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The Scoop – January/February 2020

THE READING NOOK

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London’s poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant, and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel’s success is fueled by resentment from past wounds, and Clara’s deeply held beliefs about God’s grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara’s very life is endangered by one of Daniel’s adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

Elizabeth Camden is the author of four books, including the Christy Award winner Against the Tide (2012), and a RITA, National Reader’s Choice Award and Daphne du Maurier Award  finalist. With a master’s in history and a master’s in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Camden lives with her husband in Florida.

 

Cocktails 2020

Join the Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia in their fight against cancer.

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The 11th annual event, held on February 22 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum, promises to be an entertaining evening featuring both a live and silent auction. TIckets are $100 and include a light dinner and open bar. For more information and to purchase tickets visit eventbrite.com. 

DOWNTOWN PARADE OF LIGHTS

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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The most visited of all of America’s national parks, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles North Carolina and Tennessee and offers breathtaking scenery and wildlife viewing as well as remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. It’s a short drive, making it an ideal weekend getaway, and be sure to take the Blue Ridge Parkway.

What to Do

With 800 miles of hiking trails, it is surprising that relatively few visitors actually walk the trails; most choose the scenic view from their cars. But the designated international biosphere reserve is home to an incomparable variety of plants and animals and is worth a more than a passing by.

Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bears, coyotes, groundhogs, turkeys, raccoons, skunks and other animals are also possible.

Where to Eat

Log Cabin Pancake House. Family-owned and-operated since 1979. Offering breakfast specialties, omelets, waffles, French crepes or all-you-can-eat hot homemade fluffy biscuits and sausage gravy. You can also try one of their cooked lunches or the lunch buffet.

The Park Grill. Taste the Smokies with hearty fare, an open door and a friendly smile. It serves the finest, freshest cuts of beef, pork, fish and chicken, and all entrées include a bountiful salad bar overflowing with fresh vegetables, cheeses, fruits, dressings made from scratch and much more. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a delectable homemade dessert. Come taste the Smokies in a rustic mountain lodge located near the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Where to Stay

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. On the front porch of her family’s one-room cabin in the Smoky Mountains, entertainment legend Dolly Parton’s never-ending dreams were conceived and nurtured. A creaky old floor made of second-hand planks became a stage for little feet, and she dreamed of sharing her beloved Smokies with the world beyond.

Today, you can relax and play on Dolly’s newest front porch – Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa™. Built around the rich traditions of storytelling, family and togetherness, this Smoky Mountain resort is just minutes from Dollywood’s award-winning theme parks. This hotel in Pigeon Forge near Gatlinburg upholds the spirit of the South in a fresh new way, as it can only be imagined by Dolly and Dollywood.

Black Fox Lodge Pigeon Forge, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Lodge-style charm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, nestled in the heart of Pigeon Forge with mountain or river views and an outdoor pool and fire pit. You can slow the pace right down or get into the action of eastern Tennessee.

GETAWAYS

Edisto Beach

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Why Go: Last October Hurricane Matthew howled through the Southeast, and Edisto took the brunt of its ire. But the beloved beach destination has since dug out from the sand damage, and is ready to host visitors who love its lazy pace, stretches of shell-rich coastline and swoon-worthy sunsets.
   Travel through a dark, green tunnel of moss-shrouded Cypress and oak trees on Edisto Island to arrive at Edisto Beach, one of the most commercial-free coastal areas in the Southeast. No high rises interrupt the skyline, just the gentle flight arc of brown pelicans and ring-billed gulls.

What to Do: Edisto Beach is easily explored by bicycle and has a number of well-marked paths for your pedaling pleasure. You’ll also want to take a free, self-guided driving tour of Botany Bay, a 4,600 acre wildlife preserve to see signs of a bygone era. Bleak Hall, a burned plantation, leaves behind brick and tabby traces of former grandeur. Meander along the salt marsh and catch views of Ocella Creek and then view the remains of the Sea Cloud Plantation house and a brick beehive built by slaves in the 1700s. Open every day except Tuesday. Another popular Edisto Beach attraction is the Serpentarium which features reptiles from around the world. www.edistoserpentarium.com

What to Eat: Most Edisto eateries are flip-flop and family friendly. Wind down with the locals at Whaley’s, a repurposed gas station, which proudly calls itself a seafood “joint.” Feast on their raw bar with peel-and-eat shrimp, mussels and more or tear into their fried seafood baskets. For the best sangria on the island, swing by McConkey’s Jungle Shack and pair your libations with their beer-battered fish tacos.They also specialize in homemade desserts, everything from a sublime piece of key lime pie to bread pudding.

Where to Stay: Most folks opt to rent one of the many beach houses lining Palmetto Boulevard, the main drag. Edisto Realty offers everything from old-timey beach cottages elevated on stilts to grand homes with causal elegance. Visit www.edistorealty.com. Prefer a resort atmosphere? Wyndham Ocean Ridge offers one and two-bedroom vacation villas with swimming pools, golf, tennis  and more. www.clubwyndham.com