Last weekend in Asheville was a perfect two-day trip. Sometimes its so nice to just get away from Atlanta/work/everything for a couple of days.
We woke up early on Saturday and went to Gato Bizco for breakfast. So delicious, beats The Flying Biscuit any day and there is hardly ever a wait. We hit the road shortly thereafter, filling up in South Carolina since, hey, Atlanta was STILL having a gas crisis. Apparently western North Carolina was as well but more on that later. On the way into Asheville, we stopped at Looking Glass Falls. It was pretty gorgeous, pretty unbelievable how nature molds itself into such interesting creations. We checked into the hotel, changed, and headed right back out for horseback riding up in Mars Hill at the Wolf Laurel Stables. We were the last trail ride of that day so it was just me, BT, and our tour guide. My horse, Sky, was pretty stubborn - she liked to just stop in the middle of the trail, sometimes for no reason, sometimes to eat. Brian's horse, Bud, was good though; he didn't even have to use the little sapling our tour guide gave him, ha. We also had a little cattle dog that followed us on the trail. I was glad that is all we had booked was a one hour ride; I don't think my ass could have taken much more. I was pretty sore the next morning. It was relaxing though to ride through the woods with nothing but nature surrounding you.
We got back to the hotel & I took a quick nap while Brian watched some of the college football games that were on (go Ole Miss!). We were going to go to a nice dinner & dress up, but after that horseback ride plus the four hour drive up there, all I really wanted to do was chill in bed. We ended up going to Tupelo Honey Cafe, and it was super yummy. BT had the salmon & I had the nutty fried chicken; both came with gi-normous biscuits. My kind of meal. We walked around some more, hoping to find a good place for dessert. The Chocolate Fetish was closed, so we ended up picking up some chocolate-covered pretzel sticks at Kilwin's. We walked around and people-watched for a bit, then headed back into the hotel, where BT promptly passed out & I watched SNL. Tina Fey does Sarah Palin so well.
I slept so good that night. Seriously, I love sleeping in hotels because you can turn the air down as much as you want without worrying about a $500 power bill; on top of that, Hampton Inn beds are so freakin' comfortable. Anyways, after a great sleep, we woke up, ate breakfast at the hotel, and headed to downtown Asheville. What a great city. I could live there, I think; lots and lots of granola types, but great scenery, great weather, great shops...I could do it. BT got his morning coffee fix at World Coffee Cafe; I had a pumpkin spice latte - delicious. Afterwards, we just walked around the city, taking pictures, and checking out some of the cool little shops and galleries. I found two used Faulkner hardcovers and a used As I Lay Dying (I lost my copy) at Downtown Books & News and had to abstain from getting a copy of Creedence's "Chronicle" on vinyl. After exploring for a couple of hours, we had lunch at Early Girl Eatery. Their chicken salad sandwich, mac and cheese, and lemonade were so freaking good. Mmmm. After lunch, we walked over to Three Dog Bakery right by the Grove Arcade, to buy Drake some treats; he got two "snickerpoodles" and his own personalized bone. He seemed to enjoy the snickerpoodles and hasn't gotten his personalized bone yet. We ended our downtown exploration with walking through the Grove Arcade and the Grove Corner Market, where we picked up some snacks for the ride up to Grandfather Mountain. I tried some lavendar soda which was crazy tasting...not necessarily in a good way. After a short drive up to the Grove Park Inn which was unfortunately under some serious construction, we were on our way.
After we got in the car, we realized we spent longer than we expected to in downtown Asheville, so we had to seriously book it to get to Grandfather Mountain before their ticket office closed at five. We tried to get gas about twenty minutes outside of Asheville and every single station was empty. After a minor freak out, we finally found one that still had gas because it was cash only. Luckily, BT had cash so we got enough gas to get us to Grandfather Mountain and at least to South Carolina. Whew. Very close call. We got to Grandfather Mountain right at five o'clock, only to find out the ticket office actually closed at six which would have been nice to know while we were doing 70 down 35mph back roads trying to get there in time. Anyways, first we went to the nature habitats they had on site which was awesome - eagles, cougars, bears, and (my favorite) river otters! After spending a good amount of time staring at the bears and otters, we ventured up to top of the mountain (6,000 feet above sea level) where it probably was around 50 degrees with winds of about 20mph. Crazy! I thought we were going to be blown off. Nevertheless, we crossed the bridge to the super craggy peak of the mountain, climbed some more, and shot for a while on the top. We finally climbed back down and headed home...saw a group of deer right on the side of the road as we headed down the mountain...had another minor gas crisis in South Carolina but found some shortly thereafter...arrived back in Atlanta at 11:30 and crashed out, sad that the weekend was over but glad to be home and in bed.
Not much else has been going on. My phone charger finally arrived, and I finally got around to fixing my computer, even though I lost every single song, picture, essay, etc that I had saved. At least I don't feel quite so technologically lost anymore, ha.
Going hangliding with Danielle and Laura this weekend for their collective birthdays...next weekend BT and I are paying Kennesaw a visit and then taking a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway...trying to take the GRE soon...possibly going to see Dolly Parton at Chastain with my parents at the end of the month...seeing "Wicked" with Claire on the 30th. October is shaping up to be quite wonderful, although I wish it was a tad bit cooler.
Can't wait for Joe Biden to annihilate Sarah Palin in tonight's debate!
And with that, I leave you with a few pictures...