Somehow the calendar blew to May when I wasn't looking. How the heck did that happen?! So seizing the opportunity to travel Georgia's now green filled hills, last weekend, we hit the road for a trip about an hour outside of the city and visited the 13th century castle complex at Ananuri. We've visited two previous times. With one additional attempt in the heavy snow. Instead of arriving at the castle, we ended up driving about three fourths of the way before we gave up* on the icy slopes, pulled over and played in the deep snow.
Last weekend, the sky was blue and filled with puffy clouds-- a perfect morning for playing at the castle and checking out the vendors stalls. We climbed ancient walls, stared up the rabbit hole of turrets missing their roofs, listened to the bleating of sheep herds being led to the river's edge for water and wrapped scarves around our heads to duck into the tiny candle-lit church at the heart of the castle.
And, after that we ended our adventure at one of my favorite restaurants. Just outside of Tbilisi, in Mtskheta is a magical little place that I've nicknamed the Hobbit House (appropriate since you dine at tables about two feet from the ground, sit on slabs of wood fashioned into tiny stools and are surrounded by walls of stone. Salobie (as the restaurant is officially named) serves the best Khinkali I've had thus far in Georgia (note the size of the tender dumplings as my 8-year old's ink stained hand points to them in a picture below!).
*Translation: I freaked out and insisted we pull over. I like a certain level of adventure, but drop-off cliffs, ice, snow and crazy drivers on remote roads turn me pale, road sick and without fingernails. Knowing me well, my husband started the winter drive by saying, if anyone gets uncomfortable, we'll stop. I happily made it three-fourths of the (gorgeous, winter dreamland, scenic glory) way and then screamed for mercy.