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Showing posts with label NORTH CAROLINA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NORTH CAROLINA. Show all posts

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hiking up to the Craggy Pinnacle 8/3/14

On my Birthday Trip to North Carolina,  after our visit to the Biltmore House and Gardens on August 3, 2014, we then took the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville to Blowing Rock (where we were spending the night)... It was a gorgeous day --and when we got up to the Craggy Gardens area  (at 5500 feet in elevation) along the parkway,  the weather was CLEAR... (NOTE:  it is usually foggy when we have been in that area in the past!!!).. We were so happy --so we decided to finally take that hike (which we had never done before) to the Craggy Pinnacle. Click on the photos for enlargements.



I loved seeing the American Flag blowing in the breeze at the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center.


Even though there is an elevation gain of almost 400 feet when hiking to the Pinnacle,  it is NOT a long hike (only 1.4 miles round trip)...   Once we got to the top,  there were two overlooks.  We took the higher one (so we ended up at 5892 feet in elevation with tons of great views).


The trail was in good shape and I would love to hike this one in June --when the Rhododendrons are blooming.  WOW!!!!   About halfway up the mountain there was a rock overlook.  I took this photo of George at this big rock.


I always look for wildflowers and interesting things along the trail.   I loved this interesting flower... I think it was a Queen Anne's Lace BEFORE the lace appeared!!!! HA



This  is one of many photos I took during that hike.... The sky/lighting looked different whichever direction you were facing.  Such beauty all around ---and another time one should visit this area is when the leaves change colors in Autumn.



George took this photo of me when we were at the TOP overlook at the Craggy Pinnacle (5892 feet)...  I felt like I was on TOP of the world.



Mountain range after mountain range could be viewed from that overlook... I love the pretty clouds also that day.



This is a view from the top of that mountain looking down on the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway where my first photo above was taken. Many of you have probably been to the Visitor Center --but have you been to the Craggy Pinnacle?  (Now look back at the first photo at the beginning of this blog post... That photo was taken from the visitor center looking up that mountain... We were on the top of that mountain when this photo was taken looking the other way. Amazing, huh?)



I was on another of the viewing areas (there were about 3-4 different areas up there) when I took this picture of George.



Here's another view from the top of Craggy Pinnacle.  What fantastic views from there!!!  Wow!!!



From that large overlook (which even had benches to sit and relax)---one can see from various viewpoints all around the area.   I loved seeing the SUNBEAMS in this photo, and of course,  those interesting clouds. (Looks like a group of animals dancing in the sky!  See them???)



The water you see in the distance is the Burnett Reservoir  (where Asheville,  NC gets some of its water).  Wouldn't it be fantastic to be here at this overlook  to see either a sunrise or a sunset????  Fantastic!!!



Hiking on that trail,  I (of course) had to take some pictures of the FERNS in that area...



I loved seeing the wildflowers from this angle ---with the Blue Ridge Parkway in the distance.



Here is another photo showing the Burnett Reservoir and the wildflowers.   Don't miss seeing the beautiful clouds also.



Here is another photo of the Craggy Pinnacle  (see the overlook WAY up there on the tippy-top?)  as taken from the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center after our hike.



AND--here's one last photo  that George took of us (using his tripod) when we were on the top of that pinnacle at the overlook.  That hike was truly one of the highlights of our entire trip that week --although we always have fun no matter what we do!

If you ever get a chance to hike to the Craggy Pinnacle,  do it!!!!  That short hike is worth every bit of huffing-and-puffing you will do going UP that mountain!!!!! HA.... Seriously,  it's not a bad hike AT ALL....If you love mountain tops,  check this one out!

Hugs,

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Amazing Water Lilies and Lily Pads at the Italian Water Gardens at Biltmore 8/3/14

Hope you enjoy seeing all of the water lilies and lily pads today.
For my Birthday Trip this year,  George and I went to Blowing Rock,  North Carolina for a few days.  SO--on the day we traveled there,  we of course had to stop at Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville,  North Carolina,  to see what was blooming in August...

SO--guess where we went first???  We had to check out the Italian Water Gardens --which are fantastic this time of year...  This year may have been the prettiest we have ever seen it... WOW!!!

Today I'll show you photos I took of the water lilies and lily pads.   I couldn't believe all of the amazing colors of the lily pads!!!!!  Hope you enjoy the pictures.  Be sure and click on them for enlargements. 


Lots of water lilies and beautiful lily pads!



I love the peachy/pink colors of this one.



I love the reflections in this one.



Don't know what these are --but they are so pretty!



More reflections



You can tell how much I love reflections.  But you can tell how much I love all of the different lily pads also.



This little beauty and the one below were mostly bloomed out when we were there,  but we managed to get a few photos.



Beautiful colors


So gorgeous and so much to see!!




See the BEE???



In love with PINK!!!


Look carefully at the reflections in this one... What do you see?????  It's a reflection of the Biltmore House nearby... Neat, huh?



Oh those amazing lily pads --and their colors!!!!!



The lighting on this one was pretty,  don't you think?



More reflections!



Little yellow flowers and their reflections



More gorgeous colors of the lily pads!


This last photo is NOT mine.  It is one which popped up on Facebook this past week...  I loved it --and since it was a Water Lily,  I decided to include it today... The quote says it all --don't you think?!!!

Have a wonderful remainder of the week.

Hugs,

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Birthday--August 5, 2014

WELL Friends---I celebrated my 72nd birthday this past week!!  Yipes--how can it be???  BUT--as you can believe,  my hubby took me on a wonderful Surprise Trip to North Carolina to celebrate!   I have over 500 pictures to share --but don't think I'll show them all to you today! ha...

We stayed at Blowing Rock,  North Carolina ---and spent a few days discovering that area.  We traveled and explored the Biltmore House and Gardens,  the Blue Ridge Parkway,  did alot of hiking,  discovered many new waterfalls,  ate some delicious meals,  and even spent a day at Grandfather Mountain..  It was a fantastic trip!

Today though,  I will start by sharing my actual Birthday Dinner/Celebration on Tuesday, the 5th.  As you can tell from the photo above,  we had the Birthday Dinner at the Mountain View Restaurant at Little Switzerland,  North Carolina.  We had been to this restaurant a year ago and loved it.. SO---going back there was PERFECT and we were thrilled to go again.  AND---it does have a "million dollar view"...



We were lucky to have some fantastic weather so we ate dinner on the porch where we could enjoy that fantastic view.   Dinner started with a dinner salad.



Here is a photo of our VIEW from the Mountain View Restaurant... Isn't it marvelous?




It was fun standing up on the porch taking photos of that gorgeous view.



Here's another view from the porch (looking the other direction)...   For those of you who know the North Carolina mountains,  that is Mount Mitchell in the distance.



Besides the dinner salads,  my dinner consisted of Chicken Mediterranean,  Scalloped Potatoes and homemade bread.... George had Capri Chicken made with whole wheat linguini.  We both enjoyed our dinners very much!



Besides this wonderful trip,  George also made me a CD filled with favorite love songs.  He has given me a new one EVERY year since we got married... He collects these love songs throughout the year and puts them on a CD for my birthday each year.  I LOVE it--and love listening to all of the CDs from the past years also!!!  This gift is VERY special to me.



AND --this is my favorite gift of all... George took this photo from one of our favorite places,  the lagoon at the Biltmore House and Gardens  in Asheville,  North Carolina.  You can see the back of the big house from the lagoon.  George took the photo and had it made into a beautiful CANVAS for our Memory Wall in our office at home.. Isn't this one gorgeous? Wish you could see the entire wall.  I am a blessed woman!!!



Wonder what George is eating and obviously enjoying????!!!!




This is delicious Raspberry Vanilla FUDGE --from the Fudge Shop at Grandfather Mountain...  George chose this one --and loved it.



And you can see a very happy 72 year older here!!!!  Mine is my FAVORITE,  Peanut Butter Fudge... YUM!  I opted for FUDGE instead of a Birthday Cake --since I love it,  and never eat it much these days....  Oh how special!!!!!

My sweet mother-in-law used to make me a Peanut Butter Pie for my birthday until she died in 2011...  She knew that I love ANYTHING PEANUT BUTTER.... ha



I'll close by sharing with you a photo a nice lady took of us when we were at the Mountain View Restaurant celebrating my birthday.   Again you can see that beautiful view,  and you can also see their bird feeder---which all of the little birds in that area enjoyed!!!!  AND---there were NO squirrels... Yeah!

Upcoming posts will include many more photos we took while here in North Carolina.  All in all--it was a fabulous week and for me,  a TREMENDOUS Birthday!!!

Hope you had a good week last week--and are enjoying your August so far!  (Don't miss checking out the new quotes on my sidebar this month.)

Hugs,