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Thursday, July 16, 2020

North Carolina Trip Re-Cap

Okay, there are 80+ photos in this re-cap and I'm sorry for that. But I thought I would just share it all in case you were curious about how our almost 10 day vacation went two weeks ago. We had the best time in our favorite place and did some other explorations in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. I've organized the photos by day and just put some captions in. I do want to write a guide to western North Carolina one day so stay tuned for that. Enjoy — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Day One

Athens, Georgia

We started our morning with a Bojangles biscuit, which kind of became the food of our trip. 
Followed that up with a journey around the State Botanical Garden Garden.
I cannot with these flowers, so in bloom!
Finally got to try Creature Comforts Brewing and we loved it. 
Had lunch at White Tiger...so good.
Did a little walk through UGA's campus.

Day Two

Greenville & Travelers Rest, South Carolina + Hendersonville, North Carolina

The oldest bridge in South Carolina is a must-see.
The only surviving covered bridge in South Carolina.
Birds Fly South Ale Project has a cute beer garden.
And Swamp Rabbit in Travelers Rest had this cute mural. 
I think I've now been to every major location of Oskar Blues in the U.S.
These bear statues will all over Hendersonville. 
Stopped at Dry Falls Brewing.
And Triskelion.

Day Three

Blowing Rock & Boone, North Carolina

We stayed in an Airbnb in Seven Devils and this was our view.
Our first hike was the Flat Top Tower Trail at Moses Cone Manor on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
You can spot Blowing Rock in the distance.
The hike ends at a fire tower where you can see for miles.
The manor house is a massive white, wooden spectacle. 
Next up was our first time ever to The Blowing Rock.
There's a whole legend behind it but the best part, to me, was the view.
Also these hydrangeas. 
We then headed to Boone for a late lunch that included this spinach dip from River Street Ale House.
Ended the day at Lost Province.

Day Four

Boone, Roaring Gap & West Jefferson, North Carolina

Began our morning at Hatchet Coffee where we got this BLM sticker.
I had an iced Warm Hug — espresso, milk, honey & cinnamon
We then went to Stone Mountain State Park (in NC, not GA) which was another first for us.
Look at it!
After a long hike we went down into West Jefferson.
Grabbed a beer & lunch at New River.
And then went to Booneshine Brewing back in Boone.
We made a stop at the greatest grocery store of all time, Publix.

Day Five

Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville, Morganton, & Valdese, North Carolina

This day dawned with a trip to the Cascades, one of the most beautiful spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC.
Just look at 'em.
Next up was the Flat Rock Loop Trail, which gives you a beautiful look over Linville. 
After it rained we headed up for a look over Linville Gorge.
And we were up in the clouds.
To conclude our outdoor time we hiked up Linville Falls.
Finally it was time for beer at Fonta Flora in Morganton...
...and Sidetracked Brewing.
Then it was time for dinner at Myra's Diner.
Look at that gooey grilled chese.

Day Six

Banner Elk, North Carolina, Appalachian Trail & Johnson City, Tennessee

Love the early morning light in Banner Elk.
And the breakfast at the Banner Elk Cafe.
We decided to hike a few miles on the Appalachian Trail, just west of the NC border in Tennessee.
Spotted this little guy.
Had Mellow Mushroom in Johnson City — MM is one of our traditions when we visit this part of the country.
Tried out Johnson City Brewing.
And Yee Haw.

Day Seven

Banner Elk, Valle Crucis & Boone, North Carolina

Breakfast in Banner Elk...just look at that beauty!
Then onto my favorite spot — Valle Crucis.
We hiked up to Crab Orchard Falls, one of my all-time favorites.
Then it was back down to Valle Crucis Community Park to put our feet in the river.
Gotta love the original Mast Store.
Lunch was this delightful chipotle chicken from Valle de Bravo in Banner Elk.
Followed by a beer at Kettell Beerworks.
And a visit to Blowing Rock Brewing.
Finished with custom sandwiches at Come Back Shack.

Day Eight

Boone, North Carolina

Our last full day dawned with a stop at Stick Boy Bakery for sandwiches and then a walk around Appalachian State University's campus — I went to summer camp here way back in the day for three weeks.
We headed back to Lost Province where we had the most epic charcuterie. 
Ben & Jerry's Netflix & Chill'd was a delicious treat.
Downtown Boone is as precious as ever.
And we ended the night with a Bo Box.

Day Nine

Boone & Charlotte, North Carolina

Our only time eating inside a restaurant — and we were the only people in the room — was at my favorite the Dan'l Boone Inn. It's a family style restaurant that is just amazing.
We then drove to Charlotte to catch my flight but stopped into Old Mecklenburg Brewery for lunch.
And we finished with one last one at Sugar Creek.
If you've made it this far, let me tell you how much this trip was needed and how thrilled I am I was able to take it with my parents. We ate outside/drank outside, wore our masks, stayed distanced and did our best to prevent the spread of the virus. Please, please, please do the same!

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