Lake Norman Fall Cruise (2016)

Boating season has no end.

This axiom was put to the test Saturday, October 22nd, when I boarded the Jolly Roger (a.k.a. my sister’s family’s boat; unofficially named) for a fall cruise around Lake Norman. It was a crisp 46 degrees sitting still…and we weren’t going to be sitting still.

Approximately twenty boats—a combination of Benningtons and Cobalts—participated in Lake Norman Marina’s annual fall foliage cruise, and we had the pleasure of being one of them.

During the cruise, we passed locales like Sherrills Ford, Monbo, Long Island, and Buffalo Shoals. Translated, we went up the lake, turned around before it got too shallow, and came back.

Here are a few photos I took that day. Enjoy!

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Boats lining up at Lake Norman Marina for the fall cruise: There were a few pops of color along the shoreline, but the day was more about enjoying the lake with other marina patrons.


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The shoreline tried, it really tried, to impress us with some fall foliage, but it was a bit early for full-on fall color.


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A view of the Marshall Steam Station from the lake.


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When we reached the halfway point of the cruise, my nephew in particular enjoyed watching the boats turn around and face us.


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Adults, kiddies and canines, too, enjoyed the cold but sunny day boat ride.


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I took quite a few photos of the furry seafarers in front of us. Judging by their able footing, they’ve cruised Lake Norman a time or two  before and were clearly enjoying their sunny day adventure.

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The cruise ended back at the marina with a cookout and a promise that next year, the cruise would be a week or two later in hopes of more colorful foliage. Green or brown, yellow or red, the cruise was very enjoyable and Lake Norman Marina could not have been a more gracious host.

..But the day didn’t end there for the Jolly Roger and its crew. We set out later that evening for a cruise up river, er lake, to a waterfront restaurant. On the return trip, the sunset was the cream on the top of a very good day.

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Autumn at The Umstead

It arrived last week.

Autumn.

Every October, I fret that the fall foliage will fail to impress here in central North Carolina. Then, as Thanksgiving draws near, the leaves do their thing and it is spectacular…and I remind myself to remind myself next year to hold my horses.

Saturday afternoon, I found myself at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina, for a late lunch with my older sister.

If you’re a fan of coffee, I recommend the Espresso Fizz. It was delish and went surprisingly well with the pickled fried chicken.

In case you need some convincing:

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The ice cubes were made of frozen coffee, and a dash of cinnamon gave the Espresso Fizz a pleasing punch of sweet-spicy flavor.

After lunch we took a walk around the hotel, which is always a treat. (I’ve written about the Umstead before.) Although this five star establishment is right off of Interstate 40, it’s tucked into a wooded haven.

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A view from inside the hotel hinted at the beauty awaiting outside.

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Gas fire pits and heaters make the back porch at Umstead attractive to guests nearly year-round.

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These roses were a reminder that it was actually 75 degrees on this particular Saturday in latish November.

Umstead’s lake, located at the rear of the 12-acre resort, is tranquil and offers walking trails and benches. This time of year, these amenities were encased in vibrant colors of autumn.

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Locals and visitors alike are fortunate to enjoy this lovely place, which U.S. News and World Report has ranked as #1 in Best North Carolina Hotels.