Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Little Mountain Getaway, Part 1

I got a little idea in my head that traveling as an empty nester might be an enjoyable thing. So, I found a cabin rental in the mountains of NC and sat back waiting, excitedly, for my first vacation in nearly 30 years.

Finding the cabin was easy via VRBO- (and the fact that my cousin owns the place but I promise this review is honest.) Getting to go alone was not easy. Nor did it happen. Before I knew what hit me, every single one of the lovelies was coming with me as well as SILextraordinaire and DrummerBoy. AND, Dad and my wonderful step-mom said they would come up for a day to celebrate Christmas since we would be there the day after for 7 days. Not to mention Tucker. But he was going anyway.

The cabin is located in Lake Lure, NC. Did y'all know that part of DIRTY DANCING was filmed there? And THE HUNGER GAMES? Yep. Deanie, who LOVES the movie, DIRTY DANCING, wanted to see where, exactly, they filmed in Lake Lure. So, Breezy asked Siri: "Where was DIRTY DANCING filmed?" Siri replied: "I do not see any theaters showing the movie DIRTY DANCING." Siri was NO HELP.

I took this one on one of our little sightseeing trips.
It's a good thing that the cabin could sleep 8 people (technically, 6. But there is a pull out sofa so, 8)

The first two words that came to mind when we walked into the cabin were, clean and cozy. Which meant this vacation was off to a perfect start. Even if I would be sharing it with 6 other people and had to ride up in a clown car (which is the subject of another post entirely.)

This is the view upon entry---

And, when you turn around, you see this (it was much more orderly before we unpacked):

Though some less selfish folks might have given the master bedroom that housed the king size bed in it to those who would be sharing a room, I am not one of those types. I took that one for myself. And Tucker.

The others had to fend for themselves. Not that it was difficult- there was another bedroom next to the master.

And yet another bedroom downstairs.

Then there was the pull out sofa.

There were two full bathrooms. One upstairs---with a bathtub/shower.

One downstairs with a shower stall.

The main room upstairs was cozy and had a lovely view. I bet that, during the summer, you truly feel like you're actually living in a tree house. Except at night. Because night time up there gives dark a whole new meaning. Take a nightlight.

Downstairs was another social area that included a fireplace and second television. (Though I'm not sure why anyone would want to watch it with all the gorgeousness surrounding them outside.)

There is a washer and a dryer in that closet.

The fireplace is behind me in this one.

And then, here's one with the door behind me. The view from the sliding glass doors is lovely. And there is a cement patio out there.

The patio ends and a path around the side to the front begins.

The patio runs the length of the cabin.

The upstairs deck wraps and runs along the side to the front-- my cousin will be making this section into a grilling deck this year.

The back deck will be extended to make it easier to dine outside. Many an hour was spent by all of us on that swing with a hot cuppa and a good book or just some quiet time. The sounds of the birds and the rustling of tiny animals was so relaxing. There was one time when I felt that the rustling might be from a larger animal but I never saw anything. Of course, I had moved to the inside so...It was probably just that bobcat that DoodleBug saw on our last day up there. YIKES!

Some days, the mountains were covered by clouds. It was lovely, regardless. It gave me a nice, peaceful feeling watching the clouds move in and cover the mountains. But then, the whole vacation gave me that feeling from the cabin to the scenery. When I took Tucker for walks or sat out on the deck, and was very quiet, the birds, the rustlings, the wind through the trees...all of it, was like a soothing lullaby. It was quite lovely.

There is a gym RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR. When you leave the cabin and head to the right, you almost immediately embark upon a steep climb but, instead of being cooped up inside a stuffy, stinky gym, you are outside in the fresh, crisp air surrounded by lovely scenery. AND, if it's more scenery you want, there are more steep inclines not that far away. :)

Doesn't look that bad from the top looking down. Only we aren't at the top yet. 
A strong and very important reminder: IF you go down in the mountains, you MUST, at some point, go back up. One morning, on our morning walk, Tucker and I took a different route. It was steeper than I thought going DOWN hill and then, it got worse because I saw the up hill dead ahead. It was at this point that I remembered that IF YOU GO DOWN IN THE MOUNTAIN, YOU MUST GO BACK UP. Ok, the question quickly became, "Do I continue forward or turn around and go back?" When I looked back, I decided to keep moving forward. That hill was KILLER going down. I was NOT climbing back up. But I should have. Because the hill ahead of me, which seemed less steep, seemed so only due to the deceptiveness of the curve at, what I assumed was, the top. Nope. And then, when we FINALLY reached the top and I was able to breathe normally once again due to a leveling off, there was the steepest hill yet right in front of my face.

Should you come to stay in this lovely cabin, AVOID walking on Pheasant Street. A.V.O.I.D.
That entire walk logged only 1653 steps on my Fitbit. But it logged 6 flights of stairs. SIX, people. SIX. I've never been so glad that Tucker has to stop to sniff and pee on everything as those were the only times I could catch what little breath I had left.

All of the roads are steep up and down and curvy. You can get motion sickness in the car. And stop breathing when you walk. Ha! But no matter how you go, EVERYONE you meet greets you with a smile and a wave. Lake Lure is filled with nice, friendly people.

The location of our mountain getaway was perfect. It's pretty much dead center to fun places to visit such as Asheville, Rutherfordton, Hendersonville, Black Mountain, Chimney Rock...Lake Lure itself is a charming little place.

There are nature trails, zip lining, those cute little roadside vendors, river walks, adorable shops in the towns, golf courses...and if that's not enough for you, there are tons more things to do while surrounded by stunning scenery.

This nature trail was closest to the cabin. Don't bother looking at the trail options. They are ALL strenuous. The board lies.
I started the 25 degree morning with a lovely (and by lovely I mean KILLER) walk on the nature trail with Tucker, DoodleBug, and Alex (a friend of DoodleBugs who lives in Asheville). Holy Crap. The Fitbit registered that little walk at 4033 steps and 12 flights of stairs. TWELVE. In about an hour. It. Was. Brutal. B.R.U.T.A.L. At one point they took the strenuous trail and I took the moderate trail. The first up was ridiculous. This was followed by a level out and curve. When I looked ahead (because you really have to pay attention to your steps due to all the exposed roots) I see the next hill. It looked like this:  

Y'all think I'm kidding but I'm not. I didn't take a picture because I wasn't breathing at the time and I might have been a bit pissed about seeing that steep of a hill. 
Nope. Not going to happen. Tucker and I turned around to go back. Much to my mortification, we were pretty dang far in there and had to walk up some more because, come to find out, most of our hike in had been more of a down hill jaunt. Terrific. Let me just say that these people don't know a damn thing about level ground. Nothing. 

The beginning of the trail look easy enough. That was deceiving. 

See? The whole time, we're going at a downward angle going in.
Those signs are misleading. Nothing was easy and, their idea of moderate means that they do not know the definition of 'moderate'.
There was a golf course running alongside the trail and I notice a few idiots enjoying some ice golfing. 

I will say, proudly (and gratefully because none of this killed me) that, by the end of the week, the Fitbit was registering nearly 6000 steps and 15 flights of stairs. Of course, I was also so sore that I wondered if I'd be able to get in the car for the trip home.

As it must do, the sun set on our sweet mountain vacation. Tucker and I enjoyed our last sunset from the upstairs deck one last time. It was bittersweet. Mostly bitter as I was not ready to give up this little piece of paradise.

I know this was a long post. But just think how long it would have been had I not decided to split it into parts! LOL And I probably left something out of this first one.

Thanks for reading and looking! And stay tuned for Part 2. And Part 3. And...;)


  1. I have always dreamed of going to a cabin at Christmas. I think it would be so nice to get away.
    It looks like a very nice place. I hope you get to go visit in the summer.
    I am so glad you had such a nice Christmas.

    1. Hey! It was so nice up there. I truly did not want to come back to the coast. I found, quite quickly, that the coast loses its luster after a trip to the mountains. Quite quickly. I already have a trip planned for the summer. I will stay two weeks this time though. One is NOT enough. Hope y'all had a great Christmas and wonderful New year!

  2. Oh my gosh, what a lovely little retreat for me just READING this! I realize I've wasted years not getting back up to our local Lake Arrowhead. Only have done it a couple of times in my life; need to make a point of getting up there for at least a weekend in 2015. Thanks for reawakening my desire for mountain retreat'ism. :)

    what a gorgeous spot; thanks for sharing!

    1. Well, get up there then! LOL Do though, make that effort. It will be so worth it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. It looks absolutely beautiful and what a great place to spend some time. I like that they used this area for those films. Good thing you rented such a big place. I love all the photos. I know I would love to stay there......

    1. It was a great time. I've already got the next trip set up. This time, I'm staying two weeks! :) Come on and go with me!

  4. PERECT!!! A great spot to enjoy nature and family!!...:)JP

    1. It was great! Just me. And the lovelies. And SIL and Drummer Boy and....LOL I loved it, regardless. :)

  5. I am sooooo happy that you got away. If anyone deserves a break it's you. This does sound like a little piece of heaven and I definitely could enjoy being alone in a place like that for a getaway. Maybe you'll just have to go back by yourself (and Tucker) sometime and try it. Love ya <3

    1. I"m glad I got to go as well. And that I went before next week when they are going to see 9 degrees for a high. Yeah, not going to do that. That's just to dang cold. There is a limit. LOL Thanks, Barb. Love you too!

  6. It sounds lovely, except for the hills. Wow! Way to go, you! Just thinking about it made my chest hurt.

    We spent a couple days after Thanksgiving at my brother's cabin. It's much more isolated than this one sounds, so we were running off a generator. But it was beautiful. Thanks for reminding me of the great time we had there.

    I'm glad you had fun. I'm going to poke around your blog a bit. My kids are 16, 18, 19, 21, and 24 - so I am hoping to be an empty-nester before too long. If anyone actually ever moves out. It's nice to find a blogger a bit closer to my age! :)

    Happy Sharefest! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    1. My chest only hurt once. LOL It really was like having a gym right outside. I did enjoy that. I'm glad this brought back some nice memories for you. I don't think I'd do well without electricity though. :) I agree! I love it when I find people closer to my age on the SITS! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. It looks like a nice place, I have always thought it would be good to spend some time in such a place but isn't it a tad frustrating when every man and his dog want to tag along. I would love to be able to just kick back and do nothing, yes I know I often kick back and do nothing but still it would be nice if there was no one there but me and Tim

    1. It was nice. I liked everything about it. I don't take the husband with us anywhere. After the last time he showed his youknowwhat, we go without him. We like to have fun and that's hard to do when Mr Negative is around. The cabin was full, but it was happy! :)

  8. Oh my, Pam, what a wonderful get-away you and your girls and puppy had!! It had to be hard getting in that car to hear home. I have cousins who owned a cabin in the mountains near Gatlinburg, TN. We were privileged to be invited a couple of times. It is so beautiful in the mountains, especially when you have a comfortable cabin to retreat to. Can't wait to hear more!

    1. Gatlinburg is one of my favorite places! I LOVE it there! I truly enjoyed my little getaway at Lake Lure. I've already booked my next trip up. The day school is over for the summer. LOL Thanks!

  9. Next time Pam you have to take me and I'll leave my Mr. Negative behind too. It looked and sounded like something I would love to add to my hiking year. I don't like hills either but learning to appreciate them.
    Thank you for sharing you mountain get away. Most awesome!!

    1. You would have had a blast. Though you would have been in shorts. LOL The hills were quite a workout and I miss them now that I don't have them. I can't wait to get back up there! Thanks! I've got an email coming your way soon!


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