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Vacations are supposed to be fun. Whether you’re taking one for adventure or rest or visiting with good friends, fun should be part of the equation, right?
So how fun is it to go to a place you’ve never been, with some of your best friends, to stay with some of their family? Can I begin to tell you?
We took a tiny three-day vacation to pull ourselves back together after a summer (three months!) spent with a seventeen year old French girl who didn’t really want to be with us (until the end of course), and before school started again for my husband. We needed this getaway; needed it like drowning folks need life preservers. This was a serious need. Along with us we took our best companion, Bonaparte, who is a Mauxie, half Maltese and half miniature red short-haired dachshund, who needed a vacation too.
The drive would take about five hours to our destination, but first we had to stop in Atlanta to partake of an Atlanta tradition, lunch at the “Varsity.” Best hotdogs in town, best onion rings you’ve ever had, not to mention the ambience of the “Old Timey” restaurant. Around four in the afternoon we got up into the north Georgia Blue Ridge mountains, found a liquor store so we wouldn’t arrive empty-handed, and then made our way into the lush, dappled-green hilly terrain to find our home for the weekend. No other word describes it like Lovely does. Three stories of a house built of wood right on a steep incline leading down to the river, which was at record high levels. This place breathed relaxation, nature, rejuvenation and peace. The ambient rush of the river loosened up even the tightest of stressed muscles and calmed the mind with ease as one sat out on any of the four decks or balconies associated with the house. Paradise does come to mind.
And so our hosts welcomed us, showed us the house, our rooms, gave us drinks and walked us down the long and winding stairs to the deck situated about ten feet above the river. There we ensconced ourselves for at least an hour, eating baked zucchini and drinking wine and beer. It only got better. Dinner was a mass of vegetables cooked in different southern styles, squash casserole, green beans, salads, fried okra, finished off with watermelon and cantaloupe. There was even enough left over for a re-embellished dinner the next evening. We talked about going out to dinner somewhere but no one wanted to!
The next day we left the haven of the house to visit two small towns, Ellijay and Blue Ridge, where my mother had lived when she met my other dad (step-dad is not a fun name). We visited the farmer’s market in Ellijay then headed over to Blue Ridge, where all six of us proceeded to window shop and shop. We even took our little Bonaparte with us and he dazzled everyone with his cuteness, especially when we met a female that looked just like him!
We lucked out with visiting a shop, Out of the Blue, right as a wine tasting event was about to commence. Also, the host was French, from Paris and we enjoyed speaking French with him and drinking his wine, of which, of course, we bought three bottles. Not to mention a lovely sheep cheese the shop sold, and a present for my sister. Too fun.
We got home, had lunch, vegetated for a few hours, everyone doing whatever it was they wanted to do, and around five we all came back together and discussed what to do with the rest of the afternoon/evening. We’d talked about tubing down the river, but as it was late in the afternoon and not a lot of sun, it looked as if we wouldn’t do it. But I wanted to, even if only for a little bit, so I asked how far from the house was the point where one could get out. As luck would have it, the landing was just around the corner of the river, about a quarter of a mile. So I said I’d go alone. Well, our lovely hostess wouldn’t hear of it. So all three women changed, grabbed our tubes and took the stairs down to the river. My husband photographed us getting in and floating away and our host gathered us at the landing. The weather was perfect, the river flowing nicely with all the previous rain wasn’t too cold, and we three “girls” enjoyed experiencing the water and ease of the short trip. Then
That, my friends, was one of the best, even if too short, vacations we’ve had. I hope you experienced something the like as well this summer. Now, back to the “real world.”
Images from: http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/