Saturday, November 12, 2011

Home Again

We flew into Raleigh on Monday, picked up our rental car, and headed to Chapel Hill.  The trees were just hitting their peak in the Triangle of Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.  Breathtaking views of yellow, orange, and "pale and hectic red" (to borrow from Shelley's Ode to the West Wind, one of my favorite poems).

We stayed at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill--a delightful experience!   If you are ever in the area, please give it a try.  Small, intimate, and luxurious, the Siena has the friendliest, most accommodating staff imaginable, and a restaurant of remarkable quality.

Il Palio, the restaurant, was a favorite with locals;  despite having a large selection of wonderful restaurants, several people told us they tried to get to Il Palio at least once a week.  The menu descriptions sounded scrumptious, looked beautiful, and were heaven in the mouth.  They were big into buying organic and local (as were all of the restaurants where we ate in both Chapel Hill and Asheville).

They take their food seriously in both places, and we didn't have a single meal that didn't elicit surprise and delight and a number of "mmmmmmmm"s as we ate.  The emphasis on locavore and organic didn't interfere with creativity, and I've never had such a series of delicious meals.

On Wednesday, we drove into the mountains and to Asheville.  The higher we got into the mountains, the less colorful foliage as the mountain foliage had already past its peak, but the mountains were so lovely, with such wonderful vistas.  We were on I-40 all the way because it was about a 4 hour drive, and so we didn't have a chance to take pictures of some of the gorgeous scenery.

When we got to Asheville, we had a late lunch and visited the Ariel Gallery so I could see Akira Blount's dolls in person.  That was a highlight of the trip for me since I've loved her work for years now.

Then we drove on up to Mills River to visit Marc and Debbie and fell in love with their house and the wonderful views from every window.  It was so nice to spend a little time catching up with each others' lives.  Kids all grown and that sort of thing, old friends, etc.

Back to Asheville before it got completely dark so we could check into our hotel.  When we woke up Thursday morning, it felt like it had turned into winter overnight.  We woke up to the day's high of 54 and the temps went down from that point.  They were expecting the temps to drop into the mid-twenties that night.  And the wind!  It was really cold and overcast, but we walked around and visited some interesting shops before we had to head back.

We left Asheville and traveled back to Chapel Hill.  I really regret not getting good pictures of the foliage.  We didn't get any pictures of the glorious reds and oranges that were in the Chapel Hill and Durham area--such a shame because they were so spectacular.  We enjoyed the trip so much that maybe we will get back again next year and make up for the pictures that didn't get taken.


  1. Glad you had a wonderful time in NC!!! It has been lovely here!

  2. Sounds like a great get-away. I got to visit Asheville a couple of times when going there to tour the Biltmore which was over-the-top in itself. Love the fall color in your photos.

  3. The photos you did get are stunning, so don't be too upset about missing some in Durham. You both look so happy it the second set of photos. Sounds like a great trip!

  4. Sherri - You live in a beautiful state! We loved it.

    Connie - We didn't get to tour the Biltmore, but it is on the list for the next visit!

    Mary - The photos are of Marc and Debbie, not Fee and I. They got tickled while I was taking the pictures. :)

  5. Is it me or Blogger? I have to do every comment twice.

    Anyway- North carolina, so beautiful. Glad you had a good time.


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