Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mountain views

So much for frequent posting, huh?  Anyways, I'm back this evening, on a sugar high, and completely delighted by all the adorableness that has visited my front porch this evening.  I wanted to share with you about a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains that my husband and I took earlier this month.

I headed to Asheville to attend a legal conference at the Grove Park Inn.  The inn is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was quite a lovely place to spend a little time.  I even brought some mood reading: Stephen King's "The Shining."  Alton was not able to join me until later in the weekend, so I had a little free time to myself on Friday afternoon.  And I decided to spend it exploring the area for a couple of hours.  I headed out to Flat Rock, NC.  The weather was beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive out.

My first stop was St. John's in the Wilderness Episcopal Church.  Built in the 19th century, this church was the summer church for well-to-do Americans who left their winter homes for the cooler NC mountains in the summer season.  I wasn't able to go inside the church, but the outside is certainly pretty.  Surrounded by shady trees and a cemetery, it was a pleasant, relaxing place to walk around.  And of course, I'm always fond of pretty graveyards.   This one had lovely moss-covered tombstones to admire:

From the church, I drove on to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.  I can't BEGIN to tell you how happy I was that the government shutdown ended two days before this planned visit!  Mr. Sandburg certainly picked a beautiful location for his home.  For some reason, I didn't prep a photo of the actual house for this post, but here's a shot of the nice steep walk I took to get up to the house:

I was able to tour the house, which was almost wall-to-wall bookshelves.  I think Alton and I would have fit right in in that home.  Mrs. Sandberg raised prize-winning dairy goats, and the site still has an active goat farm:

I petted a few goats, and laughed at the children who were playing with the animals in the yard.  It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

By Saturday afternoon, Alton was with me to enjoy my free time with me.  We took a drive south on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Although the leaves were not at their peak of fall color, the views were still pretty enough:

We stopped at quite a few lookouts as we drove along, taking in the changing views.  We also took a hike down to Graveyard Falls, which are only a short, steep hike from the road:

And this might have been the highlight of the trip for me: at one of our first pulloffs, this little fella was running around, begging for food from the tourists.  Look how he posed for me!

He reminds me of my cat Tigger, because he would approach you, but then suddenly run away after he decided he'd ventured too close.  What a funny little groundhog!

In closing, I leave you with a photo of the view from our hotel room high atop the Indigo on the edge of downtown Asheville.  The windows in our room stretched from floor to ceiling across an entire wall of our suite.  Not too shabby for a room we got using bonus points, huh?

I'm still stitching away, mostly on my designs.  I hope that all of you are finding enough time to be creative too.  Stay crafty, my friends!