31st Birthday Weekend in the Appalachians

Posted on May 23, 2012


Fresh mountain air + sweeping landscape + hiking + good food + time to reflect on grace +  my best friend = perfect birthday.

A culinary adventure

Anyone who knows me, is aware that for me, celebrations are so marked by food, that weeks before a festive occasion, I am scheming what delectables will accompany the event. The highlights of this weekend were chocolate chip cookies (I had only had 1 chocolate chip cookie in the entire past year!), and chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting (made from olive oil, the frosting took 3 batches to get it right, but ultimately resulted in a euphoric concoction!)

Because my diet requires strict adherence to VERY low fat intake, I have to get creative (for more info on why I eat this way, see this post). This means “celebration food” truly is something I can only partake of for special occasions…which makes things like chocolate cake with chocolate frosting all the more special because I can only do it a few times a year!

Our Accommodations

Some dear friends connected us with Uplands Reach Conference Center, just a few miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were able to stay in one of their delightful cabins….it was the perfect retreat!


We spent Saturday driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking and stopping in a few little towns, as well. If you are unfamiliar with the Parkway, it is 469 miles of uninterrupted road (no stoplights, cities, etc.) that is along the Blue Ridge Mountains within the Appalachians. While it is not necessary a national park, that land alongside the road is maintained by the National Parks. The speed limit is never higher than 45 M.P.H.