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Travel Talk: NC Road Trip – From the Pisgah Inn to Hendersonville to Lake Lure

Time to travel again today friends! Waaay back last summer, we took a long road trip through parts of the beautiful state of North Carolina.  Our visits to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate were on the first leg of that journey, and in today’s post we are leaving Asheville and taking a little side trip first to Mount Pisgah.

I’ve written about this area before here.  The drive there on the Blue Ridge Parkway with those mountains covered in forests is so scenic, and we always like to take a break at the Pisgah Inn.


We have still not stayed overnight there, but I hope we will some time in the near future.  This area is part of the National Park service so you are not going to find a Ritz Carlton there, but I think a suite like the one below would be just fine. 🙂  And at a 5,000 ft. elevation you simply cannot beat the view!


The restaurant is always our reason to stop. 🙂


Here are our dishes for the dinner on this trip.  Our daughter had the tasty fish; my husband had the delicious grilled salmon, and I had that wonderful pastry covered chicken pot pie.  Of course, we never miss an opportunity to indulge in their dark chocolate French Silk Pie. 🙂

We drove back to Asheville that evening to stay at our hotel on the Biltmore Estate, and the next morning we headed on to Hendersonville, NC.

Even though there was a misty rain falling, we enjoyed looking around the downtown area.

There were a lot of cute little shops to explore.

And one HUGE one…the Mast General Store.  We visited the original Mast General in Valle Crucis a number of years ago.  (You can read about it in the post here.)  So I knew it was going to be…um…overwhelming when we went inside.


It is unbelievable how many items they can pack in that place!

Puzzles and games….

Cookware and books…

Candy, clothing, and anything else you can pretty much think of. 🙂 (And this is only one of the several rooms it occupies!)

We bought a few snacks, said goodbye to our quick stop in Hendersonville, and then traveled on down the road a bit more. Hendersonville is definitely worth a longer visit and even an overnight stay, but unfortunately our schedule was too tight to fit it in.  (My sister and her husband want to retire there. 🙂 )

So on we drove….

Don’t you love it when the journey is just as beautiful as the destination?

Our next stop was lovely Lake Lure. Some of the movie, Dirty Dancing was filmed there, and they even hold an annual Dirty Dancing Festival each summer to raise money to help fight pancreatic cancer. (More info about the festival can be found here.)

But the movie locations were not our reason for visiting the lake.  I had read a lot about The Lodge on Lake Lure and wanted to see it in person.

It is not real easy to get to.  The location is off the main road, and you have to drive awhile to find it, but it is certainly gorgeous when you do arrive.


I love their green boathouse down at the lake.


And it has a wonderful deck on top!
What a view!


They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the busy seasons.
(Currently they are not serving lunch.)


Here is one of the premium rooms in the lodge.  It even has a claw foot bathtub!


After taking a look around, it was time to travel further on towards our destination.  We stopped for lunch at the charming, Ni Fen bistro in the town of Shelby, North Carolina.

It is located in a beautiful old building.

Here is part of their menu.

And here are our lunch plates…..a hamburger and fries, their Asian chicken salad, and their quiche of the day with mixed fruit and a green salad.  Ni Fen was a great place for lunch, so if you are in the area we highly recommend it!

Our road trip takes us next to another charming town in North Carolina…Wilmington.  We stayed there overnight and spent some time exploring the historic area by the Cape Fear River.

That will be the subject of our next post.  Hope to see you back for that soon!

Until next time!

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Elaine - March 7, 2017 - 10:53 pm

Hi Kelly, I really enjoyed your NC roadtrip as I am an NC transplant now living in N Myrtle Beach. Wilmington & Southport (a must see!) are just up the road from us and we love to visit both. Now, I am wondering if you are on your way to Charleston, my favorite city? Happy travels!
Such a good guess Elaine! New post up on the blog today with details of the hotel where we stayed in Charleston, That will be followed by details of our sightseeing and dining in the city.
Have a good weekend!

Amy O'Quinn - March 7, 2017 - 11:39 am

I am such an NC fan girl! You have covered some of my very favorite spots, and I always love hearing about your travels–and yummy eats. I loved the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, so I will have to make time to visit the one in Hendersonville if we get back to the area. I haven’t visited Lake Lure, but it’s on my travel bucket list. 🙂 I’m looking forward to your post about Wilmington. One of our twins still lives there, while the other one is now in Raleigh working on her doctorate. We love to visit Wilmington…and also take the ferry across to Southport. It’s a wonderful area with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Great post!
Thanks Amy! Lucky you to have a child in Wilmington and get to visit there! We have added Southport to our list of places to visit. Thanks for the recommendation!

kathy - March 7, 2017 - 9:18 am

I always enjoy your travels and it is fun to see how you show places in our “back door” that we almost take for granted. We went to a beautiful and fun weekend wedding at Lake Lure a few years ago. Kelly, you might be a mountain girl at heart! I am looking forward to what you found in Wilmington.

Cindy - March 7, 2017 - 6:55 am

Kelly, I am so glad you got to visit my home state of North Carolina. I know how you love the mountain area glad you made it to the coast. If you had let me known I would’ve given you a tour of Historical Salisbury.
Since you went to Wilmington did you make it to Bald Head Island? As always enjoyed your post, Cindy
Your home state is wonderful! I’m afraid we did not make it out to Bald Head Island (but I sure would have loved to!) That is going to have to be a trip totally devoted just to it..not a road trip any place else. I have wanted to go there for years!!

Pat @ Life At Lydias House - March 6, 2017 - 11:25 pm

I always enjoy your great travel posts! ( Actually I enjoy all of your posts!) The next time you visit Hendersonville put Seasons restaurant at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock on your list of places to eat. It is wonderful and many of the vegeatables are grown on site in the garden. We especially love the Sunday brunch!
This sounds like a wonderful place to visit. We will certainly check it out the next time we are up in the Hendersonville area. Thanks for recommending it to us Pat!

At Rivercrest Cottage - March 6, 2017 - 7:28 pm

Your trips are always so much fun and informative too. Love following along with you.

Cheri - March 6, 2017 - 5:17 pm

Our oldest daughter lives south of Wilmington in Southport, did you get there? These quaint towns make me think of Mayberry. Love it.
No, I sure wish we had gone by there, but there was not enough time to fit in everything. I will make sure we do though when we go back!

Stacey - March 6, 2017 - 5:00 pm

This all looks so pretty, Kelly! The mountains, the trees, and all the natural elements make me want to go there. That store looks pretty fun too. 😉
It was a very fun trip Stacey! I would love to return….especially to the lake! 🙂

Lynne - March 6, 2017 - 4:54 pm

I sure did enjoy this post. I love Asheville and we went to Lake Lure two summers ago and fell in love with it. We hope to go back this summer. I have read so many good things about Hendersonville and want to plan a trip there in the future too.
So many places to see and so little time to see them!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Lynne! Isn’t Lake Lure just wonderful?! I know what you mean about so many places to visit. NC is a wonderful state to see.

Louvina - March 6, 2017 - 4:07 pm

Kelly, what a nice armchair visit today to the mts. I love this area of our country. Maybe one day I will get to go for my long anticipated trip! I loved all the pictures and the food shots were so yummy looking!! Thanks for sharing the menu! I think I could spend a whole day in the Mast General Store. A great post and makes me want to travel. We are planning a 5 day trip to the Lexington Ky area the last of April with a stop at Keeneland for a day of horse racing ( which this Ky girl has never done!) Meeting up with several of my Campfire Girls for a reunion!! I am so excited!! Haven’t seen them since middle school and they are now in their early 50’s! Spring time in my home state!! 8 years since I’ve been home! 🤗
I’m glad you liked it Louvina. It is a beautiful area. I hope you get to explore NC one day soon. Can’t believe you haven’t been back to Kentucky in 8 years! Wow! I know you are going to have a great time when you go in April!!

Anita - March 6, 2017 - 3:35 pm

I love seeing all your travel adventures and look forward to escaping to the town of Wilmington! Seriously could see myself living there by the glimpse of these homes!
Thank you Anita! Yes, the homes in Wilmington’s historic area were beautiful! 🙂

Gina - March 6, 2017 - 2:43 pm

The Mast General Store looks like it could be an entire weekend itself! I love browsing in places like this and it is on my list of places to visit. 😉 My husband has been to lake Lure a couple of times on golf trips and we keep talking about visiting it too. Ha, there seems to be a theme here…just talking about going. I know we’ll have more time in the future to go. 🙂 North Carolina is such a great state to visit. From the western mountains to the ocean. 🙂 Because it borders Virginia we have vacationed here many times. I love Wilmington too! That area down by the river is so pretty. Looking forward to reading about this part of your trip too. 🙂
Gina, the Mast General Store did take us a while to go through. I hope you get to go there and to Lake Lure. No fair your husband gets to see it and not you! Loved the riverwalk in Wilmington! It’s coming up next (on Wed. morning. 🙂 )

Leslie Anne Tarabella - March 6, 2017 - 2:04 pm

Oh Kelly, I love this part of our country, but rarely get up there. When we lived in Georgia, it was so convenient for a short trip, but now I’m more inclined to hop over to New Orleans or Destin. I need to make a note to take the extra time and get back up in this area, especially during the summer months when it will be so much cooler in the mountains!
It is a long way from Fairhope to the mountains of NC for sure. We like to head there in the summer for the very reason you named – the temperature! And if you make it up to Highlands, it is even cooler. Now just go on and plan you a vacation for mid July or August when you know that Alabama heat is torture!

kay woods - March 6, 2017 - 12:56 pm

I am so glad you shared. It has brought back memories for me. My family has been there many times. And my husband had an aunt that lived in Hendersonville. And if you continue out pass the town of Hendersonville, there is beautiful farmland and yummy apples in the fall. Beautiful area and so relaxing.
Oh how sweet! I’m so happy the post brought back good memories for you Kay! We will have to make a return trip in the fall to pick apples. 🙂

Decorating the Kitchen and Dining Room for an Early Spring

This has been one strange winter for most of the country; hasn’t it? Here in Georgia it seems like spring has officially arrived (and been here for a few weeks!)

Hello Spring!  Azaleas, forsythia, daffodils…all in bloom.  And one of our apple trees is also covered in flowers….all waaay too early!

We even broke a record with today’s high of 81 degrees (but Sunday does take us back down into the 30’s for a low.) I have heard from a number of you on Instagram that you have had the same mild winter that we have had here.

With all this spring like weather, I had to put away any hint of winter in the house and bring out the spring time greens and yellows…and daffodils. 🙂

I wish now I had written some spring time words on the kraft paper runner (like flowers, sunshine, daffodils, etc.) or the names of everyone at the table.  Oh well, I’ll do it the next time I use a paper runner. 🙂

The yellow plates are the Kate Spade Rutherford pattern that I found a few years ago at Home Goods.  I have recently seen them at TJMaxx too.

The little “Hello Spring” sacks are filled with candy.The yellow buffalo check napkins are towels that were purchased a couple of years ago at Sur La Table.

The green and yellow is also in the kitchen. Bye-bye red buffalo check drapes for awhile.
Hello Gabbie.
(It’s been so warm she likes to nap on the air conditioner vent.  🙂 )

The green plaid drapes are about 15 years old.  I made them from fabric I ordered from a local fabric store that has since gone out of business.

More daffodils by the sink…

and a few more on the kitchen desk.

The early spring chalkboard wears a recipe for yummy lemon bars. 🙂
(Wouldn’t you like to have some right now?!)

And although it appears that winter has gone away, I don’t totally believe it has really left us for the season,
and here’s why.

Our eldest son was born in early March. My husband built a new wooden swing set for our son’s 5th birthday, and we held his birthday party outside in our yard on sunny mild Saturday – March 6, 1993.

The following week a blizzard – yes a real blizzard – hit the state of Georgia! (At least that is what the weathermen called it.) Middle Georgia recorded over 2 and 1/2 inches of snow on Saturday, March 13.  Quite a change from the previous week’s mild, beautiful weather!  So you never know what fickle Mother Nature may have in store for us.

But even if a blizzard decides to visit us in the next couple of weeks, it will still be spring time inside our home.  Here’s hoping you have a beautiful spring like day in store to enjoy!  And thank you so much for stopping by for a visit here today!

Until next time…

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Dawn - March 5, 2017 - 12:33 pm


I love all your Spring green and yellow. It makes everything look fresh. Gabbie looks adorable with her little bow as well. I love daffodils this time of year but Gerbera Daises are my favorite flowers. Thanks for sharing! Take care.


mari1017 - February 28, 2017 - 1:42 pm

Oh, Kelly! Daffodils and Spring green and yellow (and Gabi, too!♥) just brought smiles to me as I read through your blog post. Yes, it has been very mild here in central Virginia – more than mild, it was 78 on two days last week! Up and down… forsythia is blooming all over, tulip magnolias also. Daffodils, crocus…and it’s only February! I see neighbors planting, but I just have my forsythia wreath on the door, nothing more for the moment until I see if it snows once more. I was caught in the April Fool’s blizzard in Boston one year ha-ha!
Thank you for sharing all your idea with us. You have a beautiful touch and sense of style and color. Happy Spring and pray it stays! mari

Anita - February 27, 2017 - 9:29 pm

I’m always in awe of your wonderful decorating for each event or season! Always looks just wonderful!

martha henegar - February 27, 2017 - 5:22 pm

I enjoy your beautiful home. Your penmanship is lovely, also you are talented in many ways. God bless you and your family!!!

Lanita Anderson - February 27, 2017 - 3:45 pm

I loved seeing your house decorated for spring, especially sweet Gabbie!! 🙂 I think my favorite would have to be the daffodil centerpiece in the white soup tureen….that is definitely “swoon worthy”! Thank you for sharing….

Kathy P. - February 27, 2017 - 10:57 am

So pretty and so spring! Love the yellow. Even here in Nebraska we had 70+ degrees last week and then a snowstorm on Friday. Today, sun shining and high 50’s.

Design Chic - February 27, 2017 - 9:50 am

With temperatures in NC in the 70’s this weekend, your table setting has me dreaming of Spring. Yellow is a favorite color and I adore your bags, the daffodils and the table runner – all so happy! Hope you’re having a great start to your week, Kelly!

Cindy - February 26, 2017 - 8:16 pm

Too cute! So cheery !

Marianne in Mo. - February 26, 2017 - 9:51 am

You always go to great lengths to give us inspiration. Thank you for that! I love the green and yellow!
We had a false spring as well, but today it’s back to winter for a bit. Much as I want to bring out spring, I try to wait until mid March here in middle Mo. Doing some spring cleaning instead!

Cheri - February 26, 2017 - 9:32 am

Everything is very “Spring” like at your home and it looks wonderful. I have a question, who comes to sit at your table to enjoy all those goodies and favors since your children are gone?
Good question Cheri! You must have missed the recent “dog” post where I mentioned that our daughter has taken a job overseeing catering events at a nearby conference center and is living with us again. So she is here nightly along with her boyfriend (almost nightly.) We are definitely no longer empty nesters. 🙂 The table settings that I show here on the blog are set for dinners where we have guests…family members and/or friends sit at our table for these dinners. (And tax forms sat all over our table last weekend. 🙁 Not my favorite guests!)
Hope you are having a good weekend!

Louvina - February 25, 2017 - 5:53 pm

Your post is like a breath of fresh spring air! Loving the yellow and greens! A “visit” from you is so refreshing and peaceful. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Trying to get all my winter/reds down and doing the last of my remodeling– replacing all interior doors to white. Now to think about what to do next– outside! Always something to do especially living on a lake. Guess it is time to paint shutters!! Enjoy this early spring-/ and if we get a spring blizzard– build a fire and enjoy relaxing with a great book and some hot spice tea! 🤗

kathy - February 25, 2017 - 5:17 pm

This post makes me so happy! I love springtime and your yellow and green look so pretty! I wish Easter could also be early! I had some tulips in a a pot for Valentine’s Day. Now I need the daffodils or paper whites. Yes, I remember that blizzard of 1993. I think we had about a foot of snow. I went sledding with our six year old while being five months pregnant. I also think in 1987 it snowed four times after March 7. That said, I want spring to stay! Thanks for adding to my spring fever!

julia walker - February 25, 2017 - 4:49 pm

Hey Kelly! Thanks for the Springy post today and for the lemon bar recipe. I plan to make them for a baby shower in April(our son’s expecting their 1st in May). Take care. Julia

Donnamae - February 25, 2017 - 3:30 pm

I love the yellow accents! So cheerful! Earlier this week we hit 68 for a high….now we have ice and snow…go figure? I guess spring will return permanently when it’s good and ready to return…and not a moment sooner! Enjoy your day! 😉

Becky - February 25, 2017 - 3:26 pm

Loving your pops of yellow for spring. Would you ever consider a tutorial on how you make your drapes you change so often or direct me/us to a site with such help! Love how your can change your decor starting with the windows!
Thank you Becky. If I make another pair of drapes for the house, I will try to photograph my process. I searched for tutorials on pinterest just then, and all the ones I could come up with were either unlined panels (mine are lined) or panels that are 54 in. wide with 48 in. wide lining. (I line ours with twin sheets which works out much better with the width of the fabric.) In essence, my project is really just like making a gigantic pillowcase with the opening of the “pillowcase” being the bottom of the drapes…and I never hem the sheet – just use the hemmed portion of it at the bottom of the drape lining.
The ability to change the look of the room with different drapes sure helps make decorating easier!

Leigh - February 25, 2017 - 2:41 pm

Your lovely pictures sure make me smile! We have had the same unusually warm temps here in Texas, too. Mind you, I am not complaining 😎 Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to see the Spring touches in the rest of your home.

jae - February 25, 2017 - 1:00 pm

Im a fairly new reader, and have been in love with the red buffalo checks. Cant believe how totally different, and equally lovely, your home looks with the green. Amazing what fairly small changes can make!

Cindy T - February 25, 2017 - 12:18 pm

Loving all the daffodils!! And yes.. I remember that blizzard.. I had a 10 month old and no power!!

Dee - February 25, 2017 - 12:16 pm

I can hardly wait for spring to come at my home. I live in the Pacific Northwest and we still have nearly 40 inches of snow on the ground. It is going to be awhile yet. I love what you did to your house for springtime. Maybe I’ll just have to decorate now to being some sunshine inside. I love love love the colors you used and love your green curtains with all the yellow. Just looking at it puts a person in a good mood.

Andrea Petras - February 25, 2017 - 11:19 am

Checkers, yellows and whites, and everything’s nice!

Linda Sitton - February 25, 2017 - 10:47 am

I just love your spring time home. Your home is such a beautiful, everyday type of home. I glean so many wonderful ideas from it. I am wondering though, do you hand write on your chalkboard or print out then copy?
Hi Linda!
I write out all the chalkboards free hand, but I do often look at fonts online just for ideas on letter formation. Jacques and Gilles is a font I like to see for its letter styling.
Hope this helps!

Gina - February 25, 2017 - 10:46 am

So pretty and Springy! I am LOVING our early Spring here in Virginia!! 🙂 Loving my power bill too! 😉 My daffodils are blooming and like you, the green and yellow accessories have made their way around the house. We ad thunderstorms this morning so I am hoping the old wive’s tale isn’t true and we don’t have frost May 25th!

Brenda - February 25, 2017 - 10:27 am

Living in Canada, winter takes us right into April most years. My daughters birthday is on April 20, and I can count on one hand how many times we have celebrated her birthday without snow. As I get older, the less I like the winter. Pretty yes, but it is just waaaaaay too long!

Peggy - February 25, 2017 - 10:08 am

Living in Texas, Spring means bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush flowers to me! Those colors are blue and orange. Hmmm. Maybe I can come up with a decorating scheme with those colors for Spring! Now I am inspired! Thank you!

Leslie Anne Tarabella - February 25, 2017 - 9:57 am

If I dared pull out one thing “spring,” we’d surely have a late freeze! I’ll live through your beautiful house full of cheer and cross my fingers winter has totally passed.

Karen B. - February 25, 2017 - 8:21 am

Love the fresh yellows and greens. It makes me want to open all the windows in the house and breath in the spring air. Unfortunately, those of us in the South know this is a bad idea unless you want your entire home covered in yellow pollen. Gabbie is growing big so fast! She looks like a sweetheart.
I was just thinking about all the pollen to come on the porch yesterday. Wish we could put in some kind of glass panels during the time it falls so that it does not cover every single thing out there. Gabbie has doubled her weight in 4 weeks! She went from 11 lbs. at the end of Jan to 22 lbs. at the vet this week! She is growing TOO fast for me.

Friday High - February 25, 2017 - 8:05 am

I love the craft paper runner idea! I will definitely steal that! Ref previous comment, I have also wondered about the chalk lettering…. Final gush: my eyes are continually pleased by your mixture of metals within rooms, within vignettes, as well as a house that sports painted and stained finish work (built ins, trim, etc).
Really final comment: thanks for including a leggy shot of The Gab. As the mom of a 1/2 lab-1/2 golden, I am amazed at your instagram pics because Gab is cooperating/not wiggling!
You go right ahead and steal that idea (especially since I didn’t originate it. 🙂 ) I did 2 posts on lettering waaaay back, and you can find the first one here: Part 2 is here: and it has more info on chalkboard writing that the first one does.
Yes the house has a mix of everything…although I would LOVE to brighten up the interior a bit more by painting all the doors and trim white. (Not gonna happen though.) Glad you like the mix. 🙂 Gabbie is not easy to photograph…as I am sure you know with your beautiful guy. I take a zillion and hope for one decent one out of the batch!
Have a good weekend Rachel!

Calypso in the Country - February 25, 2017 - 7:58 am

I love all the cheerful yellow – definitely a springy vibe! We have had ridiculous temperatures in NJ this week. Today it will be in the 70s again! Of course, I remember many years of snow in March AND April so we are not out of the woods yet! We are getting spoiled with this weather, though. I guess we should enjoy it while we can – like everything in life!
Good philosophy Shelley! And I am thinking we are not out of the woods either. We will probably have winter in late March and early April. 70’s in NJ in February is crazy!!

N from Va - February 25, 2017 - 7:41 am

Love seeing your house with spring colors. These glimpses into your house and decorating are my favorite!

Other than an early January snowstorm, Richmond has had such a mild winter. All the daffodils are blooming.

Thanks for the post!
Thank you! This has been the most crazy winter that I can ever remember! I am not ready for the heat of summer though. Spring can hang around a loooooong time for us. 🙂
Thank you for reading!

Kim - February 25, 2017 - 7:25 am

This has been the strangest weather that I can remember. It’s way too early for all this blooming, but it has happened. Our yard has never greened up this early. I’m afraid we are going to get slammed with some really cold weather when it’s officially spring.
It has. Like you, I am afraid we are in for a rude awakening when cold comes back in the picture. You KNOW we always have a cold snap around Easter. I hate to think what it is going to do to all the plants that will be fully budded out.

Lisa - February 25, 2017 - 6:03 am

I just love when you do these posts. Okay, question….where do you store all of these dishes? You have so many beautiful dishes and everything coordinates! Also, do you do the chalkboard writing or is it somehow printed out. I’m trying to figure out how your penmanship is so perfect? Time to tell your secrets! Your daffodils are so pretty….I am just getting my Paperwhites to bloom that I planted before Thanksgiving! Have a delightful day!
I am glad you enjoy the decorating posts Lisa! 🙂 Check out this post for info on all my storage: And yes, I do the chalkboard lettering (it’s not printed out.) You can see one of the two lettering posts here: Hope this helps! Good luck with your paperwhites. Those are what my mother-in-law wanted for all her Christmas decorating.

Tricia - February 25, 2017 - 4:47 am

Thank you for the burst of Spring, Kelly. So pretty. Perhaps a bunch of yellow tulips will brighten my table tonight. Enjoy your weekend, T
You are welcome Tricia! 🙂 Hope you get that bunch of tulips for your table today. I have been looking for stems of daffodils (not potted) for a couple of arrangements but have had no luck. Perhaps I can find a yard or two to raid around here! LOL

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