I bounded from bed, and with one quick swoop of curtains, revealed an enchanted forest carved by a bubbling mountain stream.
It looked like a magazine picture through the floor to ceiling windows, beckoning me to "rise and shine," with a soft whisper.
For a moment the lyrics of an 80's song popped into my head, "I was kissing Valentino by a crystal, blue Italian stream."
But, unlike the Bangles' song, this wasn't just another "Maniac Monday," and I wasn't dreaming. My husband opened his eyes, as he heard me marvel, "Wow, what a view!"
|Our Guest House, #308|
We had found the 3 R's, rest, romance, and relaxation, right in our own backyard in Maryville, Tennessee. I couldn't wait to start the day and explore the beautiful property, which you could see from nearly every angle of our weekend home.
The view was such a fantastic surprise because we arrived to Butterfly Gap around sundown the night before. Storms delayed our weekend getaway by a couple of hours, and a tornado threatened to ruin it all together.
The drive to the couples' retreat was an adventure in itself, and I couldn't help but think what visitors from other states must think while driving up these curvy mountain roads, dotted with farm animals, rolling hills, and the occasional vehicle yard art.
From the time we reached the twinkling lights adorning the gate of Butterfly Gap Retreat, I felt welcomed, and relaxed. Once the gate closed behind us, it was as if we'd entered our own little private, paradise.
If you're thinking rustic mountain cabin, think again. The 6 modern guest homes are like art, the perfect juxtaposition against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The expansive property showcases nature at its best, boasting a private lake, acres of forest for exploring, and breath taking views. It's a popular spot for one-of-a kind weddings, and it's easy to see why.
|What a beautiful place to take a walk!|
|Mandy & Becky delivering breakfast.|
I'm still dreaming about the french toast, with cheesecake yogurt, and strawberries we had on our last morning there.
Best of all, privacy is yours! For a couple with 2-young children, and demanding, stressful, all consuming jobs, it was just what my husband and I needed.
Don't take my word for it, I'm a local. But, apparently travelers from all over agree with me. Our little retreat has been featured in a little magazine, you may have heard of, Southern Living, and it's in the book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List.
|Sunset was awesome!|
|Sunset from overlook|