Monday, July 14, 2008

North Georgia Vacation

My wife and I just got back from spending a week in the North Georgia mountains with our son Michael, daughter Jennifer, her husband Tim, and their dog Li'l Bit. We stayed at a house my in-laws own in a "town" called Sky Valley. It's about halfway between Highlands, NC, and Dillard, GA. I'll post some pictures soon, but here are the highlights of the week:
  • Relaxing on the back porch with a couple of books. (Love the no humidity!) I started re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Eating dinner at the Dillard House - fried chicken, pork loin, BBQ chicken, country ham, pole beans, sweet white corn on the cob, okra, lima beans, sweet potato casserole, 2 kinds of bread, strawberry cobbler AND coconut creme pie! If you've never been to the Dillard House, you've missed out.
  • Whitewater rafting down the Chattooga River (that's me on the left of this picture, in the middle). We had the best guide, and we were all in the same raft together. I went overboard once (but it was not my fault!). (BTW, if you are comparing, I recommend our outfitters, Southeastern Expeditions. The guides were all really good and made the trip a lot of fun for everybody.)
  • Eating hamburgers at the Mountain Man Restaurant in Dillard... a real taste of mountain culture. Friday nights they have free bluegrass music for your dinner-time enjoyment!
  • Buying fruit and vegetables from a roadside produce stand. The peaches, watermelon, and corn were wonderful. (Why don't they have good produce in Orlando?!)
  • Hanging out in Highlands. The five of us spent several hours walking through the shops, sampling food, browsing the bookstore, etc. Suzy & I bought some old books for our collection. We like old books with interesting covers and subject matter. We bought a biography of Martin Luther and a collection of Shakespeare's sonnets.
  • Hiking down to Glen Falls near Highlands. Suzy and I took our shoes off and hiked down the river a ways (North Georgia lingo). We also climbed up the rocks and walked behind the falls. There were some beautiful views. We came across a section of smooth rock that reminded me of Sliding Rock, NC, so against my better judgment I slid down it into a pool below, jeans and all. It was tons of fun though I stubbed my toe and hit my elbow on a rock... which leads to the only bad news of the week...
  • I lost my BlackBerry. Before I went sliding down that rock, I took my phone, wallet, and keys out of my pockets and set them on a rock. Afterwards, my clothes were so wet I asked Suzy to carry my phone. Somehow it fell out of my wife's pocket and went who-knows-where. We never found it. We walked up and down the 1.5 mile trail several times, and by the end of the day we were exhausted. We figure it went down the river. I had to buy a new phone when we got back to Orlando. Boo!
Except for that last item, the week was fantastic. It was great fun being with two of our four kids for an extended period - although we wish the whole family could have been there.


Mike Fennema said...

It sounds like you had a good time in the state that I now call home (I'm at a church in Augusta now). The Chatooga looks like fun! I'm taking my youth on a trip down the Ocoee this weekend, so I hope we can get pics like yours. And if you want to, you can find good produce in O-Town. YOu just have to look hard. My wife and I would frequent some roadside stands between Apopka and Mount Dora, but that is not really your neck of the woods, is it?! I hope that you, Seth, and all of UPC are doing well!
Mike Fennema

Jill said...

That's awesome, Mike! I love the picture of the rafting trip! The look on all of your faces are classic! Sounds like a really great time. Sorry about your Blackberry.