Sunday, March 23, 2014

cabin camping in the mountains

last weekend we went camping.  it wasn't actually camping - we rented a cabin, but I kept calling it camping, because really, for me, it's the same thing.  We got a place near blowing rock, north carolina.  Jonathan & I joined the team late on Friday due to an exciting party (more on that later). 

Saturday we spent most of the day hiking the Julian Price Memorial Trail off of the Blue Ridge Parkway

We managed to get some decent photos of the group in front of Casey's VW bus, which is actually challenging with 6 people & 3 dogs

and then we set out on a lovely hike
with lots of mini waterfalls

on the way back to the cabin we hit up the Blowing Rock Brewing Company
They (along with a handful of B&Bs) cater to a weekender/resorty crowd in downtown Blowing Rock. The beer was fine -- not the best and not the worst, but certainly refreshing after an afternoon of hiking. (btw - we could sit outside with the dogs)

We basically did nothing except for lounge and eat for the rest of the day.  On Sunday on our way out of town we stopped at two more breweries: Fonta Flora Brewery in Morganton and Olde Hickory Brewery in, you guessed it, Hickory. Olde Hickory was good with lots of choices including some fancy ones like the 11% Bourbon Honey Stout Jonathan had. The atmosphere was less enticing as it's also a pretty large restaurant. 

Fonta Flora, however, was special.  
It's housed in a charming corner building with lots of open space but plenty of seating. It has a solid local crowd that filled the place pretty well for a Sunday afternoon in the South. The beer was delicious with a decent variety for a small setup. 
It's dog and people friendly -- they were all very lovely and friendly.  A friend of the brew team stopped by to hand out cupcakes and candied bacon because she was testing out some new recipes! I mean really people, a brewery with bacon?! What more do I need? (Nothing is the answer.) 

They are also trying cool things with beer and local ingredients to make things like a beet saison! I had their irish stout on nitro and it was awesome. Hopefully, we will be going back to this one sooner rather than later.  

I (obviously) highly recommend Fonta Flora if you are ever in the area.