Mountain Escape

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir

COVID-19 has sidelined us all from traditional summer activities and vacations.  Quarantine fatigue has left all of us longing to get outside and away from the constant stream of bad news.

I have always loved the tranquility of relaxing in the mountains…eager to enjoy the great outdoors and have the opportunity to truly disconnect,  mom and I decided to plan a socially distanced vacation the first week of August, to the Sapphire Valley of southeastern NC.

The Sapphire Valley is nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on scenic Highway 64. Considered the jewel of the Blue Ridge, the area is known for its spectacular beauty, dazzling waterfalls, craggy peaks and sweeping vistas.  The name ‘Sapphire’ comes from the region’s history of gem mining and sapphires that can be found in the area.  The area is home to several resort communities: Lake Toxaway, Sapphire, Cashiers and Highlands – each with its own mountain charm.

My mom and I rented a condo at the Fairway Diamond Resort, which is part of the Sapphire Valley Resort. Renting a condo is a great ‘contact-less’ way to enjoy a vacation.

We checked in on Monday, August 3rd 2020.  Our condo is nestled in the forest, with a view of the flora of towering trees and ferns.  The layout was a bit odd, with the living room upstairs and kitchen and bedroom downstairs, but overall I’d recommend Fairway Forest.  The condo is not state of the art, but had all the amenities you need for a mountain getaway: cooking utensils, pots and pans, laundry and a nice kitchen.  The bedroom is cozy and has a porch with a view of the forest.

I love to eat out and explore area restaurants, but with COVID-19 my mom and I have been relying on takeout and eating at home.  We decided to go to the local Ingles grocery store in Cashiers and load up on food for the week.

Ingles is one of my favorite regional chains.  They are located mostly in the mountains of NC and it is comparable to Harris Teeter.  The Ingles in neighboring Cashiers (located about 3 minutes from the condo) has a great assortment of food and wine.  We loaded up on all the essentials.

We capped off our first night in the mountains with a delicious meal (chicken and gluten free pasta) and played board games.  Quarantine has opened up a revived passion for board games…some of our favorites include Yellowstone Monopoly and National Parks inspired games.

I am going to recap our trip in a number of blog posts.  I look forward to sharing our fun adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains – from Sapphire to Lake Jocassee (SC) to Tallulah Gorge (GA) and more…stay tuned!


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