Friday, October 26, 2012

Something Special About Fall

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year!!
Maybe it’s that living in Florida it is so hot most of the time and any glimpse of coolness to the air warms my heart or maybe it is the longing for home (I was born in Tennessee), maybe it is the fact I love to cook and fall represents the start of the holiday season or maybe it is cuddling weather and I love to cuddle.
Just maybe, it is all of those things!

Any chance I can get to visit the mountains, I cherish. It has been a while since we visited during the fall season. But we took the time this year for a couple of days to do just that. This was the first trip away for sweet man and I in a few years. Sometimes those sweet and short trips are the best!!!

Our initial purpose of the trip was to go see our tall handsome nephew play football for his high school in Anderson SC. TL Hannah, Go Jackets!!! TL Hannah is known from the movie Radio, Radio still works at the school and helps out with the football teams. He turned 66 the night we got to watch the Jackets play.
That is my newly turned 
15 year old nephew there with 79, radio is number 22.

 We got to spend some great time with my sister, my nephews and my brother in law. I got in a 3 hour lunch with my sister, what a blessing quality time is.

They even met us on the way home at The Dillard House in GA. Check them out, they have a lot to offer.
We appreciate all of the hospitality and love from them, thank you sister J

We headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway and every turn was more glorious than the last, here was my view going up the parkway:

Sweet man and I always get caught up in the beauty of the mountains, And what might take an hour to drive ends up taking us 5. The parkway is 469 miles long. It connects the Great Smoky Mountains in NC to the Shenandoah Valley in Virgina. We overheard a ranger say it would take 9 hours to drive, It would take us a min of 4-5 days. There is so much to stop and do and see. Everything from trails to waterfalls to overlooks to communities to visitor centers to Christmas Tree farms and more!! There are tunnels throughout the parkway so that you can travel through the mountains, It is a must to honk your horn as you go through each and everyone, so fun!! If you have never been, please go, it is worth the drive and the time. It is a must see!!!!

We stayed off the beaten path in Boone NC. Boone is a college town, home to Appalachian State College. You also will find so much history and sites there!! We stayed at Yonahlossee Inn (Cherokee for Trail of the Bear). Yonahlossee was once a camp for girls, their activities included horseback riding, swimming, pottery, weaving, and more. Yonahlossee was a first in the area for running water, mountain folks came just to get a drink and see for themselves the clean running water. It has great charm and the rustic feel is wonderful. We did not go through the Inn to get our room, instead using a rental agency. My complaint to staying at the Inn the way we did was that the workers treated us very differently because we did not book through them. My thought is that if you are a guest no matter how you got there, you deserve the same hospitality as everyone else. I would totally recommend it because of it’s beauty and history, just beware if you do not rent through them.
Check out some of the charm:

We had a blessed weekend together, enjoying each other and enjoying the place we most want to be. Friday night we dined somewhere that we would never normally dine, but the charm and the menu intrigued us. And I must say that it was worth it!! The GameKeeper Restaurant was once part of the Yonahlossee Lodge, It housed the family that started the camp, Dr and Mrs. Kephart. The building was constructed in the 1920s, the charm of the inside and out is so fitting of a mountain atmosphere. The most interesting part of the Gamekeeper is the game itself. That is what they serve on the menu, local fresh game. We sampled Ostrich (which was more like the best steak you have ever had), antelope, trout, rabbit/rattlesnake sausage and an array of local cheeses and vegetables.

We got up early Saturday morning and headed out to see what we could get into. We drove just a couple of miles and saw the sign for the 34th annual Valle Country Fair. There was vendors of just about anything you could want, music, and tons of local food. We pigged out and enjoyed a couple of hours of walking through vendors. 

We decided to throw caution to the wind and head on over to Banner Elk for the 35thAnnual Woolly Worm Festival. So fun, fun because it takes you back a few years, the simple things. The woolly worm tends to move up a surface instead of across. That is how the races begin, they string twine up the race board, they have start and finish lines. It is said that the winner of the woolly worm festival predicts the weather for 13 weeks of winter, one week for each strip they have. The winner won $1000!!! You can buy your worms all over Banner Elk for the event or bring your own. I have to say, it was a blast, watching people, eating, shopping. Try it out!!!

We also checked out The Original Mast General Store in Valle Crusis. They even have an operating post office in the store, one like you would have seen in old movies and shows. It is so much fun reminiscing about things you remember as a child. They have some many wonderful candies, toys, sodas, kitchen gadgets, etc. I could have spent all day in there. 

Sunday morning we had to head home, We decided to go back down the parkway until we had to get off. And by had, I mean until we ran out of time. Beautiful as usual and so hard to leave.

 There is a bitter/sweetness when I look out and see the mountain range one last time, knowing I am coming back to Florida. I am sure many of you love Florida, I on the other hand, love the mountains, everything feels better there, it feels like home….

Happy Fall Ya’ll

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