Monday, December 6, 2010

The shortest distance isn't always the best.

As many of my readers may know, my civilian brother deploys to Afghanistan just outside of Kabul this month.  Because of this, I told my SIL that we needed to take him to The Dillard House in Dillard, Georgia.  Now, if you've never been to The Dillard House, let me give you a quick rundown.  Besides resting in some of the most beautiful scenery in Georgia, the restaurant at The Dillard House serves "family-style" meals.  You and your party are seated at a table, and the feasting commences: waiters bring out trays of family-style homemade dishes.  Most of the vegetables are grown on-site, and all of the food is homemade.

We left the Atlanta area around 9:30 or so in the morning yesterday (Sunday) amidst tiny snow flurries and a biting wind.  We stopped at a Tallulah Gorge overlook around 11am or so for a rest stop and to browse around the shop.  When we got to The Dillard House, we noticed it was crowded, but they're fairly quick.  Unfortunately, we were seated at a table probably meant for two (there were four of us,) directly in the sunlight, and when they brought out our food, we were slightly disappointed.  We had never been before, but we were this time.  We still ate our meal, and we headed back to the petting zoo where Andrew met his friend:

She is a Texas Longhorn cow.

After we left The Dillard House, we decided to make a day of the cold North Georgia mountains, and we headed up to Sky Valley to show my SIL and brother the cabin we rent.  We drove through Sky Valley, a tiny resort town, and we noticed that there was a huge beautiful rustic structure condemned (I found out today it was the original lodge and clubhouse.)  I also noticed a few other structures that were falling apart, and a new clubhouse that looked as though money ran out, and work abruptly stopped.  It was sad, really.

We showed them the cabin we rent, and then we headed north to Highlands.  We drove through Highlands, my SIL said she had been there before, and we decided to head back down 64 along the Cullasaja Gorge.  Before we even left Highlands, it had started to flurry again, but as we climbed along 64 and the Gorge, the snow ceased, and we were left admiring the ice that had formed on the rocky cliffs (and large chunks that had fallen into the already treacherous road!) and the various waterfalls along 64: Bridal Veil and two on Cullasaja River though my passengers could see them better as I was more concerned about navigating the narrow and windy road.

I ended up following a road sign for 441S versus 441 Bus. S and ended up on 64 W towards Hayesville.  THEN it started snowing to the extent of snow accumulating on the ground, and the defrost in my car unable to keep up with the rapidly falling temperatures. (The red shows how we actually went after leaving Dillard.  The bright green shows how I had WANTED to go.)

After finding our way along the back roads from almost Hayesville to Hiawassee, through downtown Helen, back way through Dahlonega, Copper Mines Road, and down 400, Andrew and I made it home around 7pm last night.

Even though The Dillard House was [first-time] disappointing, it was still a good day.  Andrew and I even found the "card box" for our wedding reception! :)

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