To celebrate the fact we both completed some major deadlines at work last week, the DH and I decided to reward ourselves with a last-minute trip to the mountains. They say it's past "peak leaf season" in the mountains, and perhaps so, but I still thought it was quite beautiful in the area around Highlands and Franklin, N.C. and Tallulah Falls, Ga. I think I took this photo near Highlands, but don't hold me to that!
Sometimes, I see so much beauty in nature it makes me think God was really showing off when He designed, say, these mountains, or the oceans. (Or the creek behind my house, or the petals on a rose, or the star-shaped pieces of moss, but I digress!)
We have only yellow, green and gold leaves on our trees at home right now, so I think we're both drawn to the pretty red ones when we're away.
In Highlands, where we stopped for lunch and a little shopping, the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation offers a lovely welcome to visitors, including the historic part of the church ...
... and this newer addition.
Along the fence in front of the church, there is the most interesting plant. Is this a flowering vine, or the remainders of one?
I had to touch, and it's just as soft and fuzzy as it looks! I'd sure love to know what this is. (Ginger? Lynn? Or any other North Carolina readers who can enlighten me?)
My biggest shopping request was for some fudge (I found some Pumpkin Walnut, and it did not disappoint), but I also found a culinary shop with a ton of cute cookie cutters. Since I have a few more tea sandwiches to think about before the year ends, I got these three. I especially like the raggedy branches on the Christmas tree. I'm not sure if this will cut bread well, though, but if not I'll use it to make sugar cookies.
I also found this Bija Cranberry and Rooibos tea. Now, while I haven't *tried* every brand of tea, I sure seem to have at least *heard* of most of them, but I'd never heard the name Bija at all that I can recall. When I looked online, I saw that these teas are sold at a lot of health food stores (including some in my town) and spas.
I liked the graphics on the teabag packets.
And I'm happy to report the taste is great! Cranberry and rooibos is a great idea for a blend, and this tea is incredibly sweet and fully satisfied my sweet tooth. If you'll come by tomorrow, I'll tell you a bit about the teacup this tea is in, my final souvenir from the trip. It's a shape of teacup I've never had before, and it is, well, kinda dangerous, actually!