Hands up whoever fell in love with a place. Yes, a place. Genus Locii and like that. Places have souls. On my list, up to now, have been the New Forest (UK), the Hebrides (UK), Yosemite (USA), The Everglades (USA), Big Bend National Park (USA), and now -- Lake Lure, North Carolina, (USA). (You in USA have some AMAZING countryside! Cherish it!)
We'd just planned a four-day trip to visit friends who moved there a few years ago, and also because NC is the setting for some of Diana Gabaldon's Jamie&Claire series (Highly recommended, btw.). After a two-hour drive from Charlotte, we hit the mountain country. And I was blown away. 'Last of the Mohicans' was filmed around there -- in fact, after climbing to the famous Chimney Rock, I had to rent the movie and bounced excitedly on seeing the 'off the edge' scene near the end, which was filmed in the Park! We hiked to Hickory Nut Falls, climbed up and down interminable steps, and loved every moment. It's a stunning place!
A drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway was gorgeous, too. Forested mountains, lush with laurel and rhododendrons. Hidden valleys loud with birdsong. We didn't get to drive far, because of construction, but what we saw was enough. I want to go back. As soon as possible.
I know that for most of us, money is tight. But if you are pondering on a vacation, then go there. Actually, go anywhere -- just get away. It's the best way to recharge the batteries, and lord knows, writing is a solitary vice and we NEED to get from in front of the screen and do something else. So get outside. Breathe fresh air, enjoy some sunshine, listen to the birds. You'll be better for it.
I'm still jet-lagged, so this is a short post. Next month, maybe an excerpt from my WiP. Just don't hold your breath...