|Driving into the mts|
|View from front porch|
|View from front porch|
Do not listen to people who say there is cell service. It's spotty- at best. This is good to know, if you are arriving after a beautiful sunset drive in, like me. Trying to find a house, with no real address proved capable but challenging. I at least was familiar with the area, in comparison to those who flew from all over the country. I'm not sure if they knew what they were getting into. After two attempts at the "go past the hospital, take a left on a small sloped road and go to stop sign. Look for the post office, which you may or may not see b/c it will be pitch black, take a left then your first right onto a dirt road. Go up the hill and look for a fork, take that, then the house is up on the hill", directions, I found it. I arrived on Thursday, which was less stressful than rushing in after work on Friday. After unloading and counting the couch/ bed ratio in my mind to the # of people on our emails, I made a drink and headed "to town" to find everyone. This is when clear cell reception is helpful. I finally just went to the lodge front desk and asked where the Wooten's were staying and asked for their house number. I went back to my one spot with a little bit of service- parking lot in a sketchy hotel parking lot to call the Wooten's. Mr. & Mrs. Wooten's greeted me with open arms and then escorted me down the road to where the "young people were hanging out". I arrive at the Bostic's abode to find the likes of snacks and lots of drinks. In deed, the youngsters were gathered here. We stayed gathered until almost midnight then navigated back to the Nut House. After a couple hours of tunes, we turned in. The leather couch was just perfect for me.
I was thrilled with the company I was keeping. All new faces. But any friend of Emily & Will's was sure to be worthy of a weekend cabin stay. Friday, we had the entire day to take in the NC Mountains. The girls- Molly, Julie and I set off to find some trails while the boys did their thing. We attempted Grandfather Mountain, however we were not pleased with the $18 per person entry fee. Plus there was plenty of other trails that were free. Instead I drove them by so they could see it from afar! From here we rolled the windows down and took in the crisp fresh area as we winded around the mountains until we came to Linville Falls.
After hiking a couple hours and seeing that a storm was rolling in we set off to find Old Hampton General Store. Emily told us this is where our lunch should be had. So following directions, we went. We stocked up with BBQ and Pimento Cheese and headed to the local food store to get supplies for the weekend- as we knew the boys would not think to do it. Now, we were really stocked up: snacks, good yum yum, mixers, beer, liquor, cups, ice. After devouring the delicious home made treats, we crank the tunes and get ready for the reh party. The rehersal dinner was for family and wedding party, so we gathered with a few others at the Eseeola Lodge Club House for apps and cocktails before walking over to the party. The rehearsal party was in the club house by the pool. They had really good finger foods, wine, beer and a local blue grass band! Our friend Jeff Cheek was set to arrive almost when party was over, since he was picking up a new friend, Alex in Charlotte. From here, we house hopped before taking the late late night back to our house. Once again, jams were cranked and dance parties commenced. Only difference in Friday night was we had a few more house guest :) Back to those directions: Good directions are very important- especially when passing them along. I gave these directions to Jeff and for some reason he drove around for 1.5 hours looking for it. Minor detail on my end: forgot a tiny left he was supposed to take. Thank goodness everyone knew where the lodge was. It quickly became a go to meeting spot.
From the church we play follow the leader to the Eseeola Lodge's Pavilion . Rustic, cozy, warm and beautiful is what this reception site was, complete with a real wood burning fire. We all could not stop oohh and ahhhing. It was just breathtaking.
|What a view!|
|Emily and Jeff, the reason we made it to the ceremony|
|New friends are awesome.|
|Photo credit: Brooke Gleason|
|Their photographer did such a wonderful job!|
Two new friends Alex and Richard needed to catch a flight from Charlotte back to Boston and New Jersey, I was heading back East, so I offered some Southern hospitality and gave them a ride. The only conditions: 1. Someone other than me drive 2. Windows must be down. They obliged and Alex drove. I can't complain to much, as I was the one who didn't want to drive, but Alex was clearly not experienced in the mountain hyws. I just gripped my "Oh Shit" handle and played DJ and kept my mouth shut. As soon as we hit a real highway the discussion on where to eat lunch began. Clearly I was taking them to Cracker Barrel. As we pull, I have an 'Oh Crap' moment... It's Sunday at 12:30- this means the church crowd. We didn't have time for the 30 min wait so take-out it was. Fried chicken, green beans, fried okra, hashbrown casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits is what we have them to-go box up. We sat out front in the rocking chairs with Reba blaring and took it all in. All. Of. It. With hangovers slightly less bad now, we truck on to the airport. Good-byes and hugs were given then the boys were off.