Do you remember when we returned from our Spring vacation and I asked “Why can’t every vacation be at Blackberry Farm?” Since our last trip, Bon Appetite named Blackberry Farm the best food lovers hotel in America, they were awarded a 2013 James Beard award for the best Chef of the Southeast, and they were featured in a fantastic tabletop design spread in the October issue of Southern Living Magazine. I suppose instead of “Why can’t…” I should ask “Why not take every vacation at Blackberry Farm?”This is no surprise to you if you’ve been following my instagram updates, but for those of you who are not following along: We hopped in the car with Tauren Poodle after our Co-Op meeting (on Thursday, September 19th) and headed to East Tennessee for an early Autumn break in the Smoky Mountains. I opted only for iPhone photos on this trip instead of toting along my cumbersome camera which I knew I wouldn’t carry around with me at all times. “Good” camera in tow or not, I couldn’t help stop myself from snapping photos of all the beautiful flower arrangements, views, the gourmet food…The Mr took part in a special program for cyclists called Tour De Smokies. Blackberry Farm brought in ex-professional cyclists (George Hincapie and Robbie Ventura) to train with the cycling enthusiasts during the day, and a special wine sommelier (Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food and Wine) to do pairings at lunchtime and in the evenings with our beautifully prepared dinners. One of the guests happened to be a performance artist named Jared Emerson who treated us to an exciting show set to music. It was incredible how quickly a portrait of Sam Beall from Blackberry Farm came together right before our eyes.It all would have been picture perfect – except instead of celebrating the fact that the Co-Op board accepted us – we learned that they’d like to interview us again for a second time when we returned from our vacation. In the last fifteen years I have owned two other Co-Ops in New York City. Both of which were far more significant properties than this little alcove studio. In both instances, there was no request for a second interview. It feels a bit like this process has started off on the wrong foot, doesn’t it?