This weekend finally arrived bringing with it my annual (most of the time) spring trip to one of my favorite places in Georgia -- the docile and highly charming town of Blue Ridge. I've posted before about my girlfriend excursions in this little piece of heaven bordering the north Georgia mountains. As much as I enjoy the area in the fall, I take equal pleasure in the beauty the early spring paints upon this bustling little town and the surrounding area. Everything was bursting forth into glorious splendor -- the hardwoods, the red buds, the dogwoods, the crab-apple blossoms, the azaleas. On the drive up to meet my BFF, the rain fell all around me most of the trek from my part of the state but I didn't mind because the green countryside dotted with horses, cows and baby calves trailing their mamas looked even more majestic through the glistening wetness. I made it a point (ha!) to leave the rain behind however before I arrived in Fannin County, and the rest of the weekend was perfect for being outdoors. By the time I reached my destination the rain had ceased, the sun was trying to peek through, and I announced my arrival bringing good weather with me. I took the credit for it all!!
Not much inspires me more than a good road trip, even if that trip is a mere 100 miles down the road. It's amazing how the scenery, weather, and way of life can take a major about-face just really (in the total scheme of things) a short drive away. We woke up to 49-degree mornings and people embracing a much slower pace of life. A small town nestled in the foothills is the perfect place to unwind, eat some delicious food, and just chill out and relax -- or, better yet, CHILLAX!!
So what arouses my senses about these road trips I've been taking to Blue Ridge every fall and spring for the last 20 years? Did I mention the slower pace of life? People who are ready and willing to "chew the fat" with you if you but get the conversation rolling, and sometimes the locals will even do that for you. Another motivating aspect of life in this community is there are many who have left the big city behind in order to pursue their dreams. Most of the shop owners in the small downtown area have migrated there from other parts of the state and beyond to practice their art -- whether it's jewelry making, leather working, boutique clothing, or fine dining. I consider shopkeeping and food-creating art in and of itself no matter what you're selling or what dishes you're creating -- whether it's handmade articles of every imaginable medium, homemade fudge, or the best hotdog around -- the people sell what they are passionate about. Some of these people are doing what we call "living the dream" -- practicing what they love in the place of their choosing and in the time frame of their choosing. Some shops do not keep the traditional 10:00 to 6:00 workday, which is fine by me. When we're there, schedules hold absolutely no power over our day!! Except maybe to catch a matinee in a nearby town. Going to a movie in this area of Georgia is also like a step back in time. We took in a top-rated movie on its opening day, complete with popcorn and diet Coke for a whopping $10! Now, that's a bargain, wouldn't you say? I feel for families who try to make an outing of going to the movies around Atlanta and other big cities. Between ticket prices and concessions, a family of five could drop $100 easily! But that's a whole other story for another time.
Another great pleasure (probably the greatest) we enjoy in the 'Ridge is the culinary experiences! If we allow anything else to control our schedule (which we really don't), it's making sure we get in all the wonderful meals. Nothing takes precedence over eating, and it's a good thing we walk a lot because of all the amazing food we consume. Don't even think about missing a meal! Just ain't gonna happen. We are never lacking for great places to dine and, if you're willing to venture out to neighboring towns, the choices broaden even further. We have our favorites that we regularly patronize but we are always willing to try new places.
But above all, probably the most memorable experience we've had in my adopted home away from home is the porch-sitting/story-telling/latest news-revealing we share. I honestly think we could sit for hours on that porch and never run out of things to talk about. That old porch high on the hill has heard many a tale, long before I started sitting on it, and maybe long after I'm gone. But I hope and fully intend to visit many more times before I leave this earth, the Good Lord willing.
Posted by CC
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