Our home is beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC, so you might think why would we want to leave such a lovely place? For years, we have dreamed of a mountain Christmas with our family. In 2015, two of our grandson’s will graduate and be off to college. So it begins, the difficulty of gathering everyone in one place for the holidays. We decided the time was right to rent a mountain house for Christmas! My daughter suggested the VRBO website, so concentrating on Boone/ Blowing Rock, NC within a short time I chose five rentals, Appalachian Dream was at the top of my list. Our criteria was, number of bedrooms, a fireplace and a jacuzzi, which were all there, as well as, a downstairs playroom with a pool table, ping pong table and a large flat screen television. The house was the “whole package”. I completed the rental inquiry and Mark, the owner, responded quickly. I received, signed and returned the rental contract to Mark and the house was ours from Dec. 20th – Dec. 27th. The location is beautiful, a view of Grandfather Mountain, waterfalls and hiking trails. Eight arrived on Saturday, with our son, daughter-in-law and grandson joining us on Tuesday. One thing I truly loved was the huge dining room table. On Christmas Eve, I prepared our family meal in a kitchen that was equipped with everything I could possibly need, and we shared the meal at one table. After dinner, we gathered in the living room with the fireplace glowing and watched “Christmas Vacation”, prior to opening our gifts. It was a special evening for our family! The week included visits to the Mast General Store and other local sites. My husband, son-in-law and grandson had a great time hiking the Grandfather Mountain Perimeter Trail. Mark continued to be there for me during the whole process. His responses to my texts prior to the vacation were always immediate, in fact I feel like I have a new friend in Florida. He was just wonderful. During the week we had one minor issue with the fireplace and after one text to Mark, the fireplace was quickly repaired and we once again enjoyed a warm fire. This was our first time using VRBO and Mark’s positive attitude and help made it “almost perfect”, I say almost, because the snow I had hoped for did not materialize, but I am sure if Mark had been able to control the weather we would have had a “White Christmas”! Thank you Mark for sharing your beautiful home with our family.