What an amazing time we had during Spring Break! Sometime in early February, we discussed that since we would have nine consecutive days off, we should do something we’ve never done before. Our best friends V and M, their three kids, M’s mom, my mom and the four of us were going to road trip it North. The original plan was to spend three days in Gatlinburg, TN, and three days near Stone Mountain, Georgia, with a possible detour at an Orlando theme park on the way up or down. Two weeks before our vacation week, the plans started to change, and ultimately we were the only four still interested or able to go on the road trip. But we stuck to our plans to go on a road trip, found a darling little cabin just outside of Unicoi State Park near Helen, Georgia, and stayed there for four days. It is now one of our most precious memories.
We spent the first weekend in Orlando with my cousin, my stepbrother and niece and nephew, and Monday around noon we were off on our adventure to Georgia. It took us around 10 hours to arrive at our lovely little cabin in the woods. At first it seemed eerie, the only light around was coming from our headlights, and we’re not used to that. But when morning came and we woke up to that tranquility, we were hooked! I had a routine of finishing my cafe con leche (the cafetera did not come with us, but thank you Bustelo for your Cappuccino packets!) on the porch every morning, enjoying the peaceful view, before we headed out for that day’s adventure.
After breakfast on Tuesday morning we walked around the property and the surrounding roads a bit. Our cabin was right on the outskirts of the state park, just outside of the Chattahoochee National Forest, and it was surrounded by tall trees and lush forest, with a limited but equally impressive view of the mountains. We got back in the car and drove towards the Forest and the mountains. We stumbled upon a drive-up map/directory for the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway…Perfect! We were going to drive aimlessly anyway, so now we had a plan. So off we went, up and down and around the mountains.
Following the scenic drive (which we’ll revisit later on in our trip), we went down the road to the city of Helen, a tiny town of about 500 people. It’s designed like a German Alpine village, but in the Appalachians instead of the Alps. It’s adorable! I can tell you it’s as authentic as Germany in Epcot, without the ridiculous theme park prices. After linner at the Troll Tavern, we rode a horse drawn carriage, then walked around the town for a while. By then it was almost dusk, so we headed back to our cabin for the night. After showers and some snacks, the boys were off to bed while hubby and I checked some of the points of interest online, and made our plans for the next day.