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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Big Canoe, Georgia

Driving through the gate of Big Canoe on Sunday afternoon, May 26th, 2013, I felt myself falling in love. We are spending the week here to see if this is a place we would like to move to from Connecticut. Chuck has family within 90 minutes of this beautiful gated community. As we drove through the pine trees that bordered each side of the road, I felt myself relax and breathe the stress of the life I had left behind out of my lungs. We wound around wood lined roads, curving around corners with glimpses of golf greens peeking at us through the woods. When we got out of the car, from the parking lot we could hear a waterfall which we later discovered was the rock slide area where people can actually slide down part of a river on a man made rock slide. We entered the condo to an afternoon of discovering the nooks and crannies of our home for the next week. We roamed around the one bedroom condo finding new corners including an outside porch outside the living room and an inside porch outside of the bedroom. The living room holds and amazing brick wood fireplace with a hearth that can provide extra seating. And besides the bathroom attached to the bedroom with a queen sized bed. We immediately went to the fitness center sow e could work out before they closed at 6. We got a 1 week membership. Chuck used the work out equipment but I was too excited to be here and to see the place so I headed outside to find some hiking trails that I had been given a map for by the woman behind the desk at the fitness center. I started out on the lake trail which ran .6 miles behind the center. On the way, I watched some young people going down the rock slide which looked like a lot of fun. I headed out onto the path and was immediately surprised at the quietness of the trail. I missed my dog Reeses and imagined how much she would have enjoyed walking on the trail with me. The trail wound up and down along the edge of the lake through the trees. It was shady for most of the trail and although the temperature was about 80 degrees it was cooler under the trees. I came to an area where I crossed a floating bridge which had been built by volunteers and reached across the lake. I saw a turtle sunning on a rock, and must have surprised either a few turtles or fish or frogs as I could hear them jumping into the water before I got there, and saw the ripples in the water that were evidence of where they had been. The trail intersected with a wildflower trail which I followed for a bit but then when I realized that the trail did not go around the lake, but just continued on to another trail, I followed that wildflower trail for a bit, then turned back. After our workout, we went out to eat at a place called, ‘Forno” which was in the Foothills Shopping Center which also includes an IGA. The pizza we had was delicious and was made from home made dough. I was glad I had read the review online about Fornos before we needed to find dinner somewhere. After dinner, we went to the IGA around the corner but in the same shopping center. It was small, probably the same size as a dress barn store. It had what we needed for the Memorial Day picnic tomorrow with Chuck's family..... Monday, 5/27/2013 Today we woke up and had a cup of coffee on the back porch area of the condo. We sat and watched the groundskeepers mowing the greens and watched ducks swim in a nearby pond. I can’t believe how peaceful and quiet it is here. We hardly hear any voices, and since there are no lawn mowers and lawns allowed, it adds to the peace. The rock slide is behind where our condos are so we can hear the water that sounds like a waterfall. After breakfast we went exploring and tried to find some of the homes we were interested in by following streets. It was really fun exploring the roads at Big Canoe. After 45 minutes of that, we went to the fitness center. I did laps in the indoor pool while Chuck worked out. I started a conversation with a very nice lady who has lived here with her husband for 6 or 7 years. They really love it here. They moved here from Atlanta. After working out we went back to the condo and Chuck's daughter and her family arrived. Shortly afterward his son and his family also arrived. We headed down to the Swim Club which is where we decided to have our family picnic. At the entrance, guests pay a fee to use the swim club amenities which included the rock slide, picnic area, pool, lake and canoes and paddle boats. None of the adults swam but the kids had a ball. After the picnic, about 5 p.m., most everyone left except a few family members and we sat on the back deck and drank wine and watched the golfers. We also saw two deer wind their way across the golf course, and chipmunks and squirrels, and geese. It was so amazing. I love the wildlife here. After everyone left Chuck watched TV and I just felt the need to get out there in nature. So I left the condo and walked along the golf course path. It was so beautiful I just needed to be out in the wild. I saw a deer on the edge of the golf course, but I scared her so she ran across and back to the wooded area. I noticed she watched me from the woods. I followed the path up and around a hill and found a sheltered area with rest rooms and Styrofoam cups with ice cold water. I was hot from my walk so the water tasted good. On the way back to the condo, I saw Chuck coming toward me so he met me halfway and we walked back together. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I am falling in love with Big Canoe!Here are some pictures of what we see from our back deck: Tuesday, 5/28/2013 We woke up and enjoyed a cup of coffee together on the back deck again watching the squirrels play. We planned on exploring Dahlonega and Jasper today. Jasper is the town closest to Big Canoe that has most of the grocery stores, pharmacies and a Walmart. We took off around 11 a.m. to head to Dahlonega. It took us 45 minutes to drive there, and it was a beautiful drive with mountainous twists and turns the whole way. Dahlonega is the town in which the first gold rush in the u,S, was started. If you would like to read more about Dahlonega, I have written an article all about it for HubPages and you can find it here: http://karenhellier.hubpages.com/hub/The-Delights-of-Historic-Dahlonega-Georgia On our way back to Big Canoe, we decided to head into Jasper to check it out. We had heard that is the closest town where we can grocery shop and where the drug stores like CVS, and Rite Aid are, with a Piggly Wiggly grocery store nearby. We were really happy to see that there is a CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite Aid all on the same corner, and one mile away there is a Walmart, Kroger and IGA to grocery shop at. I timed it on the way back and from the Rite Aid to the main gate at Big Canoe, it took us 16 minutes. Now of course if we buy a house here, it will take longer to get to our home, but 16 - 30 minutes is not bad at all, when there's an IGA for emergencies not too far from the gate. We would just have to plan our trips into “town” in advance. I sounded like Laura Ingalls Wilder right then! We returned to the condo and took a nap, and then went to work out at the Fitness Center. Chuck did his usual routine of biking and using the weight equipment while I swam for 35 minutes continuously and then sat in the hot tub for 10. I loved being able to just swim as a workout and was imagining how great it would be to be able to have a heated pool available to me every day to swim in. I started to feel healthier already! I spoke to a recently divorced man who was also in the hot tub. He has been leasing a home at Big Canoe for a year and his lease is up in June. He enjoys it here so much he is looking for a house to buy. He told me he loves it here at I asked about the cost of the extra and he didn’t seem to mind it too much. On the way out of the Fitness Center, I stopped to ask how much it would be for a membership for Chuck and I for the fitness center and the indoor pool, For the 2 of us as a couple it costs $55 a month which I thought was great. Cheaper than in CT. at Chuck’s fitness center. We came back to the condo, had a glass of wine on the outdoor deck as the sun went down and I watched a deer meander across the golf course looking for food. We had leftover pizza for dinner, then watched TV, used our computers and I read all the brochures I had picked up in Dahlonega earlier in the day. What a life huh? In case you can't tell, we are really enjoying it here in the North Georgia woods of Big Canoe! Here's a picture of Dahlonega...

1 comment:

  1. I've read the past few posts, and it sounds like Big Canoe is wonderful! I enjoyed your Dahlonega hub too.

    You guys are so cute :)

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