We’ve been cooped up so much with this quarantine business that when a friend brought up a last-minute vacation to a cabin in Big Canoe, GA, we jumped at the chance to get away for a bit! It was great to escape to a few days of boating, fishing, hiking and just hanging out and having fun.
Big Canoe is located about an hour north of Atlanta, so it was a seven hour drive to get there from Jacksonville. It was kind of crazy to see the COVID checkpoint on I-95 going into Florida. We made sure to take I-75 on the way home so we didn’t have to get stuck in that traffic!
Inside Big Canoe is a small deed-restricted community, where my friends have a family cabin. They have a 5-year-old son that is as full of energy as my kiddo so we were all very excited to meet up and just get away from the crazy world for a bit. It really was like a little slice of heaven in the mountains. We brought our swimsuits, fishing poles, and a bottle of tequila because margaritas on a boat sounded like something we needed to do.
We rented a pontoon boat each day for the lake. That’s pretty much the only kind of boat you’ll see out there. I had big dreams of catching rainbow trout for dinner, but we only managed to pull in a couple smaller fish. I personally didn’t catch one darn thing. But we had margaritas, so who cares? lol
The kids had a blast swimming in the lake. I am always a little iffy about lakes because I grew up in Florida and see any body of water as a place for alligators and snakes. Seriously, if you go to Florida, just expect EVERY lake to have an alligator in it at some point. So even though I didn’t need to worry about that in Big Canoe, I still only swam around a bit to cool off and then hopped back in the boat.
On our second day there we went exploring and did a bit of hiking. The scenery is beautiful! We found big white lip snails and lots of neat little bridges and creeks. It was a nice change to be out in nature, rather than home in front of the TV.
It appeared one of the full-time residents of the cabin we stayed at was a family of Daddy Longlegs Spiders. After some discussion and some Googling, I ended up learning way more about the Daddy Longlegs than I ever planned. What we had is the web-building spider version, but apparently the regular daddy Longlegs is more closely related to the scorpion and does not build a web. Also, contrary to popular Daddy Longlegs urban myth, neither is poisonous. Even so, it was a little disconcerting to shower with this guy hanging out on the ceiling.
On our last day there we went golfing, and this is one of the prettiest golf courses I have ever seen! On our first hole there was a deer on the edge of the course. He suddenly went running down the fairway and stopped for a minute in the middle. Quite a way to kick off a round of golf!
This was my first time golfing since high school and I seemed to have some trouble connecting the golf club to the ball. I pretty much had one good solid hit, so I’ll fondly remember that moment. We only did nine holes but by the 5th hole I had already developed a blister on my left hand. I guess I have dainty hands. Same with my son, who shredded his poor little hand just on the driving range. I’ve never seen someone develop and pop a blister so fast!
We loved taking the boat out, fishing, golfing, hiking and just being out and doing something different besides being home and stressed about all the crazy things going on in the world. We didn’t watch the news once. The only thing on the TV at all was Disney+ for the kids. It was such a great little getaway and we’re so grateful our friends invited us to share this vacation with them. It felt like it was a step in things getting back to normal.
I highly recommend a little escape if possible right now. This was just what I needed. It was relaxing, beautiful and not crowded at all so we didn’t have to deal a lot with social distancing issues. It’s a good time to get away from crowds and explore nature. The only thing that could have made it better is if I had caught a nice big trout! But there’s always next time….