Late this past Monday afternoon, I drove up to Clayton, Georgia, and took a tour of Chevin Woodruff's beautiful event facility, Splendor Mountain. It's an ideal place for a small wedding, family reunion, or special retreat. Here's one of the many scenic views at Splendor Mountain.
I'm hoping to possibly partner with Chevin for some Christian retreats in beautiful Rabun County. My newest retreat topic, "JOY on the Journey," is designed to help women refresh their minds and bodies through retreat sessions and activities, restore their souls through Bible study, and rediscover the joy of their salvation, while meeting and interacting with other amazing women! Anybody interested in prayer and inspirational retreats, individually, with friends, or for groups, contact me!
A fortuitous phone call to my childhood friend, and neighbor from Fernandina Beach, Florida, Hugh Williams, resulted in a visit from his family while they were on the way to Tennessee. Hugh, his wife, Ann, and daughter Landyn arrived Monday night, for a spur-of-the-moment stay. We "caught up," made some tentative plans for the next day, and enjoyed the hot tub before bedtime!
Tuesday morning, we realized the coffee pot didn't work. No problem for me, since I don't drink coffee; but we piled into the car for a quick trip to Grapes and Beans for Hugh and Ann. Coffee, tea, and muffins fortified everyone!
We picked up the new issue of Georgia Mountain Laurel magazine at Grapes and Beans. It's always my "bible" for where to go and what to do in northeast Georgia and adjacent areas of North Carolina! The new online version makes it so easy to share stories, shopping finds, and restaurants with friends who're coming to the area!
While everyone was at Grapes and Beans, Cook's Computer Services, across Savannah Street, let me use their wi-fi to send some documents! They're very nice!
We went to Warwoman Dell, and climbed the stone steps up to the old railroad bed, then crossed the road to climb up to Becky Branch Falls.
All the climbing and hiking made us hungry, so we headed to Tiger Food Mart for the world's best burgers and sweet tea! (And a BLT for Landyn.)
Since Tiger Food Mart didn't have their famous chocolate cake, our dessert was from my favorite dessert place: Linda's Sweet Treats and Antiques in Tiger. Fresh German Chocolate cake, and white cake with Chocolate icing were finger lickin' good! (When I get Linda's caramel cake, I want to keep eating it till it's gone!)
Next stop: Goats on the Roof! Landyn loved feeding the goats. She earned her "Goat Ranger" sticker by delivering goat food to the goats via pedaling a bike and hand pulling a clothesline-type delivery system. Landyn also cracked open a couple of geodes to discover what kinds of crystals were inside.
|Pedaling to deliver goat food.|
|Overview of part of the Goats' Rooftop Village|
|Geode Cracking Machine|
Next on our tour, was viewing the Tallulah Gorge from the Tallulah Point Overlook, and, of course, doing a little bit of shopping! They have GREAT nature and children's books, toys, souvenirs, and nostalgic signs, furnishings, and foods!
Since Tallulah Point Overlook didn't have any boiled peanuts for Landyn, we went on the Indian Springs Trading Post to get some. There are lots of oddities and antiques here, and it's where I bought my bear bench for outside. We had our pictures taken with their indian and bear cutouts.
We made a quick stop at the Chattahoochee National Forest Tallulah Ranger District Office, north of Tallulah Falls, on 441, so everyone could see a taxidermied black bear, the size of one we'd seen at our house. We also picked up some brochures and area information.
Hillside Orchard is one of my regular stops. We sampled their peach and strawberry ice cream--both of which were delicious--and some of their jellies and salsas. Hugh and Ann stocked up on jellies, jams, pecan apple butter, salsa and honey! (We also bought some peach bread, which I used for French Toast with Praline Pecan Sauce, the following morning. Their breads make AMAZING French Toast!) After we finished shopping, Landyn and Hugh enjoyed feeding more animals at their petting zoo.
After a tour of the area near my house, we headed to another water fall to wade and take photos. I was trying to recreate the Raisen book cover photo below, by sitting on the rock, and letting the water massage my back. However, as you can see, the water flow was so powerful I was unable to even get close to the rock ledge! The further left I got, into the main flow, the more difficult it was to stand. The water was literally holding me away from the rocks! I asked Hugh to hold on to me so the force of the water didn't push me over headfirst, but I was unable to climb on the rock! (By the way, the water was probably about 60 degrees!)
|As you can see by comparing this with the photos below, |
there was a lot more water flowing when we were there!
|I could stand to the right of the main flow, but as soon as I moved left and closer to the rocks, |
the water started pushing me over!
|Hugh was helping me balance as I was trying to back up to sit on the rock.|
The force of the water is literally holding me off the rocks!
We called Mama G's to pick up pizza and Greek salad to take home with us for supper. Always delicious!
|Pizza on the porch!|
After supper, we took a walk to a little waterfall near the house, and Landyn found several LARGE bear tracks! We didn't see any bears, though!
After a relaxing time in the hot tub, we looked at the photos from the day, and went to bed, tired and happy!
Next morning, after French toast, a little more local exploration by Hugh and Landyn, and packing up, we went to the Dillard House for their bountiful, family style lunch! Ed was happy! I brought the leftovers home for him!
|Sunrise--I love all the layers of mountains!|
|Sated, but not stuffed!|
We ran out of "available meals" and didn't get to go to Zeppelin's or the Clayton Cafe, which are two of my favorites. I wanted the Williams to see
Reeve's Hardware, too, but we'd need a full second day to fit all those in!
We tried to go to the Tiger Drive-In, but they're not currently open on Monday-Wednesday! Maybe next time!
Click HERE for more photos!