Friday, July 21, 2017

7-21-17  Girls weekend to Lake Lure, SC:

What do you do with a $500 Gift certificate for The Biltmore?  Plan a girls weekend!!!   At first we thought we'd stay at the Biltmore, but after checking hotel prices on property, we decided to stay at a Wyndham resort and go to the Biltmore for the day.   Closest Wyndham to both Faith and us is the Wyndham at Fairfield Mountains in Lake Lure, North Carolina, so that's where we stayed.  It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive for Angie and me, and about 2 1/2 hours for Faith.  But it was a nice ride through some really pretty country.
Angie and I buzzed up I-85 to I-26.  This had us a little concerned until we finally noticed there was a ramp to I-26. 
What much of the ride looked like.

Close to Lake Lure we came across this subdivision.  I got a kick out of the doughnut shaped bushes.
Finally near the Wyndham.  This is part of the golf course there.
I had hoped to get a VIP upgrade to a 2 bedroom unit, but with the new Wyndham "Voyager" system, upgrades and availability in general are not very generous.  We were able to book a 1 bedroom suite and never got anything bigger.   Some of the 2 bedroom units were made up of a 1 bedroom suite and the adjoining 1 bedroom deluxe.  The 1 bedroom deluxe next to our suite seemed to be available, so I wonder why it was never available to book?! 

The suite was a really strange configuration!  This was downstairs---a mini kitchen at the bottom of the stairs, a bedroom to the far left, a bathroom with small shower to the right, and a huge Jacuzzi tub with window in the middle.  What a weird waste of space!
The bedroom with adequate.  The girls took it and pretended to have a slumber party.
The bedroom even had a weird little desk with sink in it.
Looking across the kitchenette to the stairs
looking down from the stairs.
The tiny living room at the top of the stairs by the entrance.  Almost like having a 2nd bedroom with it being so far removed from the rest of the unit.
After checking in, Angie and I decided to drive around the area a bit.  Off in the distance were lots of rock faces.
There was even a marina on the property.
and fish in the lake.  a trout?
Even a nice beach area, although Angie said the bottom to the beach area was all squishy plant life.
another view of the beach
One of the resident ducks here.
We walked along the beach.  Looked like a lot of people were enjoying the water.

Lots of pretty tropical landscaping along the way

heading back to the parking lot
Then we headed into the little town of Lake Lure (about 20 minutes away).  There we saw this cute little church
and another marina and park.
and way off in the distance---Chimney Rock.  Both kids and their spouses have actually done this hike.  I'd like to, but it was way too hot to try it this weekend!  It was in the mid 90s everyday, with lots of humidity. 
Lake Lure is a typical little tourist town.  Complete with a merry-go-round.
and lots of family owned restaurants.
We decided to go to Medina's.  Turned out to be so good that we went back 3 times!
My salad for lunch.
another view of Chimney Rock.
a river running back behind the highway.
the highway.
Angie had been here before and knew there was an old bridge that was turned into a garden.  So we had to go check it out!
Almost immediately Angie found this rock in the garden.  It was sort of like the glass balls that artists hide on the Oregon beaches---they're put around the town for people to find.  On the back of it is written something like, "keep, re-hide, or replace".  As a tourist, it makes a nice souvenir.  She kept it.
on to the garden.
We didn't do the audio tour, but it was a really beautiful garden.
so many different kinds of flowers.
and little critters enjoying them
A yellow jacket wasp, I presume.  I had a bad encounter with one of these guys when I was in 1st grade.  Ended up in the hospital and getting several shots.
On to more fun things---like garden art.
and more flowers.
Love how they turned chairs into planters.
view from the bridge looking North.
more flowers.

one of the many colorful grass skippers on the flowers.
more garden art
I believe this is a hummingbird moth.  Only other time I've seen one of these was on Kauai.
more colorful flowers.
and more chair planters.
unique planter
one of the seating areas.
barn quilt
purse planter

up in a tree was this guy
even the pavers were interesting.
coming back from the other end of the bridge
another seating area
Love the use of doors as garden art
another view of the river
another grass skipper
and another
a wide angle of part of the bridge
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
A bug I don't remember ever seeing before. 
a view of the bridge from up the riverbank a bit.
then we headed towards town, stopping at another marina with a park by it.
looking at the park from across the water.
the marina in town

We decided to take a walk into Morse Park Gardens.
we arrived at the same time that a wedding party showed up for a rehearsal.
looking back towards the marina from Morse Park.
didn't know you could get a pink fishing pole!
views from the park
the pavilion in the park

looking east
it was a nice little hot walk
I believe this is a juvenile Canadian goose.
looking across from the park towards the public beach in Lake Lure.
On our way back to Wyndham, we ran across this scene.  Angie figured it must be OK to speed now!  Can't imagine there being any more police than this in the little town of Lake Lure.
Once Faith arrived---about 8, we decided to hit up this place for dinner.  Sure didn't look like much, but it got really good ratings.  Half of the place is a bar, the other half, a pretty nice eclectic restaurant.  Both had the same food.
Angie and Faith getting the party going.
  Name of the restaurant. 
inside the restaurant

We shared a salad and pizza. Both were pretty good.  I'd go back.  Great way to end the first night of our girls' weekend!

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