My friend, Dianne, invited me up to her cabin in the North Georgia Mountains for Halloween weekend.  The leaves were still colorful and we had a lot of fun dining, shopping and just “vegging out” at her cabin reading.

Friday night we went to a relatively new restaurant in downtown Blue Ridge–Christy Lee’s Courtyard Grille.  It was fantastic!  Located beside the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad tracks, it’s easy to find.  Just follow the wonderful smells and listen for the music.  There’s dining and entertainment both inside and outside.  On the night we were there, we ate inside and were serenaded by a gentleman playing an electric keyboard, crooning some mellow Frank Sinatra type tunes.  Outside, a girl playing the guitar sang more contemporary songs.  The cobbled courtyard has a fountain and several large heaters to keep you warm on chilly nights.  The place was packed and I believe reservations are advisable, especially on weekends.  Christy Lee’s (named after Gary and Brenda’s daughter) is open for lunch and dinner.  They have daily specials and a full menu of appetizers, steaks, seafood, salads, pastas, sandwiches, desserts and wine.  I had the coconut shrimp with a spinach, strawberry & blue cheese crumble salad.  It was all divine.  Be sure to try the freshly baked bread & dipping oil.  This is fine dining in a casual friendly atmosphere.  What a welcome addition to the local restaurant scene!

Saturday we went shopping at another place that was new to me–The Cohutta Feed & Country Store.  It’s located on Hwy 515, just south of town.  It’s such a fun place to shop and not at all what I’d expected.  There are actually several different shops with a wide variety of merchandise, all under one roof.  They had the latest in women’s and men’s fashion, designer kids’ clothing, shoes, jewelry, sporting goods & outdoor wear (like Colombia), lots of gift items, cabin decor, hilarious greeting cards and the largest selection of pet food I’ve ever seen.  My favorite purchase was a pair of red cowboy boots at 40% off.  They were so cute, I would’ve paid full price.  I highly recommend trying this new store and the restaurant next door–Pete’s Place.

Dianne and I love to read and our idea of a good time  involves kicking back, enjoying a good book.  (I was reading one of my all-time favorites, Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.)  We hung out on her comfy screened porch, listening to the creek rushing by and watching the leaves flutter to the ground.  What a perfect weekend in the mountains!