Gastonia · Places

Places: Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Most of the fun places I get to go are as a result of some class trip. This one made me sad that I didn’t get to walk it before the wreck. I can’t tell you how truly beautiful this place was, and most of it I had to experience through these pictures, but that’s better than not experiencing it at all, huh?  We went in spring, so the flowers were blooming beautifully:

Here are some pictures from the grounds. It was really a beautiful and peaceful place.

Helen Georgia · Places

Helen, GA

My family

My family and I decided to take a much needed long weekend trip to Helen, Georgia over the Easter holiday.  We had the best time in this beautiful little town!  My only issue was we needed one more day to enjoy everything Helen has to offer!

We stayed at a lovely resort called Mountain Lakes and stayed in their Alpine Chalet.  It was a fun place with tons to do on site, all included in the price!  For starters, our chalet had a dining room, private deck with chairs and benches, living room (with sleeper sofa and a fireplace!), kitchen (fully equipped), bathroom, master bedroom and an open loft upstairs for the children.  To get to the loft there was a spiral staircase.

The resort had enough to do for us to never leave the grounds!  It has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hot tub, every board game you can imagine, ping pong, tennis, shuffle board, mini-golf, boating, fishing, horseback riding, swimming in the lake and at 2 outdoor pools, and activities planned every day!  We opted for the Easter egg hunt, the Bingo and the Pancake Breakfast after the Sunrise service on Easter Sunday.

When we first ventured into Helen, we stopped at the coolest rock shop.  The kids each got a rock and we headed on in to Helen proper.   We walked the main shops, and then settled on a place called the Troll for dinner, so called because of its proximity to the bridge that goes over the river it is right beside.  While the food left much to be desired, the riverside seating more than made up for it.

The next day we set an exhausting pace.  We went back into Helen and enjoyed a covered carriage ride pulled by Wilbur the horse!  We shopped at Charlemagne’s Toys to let the kids spend some vacation money that was blowing a hole in their pockets.  We decided to get back to nature after our retail therapy of the morning and hike to the Dukes Creek Falls and have a picnic lunch.  We stopped at Hofer’s of Helen, a German bakery, to pick up some desserts:  a blueberry muffin, German chocolate cake, German Chocolate Cakeapple fritter and a Sacher torte.  Yum!  Our next stop was to one of the best food shops, Betty’s Country Store, that I’ve been in in awhile and bought sandwiches that were to die for!  We happily headed down the 1.1 mile hike down to the falls and then enjoyed our hearty lunch.

Afterwards we cruised up to Brasstown Bald, one of the highest peaks in the south.  It made me sick to my stomach, all of those hairpin curves, but it was a beautiful sight, once we reached the top.  Afterwards, we went back to the resort to enjoy some on site activities, mainly a little putt putt!

After a suprisingly fun game of Bingo with the whole family, we headed into Helen to our “splurge” restaurant:  Hofbrau HouseThe Hofbrau House.  Oh My.  It was the best food I’ve had in a looooong time!  We had Jaegar Schnitzel and knockwurst with all of the trimmings.  If you are in Helen, you do not need to miss it.

We had the best time, and I’d recommend Helen to anyone!