When we left our tiny island cottage for the cabin in the mountains, I was so ready to get out of town.
In my excitement for the trip, I never thought to check the weather to see if I should grab a cardigan or to look in my makeup bag to see if I had remembered to pack insect repellent.
All I knew is that after weeks of working through lots of complicated situations from job changes to grief and loss, we were about to get a much-needed break.
I wish I were playing when I tell you not even three hours into our 8-hour trip, I received yet another heartbreaking phone call.
I was *this close* to turning around.
But over and over again, I was gently reminded it was best to rest up now because the recovery process for our loved one was going to be vast and long.
So, with my family’s blessing, we continued on our journey.
I don’t know if it was because of the way our trip began or if we were just so ready for a break that we were extra intentional with our time but it wound up being one of our best trips to the cabin to date.
We’ve been coming to a cabin in the North Georgia mountains for over 10 years, usually twice sometimes three or four times a year and every trip it feels like coming home.
Before we arrived we created a simple bucket list so we could fit in all our favorite things while we were there and make time to explore new places as well.
Given part of our time at the cabin is dedicated to checking on various family members, we try to break up the days into digestible chunks.
We usually take the first day to hike, the second day to shop and discover new towns, and the third day to rest. Then we start all back over again for as long as we’re there.
I know it might seem like a simple system but this way everyone knows what to expect and we’re all able to carve out plenty of free time too.
On this trip, we hiked part of the Cherokee National Forest because we wanted to see Benton Falls. The drive up is such a pretty one with plenty of places to stop and enjoy Sugarloaf and Ocoee.
We’ve hiked a lot of places with waterfalls while at the cabin but I’d never heard of Benton Falls until this trip. It was about a 3-mile hike and some spots could definitely be considered a moderate hike level. It was absolutely worth it though.
Once we finally got to the waterfall it felt like we were experiencing a hidden treasure!
Speaking of hidden treasures, we shopped our favorite treasure hunting spots in Blue Ridge, Ellijay, and Jasper.
I’m in the middle of a major decluttering spree so I didn’t bring home anything for myself. But I did find a piece of ironstone at Mountainside Antique Mall for my Mom.
We also drove into Rome to visit Oak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum and Gardens.
If you’ve ever seen the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, you’ll probably recognize the house immediately. It’s one of my favorite movies so it was a lot of fun to actually be at the house where it was filmed.
Our tour guide was fabulous and the gardens were crazy beautiful. Rome is a pretty little town and the downtown area is easily accessible.
While we were in Rome, we ate lunch at Harvest Moon Cafe.
We also made time for the shiitake mushroom and truffle ricotta pizza and ginger beer at Ellijay Wood Fire Pizza in Ellijay and the chicken and wild rice soup at the Cantaberry Cafe. We usually go to the location in Ellijay because it’s closer but we decided to try their new place in Blue Ridge. It’s definitely a smaller space but the soup was just as good.
Of course, you can’t go to Georgia in the summer without getting peaches and fried pies! We definitely have plenty for homemade ice cream and cobbler which I’m really excited about.
All in all, the trip to the cabin has been the perfect combination of purpose and pleasure, rest and relaxation. And while I love our home in Florida, I have to say, this has been the best way to kick off the summer season.
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