Skyline Drive & The Apple House | (2016 flashback)

This time three years ago we were waiting to close on our first home. We were antsy with anticipation and I, of course, was daydreaming of how to decorate each room. I was in the middle of working on my Thankful Challenge posts here on the blog and had ideas to do more. And on November 22nd, a new life began for us as we received the keys to our first home. Busy first time home owners, coupled with a change in commute, meant blog projects were put aside, including this one I’m sharing today. I’m so excited to finally share it with you!

It was early November in 2016, when David and I, along with our friend, Caleb, went on a fall day trip out to Skyline Drive. I was so excited to bring my camera along, getting to practice my skills and play photographer. Nature has had an increasing pull on my creative eye and heart and there’s no better way to explore that than in the mountains of Virginia! On this particular day that November, we went because we heard the trees changing their leaves would be at their peak performance and they did not disappoint! We had fun cruising the winding road up and down Skyline Drive…But this trip would not be complete without starting at The Apple House!

So, let’s fire up my time machine again and travel back to 2016! I’m going to take a page out of Susan Branch’s book for this particular blog post and suggest you play this song while reading! It’s perfect! Trust me!

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You know you’re getting closer to the mountains when you start seeing the rolling hills getting bigger and bigger and starting to look like actual mountains! I always enjoy the country scenery as we get closer to our destination.

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Here’s our friend Caleb! They had painted the outside of the building since we had first visited from a barn red to black. I was so excited to get in there and explore! This place is not only a restaurant where you can order the most delicious apple cider donuts (they make them fresh right there!) but they have a whole shop of goodies waiting for you! From cider, sauces, home items, and Christmas decorations – they have it all.

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Sometimes they have extra seating right in the middle of a room filled with signs and dishtowels. Shop while you eat!

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They really take Christmas seriously here! It filled up two whole rooms! You’ll have to trust me on this.

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This shelf reminds me of an old general store and of Christmases long past – before I was born!

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I love The Apple House. But beware of their broken items policy!

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The fact that there’s only one donut in this bag amazes me. The self control!

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We had waited a little while to get our food and to get a table (keep in mind that if you go to a mom-and-pop, if there’s a line to order, and you have to wait to get a seat…it’s a good sign!) and these sweet guys were about to dig in – but wait! Let me get a picture of our food! They waited so patiently while I snapped a photo or two…

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We finished our breakfast and were on our way to Skyline Drive…

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As soon as we got in, I could barely stop from taking pictures every few seconds – beauty everywhere! From the colors of the trees to the way the trees hugged the road to how they canopied over it…In nature love!

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Here we are approaching one of the first overlooks. The trees break on the right and all of a sudden…this! The sun is brighter as we climb altitude, too! It’s so fascinating seeing the world from a different view.

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Can you spot the river in the one above?

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I stand there looking down to the valley below and wonder about the people. What are they up to down there while we’re up here? Please tell me someone is baking an apple pie…

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I love all the hills and peaks we can see from our little perch in the world!

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This overlook had a little trail that we had to explore! And oh-my-gosh I had almost forgotten how long my husband’s hair had gotten! This might be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, folks, but I’m trying to lobby for him to grow it back. I love it so!

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Hey, there, hot stuff! You lookin’ at me?

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We came to this rock, golden trees surrounding us, valley below us…

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Don’t mind me, just Queen of the rocks…

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Soon after we were done with the trail and one more look around, we were on our way down the road again. We came to a place where it seemed like nothing but woods, nothing out of the ordinary, though a ton of cars were parked on either side of the road. David asked if we should stop and see what the fuss was all about. Of course we should! And I’m so glad we did.

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Once we were able to get out of the car and take a real good look, these trees became golden works of art! Long thin trunks, bending their way to the sky, the sun shining through them just right…

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And then I looked across the street where there was even more tree art…

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Look at all of us tree art lovers! If it weren’t for seeing these cars on the side of the road, we would’ve missed their beauty!

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Soon we were off to the next outlook and wherever the winding road took us…

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This overlook was higher up and on the other side of the mountain than the first one, giving us yet again another view of the world. The trees were more bare and it almost looks as if Bob Ross was here, painting the tops of a few happy trees vibrant shades of orange.

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Our adorable chauffeur…

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…Who takes us to our next beautiful destination…

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Higher up now, the sun is bright, the colors are rustic…

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Perfect for a small photo shoot! Caleb grabbed the camera and offered to take a few.

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This particular shot became our Christmas card that year! What do you think? It almost looks like an advertisement! It was so different and I loved everything about it.

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I love the sections in the picture above of the land below, followed by the line of trees in the middle that give it an almost misty look…

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Here we are, going back down the mountain, but one last quick stop…

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Back down the mountain we continue, trying to capture all the colors and goodness…

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And even the winding roads…

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Past the golden trees of art…

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And the first overlook…

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Before we left for good, we stopped at the visitors center and what awaited us was more of nature’s beauty to take in!

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My subjects, still letting me take pictures of them, this time in front of these large trees!

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Okay, so the next is a short series of me trying to have my picture taken and feeling #awkward about it. Here’s the result…

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That’ll have to do! Now more of the guys while we’re here…

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We’re all ready to go home, past The Apple House again…Should we get more donuts? No, we should not!

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But we should go for pizza! Which is exactly how we ended our day.

Thanks, friends, for coming along on our adventure through Skyline Drive! Hope you enjoyed and I hope you’re enjoying this season. Christmas will be here before we know it!

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