Greg and I celebrated 20 years and one month of marriage with a trip to Blue Ridge, GA. We like the mountains in north Georgia because it’s an easy drive, scenery is pretty, and there’s plenty to do. It’s a good weekend getaway. We went to Helen, GA, last year at the same time and wanted a different variation of a similar trip this year.
Preparations & mom guilt
I left the house Friday morning, a couple of hours after we had planned, with loads of mom guilt. Our plan was originally to drop off all three kids at school on Friday morning and hit the road. My mom planned to pick up the kids Friday afternoon.
Well, on Thursday, Rachel was diagnosed with strep throat and missed that day and Friday of school. She felt fine on Friday but hadn’t been fever-free for 24 hours yet, so on Thursday I made arrangements for my mother-in-law came to stay with her during the school day until my mom arrived. Meanwhile, Cate strained her knee at her first soccer practice earlier last week. She’s been resting, icing, and wearing a compression brace.
Then early Friday morning that was really still middle of the night, Cate came to our bedroom to tell us her throat felt swollen. I knew she’d need to go to the doctor when it opened Friday morning to get tested for strep. So I took Ben to school and then Cate to urgent care, where we were not surprised to learn she also had strep throat.
I literally had to leave a list of medications — regular and newly temporary — for all three kids to take while we were gone. I texted Cate one morning: How’s your throat, ear, and knee? Honestly, being able to text with her quieted some of my mom guilt for going on vacation and leaving our mothers with sickly kids.
Everyone perked up, the kids visited my sister and her family in Indiana, Greg and I had a great getaway, and we all came home ready for a new (short) week together.
On the way down Friday, we stopped in Murfreesboro, TN, for lunch at Puckett’s Grocery. I had the Piggy Mac and it was delicious. We arrived at our mountaintop cabin on Friday evening and went out for pizza at Mystic Mountain Pizza, which was a weird combination of hippy-inspired decor, pizza-inspired decor, and country music playing over the speakers. The pizza was good and we were happy to be able to sit and talk about whatever came to mind.
Our cabin was up a winding mountain road but not far from town. It was clean and comfortable and had a magnificent porch. It ended up being a sweet spot as we spent more time there than we were originally planning.
Much rain was forecasted for Saturday, but thankfully there were only morning showers. We rode the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to McCaysville, GA / Copperhill, TN. Yep, we stood in two states at once and had lunch near a very large U.S. flag displayed on a bridge over the river that changes names depending on which state your feet stand. Specifically, we are at Burra Burra on the River, where I had possibly the thickest burger I’d ever had. It was yummy and eating by the water always feels right to me. We shopped a little before we boarded the train back for Blue Ridge. The whole adventure was really fun and exactly enough time in McCaysville.
We went on a short but slightly slippery hike to the Falls Branch Falls, which, honestly were smaller and less impressive than I was expecting. We still had fun and got in lots of steps. With tired legs, we drove around and ended up at Lake Blue Ridge — which was beautiful, especially on a sunshiny afternoon that offered pretty clouds. Something about mountains, clouds, and water all together makes me want to take all the photos.
My cousin friend Mary lives near-ish Blue Ridge, so we met for dinner and dessert. Restaurants were crowded and we didn’t have a good cell signal, so we ended up at another pizza place — Cucinella’s. We found a table for us outside. I ended up getting pecan chicken salad on top of a Caesar salad and shared garlic knots with Greg. It was a very good choice and dinner was surprisingly much better than I expected when I thought I was going to have to settle for pizza again. (Greg said the pizza was good. And I noticed there were some slightly more unique topping choices such as meatballs, colored sweet peppers, and broccoli.)
On Sunday morning, Greg went trout fishing. While I’m always up for creek scenery and time to read a book, I opted to stay at the cabin with a lovely porch. I didn’t sleep in as I had hoped, but I did listen to the rain, enjoy the view, work on my Precept Bible study, and take some time to process and write some things. I also thought about someone could probably build me a swing like that.
The rest of Sunday was rainy. We did a little shopping at Mercier Orchard and ended up at a steakhouse that reminded us of a 1980s Ponderosa. It was mediocre, but we had apple doughnuts for dessert at our cabin, thanks to our earlier shopping trip.
I’m thankful for the escape from our normal lives filled with responsibilities and commitments. I’m also thankful for 20 years (and a month) of marriage and the friendship we still have together.
I posted many other pictures on Facebook, so come on over there to see more snapshots.