Jim and I just got back from a glorious weekend in the North Carolina Smokies. I am refreshed and recharged, and I only wish I could have stayed longer! I really think I'd like to go back with some girlfriends for some R & R sometime. (Any takers?)
The place to which we escaped is a little place called Lakeview at Fontana that was featured as a Living Social Getaway. It is described as "rustic chic" which is a perfect explanation. Think of it as camping for the person who hates camping.
We didn't get a suite, but I would definitely spring for one next time. Our queen room was just big enough for a queen-sized bed and there wasn't much counter space or anyplace to sit down and relax comfortably. It was also super old. It was only a place where we slept and showered, and it was not a room we would hang out in, strictly because of space. However, it was clean, the bed was comfortable, and the shower was hot, it did have a little charm, and it didn't really matter to me that I couldn't hang out in it because this is what awaited us outside our door:
Each morning I spent hours with my reading material, my own pot of french press coffee, and a stunning view. The first morning I sat out there for about three hours by myself while Jim slept in. It was glorious.
The second morning I only had about an hour and a half out there because we had to go get our hot stone massages. Did I mention this place has a spa? :-)
Each morning there was a delicious European-style breakfast, and it was hard not to go back for second (or third) cream puffs.
I couldn't bring myself to stay indoors for breakfast, but had it been raining, the cafe would have beckoned me. It was soooo charming.
On Saturday, when I finally decided to pull myself away from the deck, we decided to go into Bryson City to pick up some sandwiches for a hike. We headed to a nearby area popular for tubing and hiking. We saw a few beautiful waterfalls...
... and we persevered past the masses of people walking with giant tubes to an area that was restricted to tubers. From that point on, we didn't see another soul for hours. We found this charming little area where we enjoyed our sandwiches...
... and then we felt a few drops of rain. We decided to take a different way back to our car, which was not the wisest decision. It was a straight uphill mountain hike on narrow, switchback trails, and it started to pour. We were in the middle of nowhere in a rainstorm, miles from our car, I was getting blisters on my ankles, and I was dizzy from the twists and turns and having to focus on my feet. At one point I just stood still in the rain and said to Jim, "What in the heck are we doing?!?!" We both just laughed. It was refreshing, ridiculous, and a little romantic.
When we got back to the resort, we were filthy, wring-out-your-clothes wet, and my ankles were really ripped up. But I was thankful for an awesome memory. We got cleaned up and went to an awesome coffee shop / wine cafe in Bryson City for crepes and wi-fi (we didn't have internet, a television, and I had no cell phone signal while we were there!). We did a little window shopping, stopped and got ice cream, went back to the resort, and read until we were ready for bed. It was an awesome day.
This was exactly the kind of weekend we both needed. We needed to unplug, unwind, and take life slowly. We needed to be quiet, enjoy simple pleasures, and laugh. Usually I'm a get-up-and-go kind of vacation girl, and I am not a beach person because I can't stand lying still for so long, but this was our own version of a beach trip.
I'm so thankful to my in-laws for allowing us to have this weekend. We couldn't have afforded to pay for it all by ourselves, and we needed it. Plus, my mother-in-law happily watched the kids while we were away, so I was able to rest easy. That was a huge gift, too. Thanks, Sharon and Jim!
I have a much healthier view of life right now, and I am excited that one week from today we will know the name of Brennan's kindergarten teacher!
Here's to celebrating eleven wonderful years of marriage!