Friday, July 5, 2013
Another Vacation...Another Lot Of Vintage Motels. Sorry If This Isn't Your Thing But I Feel These Lovely Little Mom And Pop Places Need A Light Shined On Them Now And Then! Status: Lost And Found.
The only bit of planning that I partook of before this year's roadtrip vacation was to find what had become a sort of legendary dining experience in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. It all started on our return journey from our first visit to Myrtle Beach SC.
Yes, we were on our way home from Myrtle Beach, taking the crazy two lane blacktops in a
somewhat random eastbound pattern, when just as darkness fell we pulled into a tiny hamlet called
Hot Springs. First thing on the agenda: sleeping quarters...second: chow.
We almost passed right by this place, the Alpine Court Motel as we made our way through the...
maybe 1/4 mile drag that is the town center. Luckily the Girlfriend had noticed the motel out of the
corner of her eye and suggested we stop for a look. It was perfect. We had been driving all day and
the timing was dead on and after we got a key and inspected a room (always recommended for any
motel as far as I'm concerned) we were...well, flabbergasted by what a nice place it turned out to
be...and so cheap too!
After settling up with the owner for a single night and bringing in our stuff we took a short walk back
"downtown" to find some eats. It was getting late and we felt lucky to find any place that was still
serving dinner...but even More lucky to find a place serving local trout! Now understand that this
dining experience took place more than 4 years ago. That trout dinner had stuck so firmly in my
mind that I've been wanting to find this little place again ever since. Problem was...I had no idea
what the name of the town was, or the motel...or the restaurant. ::sigh::
This year, knowing that we were heading to the east coast (ish) again, I took it as a personal challenge
to find the motel, town and restaurant again. After pouring over google maps utilizing the satellite
view I had come up with Hot Springs NC and the Alpine Court motel as a possibility. I looked it
over from the street view on Google maps and it looked promising but I wasn't convinced until I
showed it to the Girlfriend and she gave her quick confirmation. What was lost was now found! So
this was to be our first stop on our whirlwind roadtrip vacation. The drive there, on all those winding
two lane mountain roads, was absolutely amazing. Too much fun! Alas, while we did find the
Alpine Court motel again, and it was even better than we remembered, the infamous trout dinner
proved to be too allusive. We checked the restaurant where we had eaten before but it did not have
the same menu and perhaps a different owner. We tried to find the local bed and breakfast that had a
restaurant but that didn't work out so (since it was getting really late) we tried the restaurant next door
to the original and came away unimpressed. The next day we took a little walking tour of the town
and found another restaurant just around the corner from where we ate that DID have local trout on
the menu! GAHhhhh!!! Oh well....maybe in four more years we'll try again.