Friday, May 21, 2010

A Working Vacation

My friends all know one of my favorite escapes is to head to the North Carolina mountains.  There are many other beautiful hillside locations, in the US, but I’m so fortunate to be able to make the NC trip in a matter of a few hours, while not spending an entire day in travel mode.  It’s just a few twists and turns and I’m there! 

The other aspect I love, other than the different ridges and national forests, is the variety of people who have “settled in” or who vacation there.  Going to Bryson City/Nantahala area?  Plan on some whitewater rafting, rustic surroundings, and some earthy types.  If you like Highlands and Cashiers, chances are you’ll be arriving via the Atlanta area, where on occasion, you might spot a few celebrities who are treated with the utmost sense of discretion.  The Asheville area seems to be for those who might be more interested in a permanent residence and specific lifestyle.  It’s a progressive little city with a “boho-chic” vibe.  And last, but not least, it seems many of us, from the Charlotte-Metro area, have an affinity for West Jefferson and Blowing Rock.  It fits the bill for that short drive to a beautiful mountain retreat; although, you will also see an abundance of Florida tags, too!

69232_0(I wonder how many crafty trout might be hiding under these rocks?)

In a very short while, my husband and I, along with our two dachshunds, will be making our way to a quaint cabin in West Jefferson.  It has the perfect blending of amenities . . . private access to the New River, a short drive into town for galleries, dining, provisions, and comfy bedding for a good rest.  Also included will be a large front porch, perfect for rocking and reading, Starbuck’s coffee beans, and a well-equipped kitchen . . .  should my husband actually catch some trout!  (This is not to disparage his fishing skills.  Rainy weather doesn’t bode well for great catches.) 

sign mural

shoppingfamily southmarke

(Fall is not the only special season for visiting the NC mountains.  Summer also offers its blaze of color.)

I will be interrupting some of this “R & R” as I’ll be making a side trip to the town of Blowing Rock.  A client is building a three story home on the side of the mountain.  (Did I ever tell you how much I’m afraid of heights?  I’ll be standing in the middle of rough framing, looking over the edge, with weak knees!)  Nevertheless, Blowing Rock is a charming composite of mountain cottages, chalets, cabins, lodges, and some magnificent views over the Blue Ridge mountain range.  I love the idea of having such a selection of abodes.  Whether you want to walk straight out to the village street, have a bit of acreage for bovines or equine interests, or want to catch your breath from a view down a mountainside, there is something for every desire and even budget.

Here are some photos of property listings for the area:

83304_1

 81758_0(Just gorgeous!)

And if you are wondering about the town’s name, here is a little bit of folklore:

“Before 1752, when Moravian Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg visited the Blowing Rock area, the windy cliffs of the area were home to the Cherokee and the Catawba Indian tribes, hostile to each other, and the basis for the story of “The “Blowing Rock”. Two star-crossed lovers, one from each tribe, were walking near The Rock when the reddening sky signaled to the brave that he must return to his tribal duty, and the maiden urged him to stay with her. His desperation in choosing between duty and love caused him to leap from the edge of the gorge toward the rocks below, while the maiden beseeched the Great Spirit to bring him back to her. The famous winds of the John’s River Gorge blew her lover back into her arms, and this legend about The Blowing Rock is still told today.”  From this site:  Blowing Rock

Back to more property photos:87164_189127_0(If you are a bit more of a “lowlander”, the farmhouse style might be right for you.)

90060_0(Log homes certainly fit in among the more rustic, forest settings.)

90144_0(Looking for less upkeep?  A cozy cottage might be perfect for a weekend retreat!)

442086586(I can’t help but to imagine Hansel and Gretel popping out of this little Chalet.)

Even though the inner sanctum of our visit will be important to our creature comforts, this is one of the main reasons for making the trip:

258668843  And in the morning hour - this:

108-0828_IMG And at the day’s end - this:

71313_2

  Doesn’t it just make you feel like - this?:

Andrews0107_468x627 Aaaaah!  I may never come back.

Experience the best about design!  Wanda

1 comment:

Amy said...

I miss that area so much. We went to ASU so I'm very familiar with Blowing Rock and that little Hansel and Gretel chalet? I've stayed in one of those very ones during college for a staff retreat.