Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hiking at Umstead


It was such a nice day today that Steve and I decided to head over to William B. Umstead State Park for a hike on the Sycamore Trail. While there, we saw a whole plethora of native flora and fauna including some very cool spiders, as well as several interesting ferns, trees, moss and fungi. The trail snaked its way along a rock-strewn creek for the most part, although it did feature an overlook branch which took us to "the cliffs" section which is apparently the remains of an old mining quarry. The hike was a lot of fun for me, since I'd never been on those trails before, only ever having ridden my bicycle on the fireroad portions of the park - and Steve made good use of Mother Nature's ever-interesting backdrop for creative photo opportunities!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Time Just for Us

Steve and I decided that some time away, just for the two of us, was in order to provide a respite from the stresses of everyday life, work and routine, and to give us a fresh outlook on things. So we spent a weekend getaway at the Scenic Overlook Bed & Breakfast at Pilot Mountain. Upon our arrival, we decided to head to the park first, where we hiked up to the overlook itself.


There, we enjoyed the breathtaking scenery and fresh air, and just spending time together in a beautiful natural setting. After arriving at the inn, we found our suite to be quite fabulous, including spectacular views of the private lake, flower-ringed gazebo and Pilot Knob; whirlpool for two  complete with scented bath salts and candles; two fireplaces; and extra comfy sofas with tons of fluffy pillows. We were greeted the following morning with a home-cooked full breakfast served to us in our room. Our hosts couldn't have been more welcoming, and Steve and I both felt totally rejuvenated and reconnected by the time we made our way back home. If you've never taken a day - or two or three - just for yourself, give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.