Saturday, August 20, 2011

Enjoying The Blue Waters

The Tablescaper reminded us last week that summer is almost over and to be sure to link our summer posts to Seasonal Sundays this week.  A big part of what summer means at our house is our annual trip to the beach and our trip to the mountains.  We took our beach trip in May with our son ( it seems like ages ago now).

Recently, the Hubby and I spent four days at the end of July in the mountains of Western North Carolina, or as I call it "Deliverance" Country.  That's right; I've never actually seen the movie, but I've heard enough about it to know that this particular area can (at times) have some eerie similarities.  Don't get me wrong -- it's beautiful, but the first year we visited there, I had one ear tuned at all times for the sound of banjo music :-)

This year was the seventh year that we've been to the same place to gather with other Mazda Miata owners from all over the U.S. (and Canada) to enjoy the mountains; and specifically, to drive the famously curvy roads in that particular area.  It's a welcome break from the work-a-day world and a chance to see some really incredible scenery.




Every year, we stay at The Blue Waters Mountain Lodge, in Robbinsville, North Carolina. 



If you wanted, you could literally walk across the narrow, country road fronting the lodge, 


 down a short flight of steps...


and dive off the pier into Lake Santeetlah.


Or if you want to enjoy the lake, but prefer to stay dry, you could rent one of their pontoon boats.  In the evenings, most of us like to gather on the front porch and catch up with old friends from previous summers, or talk to the new guests.


On Friday evenings in the summer, there are barbecues down at the dock with lots of good music and great food prepared by the owners, Mike and Maury.


This year at the dock, they had grilled chicken kabobs, and bratwurst, along with a variety of fresh salads, and locally grown vegetables, tortilla chips and homemade Mexican dip, and various baked goodies for dessert.

Last year, I don't remember exactly what food was served at the dock, but I definitely remember the music.  One of the guests had brought his guitar, and we had an impromptu sing-a-long.  It was great!  Terry played songs from our high school and college days.  Our generation's music.  The Eagles' Lyin' Eyes  and Take It Easy; Jimmy Buffet's Come Monday and Margaritaville; and a little bit of Boston, "Well I'm takin' my time, I'm just movin' on, You'll forget about me after I've been gone.."  Anybody remember that one?  And one of my favorites, Teach Your Children, by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  A good time was had by all.

Over the years, this same group has shared a lot of laughter, food and drink, and good music.  But we've shared more somber times, as well -- the loss of a beloved son, the serious illness of an aging father, health issues of our own; and two summers ago, three of our regular couples weren't able to be at the Blue Waters because of loss of employment.  One of the men was just a few years away from taking an early retirement.  Most of us only see each other once a year, but we seem to pick up where we left off the previous year in sharing each other's good news and bad.

The Blue Waters Lodge has nine guest rooms, so it's not too small, but still small enough to get to know the other guests.  A full breakfast is included in the price of the room, and there's no excuse to leave the table hungry.  Maury prepares homemade quiche or strata every morning; along with blueberry or banana pancakes, bacon, sausage, scones, and fresh fruit.  Are you hungry yet? :)  There's also cereal and yogurt for those who prefer a lighter meal.  I wanted to take pictures of the breakfast buffet, but I was too sleepy every morning to get downstairs before everyone had started eating.  That's another thing -- the mountain air makes us sleep like babies.



They also serve excellent dinners (for lodge guests only) in the dining room Thursday through Saturday evening.

Mike and Maury have cultivated a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and for us, that's a large part of the appeal.  Some of the guests have been staying there since the first summer the lodge was open, and several of the couples return year after year to spend the last weekend of July (plus a few extra days if they're lucky) at the lodge.  And there are usually a few new couples to meet each year, just to keep things interesting.

To be in such an isolated spot, it's amazing to see how many people come from places near and far to spend some quality time.  This year we had a French Canadian couple from Quebec. There was also a couple from Florida; the man was a native of Belgium and his wife, a native of the U.S.  The Blue Waters Lodge has also hosted guests from Germany, who came to backpack in the surrounding mountains.

When we make this trip to Robbinsville and the Blue Waters, we usually take a few side trips while we're there.  We often go to the town of Highlands, which I wrote about HERE.  Sometimes we check out the waterfalls in the area, or drive up to Fontana Village.  Basically, we go where the mood takes us.

We took some pictures in and around the lodge, so you can see for yourself.  Hope you enjoy!





I love the way the lodge is furnished and decorated.













My husband took this progression of pictures as the sun started to set.























Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll join The Tablescaper at Seasonal Sundays to share a bit of your summer fun with us.  Have a great week!


Denise

16 comments:

  1. OMG, Denise, this post is so fantastic! I want to go everywhere you and your husband go, because you take the most incredible photos and you stay in these quaint and lovely places and capture all of Nature's beauty in that area. Oh, I want to visit there someday!! Putting it on my "wishful traveling" board. Thanks for your visit today. It is good to be back to Blogland. xo,

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  2. I laughed when I saw Barbara's comment because I as thinking much the same thing. EVERY time you show a destination or day trip, I think how much I would love to go there. This is no exception.

    But now, I had to really laugh at the banjos.
    Since I live in Georgia, I know a bit about the banjo music myself.

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  3. What a lovely spot to spend time and make friends. The photos should be in the brochures, they are fabulous.. xo marlis

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  4. That is simply inspirational. I've never been to the Blue Ridge Mts and would love to go. This may be as close as I get. Thanks for the trip! xo Jenny

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  5. Hi Denise,
    I loved this post, Blue Waters looks wonderful, I want to go there, now!
    bon dimanche
    Maggie

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  6. Looks like a wonderful place to spend some time:@)

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  7. Oh, WOW! What a wonderful trip! I want to go there! (Along with everyone else!!!!) Wonderful post and lots of memories for you and your husband. Have a delightful week.

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  8. Wow! Amazing place! How wonderful to have such a tradition to enjoy every year, in such a wonderful place. It looks so relaxing and fun! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Looks like a great vacation. Great pictures.

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  10. Oh, this is a gorgeous location!! The lodge,a the scenery it is all beautiful!! Sherry

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  11. That looks like a great place to visit. Very relaxing! The scenery is gorgeous. As we live at the beach, we never go anywhere.

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  12. Hi Denise,
    What a gorgeous spot to take a vacation! It looks very relaxing and the scenery is stunning! We practically live at the beach this time of year as we are surrounded by water.
    I'm glad you enjoyed your virtual tour of Green Gables. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful spot for vacation and Blue Waters looks like a delightful place to stay.I love how it is decorated as well, especially the grand staircase. And the views of the setting sun is breathtaking. Thanks for sharing,Denise. Have a lovely week ahead!~Poppy

    http://withadashofcolor.blogspot.com/

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  14. Wow! What an amazing getaway. It looks posititvely idyllic.

    Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays. Sorry I've been so delayed in visiting.

    - The Tablescaper

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  15. Saw this post and my mouth dropped! We go to Robbinsville quite often. but didn't really think anyone else knew it existed!!! So beautiful and serene.Blessings~~Shine

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  16. I want to go too next July:)
    seriously its lovely and you tell about it so well its almost like being there..

    next time I'm up at the cabin I may stop and ride through robbinsville.

    we always get off at Black Mountain and have lunch or dinner , depending on what time of day we're traveling and I try to hit a few of the thrift stores I have come to love.

    we're so lucky to have the mountains and the coast only a few hours away in either direction.

    thanks for the wonderful tour. I enjoyed it..

    ps~ read this on your other post:: if you wanna see Deliverance up close and personal- take the 50 min. ride to Traphill, lol.. stop at any of the home owned gas stations and you'll see more Deliverance that you ever imagined could be possible in 2012. giggle

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND COMMENTS. I ENJOY READING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

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