Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's get out of this town...

I desperately needed a day away from everything, so over Fall Break I headed out of town with a good friend for some shopping and sight-seeing.  We headed north to Mentone, AL to check out the changing of the leaves and to stay in a historic inn for a night.  On the way we had to detour off the interstate, so we stopped at Noccalula Falls and walked down the gorge trail.  I haven't been there since I was a kid.  Every year my family has a big family reunion around the time of my great-grandmother's birthday, so I have some great memories of that place.

We stayed in the Mentone Springs Hotel and had the most incredible experience.  We booked the Mountain Laurel room.  It came with a cozy fireplace and was very comfortable and relaxing.  After we checked in, the proprietor showed us around the hotel and gave us a little background on the town (the building down the street was apparently once the town brothel).

That night we walked over to the Wildflower Cafe and had an amazing gourmet meal.  Then we walked back and played checkers in the incredibly picturesque parlor.

In the morning we got up and the proprietor made us a homemade, southern-style breakfast, complete with grits and sweet potato biscuits.  After we ate, we went into the White Elephant Antiques shop next door, and after browsing in there for a while we drove to Fort Payne for some more shopping.  We came across some papers from the late 1800s and early 1900s in a gun shop, and we found some antique mason jars in an antique shop.

We even got to tour around the most amazing old building that used to be a sock factory.  

It was the most relaxing vacation I've had in a long time. :)