I am glad to say that we made it back to Florida. Our trip to North Carolina and Atlanta had been exciting and wonderful. I have tons of pictures that I have not uploaded yet because hubby saved them in a memory card.
We spent some time with the family while in North Carolina but we were on the road and up the mountains most of the time. We went to Beech Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk, Boone and Linville. The mountain air was fresh and crisp. There was not a trace of snow on the low lying areas and not much fell in the high country areas either. It was cold enough for snow machines to blanket all the ski resorts though. We went up Grandfather Mountain the first day we were there. It was cold and snowing. The snow felt like someone was throwing sand on our exposed flesh. The hubby and son went on the mile high swinging bridge but only made it up to the bridge's midpoint and had to go back. Snow, high winds, and swinging bridge do not mix very well. (Duh!) I stayed on solid ground pretending to take their pictures and had my phone on 911 speed dial.
The ski resorts were full of people from Florida and Alabama! Every time we looked at the license plates at the ski resorts' parking lots, we counted an overwhelming number of cars from the two no-ski states. Well, you can tell who were the Floridians and Alabamians on the slopes: they were the ones who seem to be on their behinds more than their feet. Well, I have no room to talk, really. I spent most of the day at the ski lodge taking pictures, eating snacks, and reading my book. Hubby looked funny all bundled up in the rented ski suit, thick gloves and a beanie. Son looked awkward in thick jacket, waterproof pants and gloves, and of course, a beanie! Hubby went skiing and son went snowboarding. Hubby was quite a skier and though this was son's first time snowboarding, he did very well. I myself, had fun taking pictures of people I did not even know and ate several muffins at the lodge.
We also spent a couple of days in Atlanta. We always pass by the city when going up north but we never stopped before. We always hear about it being the "New York of the South" so we were ready to explore it. Maybe it was because of the holidays but Atlanta seemed to have a much slower pace than we expected. We stayed at a hotel downtown by the CNN center. It was walking distance to all the the sights we wanted to see. We went to Hard Rock Cafe, the Underground, World of Coca Cola, the Olympic Park, Fox Theatre, the Rialto, and the Varsity. We dined at a Brazilian restaurant on Piedmont called Fogo de Chao. I recommend this place highly. It was quite pricey but the experience was well worth it. The waiters were dressed as "gauchos" (Brazilian cowboys) and they fed us Brazilian barbeque served in swordlike skewers. The salad bar was phenomenal: artichoke and palm hearts, smoked salmon, proscuitto ham, imported cheeses, sundried tomatoes, and roasted peppers were just to name a few of the luscious spread! We heard that there is another restaurant called " The Abbey," where the setting is a monastery and the waiters are dressed as monks but we did not have time to go there. We also did not have time to see the Art Museum (it featured paintings of Van Gogh, Picasso, Seurat and Mondrian!) and the Botanical Garden (it had Dale Chiluly's exhibit!). We're definitely going back to Atlanta. I want to see Margaret Mitchell's house and the "Gone with the Wind" museum. Ah, so much to see and photograph, so little time!