Thursday, May 19, 2011

Photo Journey in May

Last week we headed out to enjoy a few days on the road. 

 Our original plan was to travel to West Virginia and explore some of the roads we've heard make for great motorcycle rides.  But after checking the weather forecasts, we decided to go a little farther south.  We ended up in the north Georgia mountains for the first few days of the week.  Warning, lots of photos ahead !

It was nice to have our little house on wheels as our home base.  This was our site at Creekwood RV Resort near Helen, GA.  It is a small, quiet campground with only about eighteen or so RV sites but they also have some really cute cabins. The owners were friendly and accommodating and there is a great little breakfast/lunch place across the road.  I can't believe I didn't get a photo of Ain't B's Bakery and Cafe and their awesome cinnamon rolls! 

Helen, Georgia is a cute little touristy town "nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River".  Several years ago the city adopted the look of a Bavarian village to set itself apart from the other little towns in the area and increase the tourist traffic.  We have been in this area before, the last time was two years ago when I blogged about our trip here.

We enjoyed a few days of riding some of the mountain roads in this beautiful corner of northeast Georgia.  Even venturing into South and North Carolina one day.
There are lots of pretty rivers, streams and waterfalls.  One of the main tourist activities is rafting.  We didn't try it.  But there was plenty of water in the streams though and many folks were fly fishing too.
We did stop at a few cute little places, including Nora Mills and this little country store.
This corner of the state was not spared when it came to the awful tornado outbreak in April.  This is the community of Lake Burton where many of the lakeside homes and the surrounding woods where destroyed by an EF-3 tornado.  Very sad to see such a beautiful area in devastation.  We noticed several spots as we drove in the mountains where a twister had bounced among the trees.  
We then moved our adventure up to the Asheville, NC area and found this nice campground in Swannanoa.  
 Mama Gertie's might be our favorite campground so far in our RV travels.  Although it might be a little hard for big rigs  to get there, it is worth the climb!  The sites are beautifully nestled in the trees and seem farther apart then they are because of the hillside placement.  They are currently in the process of adding more sites and they also have cabins and tent sites.  Unfortunately, we never were able to get our bicycles off the back of the RV because every where we went, the hills made riding beyond our biking abilities! The showers and restrooms where first class and the camp hosts very nice.  
Ever since our first visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway ten (?) years ago, we've loved visiting here.  I guess it's because it reminds us of the first few years of our marriage that we spent in the Rocky Mountains, even though they are completely different elevations and terrain.  We never tire of riding here because you never know what you'll find around the corner.  Where there were rocks last year, this year you might find a pretty tumbling waterfall.  
At one of our stops, I purchased a driving map for the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina.  We took a side trip from the Parkway to Burnsville, the heart of the trail.  D let me stop and shop at Needle Me This Quilt Shop and I learned where some of the local quilt blocks were displayed.  

This is a beautiful quilt shop!  Doesn't this front porch look so inviting? Nice for a husband to sit and check his emails while the wife browses and rests her weary motorcycle behind!

We found many of the barn quilts along the roads and I tried to photograph many as we rode by.  Here's just a couple of them and another( my favorite of the trip) now graces my blog header.  Not all were on barns, but schools, churches, houses, gas stations and just about anything you can imagine. Personally I prefer the ones on barns, but they are all such fun things to look for when we are riding.
I don't think there was a quilt on this cute log cabin, but was such a pretty place I couldn't resist a photo.
One morning we stopped at the North Carolina Arboretum for a short tour of the main grounds.  This is the quilt garden.  But I think it had just been planted and the design is barely visible.  If you are in the area later this spring, this would be worth a stop!

Mountain Laurel.  There were many of these blooming on the roadsides, but this is a different variety I'm sure.  Beautiful!
They have one of the biggest collections of bonsai trees here.
Don't these look just like a little grove of river birches only in miniature?  I don't know much about bonsai trees, but did enjoy looking at them.

We did a little shopping and eating in downtown Asheville.  Two new restaurants on this visit were Tingles Cafe and Early Girl Eatery.  Both were pretty good but D decided that the "tomato gravy" on the menu at the Early Girl, didn't compare with what his mom used to make! They did have the best biscuits though! We also enjoyed OkieDokies BBQ in Swannonoa and The Tartan Restaurant (couldn't find a website for this one) in Linville.   Sometimes it's not only about the riding but the eating too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Catching Up

I've been meaning to post this for quite some time but almost forgot until I found the photos on my camera card.  Another quilting project knocked out this Spring was another birthday quilt.  My daughters have birthdays too close together! 
The pattern was found in the February 2011 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.  It is called Row by Row and I chose to use the Happy Daisy by Moda jelly roll of that fabric that I'd had for some time.  I really like how it turned out and I think B did too.  It's almost twin size but plenty big enough to cuddle up with on the couch.  When I finally got around to photographing this one, it was one of those rainy days we've had so many of this Spring so it was hard to get a shot of the whole thing.

There are only about three more quilting/sewing  projects in my immediate future, but first I've got to stay home!  We just got back from a week with the RV and motorcycle in northern Georgia and southwestern North Carolina. We had a great time and managed to stay dry.  So I hope to get another blog post together soon to share some photos of our trip.  Thanks for catching up with me!

Edited 5/15/2011
Thank you Laurel for reminding me about Amy's Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival !  Hopefully it's not too late but I'm going to make this my blog entry for the contest.  Be sure to stop by Amy's to see all the beautiful quilts that have been entered.  This is always a great way to spend time on a rainy spring day to get some quilting inspiration!  Please go check it out!