Thursday, December 13, 2018

Feels Like Christmas

Some years our hearts are bursting with Christmas spirit and some years it all feels a bit more elusive. I've been on the hunt for mine this season, which is partly how we ended up in a little town called Dahlonaga.

I read Southern Living Magazine and for several years now around Christmas time they've mentioned this small Georgia town, telling readers they should see it if they get the chance.

We got the chance.

While making plans a couple of weekends ago to see friends near Atlanta, I googled Dahlonaga and discovered it was less than an hour from our weekend destination. Hubs and I decided to go a day early and spend the night before moving on to our friends house Friday afternoon.

The charming little town of Dahlonaga sits in the mountains of northwest Georgia.  The area has loads of wineries, some of which are quite good, and the little town of Dahlonaga is built around a village square.

Let's just say they know how to do Christmas lights here.

We stayed in a small hotel just off the square which made it all easy peasy. We parked, checked in to our room, then spent some time walking around the square, browsing the shops, and dodging raindrops. The weather wasn't stellar, but Christmas lights made it all easier to bear.

Also key lime truffles from this candy shop.

We thought about a horse drawn carriage ride, but the queue was long and we didn't think we'd get to the front before our dinner reservation. We ate in a little Irish pub that had good reviews online, but I thought was just okay.

Actually the food was good, but initially they seated us at a table with a heater beating down on top of our heads so we asked to be moved. Of course it was crowded so they moved us to an awkward table in the bar with low stools for seating which are not my favorite.

The bar is covered in bills people have tacked up, mostly ones but a few larger and a few foreign, and that was fun to see. If the weather were nice and I could eat outside, maybe I'd give it one more try.

Except really I think one night in town was just enough. I'm happy we made the stop, but don't feel the need to go back. An overnight visit was just the right dose of Christmas magic.

Friday morning we had breakfast at 'a little dive bar in Dahlonaga'. If you don't know country music you won't get the reference, but the live music venue made more famous by the song, also serves food. The story behind the song is a good one which is something I like about country music.

After breakfast we stopped to see the gold museum, and while I expected 'cheesy' it was actually pretty interesting.

The museum is housed in a beautiful old building, one of the oldest standing courthouse buildings in the state, and I love old buildings. I don't remember hearing about the GA gold rush in my NJ elementary school, but it happened twenty years prior to the more famous California rush, so technically first in the U.S.

It was a cold cloudy day and it occurred to me I was missing the pretty pre-Christmas snows we had in N.J. Yeah, yeah, I know they're a pain in the neck on so many levels, but there is something about the quiet stillness that comes along with softly falling snow that helps a person hit pause.

Doesn't everybody need to hit pause this time of year?

Since the rain had tapered off we decided to take a peek at some nearby waterfalls we'd read were spectacular-

They were-

Just gorgeous! This is Amicalola Falls, the highest falls in the state of Georgia.

You can hike in, but we weren't prepared for that so we drove up and parked in a lot that sits about midpoint of the falling water.

A bridge spans the rushing water and you can walk out on it for a better look.
It's high. Just sayin'.

And there are steps up and steps down but we just hung out here in the middle until we were ready to move on. We drove further up the mountain because we'd heard the view there was also incredible- 

It was.

My heart grew three sizes on the patio that day.

Because more than the hustle and bustle of a town dressed in twinkle lights what I long for this time of year is the quiet beauty of creation. Let me stand on a mountaintop and be amazed. Let me remember the miracle of Christmas and let that miracle fill me with awe and wonder.

'And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father,  full of grace and truth.' John 1:14


  1. What gorgeous pictures and what a fun trip. We have been to Dahlonaga a couple of times but never at Christmas. Hubby's sisters live about an hour from there. Keep on enjoying the season and making memories!

  2. "Let me stand on a mountaintop and be amazed ..." I like the way you put that.

    Beautiful post. Thanks for the travelog. I enjoy traveling via blogging!

  3. Beautiful. Your words and the photos... beautiful.

  4. Oh that is so lovely. What an interesting place. But you know, I live in a very mountainous region and I sure feel my peace when lost in nature's beauty!

  5. Sounds like this break was just what you needed. Lovely pics especially the one of you and your hubby.

  6. Beautiful pictures and it looks like a great place to Christmas time. I don't think my stomach could handle standing on that grate over those falls. But your last statement and the scripture are what also make my heart swell.

  7. I forgot to mention what a great photo of you with that beautiful tree!

  8. Your coat! I love it and just putting it on must make you feel festive.

  9. The waterfall is gorgeous. What a view too! Glad you got to stop in Dahlonaga. Looks like a fun place to walk around. Hallmark has used that town for a movie. The money in that bar was interesting. Glad you found some Christmas spirit.

  10. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and most enjoyable side trip with us. What amazing scenery! There is so much we have not seen in Georgia and think must be added to our list of places to go and see. Again, thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas to you.

  11. Those waterfalls are beautiful! Something about waterfalls is so calming and peaceful.
    That's a lot of dollar bills on them walls!