Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Birthday Adventure

The Writer: What do you want for your birthday, a present or a trip?
Me: A trip!
The Writer: Where do you want to go?
Me: The mountains!

Denny Gross, you guessed right, the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina.  We stayed in Highlands in a lodge that was on several acres with a noisy stream right outside our window and a small lake,  

an outdoor dining room ...

and a little porch right over the stream, nestled in the rhododendrons, for reading 
and writing and drawing called 
The Secret Spot.

"Break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.

 Wash your spirit clean.”         (John Muir)

The ducks are very tame.  At eight every morning, when the dining room opens for breakfast for guests, a couple dozen ducks waddle up from the pond, across the parking lot in a line, and wait for the owner to come out and give them their morning corn.  If it isn't forthcoming quick enough, they get very noisy!  

In 1875 two gentlemen from Kansas purchased the land they named Highlands.  The entrepreneurs were convinced that this spot, where lines drawn between Chicago and New York and Savannah and Chicago intersected, was destined to become the next center of commerce and trade in the United States.  They missed the mark by about 130 miles.  It's called Atlanta.  
Oh, well.  Instead the natural beauty of the mountains was preserved and Highlands gradually became a place for melting Southernors (like me!) to get away from the summer heat and bustle of places like Atlanta, and that's what it remains.
There are lots of shops and two historic inns in the village.  The Highlands Inn opened in 1880 and has been restored to its original state with antique furnishings, wall coverings, and stenciling, and is in the National Registery of Historic Places.  The other, Old Edward Inn, was built in 1878 as a boarding house and over the years has grown to cover at least a city block with swimming pools and spa facilities and I don't know what all.  We peeked in the front door of one of the old parts and it was a lobby that looked like it had been furnished in the 1920s.  The rest of it is new and very modern. 
We went hiking and took some driving trips and I'll have some pictures of the mountain scenery next time.


  1. Happy birthday, it looks like a great place, I'm tired of melting.

  2. Very informative which I always appreciate.
    Great that you had a lovely place to enjoy your b/day?
    Your 40th wasn't it????????????????? I think I just might
    be joking, eh?

  3. It sounds just perfect! I love the way you write about the places you visit. Makes me want to go there too. Happy Birthday!!

  4. it's beautiful place to visit.. Long back I went to Smokey Mountain... it was the month of december, when we reached there it was already 4 o'clock in the evening, and started getting dark.. So we came down and stroll on the sidewalk of Gatlinburg.. that little town is so beautiful and picturesque..

  5. It is always a delight to visit and enjoy your trips. I get to see and learn about places that I wouldn't normally visit. Belated Birthday wishes.

  6. That is a great present, I would choose the same!

  7. Lucky Girl. I don't have to wish you Happy Birthday because I can see you had one.

  8. Happy birthday, Cynthia! Kudos to the Writer for letting you choose what to do on your birthday because you come up with the best getaways ever!

  9. (Re your comment on my blog. 'Livery' refers to the clothing they wore when affiliated to these medieval guilds) Many belated birthday greetings.

  10. Looks like a wonderful get away!! I hope you had a marvelous time! :)

  11. Heck I was only off by about three thousand miles. Still I love mountains and woods wherever the are. Neat vacation spot that's for sure...:)

  12. A belated Happy Birthday Cynthia. That was a great choice of a place to visit - just lovely.

  13. Happy Birthday Cynthia though late - but better late than never.
    What a wonderful trip and interesting read as well.