Thursday, November 20, 2008

Autumn Vacation 2008, Part V, The Finale (Finally)

Leaving Myrtle Beach, we headed to North Carolina to visit another niece and her family, and see the lovely fall sights. My niece and her husband are the managers of a Christian camp in a beautiful area. They lived in a small trailer house with their two children for 9 years, never complaining. Finally, they were privileged to work together with many supporters to build a beautiful log cabin-type home. The kids have wonderful space of their own, including a large loft play area, and even an additional small loft in each of their rooms. I would have loved to have their bedrooms when I was a kid! They sure deserve this lovely place after all of those years of being squished!

The view from their porch was fabulous.

We were delighted to be able to stay in this little guest cabin. It was fun to read the comments that had been left by previous guests. It was well equipped and I could have stayed there more than two nights. Sorry about the lack of lighting! It was early and the sun hadn't arrived yet.

There was only one problem - the sleeping area - there were two choices. We could sleep on a hide-a-bed. My experience with these torture devices has not been positive, so we chose Option #2. This was to go up the spiral staircase you can see in the picture below - there was a very nice comfortable bed up there. The problem is one that you may or may not have - depending upon your age. We left a few lights on below so that we wouldn't go pitching into the living room when we had to make our trip or two down to the "facilities" below.

Heading back up to the house for breakfast the first morning, I enjoyed catching God's wonder as the moon was going down in the west and the sun was rising through the woods to the east.

There had been a bit of rain during the night, and as I caught this beautiful group of leaves, I was sprayed with drops of moisture.

As you know, if you've read me over the past years, I love autumn and the colors God gives us to enjoy. I have lived in the Midwest, where the colors are fabulous. I lived in Arkansas when I was a kid, and didn't truly appreciate the grandeur of autumn, and wish I could see it again. I have visited the Boston area, hoping to see the profusion of color change, only to be a bit too early. I have lived here in Colorado for many years, where the colors are mostly brilliant yellow and orange. I don't believe we were in North Carolina at the peak of colors, but it was beautiful.

We took a little break at the top of the world, East Coast version - Mount Mitchell. Now it's not nearly as high as the peaks here where I live, but it was glorious.

We thought about eating at the highest restaurant in the East, but decided the choices offered and the prices asked were not to our liking, so we passed on that opportunity.

Russ had a new GPS that provided us with a lot of enjoyment. Those ladies get pretty bossy! And mixed up if you don't follow what they think you should be doing. R entered "Customize" and here's a picture of the route "she" gave us. We didn't name "her" as others have done - we should have! She sent us on a merry ride.

But it turned out to be a blessing - what beauty we saw as we bounced along on a very narrow dirt road - we could not have turned around if we had to. We didn't know where we'd end up, but it was a fun journey.

When we came out of the woods, we found ourselves close to Asheville, where we finally got some lunch - once again, the weight watching went out the window as we ate at Fat Buddies Bar-B-Q. What a name! I'm not crazy about barbeque, but I have to say it was pretty good. I really really wanted to take a little side trip and visit Billy Graham, but couldn't talk the rest into it ;-)

We headed back to the campground, stopping for our grand-niece's soccer game, then some Mexican food - my word, how did our stomachs survive that day??

The next day was when I had lunch with Nancy close to her home town. If you missed that episode, check it out here.

The last day with R&C, we were relaxing on their deck before heading to the airport after lunch. This little guy landed on the picnic table when we opened the umbrella and we watched this amazing bit of God's handiwork. The transformation took place before our eyes in a matter of about 5 minutes.

The flight home was fine - I got an aisle seat! But we had one glitch - when DC's carry-on luggage was being processed, they told him he had to meet them and discuss a problem - it seems that he had packed the large jar of honey he had bought up at the top of Mount Mitchell -his only souvenir. Bummer! We totally forgot about that "no liquids" rule!

If you have a few more minutes to spare, go on over to Kristen's place - she finally was able to carve out a few minutes to update you on her life. Please keep her on your prayer list! Life is not easy for the single mom of 4 little girls.


Kristen said...

Great pictures, Mom! Love the chameleon. Glad you finally had success getting this posted!

Nancy said...

I love the photos because I can picture almost every spot, including the soccer field. It looks the same as when my kids played soccer! You probably were close to "peak" for the Mt. Mitchell area. The leaves turn so much faster there because of the altitude. I'm sorry to hear about DC's honey. Tell him, "You" are the only honey he needs : ) Have a great weekend!

Linds said...

For some reason I am only seeing about 5 photos and lots of blank spaces! I will try again later and see if they show up. You had a wonderful time away, though - that is really great!

Linda said...

Hi Dawn,
The pictures are wonderful. We were in N.C. a couple of years ago - in the Smokey Mountains. Absolutely gorgeous. I think you had a really nice vacation.
For some reason you have totally disappeared from my bloglines. I shall have to investigate. I also had a problem opening the comments. Is blogger up to something?
Have a blessed weekend Dawn.

groovyoldlady said...

My mom lived in Asheville for a while. She even tried to get a job at the Billy Graham ministries. (Alas, to no avail). It's beautiful there.

Weird to see all those colors when everything here has been bleak and barren here for a month now.

Kathleen Marie said...

My goodness what a fabulous getaway! What gorgeous colors! What fun! What beauty! How SUPER relaxing. Now, back home to hug all those grandbabes! You have a fabulous weekend!

nancygrayce said...

How absolutely breathtaking that scenery! I love Ashville, have you been to the Biltmore House? Incredible!

Penless Thoughts said...

Beautiful views and foilage.

Maine Mom said...

What a beautiful way to end your vacation! I would love to live in a log cabin. They are so beautiful and cozy.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL photos, Dawn. And you're right, I don't think the colors were even close to peak. It would have been much brighter a few more weeks into the season. But still, very pretty as it was.

You really should come back to Arkansas to see the Fall colors.

I love to get out in the middle of nowhere and just explore; follow a road just to see where it ends up. I'd much rather do that than explore in a big city. I'm a country girl, through and through, and there's a lot of me to get through, LOL! ;o)

That log house sounds gorgeous. Just my thing: I love log houses and if I was a billionaire I'd want a log house. Seriously.

Hope you have a great weekend, my friend.

Love and hugs,


Linds said...

Finally got the pictures, Dawn - I have no idea what was happening. Beautiful! I love the one of the leaves close up against a dark background.

Nadine said...

I love the fall colors too. You took such wonderful pictures. What a blessing for them have a nice home after all that time in a tiny trailer. That's just great.

Hootin' Anni said...

Fabulous! I loved each and every ONE of the photos you shared. Looks like one awesome vacation Dawn!

I have a bit of the King's Ranch [ya, you probably heard about it in history's the largest cattle ranch in American --at one time in the 1800's the largest in the world!] today. I'm going to do my ranch hand breakfast in parts one, two and three. So, today is part one.

LOVE!!! the ornament template. So, so bright and festive.

Jess said...

Loved the last addition...and it looks like you were able to tie her down to update your looks wonderful!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday and are blessed.

Love, Jess

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

What an amazing vacation you had! I love the little cabin you stayed in and of course all of the beautiful colors you captured. Just seeing those photos brought a warm feeling acrossed me!

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful journey AND thanks for stopping by and thinking of us during the busy times we've been having. I appreciate it very much!

Brenda said...

Fall is one of my top 4 favorite seasons! I love the brilliant colors and the cooler temperatures.

Your pictures are wonderful, and the cabin looks so cozy. What a view!

So glad you enjoyed your vacation.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Needled Mom said...

The trip sounds like it was wonderful.

That log cabin sounds great. I am glad that they are in such a wonderful place now.

And the is beautiful! The autumn colors are so vibrant and gorgeous.

Isn't the lizard cute? They fascinate me.

Love the GPS gals!!!!! I especially get a kick out of her attitude when you take a different route that she wants. "Recalculating" with an attitude is to die for.

Have a great Thanksgiving week

Mimi said...

what a beautiful awe inspiring trip...thank you so much for sharing the pictures with us...

I like your new look too!!!

Christa said...

What great pictures, makes me want to go there. If my new son-in-law gets stationed in N.Carolina I may see country I haven't see before.
God bless, I will continue to pray for Kristen.

Tammy said...

This post was so much fun to read...those autumn colors are just spectacular!
And the chameleon is so cute!
What a fun adventure you had, Dawn!

Sharon Lynne said...

I had fun on your trip! Enjoyed the pretty places.

It makes one feel good to know that there is a lot of beauty in the world--that is still unspoiled by humans.

Michelle (wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman) said...

What lovely, lovely pictures. God is such a Master Artist. I lived in the Midwest for three years and realized I LOVE Autumn. Having always lived in the West, I had no idea how beautiful of a season it really was. And, oh, I miss Colorado sooooo much. It is by far the most beautiful place we've lived.
Thank you for inviting me into your private blog. I've missed your posts!