Archives for posts with tag: Southeast

A very dear friend of my daughter’s, Beauregard, sent me a PM on FB about this event and encouraged me to come have some fun. I’d met the owners of Hatch Camp & Art Farm a couple of years ago when they hosted other musical events where Beau (of Beauregard & The Downright) was performing when Mama & Daddy Hatch were awaiting their blessed event. The timing was perfect as I’d been on the computer in my office for days doing research and working way too hard for a retired woman. So, armed with water, camera and excitement, I jumped in my truck and headed  East toward what promised to be a fun day at Hatch Camp & Art Farm!

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Yes, I cheated. I took a screen shot of their FB page to post what they are doing, who was there and was quite surprised at many things. Firstly, they plan to have one of these monthly! Secondly, they have spaces for booths available for people to share their art! Thirdly, they have a lovely place for exploring on a good sized stream, which I hear is good for fly fishing, where people can camp for the weekend and do the kumbaya thang all weekend long if they want or just hit and run like I did.

As an aside, Mama Hatch was busy with orchestrating the whole event while looking after Baby Hatch who was exploring everything! Turns out that Daddy Hatch is a master fly fisherman who loves creating flies so much so that he explores his creek regularly to see what larvae are in the water so he can mimic just the right fly de jour! He has turned his garage into a shop and fun place for you fly-fisher-persons to explore!

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Another interesting aspect of venturing out in this area is that you never know who you will run into! I saw one of the waiters who always took care of Mom and I when we went for our traditional Sunday Brunch at the Lake Rabun Hotel! But this time, Tolvin Stiles wasn’t waiting on tables, he was sitting at one making the most delicious copper wire jewelry!

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Tolvin’s works of art!

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Tolvin creating new ones!

I meandered around the pathways and byways of this lovely retreat meeting a variety of local artists along the way whilst musicians played folk music. It reminded me of the many times my daughter, Ava of avascorner.org, and I went to events similar to this. Those, however, were much larger. I like the more intimate variety where you actually have a chance to connect with people instead of getting lost in the crowd. This was lovely and I will go back again!

Now, for what I really came for. I could hear Beau getting ready on stage. It was time for me to have some Beauregard! Not only do I love seeing him but also having the chance to  listen to one of my favorite singer, songwriter, musicians who really puts his heart and soul into his music like few do these days of cheating with canned music, tricks and screaming. Bearegard & The Downright are Down Right! Personally, I love his most personal touch to all his ukulele songs. Something very beautiful in his soul is revealed each time he plays it. Don’t get me wrong, when you hear his band, you will be moved…but to the dance floor! I’ve been known to dance the night away the first time I went to see them play a few years back. If he is in your neighborhood, go see him! Follow him on FB! It’s a funky Jamaican Mountain Country City boy sound unique just to Beauregard!

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As he makes his living doing what he loves, he always has hats and albums for sale a his events!

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Beauregard singing solo and so good!

If you are up this way for their next event, maybe I’ll see you there! Y’all come on up, ya’ hear!

HAPPY TRAILS…until we meet again!

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I do love Atlanta because of its Southernness and history; my history there; varied trees,  plants and flowers; backroads; special places to visit; and Ava memories. I had a blast giving one of Ava’s dearest friends and mentor Phase 1 of Donna’s Atlanta Driving/Some-Walking Tour.

As always, I start in my home area of Sandy Springs which is in Northwest Atlanta which used to be a sleepy little area of farms (including ours) and quiet country living. Now, it’s all that and more. It’s THE place to live! Do those rich people know that a tenement farmer raised pigs on that property and that’s probably why their grass is so green? Or that the multi-million dollar house sits in our cow pasture of yesteryear? It’s definitely hard to recognize and my brain gets all tangled up in reality and my memories of horseback riding over to the Chattahoochee River and riding the old timber roads or milking the cow or playing in the creeks or happily padding along barefooted chasing after someone or something. Awww. The Good Ole Days!

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Me “driving” our tractor I called “The Green Dragon!” Looks like I got stuck!

Anyway, here’s some of which I included in the Phase 1 Driving/SomeWalking Tour for Ava’s friend and one of my Chirrens yesterday. Yeehaw!

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Swan House is in an area we call Buckhead because it was there was a General Store at its old crossroads with a Deer Buck Head over the door. The Swan House is a part of the Atlanta History Center. One Ticket at the History Center gives you access to Center’s fabulous Exhibits, the Swan House, and, in October, to the relocated Cyclorama which used to be at the Atlanta Zoo!

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Fox Theater’s outstanding acoustics have been recognized all over the world!

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When we used to go to the movies here, each side of this area was where the latest, finest lady’s fashions were exhibited. It was saved from demolition in 1976 by locals. YAY!

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I’ve been wondering where they moved the famous CocaCola sign to and there it was in all its glory right over the building at Five Points in the heart of Downtown Atlanta on top of the old Wormser Hats Building!

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Brand new Mercedes-Benz Atlanta Stadium! Quite impressive!

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On to my favorite restaurant – No Mas – in the Castleberry Arts district across the street from the old GE Supply Building where I used to work a hundred years ago!

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Whoever created this place, needs a gold star for doing it right! Plus, the food is amazing!

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Got a hankering for outdoor seating?

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So many interesting things going on inside with the old and new structure being married with Mexican artifacts and art!

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Ohm yeah! I want one of these for my front porch!

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Before you leave, go into their Artisans Market store just to the left of the restaurant patio for more stimulation of the purchasable kind! LOVE this place!

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Our State Capital Building is crowned with none other than Gold from our very own Dahlonega! I remember when they brought the gold to the Capital in wagon trails from there to refurbish it.

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And, last but not least, Ava’s love – Little Five Points. She loved living here and felt safer here than anywhere. Junkman’s Daughter was her favorite place to shop; The Vortex was her favorite restaurant; and the Brew House was where she’d go for libations.

I modify each tour according to the wishes of my passenger, their age, the heat/humidity index and my energy. Most of this was a driving tour but we’ll hit the streets next time she’s in town and do it right! This was just the tip of the iceberg tour!

HAPPY TRAILS…until we meet again!

Mom’s favorite place for me to take her for any occasion was our very own Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant (www.lakerabunhotel.com)  but especially for Sunday Brunch! So, whenever a newbie comes to the my mountain home (Southern Comfort Cabin) to visit, I  take them for their great Sunday Brunch.

I’m  truly blessed to have many wonderful Chirrens and Grand Chirrens, especially after  my daughter, Ava, passed (avascorner.org). My Chirrens keep in touch with me and visit when possible from all over the country and beyond. I had two of my Chirrens meet for the first time! It’s been so exciting! They really are twins! Mirjana (from Canada) has been with me learning Southern beginning in Jacksonville, Jekyll Island, Savannah, my mountain cabin with Little Five Points being her last stop, of course. Stacey, who I adopted upon meeting fifteen years ago, came up to meet Mirjana (her “sister-by-another-mother”). We’ve easily recognized we’re all of the same Gypsy, Bellydancing Singing blood! How could we not be when Ava brought us all together?

As my Chirrens come up for a visit, the tradition has become for me to take them to Lake Rabun Hotel’s Sunday Brunch. Today was the day! Yum!

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Path entrance Lake Rabun Hotel

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Front View Lake Rabun Hotel

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Lake Rabun Porch Dining

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Lake Rabun Hotel Witham Room

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Local “farm to table” foods

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Always good eats!

For more information, please visit http://www.lakerabunhotel.com or email Josh Addis, their General Manager, at joshaddis@lakerabunhotel.com to make your reservations to stay in one of their newly renovated suites, have dinner or to have one of their signature drinks!

It’s all good and a fabulous way to spend your time up here in the Northeast Georgia Mountains…and make new friends!

HAPPY TRAILS…until we meet again!

 

Savannah, Georgia…deeply steeped in history beginning with its founding in 1733 and the women who were responsible for much of it remaining mostly intact…is a breathtakingly gorgeous city worthy of a much longer stay than Mirjana and I had. But, we gave it our all even to the very minute we left.

We finished our whirlwind tour with none other than the infamous Shannon Scott walking tour of the Bonaventure Cemetery mostly made famous by a book/movie a couple of decades back, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” We who have made that trek to Savannah for decades know, or thought we knew, a great deal about this Cemetery and it’s residents but Shannon Scott’s ability to entertainingly weave this base knowledge with his obvious hunger to find the secrets behind the curtains in his guided tour (www.shannonscott.com) is certainly a treat worth doing. In the two hour tour, Shannon not only gave his audience the insider view of how the Bonaventure Plantation became a cemetery but how Savannah lives changed by the persons who now reside within its hallowed grounds.

I wish I could have made notes during Shannon’s tour for this writing, but I was totally captured by his vibrant storytelling; of interjecting the secrets of its inhabitants; and how strangers’ lives were forever changed by these now gone but forever alive people in history. Shannon’s sixteen years of Bonaventure touring experience and love for its history and art is most evident and entertaining. Take the tour; absorb its ambiance and his knowledge as it’s so worth the investment.

As pictures speak volumes, I’ll just tell of my adventure with photos.

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Bonaventure’s Custodial House at the entrance.

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Bonaventure gardens

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Elegant chiseled white marble art forms.

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Walz was the most famous of the artists who took wooden mallet & chisel in hand to create these standing beauties of art history.

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Different symbols on these iron slave grave markings indicated the person’s standing at the time of death…slave or freedman.

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Angels among us.

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Gracie is the story of a young girl who won the hearts of many just by being herself, playing daily in her parent’s hotel and surrounding area. Walz was new to Savannah and hoped to get his monument sculpting business started when a grieving father walked into his shop, handed him a picture of a young girl and turned and walked out without a word. The rest is history.

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Ode to Gracie. 

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Johnny Mercer was born a musical savant and into a wealthy, established Savannah family. His early talents were reflected in his ability to pick up and play any musical instrument. He wrote volumes of songs loved by all: “Moon River,” “One For My Baby.” “Blues In The Night,” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” It was in the Mercer House in Savannah where the story of murder and mayhem took place in the 1980’s touted story written in the 1997 book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

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Italian artists and historic influences evident here!

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Flowing fabrics of marble reminded me of Michelangelo’s hand.

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All roads in Savannah eventually lead to the River! Nice ending!

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Wow! The ultimate in intricate, elaborate gateways.

Words of wisdom for your summer visit to Savannah’s Bonaventure tour are: dress code is cool & comfortable, bring water, tennis shoes over sandals because of sand and ants, hat for shade (or find shade) and listen to every word Shannon imparts. He definitely gives his all in this mystical, magical tour the likes of which I’ve rarely seen in a cemetery!

HAPPY TRAILS…until we meet again!

There’s so much to do and see in the Historic Districts of Savannah especially if you walk it all like we have done. Knowing parking can be challenging here, I told Ava’s friend/mentor, Mirjana, we weren’t cranking it again until we were leaving! She’s such a great sport and travel buddy that we both jumped in on our first day and walked the whole River District meandering in and out of all the wonderful shops.

As we spent yesterday getting caught up on our Savannah history and planning our walking tours with the best driver/docent ever (Hey, Rubin at TrolleyTours.com), we tackled our wildest walking tour dreams today! Although it was predicted to be 91 degrees, walking in the morning was quite pleasant. We headed off right away for a place a friend of hers recommended called The Collins Quarter for a highly recommended Lavender Mocha. I got mine served cold and hers hot.

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Just ordered our Lavender Mochas!

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Yum!

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Outside seating

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The Collins Quarter is a must!

On our list was walking the entire length of Bull Street to view all the beautiful parks which were craftily and cleverly created by Savannah’s founder, Oglethorpe in 1733 before he even left England! And so our adventure began! Enjoy!

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Statue of Savannah’s designer/founder, Oglethorpe.

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Many movies have been made here over the years and this restaurant was in one with Julia Roberts.

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Sorrel-Weed House known for its haunting experiences.

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Details of the Sorrel-Weed House.

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Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

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Wonderfully inventive walls, wrought iron and private gardens are found only in walking tours.

Our day was topped off with lunch with a local artist friend of mine, John Mitchell, at Belford’s restaurant in Savannah’s exciting City Market! So many wonderful shops to visit! I visit with John every time I get back to Savannah as I admire him and his works so much that I own many. My collection is a range of his mid-1990 multimedia works consisting of ceramics, wood, collage and paintings. He’s now exploring more mixed three-dimensional art a few of which can be found in the A. T. Hun Gallery in the City Market. Support local artists!

But, back to the food at Belford’s!

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Inside Belford’s

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BEST Friend Green Tomatoes ever!

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Lunch special – Seafood Frittata. Yum!

I’ve not enjoyed Savannah this much not only because I have a kindred spirit enjoying it with me but I’m in a better place to embrace and absorb more of it. It’s been outstanding having Mirjana to explore its art, history and the wonderfulness of all the various heritages still present in this magical area they call Historic Districts of Savannah!

Tomorrow, we’ll have the pleasure of meeting a local historian who will guide us through the Bonaventure Cemetery before we leave for the cabin! Can’t wait to hear all the history he’s going to share with us!

Happy Trials…til we meet again!

Awwww. It feels so good to be back in my home state and first love, Georgia. You know you’re back in the real South when a man waits for more than a few seconds to hold the door open for an approaching woman. So, when one of Ava’s best friends decided to come my way for a visit, my focus was to “learn” her some “Southern” was of major import, I determined there is no better place to start than Jekyll Island where the millionaires of yesteryear played (Rockefeller and Goodyear to name two), huge Live Oaks lined lazy pathways and roads and a quiet, white sand beach to explore.

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Millionaire Row…playground of Rockefellers and Goodyears of yesteryear.

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Awwww. The Live Oaks lining the streets. Never can get enough of this.

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As I had been trained by my father at an early age the language of birds, I heard a mother bird chirping loudly above where I was seated at one of her chicks. It was as if my dad was whispering to me that she was trying to teach her baby to fly. I looked up and that’s exactly what she was trying to do. My hands weren’t quick enough to catch the whole scenario but I remember it because it mimics what we all have to do with our own chicks…encourage them to fly. The interesting part was that each time the baby bird flew away…even if only inches…the mother bird called it back to here and did what appeared to be giving it a kiss. She was probably giving it an “atta girl” treat of some juicy bug but this continued until she chirped no more and the chick was not to be seen. It felt so good to experience not only the Jekyll Island of my childhood in this way but to have my father guide me through this incredible journey of letting go.

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Hidden white sand beaches next to marshlands.

 

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Pathways lined with Live Oaks. You don’t get better than this!

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Marshlands by the white sand beach!

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Then, it was time to get back on the road again headed for her next lesson in Southern. On the drive to Savannah, I explained to her that she must drop “g” from every word ending in “ing” and gave her some critical colloquialisms like “I’m fixin’ to,” “cattywampus,” “cattycornered,” and, of course, “buttah.”

The only place to learn my kinda Southern is in my all-time favorite area in Georgia – Savannah’s Historic District. If you stay in this area and park your car and not take it out until ready to go home, you won’t be disappointed. It’s so easy being here. Its friendly, customer oriented, down home “glad ta see ya'” kinda easy framed in a comfortable, slower paced, stimulation unique to it. Being a history buff, the only place to stay here is in the area claimed by King George II through Oglethorpe in 1733.

First on the must-dos is to visit the history center and then take a trolley tour of the Historic District. It’s the only way to steep yourself in the local color and atmosphere I so dearly love. Then walk along the Savannah River, which adds it’s own flavor to the the River Historic District of restaurants and shops which have been here for decades providing great places to explore and juicy stories of yesteryear complete with murder, ghosts, famous people and great food with lots of buttah,

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23 K Gold Dome Savannah Courthouse

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The Cotton Exchange for the World!

 

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Being a major port city means Savannah was also a major Railroad Hub for importing and exporting goods. After all, it was the heart of the Cotton Exchange for the World!

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Oglethorpe had drawn out his plans for the 24 sections of this city before he ever left England. Each section had a park in the center surrounded by a church, business, homes, etc. Some of these homes survived the numerous fires of the 1700’s…but some didn’t. As they were rebuilt, bricks and rock and other materials were used. And, the more iron work you had on your property, the wealthier you were purported to be.

 

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The Pirate House luncheon buffet is the BOMB! If you haven’t had REAL Mac N’ Cheese in decades, you have to come here! They got it, baby! Yeah! And Fried Chicken, Collards, Buttah Milk Biscuits…YUM! And, they have some intereesting history!

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Part of the house was built in 1734 and the restaurant was established in 1753! If they don’t know how to cook with buttah, nobody does!

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Walking back from our big lunch at the Pirate House along the Savannah River, we happened upon this huge cargo ship headed out to sea! So cool!

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River adventure is never complete without the help of a Tug Boat!

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Getting past the bridge looks tricky but they make it look easy!

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Tomorrow? Bonaventure Cemetary, Ghost stories, Riverboat Tour and more!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

We’ve had the best time in this sleepy little mountain town visiting friends and getting to know the quaint town of about 150,000 they call home. Roanoke Virginia is a mixture of mountains, valleys, old buildings and houses with some new blood.

Yesterday, we had breakfast at Thelma’s Chicken & Waffles (www.thelmaschickenandwaffles.biz 540-343-8888) in downtown Roanoke. Not only was the food amazing but the lady who served us made the whole experience that much more wonderful. The sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her face framed her fabulous energy. The cost was reasonable. Because it was Sunday morning, the place was packed and we ended up being there longer than planned but it was all good.

Issac’s Mediterranean Restaurant (theisaacsrestaurant.com) is one of the best of its kind. I haven’t had better Gyro… ever. The meat was fresh,tender, tasty and juicy. The sautéed kale was the best as was the Vegi Plate. Big recommendation.

Next, we stopped at Local Roots (localrootscafe.com) to try their Cherry-Tini martini-type drink made with fresh squeezed cherry juice, vodka and other good stuff.

The last stop was to see “Midnight in Paris”. The theater reminded me of a mini-Fox Theater in Atlanta. Nice atmosphere and a not-t00-complicated movie with great company.

We headed home via the Blue Ridge Mountains down I-81. The lush vegetation was a pleasant relief to all the vast arid areas I’d just been in for the last month. My daughter and I felt like our skin was sucking up all the moisture in the air like a fish gasping for oxygen when it’s outta’ water.

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GREEN!

Then you get into North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains come alive!

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As my home is nestled in northeast Georgia between North and South Carolina, I’m a little partial to the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain views. Just sayin’!

Happy Trails!