Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Blue Ridge Vacation ... the Rest of the Story!

I recently wrote a post called A Family Vacation in Blue Ridge, Georgia, in anticipation of our vacation, which was August 24th through August 30th.

This is my follow-up story about our actual vacation which, unfortunately, didn't turn out exactly as we had planned.

In order to put things in perspective, I need to back up to July 2007, which is when we spent our first vacation in Blue Ridge. There were 11 of us, ranging in age from two to 85, and we stayed at a luxurious new three story, five-bedroom lodge called "The River's Edge," located on the Toccoa River.

"River's Edge" was built, owned, maintained, and managed by Mr. Gary Knight of Cabin Rentals of Georgia, and was truly elegant, clean, well-appointed, and comfortable. We spent a wonderful week there and have many fond memories to treasure of our time together.

In fact, we enjoyed the Blue Ridge area so much that we decided to spend our vacation there again this summer. Several members of our family like to fish and since the "River's Edge" lodge didn't have easy access to the river for fishing or picnicking, we decided to look for another lodge which did. In January 2008, after "googling" literally hundreds of cabin rentals in the Blue Ridge area, my daughter and I found this pretty house called, "River Ridge Lodge."


The deciding factor was its sloping access to the Toccoa River, and this wonderful gazebo beside the river, complete with fireplace ...


We were so excited and immediately reserved it for August. For seven months, we all looked forward to spending our vacation in such a beautiful house and envisioned a happy, fun week of fishing, picnicking, roasting marshmallows, and just "hanging out" in the gazebo by the river.

Unfortunately, it was not to be ... at least, not at the River Ridge Lodge.

At 7:00 a.m., on Sunday morning, August 24th, we were finally on our way. Upon our arrival (weary after a very long day of traveling, but excited to finally be there), we were very disappointed to find that the condition of the lodge was deplorable. Oh, it was a beautiful house, all right, as shown in the pictures on the website, but those pictures didn't show the debris that greeted us at the front door ... or the disgraceful condition of the refrigerator/freezer and oven ... or ... well, I could go on and on about the dirty and downright unsanitary condition of the house ... but I'm not. Suffice it to say, we were absolutely sick with disappointment.

By this time, it was 10:00 p.m., and after calling the owner/rental agent (who is in California) and advising her of the situation, and getting no support from her or help from the local "caretaker" of the property who is responsible for cleaning the cabin, I called our friend Gary Knight, from whom we rented the River's Edge cabin last year, to see if, by any chance, he might have a five-bedroom cabin available. Luck was on our side ... and Gary was, indeed, our "knight" in shining armor (sorry for the pun, but I just couldn't resist). His Fallen Timber cabin was available and we could check in the following morning, which was Monday.

Needless to say, we were so relieved and after making arrangements to spend the night at River Ridge, we all fell into the "not so clean" beds, too exhausted to do anything about it.

The next morning we packed up and moved to Gary's Fallen Timber lodge, and were delighted to find it clean and spacious and everything we had envisioned River Ridge would be. Here are some pictures of what greeted us at Fallen Timber ...

Views of the Toccoa River from the cabin ...

After surviving the disappointment, stress, and unpleasant situation related to the River Ridge Lodge fiasco, we enjoyed our visit to Blue Ridge. And, although it wasn't what we had planned, we had fun playing games, watching movies, cooking together, sightseeing, hiking, and fishing. Even Avery, our three-year-old granddaughter got to go fishing with her daddy and use her new fishing rod ...

One day while we were there, my husband and I took a short drive to a quaint little "alpine village" called Helen. I loved it and wrote a post about it called, appropriately enough, A Visit to an Alpine Village in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.

If you ever plan a vacation in the Blue Ridge area, I suggest you contact Gary Knight at Cabin Rentals of Georgia, and check out his beautiful cabins. Working with Gary is truly a pleasure and I know you won't be disappointed.

As for what happened at the River Ridge cabin ... well, that's a story I'd like to stay at the River Ridge cabin.


Picket said...

Morning girl...sorry you had such a bad experience at the beginning of the vacation but the ending.....Ohhhhh my word!!!!!! That cabin as like a giant ski resort! lol The views are beautiful! I am so happy for you & your know in this day & time most families don't even communicate...can't even be in the same room with each other without fighting and here you are blessed to spend a vacation with so many of yours....oh I think that is just the best!!!!! Love seeing little Avery fishing! lol Beautiful post my friend...hope you are having a great week!

Julie @ Sweet Chaos said...

Your vacation sounds like so much fun. The river is beautiful and thanks for sharing your rental info. We recently had something like this happen in Tybee Island, GA. We'd gone the previous year and had a wonderful home. When we arrived this year, we had an "vintage" beach cottage. Yeah, right! It was filthy and yuck. Pilled couches, grimy tile countertops, just yuck. I know how the "unexpected" can potentially ruin a vacation and make you just sick, I'm happy this turned out well for you!

StitchinByTheLake said...

What a beautiful place. Too bad some people are less than ethical but at least you got it worked out. I know that the memories you have will all be pleasant! blessings, marlene

nikkicrumpet said...

It looks like your plight with the first rental acutally worked out for the best...because that second place is UNBELIEVABLE. What a gorgeous place to spends some relaxing time with your family. And the views are GORGEOUS! I've been through that area and it truly is one of the prettiest places on earth.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Janie,
Sorry you had so much trouble at the beginning...but it looks as if it worked out for the best.

And you had a great story to blog about. I love the pictures of Avery Grace fishing. I'll have to show those to Connor. He will be impressed! LOL

Have a great day,

Tracey said...

Oh my goodness....Fallen Timber Lodge is beautiful!!
You should be the Blog World Travel Agent because you always post about the most wonderful places to visit!..LOL

Marcusbryant said...

Hi there. It has been around six years since this original post but I could not resist attempting to reach you. I had a similarly terrible experience at the River Ridge Lodge last weekend. Absolutely horrid and it continues. Is there anyway that we can speak? If so, please email me at Thank you so much