Come Sail Away

I see ads on TV for cruise ships and vacations to beach communities in the Caribbean. You've seen them, too. They all have one thing in common. Everyone pictured having the time of their life is young, fit, and testimonies to extroversion. I cannot relate. Have you ever seen a pudgy, lily-white, Social Security recipient dancing around beneath the tiki torches and scarfing up colorful drinks with little umbrellas in them?

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Saluda Take Me Away

The Oaks My long-suffering wife, Lisa, and I rarely take real vacations. Oh, we went to the Bahamas for a few days once, and a trip to New England when our daughters were still at home. But, generally, we don't vacation. But last weekend we did have a getaway to celebrate the last day of students for Lisa where she teaches 9th graders all day. If anyone deserves a getaway, it is she.

A few weeks ago I booked a weekend at a bed and breakfast in Saluda, North Carolina, not far from where we live in Greenville County, near the North Carolina line. Saluda is an artsy village situated well up in the Blue Ridge mountains. There's a winding road up the mountainside and then you're on Main Street with a string of shops, restaurants, and an array of art dealers. The village is right out of a Norman Rockwell painting with a wide variety of local characters, outstanding and varied art and antique shops, and mountains all around.

We chose well when we booked at The Oaks Bed & Breakfast. The house is a restored Victorian mansion built in the late 1800's with all the charm and distinctive features of the period. The owners, Dale and Donna Potruski have created an elegant place to stay, surrounded by enormous oak trees. The wraparound front porch is an excellent place to have morning coffee, read a book, or have a conversation with other guests. Breakfast is a gourmet delight served with flair and flavor under a chandelier. There is privacy, peace and quiet, and several lovely places to relax outdoors.

Donna was at a family event in Florida, so we did not get to meet her. But Dale is a sincere, delightful, witty, and charming host who does everything he can to make you feel at home. He knows the village and people of Saluda, and he can direct you to a wide variety of places and events close by.

I don't often recommend much. I do remember recommending that people should vote for Alf Landon for President, come to think of it. But I can highly recommend, without reservation, Dale and Donna Potruski and The Oaks Bed & Breakfast. So, if you're in western North Carolina or the Upstate of South Carolina, you'd be wise to drop in for a day or a few at The Oaks in Saluda. Give their website a look, then book. You can find them at The Oaks Bed and Breakfast (

By the way, I did not get paid for this blog. Dale doesn't even know I'm doing it. Also, I can assure you that Lisa and I will return to Saluda, and if we're staying overnight or longer, we'll return to The Oaks.