Road Trip in the South

We took advantage of our time in the south and were fortunate to get around and see some friends!  After Christmas, we packed the car and took a road trip up to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit with James’ good friends from High School, Jed and Kara Gammon.

They were nice enough to put us up for two nights and chauffeur us ALL over the city.  I’ve heard so many great things about Raleigh and I can see why.  Inside the beltline is adorable, Chapel Hill seems to be quite perfect and Duke University is something right out of a beautiful history book.  I felt smarter just walking around the campus and wanted to pull out some books and study on the lawn.  Ok, it might have been a bit cold for that, but I was inspired.

After getting a good fill of North Carolina’s Capitol, we hopped over to Asheville, North Carolina for a night.  On the way, we had a great lunch in Winston Salem at a place called Mozelle’s.  The decor inside was homey and the food was incredible!!

We didn’t have much time, but this is a cute town that would be fun to check out in warmer weather.  As we approached Asheville, the mountains grew up around us as the snow on the ground grew taller.  We’ve been to Asheville a few times before, but it’s always fun to come back.  I love the small downtown atmosphere, with cozy coffee shops and great local bars.  After checking in, we quickly changed before heading back out the door to make our Candlelit Christmas tour of the Biltmore.

The trees in the lawn were fully decorated for Christmas, a warm glow radiated from inside the house, people outside were scurrying around with Hot Chocolates and we were instantly zapped right back into the Christmas spirit.  We walked into a warm house with carolers singing in the Indoor Winter Garden, fires roaring in all the rooms and a Christmas tree two stories tall, full decorated with many wrapped presents underneath.

After enjoying this ginormous house in all its Christmas Glory, we bundled up for a winter walk through the snow to a fun downtown bar for a relaxing dinner!

You’d think we would have had enough of the Biltmore, but there we were again the next morning to take in the amazing views from the estate in the daytime.

As we drove off the property, we stopped for a quiet walk through the woods and enjoyed the peacefulness of this vast property.

Onward to Ellijay, Georgia.  Our drives over these past few days have been so beautiful and this was no exception.

As we drove out of beautiful North Carolina, we continued on windy roads through the mountains and along the winding Nantahala River with its active rapids roaring from the recent snow melt.

Finally, we got to our destination and met up our great friends, Laura and Scott Gattis, who flew from Florida to spend the New Year with us!  We dined at the every-so-classy BBQ spot, Poole’s BBQ.

If ever you are driving through, this place is not to be missed.   You can even purchase a little wooden piggy to leave behind your stamp.

We then made our way over to the grocery store to stock up on food for the night…okay, we went a LITTLE overboard and probably could have survived on the large amounts of foods purchased for a week…we were only there for 2 and half days!  Good thing we had just eaten, I can’t imagine what we would have done had we gone in hungry!

Back to the cabin, we relaxed by the fire with cocktails in hand and caught up on our recent Christmas’s just as our other great friends arrived, Lindsay and Tim Boseman.

We had a great weekend.  We played card games and other games, we slept in too late and took naps in the middle of the day, we went on a hike, we ate great food, we shared stories and we laughed.

We just enjoyed being with each other; stopping for a moment in time to let our stories collide and be in one place to create new stories.

Back in Atlanta, James and I enjoyed one final evening with my parents.  Ready to fly out Sunday morning, I got to have one final day of fun with a great friend, Catherine Gordon.  We got to shop in my favorite parts of Atlanta, Virginia Highlands and had a great lunch at Harry and Sons!  It’s always so great to reconnect with wonderful friends and we definitely did plenty of that while we spend a little time in the South!  I loved this time with my family and friends and look forward to the new year with many new memories waiting to be created!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!