balance

Dirt Road and Vines

Not all dirt road lead to wineries but on this fall Saturday my dirt road headed right to one of the cool wineries in North Georgia. Cavender Creek is just about an hour or so outside of the city near the college town of Dahlonega. Home to the University of North Georgia. Turning off the main road you drive a short distance on the dusty road as you see the vines in the sunshine.

Just beyond the vines is a little rustic oasis. I went for the sole purpose of sucking on their wine slushy flavor of the day or a swirl if they had more than one flavor while enjoying the ambiance. I was in luck. Pink Starburst and Lime starburst were the flavors to swirl on the sunny weekend afternoon. Perfect presentation with the twisty straw for flair. And it tasted just as good as it looked. One must always be careful not to suck too fast or that pretty slushy will go straight to your head.

Cavender Creek is set off the road a bit. It has an inviting outdoor space for socializing by fire pits and on the lawn. Another deck outside under cover. A back room with long white drapes reflecting the appeal of a sunroom. A cozy group living room in with many special setups of chairs, couches, stools and what not to chat in big or small groups. So much thought was out into making this winery inviting. All the way down to the rocking chair front porch. Such an inviting place with so many spots to unwind and chat.

For today I was at a table for two but with food for 3 or four. Assorted cheeses and meats mixed with some crackers and giant pretzel to soak up some of the wine. A little socializing. A little snacking. Some checkers to play. And I almost forgot about bumping into some folks I hadn’t seen in years. This place has it all from good food to tasty wines to cool vibes with all of their hangout spots.

This day was not planned to include a stop at the winery. It was full of to do’s and times to get to here and there. I opted for the scenic route. A pit stop. Time to breathe the fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sun. Get a little dust on the car. Socialize a bit and of course enjoy the sweetness of the wine slushy.

In the end the cup was empty but the soul was full. The pillow on my chair may have summed it up nice with the phrase:

This

Is

The 

Life

No questions about it. A beautiful day. An amazing destination. Kinship. I felt like one of the lucky ones today. Remember the u-turns in life sometimes yield the best and most unexpected memories. Below is a quirky decoration that was sitting on the vintage table next to me. Too cute not to capture.

Jackass may be the theme in the logo of this winery which adds to its curbside appeal. If in the area you should definitely give it a try.

adventure

Here We Go Again

On the road again. And again. And for a third time because it’s a charm, right?

Northern tip of Florida is stop one from northern tip of Georgia. Just a couple of days for business trip #1. Off to coastal Georgia for a conference. A picturesque landscape but one you won’t enjoy as your schedule consists of inside time spread across a hotel campus for days. Stuffy dress up clothes. Limited outside time. Lack of normal routine. No time to get cozy. Time to head northwest to the land of orange, also known as Tennessee. Stop #3 for next set of business tasks not too far past the Honky Tonk of Nashville. But again not a fun trip just boring business to do’s. 

Three states. Three different business obligations. Seven days on the road, again. I had settled back into my routine after my summer road show of travel.  Now it’s time to hit some other spots even if all business and no pleasure. I suppose money makes the world go round; this girl is off to work to support herself.

First segment on the road was eventful. Major rain storms popped up at random limiting visibility. Minor to major accidents galore. So many cars turned the wrong way after crashes. Ambulances. Fire trucks. Police. I was complaining about delays at first then I realized the delays prevented me from being caught up in the multiple wrecks. How I came to realize I dodged some major bullets on that segment.

The drive was enough for my nerves until I was notified of a boil water advisory upon check in at the hotel. Bottled water only. I had never had this experience at a hotel. Many adjustments only to find all nearby establishments were closed for this reason. No coffee in the morning after a rough evening of travel was not on my agenda for the day. Gas station grapes and crackers for the win on this fine morning. The day didn’t get much better. Restaurants served soda from cans. No water for consumption. The frills we take for granted.

I should have made the water advisory it’s own post as there were so many situations that popped up that made for good stories. On this bright sunny morning, I am enjoying my coffee. Boiled water over 180 degrees according to the server. At this point I don’t care. I’m just happy to have my rocket fuel to start my day. The coast is calling my name at this point in time. Hoping the water is usable on stop two. Fingers crossed. 

Highlight of trip two was a good meal On the coast. Snow country boil was the name. A combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, and snow crabs. A little twist on a favorite meal thanks to the add of the snow crabs. I was extra full that night but it was all delicious.

The highlight for trip three was really a lowlight. A rude awakening of sorts. A meltdown of my mind and spirit. Too much. Too fast. Too tired. All leads to emotional weakness. I caved at the end of the day on my drive. My broken spirit was obvious. That led to overall sadness. I attribute the negative emotions to the last meeting. A shit show in my mind. A train wreck from the get go.

As I rejuvenate my spirit and my mind, I am opting for some physical fitness to get my mind going. Tennis was the sport of choice. Then after a match some crumbl cookies were in order to signify my crumbling the day before. Symbolic in one way and a splurge in another. For today I have some peace as I move forward in a slightly different direction.

Thankfully a long weekend is backing up to this 3 state road trip. Eeek. There are events on the calendar. I guess it was a good thing I flipped my calendar to see what was ahead. Preparations are a must. Hoping to catch my breath on this long weekend before the fall chaos of more travel hits. A spa day would be the perfect match for that extra day off but at the same time doing nothing but watching Netflix in my pjs will probably win.

As I think about the hectic travel schedule I take a deep breath and remind my of my fortune of being able to travel. To see new places. To meet new people. These benefits far outweigh the stress involved in traveling and twisting to get everything done. Palm trees always seem to make you feel like you are on vacation and I saw lots of palm trees in stage one of this trip and two. Maybe that’s why stage three was a dud. No palm trees. Celebrate the small wins in life. Sunshine is never really far off and eat crumbl cookies when your life feels like it’s crumbling. 

These days all seem busy but somehow we manage. Or maybe we aren’t managing at all. Maybe we are just surviving while others are thriving. As I wrote today, I’m sitting outside enjoying the cool breeze before a small storm sets in. The calm before the storm. As I’m reflecting I giggle a little knowing how many blogs I wrote this year about traveling adventures. Funny how life just fuels content most days.

Until next time, enjoy your day and thanks for keeping up with our blog.

adventure

RV Life #5

The RV got a little break. It took a trip to the shop for a little sprucing up after many miles on the road. A friend joked to me about going the distance so soon while many camp closer to home to practice. Funny we didn’t entertain that thought. We seemed to add distance to each trip. I guess go big or go home was the underlying tone.

I will soon start thinking about spots for 2023 that book up far in advance. Fingers crossed we get some good ones. Maybe I’ll add a few local spots for good measure. Anyway, trip 5 takes me to the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia. My home state but a climb up a mountain to get to the site. It’s a new resort that I have big hopes for. 

A little overcast today but the breeze is nice. Maybe low 80s with a chance of showers this evening. It’s seems pretty quiet right now as most are tucked in their RV’s, lounging by the pool or chilling at the entertainment pavilion. I’m just sitting outside taking in the sights and sounds while unpacking my new fly fans. A game changer in keeping flies away.

I’m not at a woodsy campground this trip. I’m at a more resort-like RV escape. Nice flat paved lots. Squeaky clean bathroom suites. Amenities like drink carts passing by. Food trucks and a staffed bar. Curbside trash pickup. Dog park and dog wash area. All the conveniences of home but the fresh air of sitting outside listening to music while the burgers grill up for dinner. Chit chats with friends add to the ambiance.

As the sun sets it’s time to listen to a live band at the pavilion. With a full belly it’s time to shift gears and relax in a new way. With music to soothe the soul, I will be unwinding for a good nights sleep in a few hours just as the rain sets in. Ah I hear the pitter patter on the roof already. Another soothing sound to me. I almost forgot the camper smells amazing as candles burns to freshen up the place since my doggies are my travel buddies this weekend.

The weekend calls for food trucks, visiting the local town and their shops, sipping on wine at the local wineries, dodging the rain in the forecast, and just unplugging from day to day responsibilities.  Just living my best life on the ridge in the mountains this weekend. The vineyard I visited not once but twice was Ott Vineyards in Ellijay, GA. Great views. Dog-friendly which made it a viable option. And the best part was their wine slushies. Blackberry and mango swirl was absolute heaven in a plastic cup.

In between rain drops I found time to shop in the mountain town of Blue Ridge, GA. A travel buddy wanted some local honey. I wanted to check out what was hiding in the shops. A cute sweatshirt for a souvenir. Trinkets and a sticker for my water bottle. Bigfoot of course being as in the mountains with all the tall tales about Bigfoot.

Until next time my friends. I will leave you with a pic of the ridge overlook as a storm was approaching. Lots of thunder and angry skies overnight led to area flooding but somehow we escaped the brunt of it. You never know what Mother Nature is going to have in store for you when you travel. No pool time for me this trip.

adventure

Just a Rock

Here I am back writing about the Oregon coast again. This time it’s focused on a rock adventure. Before this trip it seemed like just a rock in the water. One I saw online in pictures. Never had a plan to go visit but since I was in the area I added it to the itinerary. Who doesn’t want to visit the Pacific Ocean? However after visiting Haystack Rock In person, I would say it’s spectacular and just different than an average visit to the beaches I’ve visited in the past.

Now that I have made the trip to Haystack Rock I can explain its beauty. The weather was nice for the day however as soon as we approached the ocean the cloud cover was upon us. As we made the trek to the beach all you could see was a silhouette in the distance. Much more faded almost seeming miles away compared to the photo above. It was almost a shadow in the fog similar to one from a movie scene.

We were not discouraged. We kept going toward the rock. As we neared the glimpse became clearer. See above photo where more than a silhouette is visible. From the rocks on the water that were small and grew bigger to the big formations off the shore, I was mesmerized by it all. It was all picturesque. The birds in their natural habitat added to the beauty as they flew around or moved from rock to rock. Some even just floated.

The waves hit the rocks with a force. The sound of the ocean was present. There were plenty of people visiting on this foggy day. I heard many accents and languages around me. The sand had small amounts of seaweed and the water was cold but not frigid. One of the girls in the traveling trio seemed to attract sand fleas or some sort of bug that nipped at her feet. For that reason alone she kept her distance from the water’s edge.

All in all it was a great view to experience. The drive from Portland was a little boring but you can can solve the boredom issue with a good song playlist. While in the little beach town we had a great sandwich at a shop by the entrance to the beach. It was an over packed sandwich but it tasted yummy before we drove back to the city.

This post shall conclude my excursions while checking out the outdoorsy state of Oregon. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me virtually. Wonder where I will blog from next?

adventure

Koosah Falls

While out west, I wanted to go on a hike with big trees and hopefully catch a water fall along the the trail. The choice was Koosah Falls just a little east of Eugene, Oregon.

The drive was a bit boring but the water running along the road was a spectacular view. The view just went on for miles and miles. There was a small stretch where it seemed many were building small cottages on the bank. However the size may have been small in footprint but the cost was probably very high based on the extravagant designs. Nonetheless the road trip was full of things to observe.

Once we arrived at the trail we headed up the right side to the falls. The cool breeze was amazing as the weather showed up at 102 degrees. With the tree coverage from the tall pines and the chilly mist off the water the right side trail was the perfect start to our hike.

As we trekked up the hillside there were many photo ops. The scenery was just so beautiful but even the photos don’t do the landscape justice. The blue water was such a vibrant blue in spots. We caught a few rainbows in the mist of the falls. The water was crystal clear in the pool areas. It was almost like Christmas in July as the whole woods smelled amazing. Pine trees everywhere left the scent of Christmas in the air. It was absolutely divine.

If you look close to the photo above you will see the hint of the rainbow. Again the picture doesn’t do the actual lived experience justice. After making the climb up the right we continued north a bit and crossed a bridge to go down the opposite side.

The descent was a slightly different experience. It was a lot warmer on this side. More sunshine beating down on you and less mist coming your way. Good thing I was going down. However the photos from this side yielded different views and I’m so glad I made the loop trek.

After we finished the trail down we ended up in the pool that feeds the reservoir. Another bridge and a short climb to reach the end of the loop. This path allowed us to see a few fishing in the lower area with less rapids as well as some large log dam areas caused by downed trees. The overall hike was one of my favorites to date. A gradual incline. Not too strenuous but had so many rewards along the way. As I close out I will share a few more photos for you to enjoy.

Oregon is a great place to opt outside. Just read some of my Oregon blog series and you will soon see why.