Blue Ridge BBQ Festival 2016

Mark was recently given a HUGE grill - actually, I think "hog roaster" is a more appropriate name for it. Needless to say, he's had BBQ on the brain ever since. Luck for me, he's really good at it! So, after watching a special on the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival and finding out it was only a few weekends away - we made plans!

I found a horse ranch with a bed and breakfast via AirBnB, which sounded amazing. Pets were allowed and the owner was kind enough to give us the largest room so that we had enough space for us and the baby. I want to share more about our time there, but I'll save that for another post.

We made it in time for dinner on Friday night and oh my goodness was it good! To get to the festival, we had to ride on a little shuttle bus. It was quite a scene getting Caroline and all of her "gear" on the little school bus, but we made it and people were so nice and helpful.

I had a brisket sandwich and Mark had ribs. We made a deal to get something small off each menu and share it. We burnt through out "BBQ bucks" pretty quickly, but it was worth it. After dinner, we grabbed dessert (chocolate covered strawberries on a stick) and listened to some live music before calling it a night.

The next day, we were back at the festival by 10AM. We meant business! We spent the cooler hours of the morning (did those exist?!) checking out the car show and the craft area. Then, we hit up some different vendors for lunch! The lemon pepper wings were incredible and I'm always a sucker for owwey gooey wings.

Mark's family only lives a few hours away from where we were so they drove up to spend the majority of the morning with us. It was so hot and the festival is set up on a soccer field so shade was scarce. We were able to grab a table underneath one of the food tents, which was nice. Poor little Caroline was sweating so badly that I decided to just let her be naked. We weren't sure how people would react and, then, a lady assured me that if she could "be naked and laying on a table" she would be, I knew we were in the clear.

We watched some of the judging and had someone break it down for us -- it's such a serious process! You can't just say, "Hey! I want to judge." You have to go through a class and everything! It's no joke.

We decided to go back to our room for the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. We read, napped, and played with the pup before going back to the festival for dinner. So, we had 3 consecutive meals of bbq-ed meat, minus a continental breakfast. Mark was in heaven! I wasn't too sad either, I must admit.

Overall, it was a great weekend and we really had a good time. Having time with our little family was amazing.. and so were the deep fried Oreos! We have goals to get Mark's BBQ game so good that maybe one day we can go and compete at one of these fun festivals.

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