I usually like to take a trip right before school starts. I remember visiting Bushkill Falls with my family when I was younger. I thought it would be fun to visit again with my family. We stayed at a Homewood Suites in Allentown/Bethlehem. They had a hot tub! 🙂
Bushkill Falls was nice but very touristy! The waterfalls were very pretty and we did a bit of hiking but there were definitely more people around than I am used to!
We ventured up to Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley. I’ve always wanted to check it out and glad we finally got the chance (despite getting a speeding ticket afterwards, on the way to dinner! coughSpeedTrapcough) It is a beautiful area! Zhang Huan was the artist on exhibit but many artists were showcased as well.
We went to dinner in Tarrytown since it was on the way home. This is when I got the speeding ticket. Yes, technically I was speeding but I feel it was unfair as it was all downhill and I was coasting! And I actually had to go to court for this to the town of Highlands (October!) Aaah! It was super annoying to have to drive up there as it took me close to 3 hours due to morning rush hour. The drove home was much faster. $150 and a day of my time. It could have been worse! Anyway, we went to Little B’s. They have a make your own burger option and Parmesan truffle fries! YUM!
Last day photos of the condo we stayed in. And of course, we found a really good breakfast place on our last day!
Found this lunch place via Yelp while on the road. I don’t have it written down and I can’t remember where it was but it was good! I think it was called Crepe Cafe or something like that. And it might have been Virginia?
We aren’t strangers to Myrtle Beach, we’ve been there in 2011. See here. So this part of the trip was truly just to be a beach bum. We rented a condo on the beach, a different place than last time. The condo was located in the Caravelle building but rented through it’s owner. It had the usual pools, lazy river, jacuzzies, etc.
Here are some images of the cabin, taken right before we were checking out. Yes, that little monitor on top of the fire place is a tv. We didn’t use it except for the last day, when I was curious and turned it on. I believe there was some PBS kids show on so of course, Sienna was all into that. The cabin was a nice stay, the whirlpool tub was nice (especially after the Chimney Rock hike!) but the internet never worked. We survived tho!
After breakfast at Medina’s (the lunch place we went to yesterday), we headed off to Myrtle Beach. We stopped off for lunch at a place called Harry and Harry Too. The food was really good and the inside had all kinds of stuff hanging. Sort of like Cracker Barrel but authentic, I’m sure. We found out that there was a place we had to stop by, if we were close to the restaurant, called Pearl Friar Gardens. Pearl Friar is a man that retired from DisneyWorld. I think from the look at his property, you can guess what he used to do at Disney. It was beautiful!
2 of Sienna’s shots!
It was the last day in Lake Lure so we hung around town. We did some “gem mining” in town, which was fun but didn’t really last very long. We ate lunch at Medina‘s and they are known for their cinnamon bun. Everything is homemade so you know I really love that! It was all delicious and the people were very nice. I wish we discovered this place sooner on our trip!
We stopped by the Flowering Bridge, gardens along a 150 foot bridge that is no longer used for cars. It was beautiful and so many butterflies! I tried so hard to capture some on my camera but wasn’t very successful. It was a real hot day so we decided to go in the lake. I was a little hesitant since it was kinda all gross and spider webby when we checked it out the other day. I’m glad we did! We spent about 2 hours in the lake when we saw the clouds descend. We made it back to the cabin in time before the downpour.
password is secret
I’m not sure how long the downpour lasted but soon the sun came out! We wanted to go check out the town of Hendersonville, the woman at the Visitor’s Center told us it was similar to Asheville but not as spread out. By the time we got there, after a stop into Wal-Mart, most of the stores were closed so we couldn’t browse. They did have a bunch of painted bears along the street. We had dinner at Flat Rock Wood Fired Pizza. We got a little confused at first because the sign actually said West First Wood Fired Pizza. Oh my gosh, it was DELICIOUS!! We started off with this awesome spinach, goat cheese and artichoke dip. I filled up too much on that as they gave bread with the dip. I know bread makes sense since it is a pizza place. Sienna got a regular cheese pizza from the kid’s menu that was the same size as our pizza! I got a campari (roasted garlic olive oil base, tomato slices, garlic and fresh mozzarella-with balsamic vinegar reduction and fresh basil) and Yves got a prosciutto (aged parma ham, fresh mozzarella, & fresh arugula on crushed tomato sauce.) We were stuffed but Sienna had room for dessert! Homemade ice cream sandwich, which was actually ice cream between 2 brownies! Oh my!
So we headed back to the cabin with full bellies to get our things together to start the 2nd half of our vacation tomorrow! Myrtle Beach!
Here are some shots we took while enjoying the boat ride around the Lake.
After the tour, we drove over to Asheville. The ride was a bit curvy and although Asheville wasn’t very far, it took longer because of that. During our stay, we have come to drive a bit on the same road. There is a town called Batcave and I kept meaning to take a photo of the sign but never did. Drat! Anyway, Asheville is a cute little college type, hippie like town. Very similar to Berkeley and Austin.
We headed to Chimney Rock in the morning!
Pointing to the top of Chimney Rock. It doesn’t look that high. The elevator was broken but we weren’t even thinking of using the elevator!
It was a bit cloudy and that was a good thing. The sun had come out briefly and you felt the heat. That was rough!
Oh! The stairs!
Made it! It was beautiful. You can go up higher and that’s what I did to take this photo. Sienna and Yves are there on the rock.
Do you see the devil’s head in the background?
Taking an apple break. It was about lunch time and went back to the cabin to have some. Once you buy your ticket, you are able to come and go so decided not to rush it. We saw a deer when we got back to the cabin!
After lunch, we went back to the park and it began to rain. That’s ok! We have ponchos just for that!
We made it to the falls!
They have a total of 5 trails. We did the Great Woodland Adventure (kids trail-so easy), Outcroppings trail (the one that leads to the rock), the Skyline Trail (that leads to Devil’s Head and Exclamation Point, where we took the apple break) and Hickory Nut Falls Trail (waterfall). We didn’t do the Four Seasons Trail as it looked a bit steep.
For dinner, we went into the little town and ate at RiverWatch Grill (standard fare) and took a walk along the river afterwards.
After ice cream, we spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the cabin. I was enjoying the jacuzzi tub a lot! We really felt the hike in our legs the next day! And we picked a good day for the hike as the following days were really muggy and sunny.
Heading down to North Carolina as part of a 2 week vacation down South! About 5 days in North Carolina and then a week at Myrtle Beach! We left on the 19th around 9:45 am. We didn’t rush since we were just going to stop in Virginia and stay in a hotel with a pool. I really wanted to stop in MD at this Butterfly Conservatory but found out it was closed for 2014 due to construction! Waaah! Then I discovered this Safari Park in VA that sounded like a ton of fun! (Six Flags Great Adventure used to have a drive thru safari but not anymore!) But nixed that idea because it was a long drive to get to for one night. And it was sort of out of the way. So it was a hotel and indoor pool for us! We stopped off for lunch in Swedesboro, NJ and ate at The Red Hen. A Yelp find and very tasty!
Sienna was just happy to get to a hotel with a pool! It took a little longer to get there than we expected due to road construction. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Woodstock, VA. It was your standard Hampton Inn and down the road was a Wal-Mart supercenter opened 24 hours! We also ate dinner at Cracker Barrel because it was right next door.
After having the breakfast at Hampton Inn, we continued our journey. We stopped off for lunch at Beamers 25 in Roanoke, VA, another Yelp find. O.M.G. DELICIOUS!! We ordered Frank’s fries, which include garlic and truffle oil. Yves got a Reuben burger (burgers are what they are known for) and it looked delicious. Regrettably, I ordered their chicken breast sandwich, which was ok but not as tasty as Yves’ burger (which I got to taste!)
And we finally made it to North Carolina!
We finally make it to the cabin around 6-6:30. The last couple of hours seemed forever since we weren’t driving on a major road. We got to our cabin and it was really cute. A 2 bedroom with a whirlpool in the main bedroom, a small kitchen and bathroom, a tiny table and a tiny tv. But there was a deck! More on the cabin in later posts.
We went to check out the little town, the lake and the beach. We probably had the worst meal of our trip there, at a Mexican Restaurant called El Lago. A bad meal was bound to happen!
After dinner, we went food shopping at a supermarket called Ingles. We were expecting a little grocery store (considering the small town) but it was a full fledged supermarket! We let Sienna pick out a breakfast cereal, since it was vacation, and of course she picked the worst (although they are all bad!)