Summer is usually a very slow time for me (business wise, anyway). It’s too dang hot to do festivals (at least here in the south) and generally boutique sales are lower in the summer, too.  Usually I won’t take time off, but will instead just take on shorter and slower work days. And I’ll inevitably find some market or festival to participate in, and then complain about how hot it is and that no one is shopping.

This summer I decided to do it a little differently.  Instead of focusing on trying to find poor performing festivals, I did my bare minimum to keep boutiques stocked and then I took time off.  It has been a marvelous summer!

And that’s the biggest reason you haven’t heard much from me lately.  But summer is ending for me, festivals are starting up again, so. Play time is over. Back to work.  But before getting back into my routine, I thought I’d share some of my vacation with you!

Mama Gertie’s Hideaway Campground

Our first trip was in June. We visited Asheville, NC. Specifically, we camped at Mama Gertie’s. It’s a fabulous campground set on a mountain. We visited Asheville during the days, then spent the nights at camp playing board games and getting toasted (in more ways than one) next to the campfire. A couple of places of interest:

The Blue Ridge Parkway & Skyline Drive

In July we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from start to finish and the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, which happened to be the week of my birthday.  The Mrs split the cost of a DSLR as my birthday gift. My first EVER DSLR! I’ve pretty much driven everyone crazy with my picture taking! But what a lovely gift to have for such a scenic drive!! If you enjoy driving and nature scenes there are so MANY different points of interest to visit on this drive.These are some of mine:

  • Pancake Pantry – not exactly nature related, but the south end of the Parkway is just a 30-40 minute drive from Gatlinburg, where one of the few Pancake Pantries exists. Best pancakes ever!
  • Mile High Swinging Bridge – to access it, you have to pay to visit Grandfather Mountain. There’s a place to eat, an animal sanctuary dedicated only to animals that live on the mountain, trails, and of course the mile high bridge.
  • Mabry Mill – it’s known as the most photographed stop on the parkway.  It’s a nice little place to grab a bite to eat and stretch your legs.  It has an old mill, a cabin, a campground, a restaurant, and on the weekends they give demonstrations on different turn of the century crafts.
  • Mayberry – this one is quite a detour off of the parkway. I’m a sucker for a roadside attraction. The town is actually Mt Airy, NC.  It’s the birthplace of Andy Griffith.  They have areas of the town dedicated to the Mayberry theme. You can even go on a tour in one of the police squad cars from the show.

Lots of Day Trips

I’ve taken several short trips and day trips this summer too.  Below are some of my favorite photos from those.  Also, if you’re interested in following along with me as I learn how to use my new camera, I post the photos to Facebook and Instgram.

‘Til next time,

~jen

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