For some reason, when I hear word mini-moon, I always picture a person with a tiny butt mooning someone. Or just a slight flash of the butt. You know, “I didn’t want to full-on moon them, so I just gave a little mini-moon.” (Full disclosure: I’ve never mooned anyone. I’ll never be that brave.)
But back to the point. Mr. Whale and I are still going to have our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies. But that’s not for a few weeks! So when I saw a Living Social deal for two nights at Archers Mountain Inn in North Carolina, I snatched it up. Best. Decision. Ever.
Day 1: We Drive
The drive from Blairsville, GA to Banner Elk, NC was incredible.
We stopped for photos so many times. I managed to convince Mr. Whale to let me have him in one photo. Isn’t he cute?? (That’s my husband, now!)
After many windy roads and an uphill climb (the last sentence of the directions is, “Drive up Beech Mountain for 2.5 miles”), we made it to the awesome Archer’s Mountain Inn. Turns out we were the only people staying there that night, so we basically had the place to ourselves. Our room had a hot tub on the balcony. And our Living Social deal came with a voucher to their restaurant. We were set.
Day 2: We sleep and then climb a mountain
I set an alarm for 9:15, because I wanted to get our free breakfast in the restaurant. Mr. Whale was a little groggy, but we stumbled down and were in for a treat. French toast with cinnamon apples. A made-to-order omelette. Grits. Toast. Bagels. I’m salivating just thinking about it again. While we were moaning over how good the food was, our server came by and said, “The cook told me I shouldn’t tell you this, but I’m just too excited. We just bought the inn yesterday, so you’re our first breakfast!”
I thought she was joking at first. But no, we were actually their first breakfast. And because we were the only people there the night before, we were actually the first people to stay in the inn (under the new ownership). If their first day was any indication of how things will be in the future, it’s going to be good.
Back in our room, Mr. Whale laid down to take a little nap. I picked up The Hunger Games (for the fourth or fifth time… never gets old), and we relaxed. Throughout the early afternoon, Mr. Whale would wake and say, “I think I’ll get up now.” And then he would go right back to sleep. At about 3:00pm, he said this again, and I figured maybe I should actually try to get him out of bed for real. So I told him I wanted to go to Grandfather Mountain, because I heard it has a mile-high swinging bridge. And he was convinced.
So we climbed a mountain. No biggie. (Okay, we drove up most of the mountain. But we got to climb some.)
Here we are at the bottom…
Part of the way up, we stopped at the animal habitat and saw a bear! And bald eagles! And a cougar!
My mom flipped out when she heard I saw a bald eagle. I texted her a picture and she responded, “You’re my hero!!”
Mr. Whale did some lounging. (He said he was ready for a nap. He’d only been awake for three hours!)
After several stops, we were all the way at the very top. And at the very top is the mile-high swinging bridge.
And they’re not just saying “Mile-high” and rounding a bit. Nope, it’s 5,278 feet on one side and 5,282 feet on the other side. And in the middle, where it’s exactly 5,280 feet, it’s marked!
We walked across the bridge and then climbed out on the rocks to see some spectacular views.
Mr. Whale calls this next one my Lord of the Rings shot. He says I look like an elf (a big compliment from a LOTR fan) 🙂
At the end of the day, we shared a bottle of wine at dinner, drink champagne in the hot tub, ate leftover wedding cake, and passed out. It was glorious.
The next morning, we enjoyed another incredible breakfast before we set out on the road. When we finally made it home, I don’t think either one of us has ever been so sad to see our apartment. After such an epic week, neither one of us wanted to return home. But Mr. Whale picked me up and carried me over the threshold of our apartment (I know! And it was his suggestion!), and we settled in to our new life as husband and wife.
Did anyone else have a mini moon? Did anyone else have a mini moon before the honeymoon because they just couldn’t wait?? 🙂