Tag Archives: Asheville

Pictures of Asheville

I am trying to blog from my phone and I haven’t tried that before, so this could be a bumpy ride. Wednesday is my usual blog day but I spent Wednesday in Asheville,  North Carolina. I planned to write a blog post when I got back to my campsite in the evening, but it turned out I couldn’t get WordPress to load without wifi. Now I’m in my sister’s cottage, borrowing her wifi (thank you, Lucinda!) so I will give it another try.

Asheville is often called the Paris of the South because of its commitment to the arts and its acceptance of all things quirky. The first interesting thing that caught my eye was this bucket list board on the edge of a construction site in the middle of town. Chalk is provided.

image

My husband and I browsed our favorite independent bookstore,  Malaprops, where I found a new novel, and then started trying to decide where to go for coffee. This is a tough decision in Asheville, where there’s a charming coffee shop on every corner, but we finally decided to go to City Bakery, where the sweet treats are as irresistible as the coffee.

image

Thus fortified, we ventured back out into the streets, where art is everywhere. My husband had a specific goal in mind for an afternoon beer, but spied a new place on the way and decided to try it. His beer was hoppy; mine was root.

image

After that stop, we did some more window shopping on our way to his original goal, the Funkatorium. This is an offshoot of Wicked Weed and specializes in sour beers.

image

He had a flight, so he could taste four beers.  He pronounced them all excellent. I took a small sip of each one and liked the Bombadile best. It tasted of strawberries.

image

Once we left the Funkatorium, we were ready to start thinking about supper.  Choosing a restaurant in Asheville is harder than choosing a coffee shop, for pretty much the same reason. There are just too many wonderful restaurants, with new ones opening all the time.

We ended up at Blue Dream and were not disappointed. They offered a concept we hadn’t seen yet in America – no tipping. The menu explains that their servers are well paid, with raises and bonuses, and the prices listed take this into account.

I had a curry dish with paneer. It was delicious.

image

Storm clouds were rolling in as we finished our supper, so we high-tailed it back to our parking garage and reluctantly said adieu to the Paris of the South.

I took more pictures during our visit, but I think I’ve reached the limit of this Worpress app. Okay, I meant my patience. It amounts to the same thing.

 

Advertisements

Healing Time

My husband and I had been planning for weeks to spend out fortieth wedding anniversary in North Carolina, but then he had a heart attack and we were afraid his doctor would not let him travel. We asked about it at his follow-up appointment in early June and were delighted when the doctor said it would be all right, as long as my husband was careful rebuilding his strength and didn’t try to do too much.

We had to rule out camping on our land, but we did not have to rule out North Carolina. We spent a few days, including our June fifteenth anniversary, at a hotel in Asheville. Then we spent two days at my sister’s cottage near Burnsville. Her cottage is just over the ridge from our land, so we were able to visit and check on our overgrown bench and fire pit. We also planted a new Japanese Iris, which we had bought at the tailgate market in Asheville.

The market was a feast for the eyes. I was wishing I could just set up an easel and paint for hours, right in the middle of it. There were buckets full of sunflowers.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers


There were baskets of colorful squash.
Squash

Squash


There were pies.
Pies

Pies


And there were irresistible irises.
Iris

Iris


We went straight from this market in Asheville to the smaller one in Burnsville and then we took our new iris to our land to plant it. It joined a red hot poker we planted last year and a Korean Lilac we planted a few years ago. We were pleased to see that the older plants had survived and were doing well. We spent some time relaxing on my sister’s front porch before we drove back to Asheville.
Getting Ready to Plant

Getting Ready to Plant


Relaxing With This View

Relaxing With This View


Asheville is lovely and we enjoyed our time there but we wouldn’t go all the way to North Carolina and not visit the Blue Ridge Parkway. One day, we went to Mt. Mitchell with my sister and her family. Another day, we went to Craggy Gardens. Mt. Mitchell is my husband’s favorite spot on (or near) the Parkway. Craggy Gardens is mine. On a normal trip, we would hike the trail to Craggy Pinnacle but my husband did not feel up to the climb, so we took the Craggy Flats trail instead. It’s less challenging but no less beautiful.
Craggy Flats

Craggy Flats


All of my favorite scenery is in Western North Carolina and I dream of spending long days in those mountains once I learn to paint landscapes. Those are the landscapes I most want to paint, but it’s hard to find time to paint on a six-day visit. We strolled the streets of Asheville, visiting boutiques and galleries and my husband’s favorite pub, The Thirsty Monk. We enjoyed delicious meals at restaurants like Katmandu Cafe and The Noodle Shop (helpful hint: if you go to Asheville, DO NOT waste your time eating at a chain restaurant. Choose a local restaurant. You won’t regret it). We scouted plant nurseries with my sister and played whist after dinner in her cottage.

It was a lovely, restful, healing vacation, but I was afraid I would not find time to paint at all. Then, on our last day in North Carolina, we bought an old-fashioned lilac. When we took it to our land to plant it, I took my acrylic paints. I was determined to paint something before I had to come back to Florida.

I painted our new iris.

Iris Painting

Iris Painting


I had to do it quickly – there was still supper and whist planned for the evening – so it’s a small, simple painting, but it sure made me happy to do it. I didn’t carry all my paints to North Carolina for no reason. I painted!