Sunday, June 6, 2010

4 1/2 Street Inn, Highlands, North Carolina

We returned to Highlands, North Carolina to check on the new site for David's paintings - at The Smokehouse Restaurant in Highlands. (Find the restaurant on Facebook, and be sure to eat there if possible - it's an excellent bbq restaurant.)
We lucked into finding the 4 1/2 Street Inn and our new friends Rick and Helene Siegel. Their home was so beautiful and inspiring that David whipped out three plein air pieces from their yard (see David's art blog). If you are ever in Highlands, be sure to stay with them. The room rates include evening hors d'oeuvres and wine, full gourmet breakfast, a quiet and lovely room, and a relaxing atmosphere. (David would also want me to include the part about free cookies...) You also have complimentary use of their bicycles, which was a great way to work off the coconut cake we had at lunch (at Wild Thymes) while biking up to Sunset Rock... Whew. The house is 100 years old, having been built around 1910, and operated in the early 20th century as the Fairview Inn. Rick and Helene have lived in and managed the bed and breakfast for about 14 years. See pictures below of their home, our room and bathr
oom, and their beautiful flowers.
We ventured out from Highlands into the Ellicut
(?) Forrest... to be honest, we have no idea where we were, it was slightly disconcerting because it was so remote... Lots of time on gravel roads without cell service... But we saw some beautiful waterfalls and mountain views. We also saw some locals, who stared at us without a socially appropriate response (wave, smile, nothing...) so we decided to make our way back to the warmth of the Inn. However, if you ever live in the middle of nowhere and give someone directions to your house that include "turn left at the fork in the road", you should consider finding a giant fork to attach to a tree, such as these characters did (see below). Very funny.
We can't wait to get back to Highlands. What a great time.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Around Scaly Mountain, North Carolina

Ruka's Table and The Log Cabin

The Log Cabin restaurant - one location of David's newest artwork. There are four locations in this restaurant group - LC, Ruka's Table, Flip Side, and another one that has slipped my memory... oops. Great people, amazing food. We ate at Flip Side after our Glenn Falls hike. Don't miss the onion rings and the rueben sandwich. I think I'm going to have to go back right now, because my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Notice the reflection of the pumpkin in the window. :)

Glenn Falls in Highlands, North Carolina

The Inn at Half Mile Farm

Our new friend Wendy at the Inn. We cannot wait to get back there soon. The amount of relaxation we accomplished in one night was unbelievable. The food, OMG. So much, so good. Wine and hors d'oeuvres complimentary. Jetted tub. In-room fireplace. I loved it so much, I want to work there. I cried a little when we left. I think David did too...

"If only mustaches tasted like bacon."

Highlands, North Carolina

David and I traveled to North Carolina to deliver his artwork to Highlands. It wouldn't be a trip in the pumpkin if something didn't go wrong... Above, the pumpkin is pictured in it's "ditch spot" on the side of the highway in Commerce, Georgia. We later grew to dislike Commerce immensely... more on that to follow... Our gas gauge doesn't work and unfortunately we pushed it too far.
I stayed with the car while David walked with the gas can - what a gentleman. :) While sitting on the side of the road, a guy pulled over next to me. Feeling concerned, I yelled to him "Thank you, but my fiance is already walking with the gas can - we have it under control... Thank you!" The guy nodded and got back into his car. I was glad to have kept him 30 feet away from me, since "you just never know in this day and age." It couldn't have been five minutes later that this guy returned - with David and the full gas can in the car with him. He gave a "God bless you" and was on his way. Okay, so I was wrong about judging the guy as "sketchy".. but we've all watched the news.

In our Pumpkin travels we always meet really cool folks who have their own stories of Westphalia ownership. It almost always starts out with "Are you guys the ones in that VW?". While strolling through Ace Hardware in Highlands, taking advantage of a brown bag sale, we met our new friend Peter. Peter drove a Westphalia in the early 70s (if memory serves accurate) while working as a youth minister. His Westie had cartoon characters painted on the side. He continued traveling in it with his family, and we loved a story he recounted about taking a photo of his small children on a camping trip, diaper-clad, in front of his cartoon-covered Westie. It's always so awesome to watch people get that far-away look as the recall their great memories from their Westphalia days.

Here we have Peter with an Ace coworker, who has a vintage VW bug. They both came out to inspect the Westie and share a smile. Awesome people!

And then on the ride back... the accelerator broke... in Commerce, Georgia. In total McGuyver fashion, I pulled out a clear plastic ponytail holder to pull back my hair, but realized that we could use it to fasten the two pieces that were broken. It held all the way home.. with the exception of one slip outside of Conyers on the interstate. But we reattached the ponytail holder and were on our way!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pumpkin Trip #2

Before we could get out of the driveway on Pumpkin trip #2 we sputtered and kerplunked and couldn't get her started again. After spending 30 minutes looking at all possible "major" problems, we realized she was just out of gas. :) (This is a common mistake when one doesn't have a working gas gauge.) So we filled her with go-go juice and away we went.

This trip was a New Year's Eve trip to our friends' cabin in beautiful Blue Ridge, Georgia. Donna and Jeff Stuart were kind to invite us and some other friends up for a few nights of celebration. In fact, they are such good friends that they allowed us to park The Great Pumpkin outside their house and run an extension cord to their electricity outlet! We enjoyed visiting with our friends TJ and Angie Dolan, Johnny Merrick, Kelly Randall, as well as Donna, Jeff and their son Jay. Playing Wii, playing board games, visiting, eating and drinking, and watching the ball drop - what a great way to bring in 2010.

David took Donna and Jeff's son, Jay, for a spin in the pumpkin on New Year's Day before we headed back home. Hopefully 2010 will bring many more trips in our Westphalia!