This is quite belated, but I figured that I should still put up a post about our long weekend in Asheville, NC. At the beginning of April, we took 4 days off to check it out. Driving up from the low country to the mountains wasn't too bad - about 5 hours - and once we got up there we both breathed a sigh of relief to get some heights and views. Spring was in full bloom in Savannah, but up in the mountains it was just starting to get warmer and only a few of the early blossom trees were out. We spent Sunday walking around downtown Asheville, but most of the shops were closed. (Hint if you're traveling there: Sunday-Monday most places are closed.) Still, we found a great cafe that we went back to daily and ate at a really yummy thai restaurant called Doc Cheys. We checked into our studio rental. After checking out the price of hotels in the area, we went with a vacation rental. The price was right and the privacy even better. I definitely would recommend that if you're traveling out that way, you check out the availability of Luna's Retro Den. We were about a 10 minute walk from downtown and it's totally adorable.
Monday we spent the day driving up along the Blue Ridge Parkway and then taking some side roads and getting ourselves lost. It couldn't have been more beautiful and, at certain points, terrifying. Down in the valleys, we passed along some gorgeous farms , passed some wild pheasants, found a secret, family cemetery, and road along some of the steepest dirt roads with 45 degrees turns. Definitely white knuckled it most of the way. We got ourselves completely lost in, what turns out, was likely the Pisgah National Forest, and ended up cresting up over a mountain and back down.
Once back into the city, we figured we'd poke around the Riverside Cemetery until dinner. The gates were posted to close at 8pm and we drove in at just 7:10. Drove around a bit admiring the place (it was rainy so we decided not to walk) and upon arriving back at the gate to exit, found ourselves locked in at 7:30. There was only the one gate and we never saw anyone else while we were there so apparently the signage was incorrect. In any event, we had to call the police to have the park ranger come and unlock the gate. We sat there for a good 40 minutes before somebody came and meanwhile it was getting dark. Sitting hungry, in the dark in a cemetery is a bit odd. Here's photos of Ron examining the gate signage while we waited.
We ended the evening with a totally delicious dinner at the Asheville Noodle Shop.
Tuesday, we headed over to Empire Tattoo where Ron got his neck and forearm tattoos lasered. I sat with him through that session, which went right quick but appeared to be incredibly painful. Then while he got tattooed by Danny Reed, I headed out to do some shopping downtown. I can't say enough about how friendly the folks at the shop were and how kind they were to fit Ron in without having called ahead. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos because I was too busy checking out the variety of vintage clothes stores, antique stores, independent boutiques and record shops. I didn't spend much and still came home with two dresses, a sweater, a new dog toy for Ahab and a few records. We finished up the day with a really amazing dinner at the Tupelo Honey Cafe - where the food is all local and organic and really really delicious. All in all, I can't wait to head back up there during the summer when we can enjoy some of the hiking and waterfalls.