Friday, May 2, 2014
Traveling from the Low Country to the High Country has wonderful benefits – especially in the spring or fall.
When we leave Summerville in October to celebrate Girls Weekend at my sister’s Blue Ridge Mountain home, the colors are just barely turning. We arrive in Virginia at the peak of fall splendor. On the way back the vivid reds and yellows are only slightly waning in Old Dominion and all the way downhill we enjoy another round of brilliance as we head back to the Palmetto State.
Last weekend I discovered it’s the same way in the spring.
Jon and Cynthia invited us to an early season getaway – and it was wonderful. We all love Summerville and the surrounding areas with beaches, year round outdoor activities, lots of seafood and beautiful flowers, to name but a few amenities.
Perhaps that’s why we all enjoy a mountain jaunt. The terrain is so different. The mountains tower and the roads unravel unexpectedly, revealing different vistas at every high turn. Much of the architecture is done in stone and the enticing twang of the mountaineers is counterpoint to the enticing drawl we are used to hearing.
Then there’s that second season thing again. Most of our dogwoods had bid us adieu before we left, but we got to enjoy them again all the way up to the highest mountains. And best of all – to me – my favorite pink dogwoods were in full flower.
These delightful trees were perfect examples of their prominence in the Dogwood State.
We left on Thursday and returned on Sunday, refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated – just what a getaway should accomplish. Our list of activities was not exciting – except to us as two sets of grandparents. We slept late, breakfasted at home, and set out for different destinations each day, usually eating lunch out and dinner in -- with one glorious exception. That was an evening meal at a top-of-a-mountain chateau which boasted a winery and a gift shop (another favorite destination of mine).
During a delicious dinner we sat in front of a warming big stone fireplace with nearby stained glass accents and looked out a huge bay window onto a beautiful sunset.
Our excursions out included a visit to a state park by a beautiful river, where we sat and soothed ourselves with the peaceful calm of a clear blue sky above and gentle ripples gliding alongside us. We enjoyed a picnic lunch, a drive through intriguing arts community towns and spent a grand day in Mt. Airy, N.C., the setting for the Mayberry of the Andy Griffith Show. We ate a Pork Chop Sandwich for lunch after lining up at the café locally famous for this specialty.
Mt. Airy is also a wonderful place for couples to explore. There are comfortable benches all along the wide sidewalks and a special niche where shopped-out husbands can sit at umbrella tables, watching the world go by. (They can also watch over purchases so wives’ arms are free for more!) Mt. Airy is full of entrancing shops. We brought home a couple of Christmas gifts and some wind sculptures that dance gleefully in the slightest breeze.
Our evenings consisted of sitting on the delightful front porch surrounded by lush evergreens. That, and a movie or two and early to bed, concluded our days. To end that heavenly trip, there is only one appropriate word.