used in the days of old. A stage will be erected at Laurel Lane and festival-goers will enjoy music by local bands. The Liar’s Competition will entertain the crowd and dancers will demonstrate tradition clogging and square dancing. Games and activities in Memorial Park will remind older folks of childhood pastimes, and entertain the younger set as well. A parade of cars will make its way down Main Street in the afternoon, with a car for each model year of the Parkway’s existence. There may be a chance for you to ride in one of these very special cars- stay tuned for more info!

Special events during the Festival:

10am-Farmers’ Market and Crafter Demonstrations begin
11am- Opening Ceremonies.
11:30am- Morning Games in Memorial Park and Parade Car Auto Show at First Baptist
Noon- Diana & Sarvis Ridge on the Laurel Lane stage
2 pm- Historical Society’s Parade of Cars- 75 for 75 Years of the Parkway
3 pm- Afternoon Games in Memorial Park, Announcements and Raffles
4 pm- Liar’s Competition
5 pm- Cloggers and Country Dancers on the Laurel Lane stage
7 pm- Street Dance with The Neighbors

ALL FREE EVENTS! Great family fun!

For more information about the festival, visit or call Billie Rogers at 828-295-7851.

“BABIES” Movie playing at the new ReelHouse Cinema

This Friday, the Reel House Cinema and Draft will be showing the documentary style film “Babies.”  The film follows four newborns through the first year of their lives, and shows how babies are similar no mater whether they live in Zambia, or San Francisco.

The Reel House is a cinema under new ownership, in the location that used to be Dragonfly.  Reel House has a full menu from 11:30 am on, and you can eat in the bar without paying for the movie, if you like.  They have full drink menu, as well as a variety of food. Movie tickets are $5, and include free popcorn!

The Babies movie would the a prefect opportunity for a Mom’s Night Out!  In fact, I may go for my birthday this weekend!  For more information, visit

Here is the Trailer for BABIES


Movie Night at KidsSpace!

KIDsSPACE Children’s Museum in Boone is having another Movie Night! Sat. May 22, at 7pm, they will present  “Little Nemo in Slumberland”: A fantastical animated film based on Winsor McCay’s popular comic strips from 1905-1914.

The movie is Rated G, and the running time is 1.5 hours. The movie will play from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm; doors will open atKidsspace movie little nemo 6:30 pm, and close at 9:30 pm.  Please bring whatever makes you comfortable (ie: pillow, sleeping bag, etc)!

The cost is $5 per person (adults pay also, 2 & under free), includes play time before & after the movie. Drop off is okay for well behaved kids!

KIDsSPACE is located at 178 Southgate Drive, Boone, NC – Near Walmart, next to  Coyote Kitchen. For more information, call Jocelyn at 828.719.9000..

Blowing Rock School Spring Fling, April 23-24

Come Join Blowing Rock School for a Community Health and Wellness Celebration.  On April 23rd — 5-7:30pm, the festivities will start with a Spaghetti Dinner — $4 gets you spaghetti, bread, salad, drink & dessert. There will also be a Silent Auction Kick-Off, Movie Night for All Ages at the School (Night at the Museum 2), Live Music

Then, on April 24th 8am-4pm the fun continues. The 5K Run is from 8-10am — registration information will be on the school website soon!  There will be a 1 Mile track run / walk — Kids Fun Run (with awards for kids) at 10am
The Bounce Houses and Kids Activities will be set up from 11am-3pm, and they will have the Silent Auction Wrap-Up and Live Music

Health and Wellness Information Booths and Presentations, and Food Vendors will be present. Also at the Fling, will be Brian Rosenthal, director of RDU Tennis Camp, offered at Chetola Resort this summer!  Check out the video to the right of the page for an interview with Brian and information about the camp.
$5 entry fee for all kids into Spring Fling — includes entry for Kids Fun Run
$20 Entry Fee for 5K Run (All participants in 5K Run get a free T-Shirt)
Sponsor and Vendor Information:  If you’d like to sponsor the Spring Fling, or be included with a booth, here is the information.
$20 Donation for Information Booths
$50 Donation for Vendors Booths
$100 Donation or Silent Auction equivalent — Logo on 5K / Spring Fling T-Shirt
(deadline for funds / item / logo is 3/26 to allow for t-shirt production time)
Silent Auction Donations are Tax Deductible
***portion of proceeds will be designated for playground equipment upgrades

For more information, contact the BLOWING ROCK PTO at

Movie Review: Hannah Montana

As the long-awaited Hannah Montana movie hit the theaters Friday, I pulled the mom card. I picked up the kids from school 45 minutes early on the last day before Spring Break. Please don’t call social services, I won’t do it again. (soon, anyway) Of course, as a Blogger/Reviewer, it was my job to see it on opening day, right? Yes, I make sacrifices for my job!

I’ll start with my fears about the movie, and taking my 8, 5, and 3.5 year old to this film. I was a little worried that:

  • Hannah/Miley would be dressed a little too skimpy than I would like my daughters to dress. Seeing it on TV is a little different than having her plastered at 10 times the normal size right in front of you.
  • In Miley’s budding romance with cute cowboy, there might be a little too much mushy love stuff. We already have a boy-crazy 5 year old, and she doesn’t need any encouragement… really.
  • The stereotypes of southern country folk would go beyond the good-natured humor into a derrogatory attitude. We live in one of those podunk towns little known rural gems, you know!

So now to the actual movie! In the opening scene, Hannah Montana struggles with juggling her Pop Star life and her Regular Teen life. This is a major theme in the movie, as she regularly has to be in two places at one time: one as Miley, and one as Hannah. The very first thing I thought of was how I could relate to her, as a WAHM! So many times, I am on a business call while I’m serving my daughter lunch or emptying the dishwasher. In fact right now, I’m writing this review while driving down to the family Easter Egg Hunt. I know, boo hoo, cry me a river, right? I’m not trying to complain, but I can relate to the whole “best of both worlds” thing, know what I mean?

The slapstick humor throughout the movie is fantastic. As Hannah and Tyra Banks both eyed a fab pair of shoes in an LA boutique, I thought, “Here we go!” We’ve all seen the previews, but the actual scene was beyond funny! Exploding birthday cakes, mud baths, chicken feathers, hot sauce, walnuts, a pumpkin stuck on Jackson’s head, and a mischeivous ferret contributed to the guffaws from the audience! And since every movie must have a nemesis, the Paparazzi Villain provided big comic relief.

Disney must have been listening to the parental nervousness about Hannah/Miley’s shrinking wardrobe, because the clothes in the movie were wonderful. While still portraying Miley as beautiful as she truly is, the clothes were very hip and adorable, but modest enough that I’d let my young children emulate them.

The cameo appearances from Country Stars were a real treat. When HipChick got home she said, “Tell daddy about his favorite band in the movie!” A pickin’ session in the Stewart family living room with Rascal Flatts, and Taylor Swift’s song at the country dance caused my children (and me) to gasp.

Let me digress to Taylor Swift for a minute. With her first couple of singles, which I wouldn’t exactly call musical genius, I thought she might be a two hit wonder. But this girl can really sing, and she shows it in the movie. As she moves into songs with more than three notes, I can’t wait to see what she does.

Anyway, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Miley’s Hip Hop Hoe-Down will be the “must do” dance at tween birthday parties across the nation! It was a really cool scene.

Miley’s budding romance with a really cute cowboy (with an unaturally low speaking voice for his age) was just what I wanted my daughters to see. Their relationship develops through a genuine friendship and it is not based on superficiality or an emphasis on physical attraction (although they are both gorgeous!) And they never even kiss! Phew! I am of the opinion that movies don’t actually have to show everything, and those who are mature enough can guess that they are going to kiss at some point in their relationship!

I’m hesitant to give away more of the actual story, because I don’t want to give everything away. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the movie:

  • Miley: “Hannah Means everything to me!” Dad: “That right there just might be your problem.” You can talk to your kids about what is truly important in life.
  • Miley’s Grandma: “We’re britches and boots around here.” And she’s proud of it!
  • Miley’s Dad: “You do whatever you think is right.” There comes a time in our parenting when we need to say that to our kids and let them choose. Yes, they might mess up, but they will learn more through that than if we dictate everything.

Parents, you might want to bring a tissue for Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus’ duet near the end, Butterfly. Just sayin’…

All in all, the Hannah Montanah movie was FANSTASTIC!!! I really don’t have anything negative to say about it, except that when it comes out on video, I will be forced to watch it 8,000,000 times in a row.

Have you seen it? Tell me what you think!

weekend events 2/27-3/1

Hi, everyone!  I’m sure that you are all, like me, ready for spring!!   Only a few more weekends to fill with indoor entertainment before we can all get out and get that fresh spring air with fun hikes and trips to the park!

Speaking of the park, I think it would be great to organize some fun picnics and group playdates this spring, for all of us to welcome new moms to the area and to connect with the families that we have not yet had an opportunity to meet.  Please post a comment with your ideas for a fun outdoor group activity once the weather is nice, and I will start looking at my calendar and making some plans!! Maybe we can even get some sponsors to provide snacks or activities…

This weekend, the most exciting event (in my opinion) is the Friends of the Library Book Sale at the Boone Mall!  Kids’ books are under $1, and you can pick up your favorite “grownup” genre for not much more.

Catch the sale on Friday from 9-9, and Saturday from 9-5.  There is a special preview for Friends of the Library Thursday evening.  Questions?  Call the Watauga County Library at 828-264-8784.

I have been bummed to find that Regal does not have any kids’ movies coming out, as that is one of our favorite indoor pleasures.  However, ASU will be showing “The Brave Little Toaster” for $1 at the Greenbriar Theater this Friday night at 7:00!! 828-262-3032 – click “calendar” for more info.toaster

Another great movie option is FREE MOVIE NIGHT AT KIDSPACE 7 pm Sat. Feb. 28: “The Point” (1971), by Harry Nilsson. The story of Oblio & his dog, Arrow, unfortunately banished to the Pointless Forest, Narrated by Ringo Starr! Bring something soft to sit on! Across from Walmart, near Coyote Kitchen. Open Wed-Sun, call for more info 828-719-9000.

What are you doing this weekend?  Take a few minutes to think SPRING!!!!