Not this weekend. Last weekend. The Beloved and I went to Dahlonega, GA to stay at Cedar House Inn & Yurts. "Dah-where?!" you ask? Dah-LOH-neh-guh is in the Georgia mountains. And yes, there are mountains there. Not craggy Rockies-type mountains, but the age-softened rises of The Appalachians. Anyway, we first stumbled across Cedar House when we decided to take a long weekend trip from The Bad Place (Orlando) to Somewhere with Mountains. I love the mountains, and Florida, oddly enough, doesn't have any.
From Orlando, the drive was about 9 hours, but it was worth every second in the car. There are wineries in the Georgia Hills! Some are good, some are not so good, and a couple make wines that even a wine snob would enjoy. But the cool thing is, they're all doing it. They had a weird dream to have a winery in the Georgia mountains and make the best wine they could. So they did. Lots of the wineries are beautiful, and they are popular Hitching Posts (places to get married. I just made up the Hitching Post thing. Sorry).
Since that first trip, we've been back two more times. We've yet to stay in one of the yurts, but we probably will on our next visit. Now, normally, The Beloved and I don't visit the same place twice. Our philosophy is that there is so much to See and Do that we need to try and maximize our exposure rather than going to the same place over and over again. So, why the exception? It's the Inn, really. Yes, surprisingly there are enough things to do in the area that we haven't had to repeat activities (except for the wineries), but we love it at Cedar House. They are all about eco-friendly lodging and sustainability in general. It's an impressive place. Even if you never intend to go, to stop by their site and see what they are doing--it's very progressive, and we love being a part of that.
Fun fact about Dahlonega. There used to be a US Mint minting gold coins in Dahlonega. Those of you who are numismatists already know that. I know it because my brother was One and he and the other guy at the coin shop were always excited when they got a coin with the Dahlonega mint mark. Right smack in the middle of town is the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Pretty keen place. We went there on our first visit.
Okay, now you have to look at pictures. I took them for you.
So that picture was from Downtown Dahlonega. The Beloved thought I was mean to take the picture, but I couldn't not take it. At least I didn't let you know the name of the store. Oh, the shame! This was on Friday afternoon. Saturday was Winery Day. It was the Georgia Wine Weekend, and every place was jam packed with folks. I hope the wineries made a lot of money, 'cause it was a good deal. Buy your glass for $20, and then have free tastings at All the wineries you could get to in a weekend. And there are a lot of wineries on the Georgia Wine Highway.
We went to a couple other wineries, too, but we didn't take pictures. I'm sorry. Our favorite, and the one we think is the most beautiful is Wolf Mountain Vineyards. They've been in operation over ten years, and they produce a couple of wines that we really like.
Sunday was Nature Day. It was also Up Day. In the mountains, one frequently has to walk up. Up and I are Not Friends. I sweated and whined a little, I admit, but overall it was a good day and Nobody Got Hurt, much.
So, I have to tell you a little about the Hike to the Top. It was just over half a mile. How hard could it be, right? It was like climbing a ladder without being able to hold on. A half-mile long ladder, leaning against a building to which it was Very Close. It was the uppest up hike ever. My lungs actually Jumped Out of My Body at one point, and I had to stop and shove them back down. And then, another time, my heart actually Spoke to me and said, "I was not made for this, you jackass." My heart is very surly. I am pathetic, but there you have it. At least I made it to the top, all organs intact.
We also saw Wildlife. Nothing big or dangerous--no mountain lions, no Clemson Tigers, no wolves from Wolf Mountain. We did happen upon some little gray guys burrowing around in the leaves at the side of the trail. Maybe they were moles, but they didn't really look like the moles I have seen. And there have been many. The Beloved has read The Wind in the Willows to me. They didn't have those paddle-like paws, and I could see their cute-but-beady little eyes. We thought that maybe they were mice, but they didn't have long tails. We decided that they were Wild Gerbils. Here is a picture. For Proof of our Discovery.
Since I only get exercise um, infrequently, The Beloved suggested that the Bataan Death March was Insufficient Outdoor Activity for one day, so off we went to find some more Nature. We ended up at Vogel State Park. It was quite nice, and the hike around the lake was flat, so that was good. Incidentally, Vogel has a bunch of cottages folks can rent and spend a week or two or three. And there's a miniature golf course, made out of Astroturf and concrete curbing. For in case you get bored with all the nature.
And, just so you know that I was really there for all of this, here are a couple pictures of Our Actual Selves in Nature.
So, that concludes the slide show. Chris, catch the lights, please, on your way out. Thanks.