By Regina Lynch-Hudson
When a cityfied-countrygal goes GLAMping (not camping) at Mountain Springs Cabins in woodsy Candler, North Carolina, it’s not your typical ‘roughing it’ experience. If you’re imagining a tent, bear repellant and an outdoor bonfire … think again.Fancy the idea of hibernatingina cozy cabin, tucked away in a quaint mountain hamlet nestled in Hominy Valley, a stone’s throw from Asheville. Then add Wi-Fi, a widescreen TV and the home delivery menu from a country diner bookmarked on the trusty iPhone. Laura Ingalls from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ never had it so good.
The notion of snuggling up with nature without getting too close appealed to my inner-adventurer. A cabin retreat presented the first time in ages when hubby and I could relax and do nothing and retire early in the evenings. www.rvcoutdoors.com/mountain-springs-cabins
Cabin Fever: For moments when it’s quiet, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied amongst 13 cabins, ranging in size from 450 to 900 square feet. We bunked in the Willow Creek Cabin, a mammoth chalet sleeping up to 8 people. Movies, books and board games filled every cubby hole of the charming space. Situated creekside, our lodgings afforded us access to a babbling trout-filled stream. From a romantic porch swing, we relished the sights and sounds of a wintery panorama.
Miles of hiking trails called out our names, and we found ourselves exploring an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise-filled with tranquil pathways leading to nowhere. Pausing often to take in the vista, we delighted in humorous signs that dotted the landscape. “We Don’t Skinny Dip We Chunky Dunk” seemed to be the mantra in the ‘cornbread-fed’ neck of the woods. However, as flakes of snow canvassed the ground, there was no fat chance of us ‘’taking the plunge’, clothed or otherwise.
After days in the mountains, I did manage to add rock-skipping to my repertoire. (Legend has it that most gutsy mountain gals are adept at walking on water.) Later, we crafted ‘angels in the snow’ –a past-time I hadn’t experienced since childhood.
On-site and nearby, there’s whitewater rafting, fishing, ziplining, horseback riding, mountain biking, gem-mine tours and a potpourri of outdoor activities.
Livin’ High on the Hawg: Roasting marshmallows by an open flame was a must-do, along with brewing piping hot chocolate. And when it was time to venture out for grub that would stick to our ribs, we uncovered an array of quaint eateries.
The Chestnut, a downtown Asheville restaurant situated in a 1920s era building with a warm and modern vibe, dished out creatively prepared orchestrations of regional flavours. Apple Glazed Sunburst Trout Fillet tasted so fresh that we could’ve sworn that it was squirming across the plate. Chestnut’s Roasted Mushroom & Fall Vegetable Medley was an entree fit for a figure-conscious queen– a masterful fusion of mushrooms, acorn squash, wilted greens, spaghetti squash and tomato essence, served with grilled pesto bread. www.chestnutasheville.com
Red Barn Sighting: You know you’re in God’s Country when you spot a big red barn. I embarked on an irresistible romp in the hay, before taking a seat atop a farm tractor. From my unlikely perch, I enjoyed a bird’s eye view of a wide-open land where time stands still. The rolling hills offered lots of room to roam. I was sure that the tractor wouldn’t handle like my own convertible, nor capture the same vibe─ but what happens in the country stays in the country. AT
Blissbehavin’ In covers top bliss destinations where busy executives go indulge in leisure activities. Publicist/travel writer Regina Lynch-Hudson has developed articles, and destination marketing concepts for countless airlines, venues and tourism boards. www.thewritepublicist.com