Blairsville, Georgia (high 61, low 36)
Despite my worry, we survived the stormy night Thursday night. The forecast had predicted a potential for very heavy winds and maybe even a tornado. Of course, that got my attention, so I made sure we were prepared. Al went to sleep and I stayed awake and worried. :)
We got some rain, and a few strong gusts of wind, but for the most part, the overnight hours were calm.
Apparently, some parts of town had some pretty nasty winds.
Our plans yesterday originally were a visit from some fellow fulltimers that we know from Tampa. They were supposed to come by for a visit yesterday, but when they got up yesterday morning and it was cloudy and raining, so they decided to postpone one more day. So, we’ll see them today.
That gave us a day to spend with some other Tampa friends. He is a retired deputy sheriff and she is a Tampa cop. They were going into the nearby town of Blue Ridge for lunch, and we decided to meet them for lunch.
They were there with some of their friends….more Tampa people, and more cops. There were 7 of them and five of them were retired cops. (yes, we behaved ourselves) :)
We had a nice lunch and then we all decided to walk through some of the interesting little shops in the town of Blue Ridge. What a nice little town it is.
One of our favorite stores was The Bear Store. It had all sorts of bear decorations. It was kind of a fun place to go through.
Maria and Ed wanted to go to the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company. They had been there before and bought infused olive oils and vinegars and really loved them. It sounded intriguing.
What a cool place that was. They had dozens of flavored oils and balsamic vinegars. You could taste anything you wanted, and they had people there to help you come up with good combos to mix. We ended up buying some wonderful pomegranate infused vinegar, garlic flavored olive oil and some blood orange olive oil.
These oils are a bit more expensive than regular olive oil, so you probably don’t want to cook with them, but they will be wonderful for salads, dipping, and coating veggies.
Maria told us about a really strange dessert. You mix 2 parts of blood orange olive oil and one part of some flavored vinegar (I’m going to use the Pomegranate) over some ice cream. She said it is wonderful. Sounds very odd, but we are going to give it a try. Olive oil over ice cream???
We walked around town for a while, then the group started to break up. Maria and Ed mentioned Mercier Orchards and were shocked we hadn’t been there yet. So, since it was nearby, we followed them there.
This part of Georgia is big for apple orchards and apples are for sale everywhere. We were told that tour busses bring large loads of people to the orchard and if you get there when a tour bus arrives, you’re in trouble!
Mercier Orchards is a great place and we spent over an hour wandering around. They have a bakery and it smelled wonderful. We ended up buying a loaf of apple cinnamon bread. We ate some this morning and it was delicious.
We couldn’t leave without some of their fresh apple cider.
They have lots of apples for sale and many of them I’d never even heard of before. You could taste anything you wanted. We walked out with two different bags of apples. They are not waxed like you see in the stores, and I like that. I understand many of the apples you find in the stores have been picked a year earlier. I’m pretty sure these are fresh!
Ed and Maria invited us over to see their mountain home, so after we left the orchards, we followed them up the mountain to their beautiful home on the mountain. What a nice place they have. I didn’t take pictures, but an entire wall of windows opening up to the mountains is your main view from the living areas. As soon as Maria retires, they are selling their Tampa house and moving up here full time. They, like us, really love this area. We’re not ready to settle down anywhere right now, but we’re wondering if we could consider this area for when the time comes to hang up our motor home keys. It can get pretty cold here in the winter, and we really don’t like cold weather so I’m not sure we’d be happy here all year long. Of course, there are many places with perfect weather all year round. It’s something to think about for when the time comes.
After we left Ed and Marias, we drove home via the Nottley Damn and stopped to take a few photos of beautiful lake Nottley.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, but by the time the sun started to go down, it started to get a bit chilly.
Once we got home, we put on a jacket and headed out for a ride on the golf cart.
The Bradford Pear tree next to our lot is really starting to pop.
The same type of tree on the other side isn’t nearly as pretty.
When we went for our ride, we saw hundreds of robins. I guess they must be migrating through, because I’ve never seen so many.
So, this morning, we’re getting ready for company. It looks like it’s going to be another gorgeous day.