We've been long (i.e. two years and change) overdue for a little getaway sans kiddos, so I made an executive decision to combine a buying trip with a weekend vacation, since multitasking seems to be our modus operandi these days. (Sippy cup-filling and burp cloth-searching and e-mailing triple-threat, anyone?) After condensing the buying extravaganza that is on the calendar the same spring weekend every year into one shop-a-rific day, the vacation began.
Even just saying, "We're on vacation," was relaxing...we could have been anywhere...but it was certainly nice to be where we were. (And though I seriously hesitated to tell anyone about this place, for fear it will be completely booked the next time we try make a reservation, I loved it so much I have to let you know about it.)
Fire Mountain Inn in North Carolina was our much-needed respite from the daily whirlwind and craziness of it all, and as soon as we drove up the gravel path toward its mountaintop perch, I knew we were in for a calm, relaxing, comfortable weekend. Between the long-range views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the blooming rhododendron, and the quiet still of the woods, everything feels peaceful on Fire Mountain.
And though each detail is attended to and the spot beautiful, it is simple and unpretentious, and incredibly welcoming. (With a bon fire prepared for guests on Saturday nights to enjoy...loved taking in the evening from the red chair on the lawn.)
And a fireplace in the library for cooler evenings...book-borrowing and game nights encouraged.
If you are a guest of the inn or one of their treehouses, breakfast is served in the dining room, which overlooks the beautiful mountain ranges of Western North Carolina and North Georgia. My favorite meal of the day (if I had to choose...not that I would omit any of them...food is my second-favorite thing after jewelry, I think) is breakfast, and those served at Fire Mountain were delicious and gourmet, but--in keeping with the simple, natural surroundings of the Inn--tastefully un-fussy. Such a great way to start the day--especially before a long hike.
Fire Mountain gave us some fantastic recommendations for fun nearby hikes, one to a beautiful, not-so-well-known waterfall that could be enjoyed without too many other hikers crowding the trail. Hoping that was the kick-start to my post-pregnancy fitness reclamation. (Physical activity not involving chasing after a toddler or a dog has just not been in the cards the last few months. So the hike, along with the vacation, was much needed and much enjoyed.)
After the hike, we tried some fly fishing--well, one of us concentrated efforts on fishing, the other cracked open the first "reading-for-pleasure" book since last summer and was satisfied with one catch-and-release accomplishment. Born and raised in the South, I am clearly a little late to the party, but started Gone With the Wind while enjoying a true southern delicacy--boiled peanuts. And beer. Both from the nearest town and both earned on the hike, I contend.
A few rounds of cards and glasses of wine in our sitting area, and a sunset to close out the getaway. Already scheming the next one...so leave some room for us at Fire Mountain if we can manage to hit the road again. (Hopefully before another two years fly by!)
A special note: We'd love to offer a giant thank-you to grandparents for making this weekend possible. We loved having some time away and know the girls (both human and canine) loved being with you all, too. Hope you're up for the challenge again one day...after some recovery time, of course.