Wow. I thought I’d be writing posts everyday, but we’ve been so busy since we arrived in Asheville that I haven’t been able to get it all down in writing!
First off, it has been GREAT to spend time with my brother and his sweet wife (he’s sweet, too ) and to get to experience their area. If you’ve never been to Asheville, it’s a unique, lively, vibrant city tucked into the lush green, Blueridge Mountains. We’ve heard from the locals that Asheville is the San Francisco of the East, and that “if you’re too weird for Asheville, then you’re just too weird.” We haven’t seen anything too out-there strange, but have seen lots of art, creativity, expression, free spirits. There are so many locally-owned businesses—coffee shops, restaurants, art galleries, gift shops. And flowers everywhere—the interstates have huge patches of day lilies at the on- and off-ramps.
Our home base for 2 weeks was Mama Gertie’s Hideaway, which is truly one of the best campgrounds we have ever stayed in. In my recollection, it is the quietest and the cleanest (as in SPOTless), and the best value for the price. It is also definitely the steepest. (I lost sleep the first night, imagining the brakes failing and our camper slowly teetering down the hill at the end of our site…!)
Here are some of the highlights while we were staying at Mama Gertie’s:
A train ride through the Great Smoky Mountains:
The Asheville Nature Center (like a zoo, but regional, rescued animals—otters, wolves, black bear. No zebras, monkeys, or other exotic animals), cookouts, and visiting Billy Graham’s training center The Cove were fantastic:
I enjoyed playing hymns on the Steinway in the beautiful, peaceful chapel at The Cove. Would love to attend a retreat there someday.
Another favorite discovery?! The Mast General Store. Like REI meets the 5 & 10.
I don’t quite get the pairing of the super-healthy-vibe clothing and shoes with the sinful amounts of candy, but it was a blast nonetheless, and we’ve been back several times since. I haven’t made it out of there without purchasing something—my new favorite necklace, a bag, an umbrella, and of course—candy!!
We found the best coffee shop (other than Monument CO’s Wesley Owens, of course!) inside this double-decker bus that used to actually drive on the streets of the UK!
We sat upstairs, up the spiral staircase. It was totally shabby chic inside, driven by a skeleton—seems to embody the spirit of Asheville pretty well!
Time for a flower picture break (did I mention I like the flowers here??!):
OK…back to highlights of the Asheville area…
Exploring waterfalls and hiking would never get old, living here.
Chocolate malts and Coke-floats at Rocky’s old-fashioned soda shop followed by a trip to O.P. Taylor’s toy store in Brevard are a must:
There are beautiful streets to stroll on, lined with sycamore trees (no wonder Zaccheus climbed one—see the knobby handholds?):
In addition to the amazingly gorgeous weather (not too hot, not too cool, rain at night and enough humidity to keep one’s skin soft), the super-friendly people, the trails and mountains, there’s more! Tomorrow’s post will wrap up our stay in Asheville.
A few more random pictures of the ways we enjoyed our time here: