Now I’m Going to Tell You About Our Weekend

27 Mar
The most excellent Cedar House Inn & Yurts.

The most excellent Cedar House Inn & Yurts.

Not this weekend.  Last weekend.  The Beloved and I went to Dahlonega, GA to stay at Cedar House Inn & Yurts.  “Dah-where?!” you ask?  Dah-LOH-neh-guh is in the Georgia mountains.  And yes, there are mountains there.  Not craggy Rockies-type mountains, but the age-softened rises of The Appalachians.   Anyway, we first stumbled across Cedar House when we decided to take a long weekend trip from The Bad Place (Orlando) to Somewhere with Mountains.  I love the mountains, and Florida, oddly enough, doesn’t have any.

From Orlando, the drive was about 9 hours, but it was worth every second in the car.  There are wineries in the Georgia Hills!  Some are good, some are not so good, and a couple make wines that even a wine snob would enjoy.  But the cool thing is, they’re all doing it.  They had a weird dream to have a winery in the Georgia mountains and make the best wine they could.  So they did.  Lots of the wineries are beautiful, and they are popular Hitching Posts (places to get married.  I just made up the Hitching Post thing.  Sorry).

Since that first trip, we’ve been back two more times.  We’ve yet to stay in one of the yurts, but we probably will on our next visit.  Now, normally, The Beloved and I don’t visit the same place twice.  Our philosophy is that there is so much to See and Do that we need to try and maximize our exposure rather than going to the same place over and over again.  So, why the exception?  It’s the Inn, really.  Yes, surprisingly there are enough things to do in the area that we haven’t had to repeat activities (except for the wineries), but we love it at Cedar House.  They are all about eco-friendly lodging and sustainability in general.  It’s an impressive place.  Even if you never intend to go, to stop by their site and see what they are doing–it’s very progressive, and we love being a part of that.

Fun fact about Dahlonega.  There used to be a US Mint minting gold coins in Dahlonega.  Those of you who are numismatists already know that.  I know it because my brother was One and he and the other guy at the coin shop were always excited when they got a coin with the Dahlonega mint mark.  Right smack in the middle of town is the Dahlonega Gold Museum.  Pretty keen place.  We went there on our first visit.

Okay, now you have to look at pictures.  I took them for you.

I couldn't fix this; it was behind glass.

I couldn't fix this; it was behind glass.

So that picture was from Downtown Dahlonega.  The Beloved thought I was mean to take the picture, but I couldn’t not take it.  At least I didn’t let you know the name of the store.  Oh, the shame!  This was on Friday afternoon.  Saturday was Winery Day.  It was the Georgia Wine Weekend, and every place was jam packed with folks.  I hope the wineries made a lot of money, ’cause it was a good deal.  Buy your glass for $20, and then have free tastings at All the wineries you could get to in a weekend.  And there are a lot of wineries on the Georgia Wine Highway.

The newest winery, Montaluce.  It's so new it can't actually make wine, yet, but they have a restaurant and such.  Beautiful place, if a wee bit pretentious.  Montaluce?  Seriously?!

The newest winery, Montaluce. It's so new it can't actually make wine, yet, but they have a restaurant and such. Beautiful place, if a bit pretentious. Montaluce?! Seriously, y'all.

Lovely water garden outside of Frogtown Winery.  They had koi and everything.

Lovely water garden outside of Frogtown Winery. They had koi and everything.

Frogtown Winery is a very cool place.

Frogtown Winery is a very cool place.

See?  Grape vines!  Not all leafy and beautiful, yet, but still.  Grape vines!  In Georgia!

See? Grape vines! Not all leafy and beautiful, yet, but still. Grape vines! In Georgia!

We went to a couple other wineries, too, but we didn’t take pictures.  I’m sorry.  Our favorite, and the one we think is the most beautiful is Wolf Mountain Vineyards.  They’ve been in operation over ten years, and they produce a couple of wines that we really like.

Sunday was Nature Day.  It was also Up Day.  In the mountains, one frequently has to walk upUp and I are Not Friends.  I sweated and whined a little, I admit, but overall it was a good day and Nobody Got Hurt, much.

The Beloved likes to take pictures of signs.  Here is an informative one for you to read.  We hiked to the top, not from the very bottom, but still.  I sweated.  "Up" is unavoidable when you're going to the highest point in a state.

The Beloved likes to take pictures of signs. Here is an informative one for you to read. We hiked to the top, not from the very bottom, but still. I sweated. "Up" is unavoidable when you're going to the highest point in a state.

So, I have to tell you a little about the Hike to the Top.  It was just over half a mile.  How hard could it be, right?  It was like climbing a ladder without being able to hold on.  A half-mile long ladder, leaning against a building to which it was Very Close.  It was the uppest up hike ever.  My lungs actually Jumped Out of My Body at one point, and I had to stop and shove them back down.  And then, another time, my heart actually Spoke to me and said, “I was not made for this, you jackass.”  My heart is very surly.  I am pathetic, but there you have it.  At least I made it to the top, all organs intact.

Once I clambered my way to the top, I was rewarded with this view from the Observation Tower.

Once I clambered my way to the top, I was rewarded with this view from the Observation Tower.

I could look around and enjoy the stroll down, after the Bataan Death March up.  We saw a lot of these guys.  We have them in NC, too, and I think they're lovely.

, After the Bataan Death March up, I could look around and enjoy the steep stroll down. We saw a lot of these guys. We have them in NC, too, and I think they're lovely.

We also saw Wildlife.  Nothing big or dangerous–no mountain lions, no Clemson Tigers, no wolves from Wolf Mountain.  We did happen upon some little gray guys burrowing around in the leaves at the side of the trail.  Maybe they were moles, but they didn’t really look like the moles I have seen.  And there have been many.  The Beloved has read The Wind in the Willows to me.  They didn’t have those paddle-like paws, and I could see their cute-but-beady little eyes.  We thought that maybe they were mice, but they didn’t have long tails.  We decided that they were Wild Gerbils.  Here is a picture.  For Proof of our Discovery.

Some sort of feral gerbil.  Perhaps we have discovered a new species.

Some sort of feral gerbil. Perhaps we have discovered a new species.

Since I only get exercise um, infrequently, The Beloved suggested that the Bataan Death March was Insufficient Outdoor Activity for one day, so off we went to find some more Nature.  We ended up at Vogel State Park.  It was quite nice, and the hike around the lake was flat, so that was good.  Incidentally, Vogel has a bunch of cottages folks can rent and spend a week or two or three.  And there’s a miniature golf course, made out of Astroturf and concrete curbing.  For in case you get bored with all the nature.

Beautiful lake + flat trail = happy me.

Beautiful lake + flat trail = happy me.

Look what happened near here in 2005.  Very sad, but how cool of the family to put up a marker thanking the people who helped.

Look what happened near here in 2005. Very sad, but how cool of the family to put up a marker thanking the people who helped.

Below the lake, the water runs white.  They built an observation deck over the falls.  Very cool.  And damp.

Below the lake, the water runs white. They built an observation deck over the falls. Very cool. And damp. People wrote on the railing. People sometimes suck a little.

Thank you, unknown upside down writing person for letting us know this.  I can now sleep soundly at night.

Thank you, unknown upside down sucky writing person for letting us know this. I can now sleep soundly at night.

And, just so you know that I was really there for all of this, here are a couple pictures of Our Actual Selves in Nature.

On the observation deck over the falls.  "I like cheese snacks" lurks right behind me.  In this picture, I have yet to discover this fact.

On the observation deck over the falls. "I like cheese snacks" lurks right behind me. In this picture, I have yet to discover this fact.

Nice people took our picture.

Nice people took our picture.

So, that concludes the slide show.  Chris, catch the lights, please, on your way out.  Thanks.

17 Responses to “Now I’m Going to Tell You About Our Weekend”

  1. hkmouse March 27, 2009 at 11:47 am #

    Thank you for the lovely slide show! I may have to go next year. I can swing by TJ’s for peanut butter on the way…

    • onlinepastrychef March 27, 2009 at 11:48 am #

      See there?! Nature and TJ’s–you just can’t go wrong!

  2. Marc @ NoRecipes March 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm #

    Great post! I’m not sure I’ll be heading down there anytime soon, but if I’m in the neighborhood I’ll have to head out that way.

    Coming from near the Sierra Nevadas, I always have to giggle a little when east coast folk talk about their “mountains”. I remember the first time I saw the Appalachians and assumed we were in the foothills on our way into the mountains. Imagine my disappointment when I was then informed that these WERE the mountains.

    • onlinepastrychef March 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

      We were in the Sierras last June, so I can see where you’re coming from. I was raised in the shadows of the Smokey Mountains, though, and it is those mountains that feel like home to me. I guess we all have our own idea of “mountain” depending on where we were raised. The Beloved was raised in Florida. To him, a skateboard ramp is a mountain! 😆

  3. Barclay March 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    How fun! I went to Dahlonega years ago and missed all that. Lovely mountains.

    • onlinepastrychef March 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Barclay! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 We try and get there at least once every year or two–we love it!

  4. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie March 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    This looks like a wonderful weekend getaway! I love visiting wineries, and nature trails like this. Perfect!

  5. Daily Spud March 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    That all sounds quite lovely and very nice to see pictures of your actual selfness enjoying nature ‘n’ all – even if you did have to risk organ loss due to so much upward travel 🙂

  6. Fred & Mary March 27, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    Great writer and funny too. We know what you mean about the trek up Brasstown Bald.

  7. Jim March 27, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    –And yes, there are mountains there. Not craggy Rockies-type mountains, but the age-softened rises of The Appalachians.

    And of the divine Sierras? Well, well, well.

    Ging! Jikk!! I love the Appalachians. I want to die among them. Uck. Ungh.

  8. Elle March 28, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    What a beautiful trip! I’m especially curious about the feral gerbil. Very strange. 😉

  9. Tangled Noodle March 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    When we lived in Atlanta (Decatur, technically), we’d take weekend drives to Dahlonega. Thanks for bringing back great memories!

  10. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy March 29, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    Sounds like a lovely weekend getaway! Dahlonega looks like a beautiful place to visit. Glad you made it back in one piece. Up and I are not friends either! 😉

  11. Natashya March 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    What beautiful scenery! Looks so warm and inviting.

  12. groovyoldlady March 30, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    Gee. I like cheese snacks, jeweleryeryery, going up, and liquified grapes. Sounds like a new vacation spot por moi!

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