Last year, I was not strong enough to travel to Grove Park to celebrate New Year’s, because I was still recovering from Chemo. But this year was different. The Inn was beautiful as usual.

Surprise: the fireplace was still there! LOL! Nothing had changed except the Inn is now owned by the OMNI group. Not too sure about that. It had been privately run. There were subtle changes that we noticed but nothing to prevent a return in the future. I continue to be grateful for the support of my friends. They have faithfully journeyed with me over this past year and a half. In fact, last year though it had many trials, was probably one of my best years!

After a few minutes, we secured chairs in front of the fireplace and settled in for a few minutes.

The view of the mountains in the distance behind the Inn was familiar and caused all of us to long to be back on the trails hiking, which I think we can do before too long at lower altitudes. The higher you go in the mountains right now, the greater chance you run into snow and rime ice. We have found out that the Blue Ridge Parkway closes “at the drop of a hat.” The roadways in the Smokies seem to be open on a more regular basis. Tennessee folks are tough!

Outdoor patios are heated and people love looking out at the view. I know I do. Those are our North Carolina Mountains in the distance. They contain mountain peaks over 6,000 feet and where we will head once the weather permits us to do that.

Anne tries to decide what she will have for lunch.

I told Beth to step up in the fireplace so I could take her photograph. No one cares, especially if you stay at a safe distance.

Here’s Pat enjoying the atmosphere of the Inn’s lobby.

While we were walking through the Inn, I began to notice original Grove Park Inn mission style chairs lining some of the hallways. Of course, they were “roped” off with signs asking that we not sit on them.

I always think this a cool view. It’s just my brain enjoying the look and feel of winter.

The grand fireplace. The one on the other side of the room is a gas fireplace, but this one is still wood burning. I hope this is something that stays this way!

And finally, one of the original cars used at the Inn is still in the lobby. Grove Park was a destination for Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Margaret Mitchell, and so many others.