Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

A Mountain Retreat

Written by Patti on September 29th, 2009

Hello Darlings!

Eric and I are refreshed from a fabulous weekend at the home of our dear friends Matt and Clint in Sky Valley. Oh it was a delight! We were the first to arrive on Friday night, so we let ourselves in and opened up the cabin and set about lighting candles and setting out nibbles for happy hour. Clint and Matt arrived a short time later and we had drinks and the artichoke dip with stone ground crackers I had picked up at The Mercantile. I also picked up some ridiculously delicious cookies there for our dessert. Chocolate chip and peanut butter.

The plan was that each couple would take one night to make dinner. I made ziti with garlic bread for Friday night and after drinks and snacks, I heated up the oven and baked the dinner. It turned out really well and we dined outside on the deck with gas lanterns and candles while birds and crickets provided the background music.

After dinner was cleaned up, we went on the most fun hike. In the dark. Looking for bears. Apparently, one has been spotted, but this time, no such luck. Or we were lucky not to see the bear. Either way, I can’t remember the last time I took a walk in almost total darkness and it was so totally cool. Granted, I was huffing a bit from the hills I couldn’t see, but it was a blast.

The evening was capped off with a rousing (and I mean Rousing) game of foosball. Matt and me against Clint and Eric. I do believe that Clint and Eric won this one, as my foosball skills leave something to be desired. Bless Matt’s heart, he was so patient with me. Then we played some Wii bowling. By this time, we were all beat and slept soundly.

Saturday morning greeted us with rain. Lots of rain. As we meandered through our breakfast of english muffins and fresh fruit, we plotted out the day’s plan. Matt wanted to show us the waterfalls and we all wanted to check out the flea market and go into town for lunch. The rain would not deter us! First stop, the waterfall. I tend to forget sometimes how beautiful the United States really is. This was one of the most gorgeous landscapes I have ever been blessed to see. The rain didn’t matter as we just gazed on its beauty and immense size.

Next stop – the flea market. Oh what interesting people watching. I picked up 6 red pressed glass champagne flutes for a song while Matt got to know the goats.

Then we moved on to Miss Megs for lunch. Oh, boy, what a treat! Miss Julee, the sweet proprietress, was just a bubbling over with stories. And her food was fab. We all chose the pecan chicken salad on fresh baked bread and the seafood chowder. The four of us ate while Miss Julee entertained us with tales of the restaurant.

If we hadn’t had enough fun already, Matt took us for a long drive home on country roads, but not before stopping at an outdoor church complete with a family cemetery and a pass through his sister-in-law and brother’s property so we could pick fresh blueberries for Sunday morning pancakes. So many blueberries!

Then it was back to the cabin where Matt, Clint and I made birthday cupcakes for my darling Eric (he was napping). Something went awry and Matt found himself struggling with the beater, while I lunged for my camera. Matt was a very good sport and let me snap the chocolate mess.

Matt and Clint hung a Happy Birthday banner on the mantle and Eric was most surprised. The cupcakes were pretty darn tasty, too. But we saved those for dessert.

We whiled away the rest of the afternoon playing with photos on the computer. Then it was time for dinner. Clint and Matt cooked up the yummiest dinner that included grilled hangar steak, sauteed turnip greens and the creamiest cheese grits. I contributed some beets that I had leftover from Kathianne’s vegan dinner and we feasted. It was so good.

Eric fell asleep early and the boys were kind enough to let me pick the evening’s movie, “American Zombie”…did I tell you what good sports Matt and Clint are? It was a snoozer. But we did dig into Eric’s birthday cupcakes, reasoning that there were more than enough to celebrate again tomorrow.

Sunday morning brought wonderful blueberry pancakes made by Matt and I ate more than my share of those tasty wonders. After that, Eric and I got packed up and got ready to go back to Atlanta. Eric indulged me and took me back to the flea market for a lovely glass jar I was coveting and I was able to find it and get it for a steal. We also stopped at the farm stand for some of the biggest apples I have ever laid eyes on. The market also had multi varieties of pumpkins. I didn’t know there were so many different types!

We also stopped at Goats on the Roof…a roadside attraction where they have – what else – goats on the roof!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Matt and Clint for the most incredible weekend! You all are the greatest!

xoxo, Patti


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