Friday, August 24, 2012


Dear Lauren,


What's the best part?

It's hard to say but I can tell you one part I adore. Meeting new people.

I love it because that means one thing...

Dad and I get to tell our love story.


We just got back from a great vacation in Brevard, North Carolina. We were invited to spend time there by a guy named Mike. Now Mike started as a business associate of Dad's. But they became buddies. So Mike invited Dad and I to come hang out in the mountains at his vacation home with he and his girlfriend, Laura Anne.

We have two other friends that live in Brevard. Kelly and Marla. And now Marla's husband, Robert. So when this invitation presented itself, I was so excited! FIVE new people to tell our love story!

Before Mike and Laura Anne and Kelly and Marla, I'd never heard of Brevard. Let me tell you something. It would be a mistake for you to miss this spot. It's gorgeous. I didn't take enough pictures to do it justice. But there are waterfalls and a rainforest and WHITE squirrels. YES! Really! When I first heard about white squirrels, I thought it was a joke.

But the town takes it very seriously. This is the first white squirrel we saw in Brevard...

This little guy lives at Quotations Coffee Shop in Brevard. And there are non-living white squirrels of every kind all over the town! Including white chocolate ones! We saw our first live one at the Brevard College campus but it was just too far away to get a picture. Our friend Marla has white squirrels on her back deck every single day! They were certainly in full force the day we were at her house. She took this picture for me because my SD card is still full of Aerosmith photos!

We saw this waterfall when we missed a turn on the way to Brevard. It was just sitting there on the side of the road, not visible unless you turned into the cutoff which wasn't marked.

Two gals were selling boiled peanuts. I felt bad sitting there enjoying their gorgeous waterfall and not buying boiled peanuts. But, well, they're boiled peanuts.

Another day, we stopped at Hawg Wild for some barbecue and we went to Sycamore Flats to have a picnic. Look at the water! So clear!

Here's a picture of the main street in Hendersonville, a town right down the road from Brevard. All the towns seem to have vibrant town centers like this. It looks like a movie set.

And then there was Looking Glass Falls.

You look this direction and you see the waterfall. You look the other direction and you see...

There are no bad views for miles and miles.

We even drove underneath the Bridal Veil Falls on our way back home.

Here we are! Right underneath the falls.

Here's another view.

Photo Credit
We drive home through Cashiers and Highlands. We'll definitely go back. It's one of the most beautiful drives I've ever been on. Our 3 hour trip home took 7. That's how we roll.

The Highlights

The restaurants. I especially liked Flat Rock Wood Room and their Neopolitan pizza with a little olive oil, Brussels sprouts, and goat cheese. And Marco's creme brulee. There was no splitting of desserts that day and I finished every last bite and so did Dad. Kelly didn't, she left one bite like a proper lady should and I nearly ate that too. Dad loved the burger at Dugan's and the ice cream at Dolly's. I had what I would describe as sushi nachos at  The Square Root and Hawg Wild has a wonderful pork sandwich.

The shops. The Whitlestop Market is the best roadside produce stand ever. The produce is gorgeous and they even sell fresh pot pies! We went to Mud Dabbers twice for pottery shopping. If Brevard were closer I'd be taking pottery lessons from those folks. O. P. Taylor's toy store is indeed the coolest toy store on the planet, just as they advertise it. I base my opinions solely on the hundreds of tiny wind-up toys they sell. I've never seen a greater selection and we are now the proud owners of a penguin that does back flips and a dancing cow. They also keep candy bars behind a glass counter just like the old days and while I was there three kids walked right up to the counter and bought some. I don't know why, but that really struck me.

The views. At Mike's house you can sit or stand or walk anywhere in the house and all you see out the back windows is a wall of lush green leaves. It was amazing and relaxing and I haven't figured out how to repay him for inviting us and then letting us stay on after he and Laura Anne left. It was an incredible gift. At Marla's house she has a view of the Smokey Mountains that should be photographed and painted and adored. Priceless. And everywhere you look in the entire region, great beauty abounds. Even at Wendy's in Cashiers. This is their outdoor patio!

The people. I don't think I can do these people justice by trying to describe them. All five people were extraordinary. I feel lucky to have all of them in my life.

Vacation is over and Dad and I are on to new things. Like making muffaletta bread which I will tell you about on another day. And celebrating our anniversary this weekend. And thinking about our love story. Which I know you know, but I will write it down for you soon. Promise.



  1. So sweet. And now every time I see pics of the beautiful NC mountains I think of The Hunger Games. lol

    1. We did go into the Dupont land and saw part of one of the sets. I just can't take pictures of it! I still have a love /hate relationship with that book series/movie!

  2. Beautiful area! I glad you had a leisurely drive home and got to stop at so many places. What fun!

    1. I swear, I owe Steve! The trip home was perfect, 3 hour trip in 7 hours and stops every few feet for pictures and shopping! HAHAH!

  3. That water!!!! I've never seen clearer water!! I had to really look to see the water. Beautiful pictures!!

    1. Definitely take the drive up there. You'll love it!

  4. It sounds like a wonderful trip! I grew up in upstate SC, so these are some of my favorite little towns. I have a little vase from Mud Dabbers in my den!