Saturday, February 16, 2013

Oh The Places You'll Go #1: Asheville, NC

So... I've decided to start a new series of posts called "Oh The Places You'll Go" inspired by Dr. Seuss' book of the same name. I reaaaalllly wish I had started doing this years ago since we tend to do a fair amount of traveling, both as a family and even as a couple. People often ask me for suggestions on where to stay, what to see and do, where to eat when they are going some place they know I've been to. Unfortunately, I'm pretty useless when it comes to answering such questions because: 1. I'm really bad at remembering what we did when and where and 2. since the hubby does all the initiating and planning, I just sit back and enjoy the ride (thanks and sorry, Sweetie, I know that really bugs you sometimes, but you're so good at it! hee hee) and half the time don't even know what airline we're flying! Now had I kept a log of our many adventures over the years, I could have a nice little travel book going! :) Oh well, better late than never.


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This trip, which took place a couple weeks ago, was made possible by the hubby, of course, and his mom, aka Nana who wanted to take the girls to "The Great Wolf of Lodge" (that's what Little Sis calls it) for a couple nights while they are "tracked out" of school (they attend a year-round school). So what do what do we do? Get the heck out of Dodge and go to Asheville, NC with nothing more in mind that to eat good food, walk around the city, window shop (and shop for real), soak in the beautiful mountains scenery and do a little hiking. I'm happy to say we accomplished all these things on this trip. :)

Here's what looks to be a pretty decent tourism website on what to do when your visiting: http://www.ashevillenc.com/

First stop on the way, though, was Furnitureland South, a mega-crazy big furniture store, more like campus, that just happened to be on our way to the mountains. We've been in the market for a high dresser for our bedroom and decided to take a "quick" look around. 3 hours later, we were the proud owners of just that, in addition to 2 sets of bunk/loft beds for the girls. Boy where they excited when we showed them the pictures! LOL! :) And as long and torturous as it may sound, we actually had a lot of fun. Certainly much better than my last experience there when I was about 8 months pregnant and couldn't bear to walk, much less stand still for more than 2 minutes at a time. :) Even their restaurant was quite enjoyable! Here are some pix to prove it:


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Next stop was the Princess Anne Hotel, for our second bed and breakfast stay, ever. 1st one was last year in Asheville, as well, at the GORGEOUS Biltmore Village Inn (yes, it really is as beautiful as it looks in the picture AND we pretty much had the place to ourselves)! Ok, I just remembered a time many years ago, pre-kids, when we stayed at one in Charleston, SC w/ the hubby's family. But that was it! We've always been hotel dwellers but in our old age, we've come to appreciate and enjoy them more! haha. :)

Read my in-house Senior Contributor's review: Sweetie's Princess Anne Hotel Trip Advisor Review


The rest of this post will mostly be a little of where we went to eat/drink, a quick description of what we thought and some pix to go along with it since I really need to get this out before our upcoming trip to NYC tomorrow morning. I hate being behind so quickly! :) The really cool thing is that the hubby is an awesome reviewer of things and earned himself the title of "Senior Contributor" on Trip Advisor (haha), so I'll be including his reviews as well. What a great team we make, don't you think? :) And let me just apologize in advance for so many dark pictures. As you can see, a lot of them were taken at night and there's only so much you can do w/ a smart phone camera, so please forgive me! :)

Now on to dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe. My dinner would have been DE-licious had it not been too heavy on the black pepper. Some people (like my hubby) love it, but I do not. The highlight here was definitely the homemade biscuits with to-die-for blueberry jam.

Sweetie's Trip Advisor Tupelo Honey Cafe Review


After dinner, we strolled around downtown. Nothing to review here, but we've passed by this bead store in the evening I don't know how many times during our past few trips here and their window has ALWAYS caught our attention. One of these days, we will actually go IN (if we ever pass by when they're open)!



We stumbled upon this gem of a place: Tressa's Downtown Jazz & Blues and enjoyed listening to some live "Hot Jazz" (aka Dixieland or jazz that was popularized by Louis Armstrong) while sipping a Kir Royale and Ginger-infused artisan moonshine. Who could ask for more? :)

Sweetie's Tressa's Review


Check out our breakfast at the B&B. Every bite was delicious. Here you see we did what we usually do when it comes to yummy food: share!


After breakfast, we decided to try to get a little exercise in and do some hiking at Chimney Rock State Park. If you visit in the off season, be sure to check their hours. We got totally lucky that our 40 min drive from Asheville wasn't for naught. It was Tuesday and they were open but we ALMOST went on a on a Wednesday, when they're closed. Whew! We were disappointed that Hickory Nut Falls trail was closed, a trail of decent length and difficulty, so we just took the elevator up to chimney rock on an extremely cold and windy day. It was beautiful and the view was incredible but every time that wind blew all we could think of was how much our girls would hate this... Cold, windy and scared you're gonna be blown right off that rock!




Snapped up a last pic of Chimney Rock as we take the stairs back down. What a perfect sky.


As we left the park and wound our way back down, we passed over this bridge where I just had to snap up this beautiful sight. I just love the combo of water and rocks, especially on a bridge where you can take it all in without getting wet! :)


Made it back to the hotel for some chill time (and hors d'oeuvres!!!). The hubby read by the fire while I knitted, but mostly ate. :)


This night we had dinner at a favorite Indian restaurant in town: Chai Pani where we enjoyed delicious Indian street food. We ate here last year and it was so good we just had to come back. This wrap we got was crazy good. As I ate it, the feeling of "OMG this is the most perfect blend of flavors and the most delicious wrap I have EVER had!" overcame me. And check out the "Indian Nachos". Really yummy. The other dish in the top left corner was a deep-fried kale appetizer. To be honest, it looked a bit scary to me, was a little TOO deep-fried and oily, but it was not awful (ie we ate all of it, too). LOL.

Sweetie's Chai Pani Review


Drinks and Carolina hockey were taken in after a brief walk in the cold at The Bier Garden, right around the corner from Chai Pani. I ordered myself a delicious Strawberry Basil Lemonade (reminiscent of my Sweetie's muddle drinks) while watching the game and doing a little mobile blogging. :)


Finally, we stopped in for some decadent desserts at French Broad Chocolate Lounge. After walking around in 24 degree weather, we were warmly welcomed with fogged up glasses, heavenly aromas of chocolate and mouth-watering treats.

Sweetie's French Broad Chocolate Lounge Review


Here's breakfast #2 at the Princess Anne Hotel. Like I said earlier, when food this yummy is being served, sharing is a must!


Just before heading back for home, I had to take this last parting shot of the fountain at the hotel. It was so cold this running fountain froze over! Brrrrrr.


Yay! I'm done! I finished my first "Oh the Places You'll Go" post merely an hour before it's time to take off for our next adventure in the Big Apple. Supposed to be freezing, like high of 30, also. What's up w/ that? NEXT trip is gonna have to be somewhere warm! :)

Here's #2 if you'd like to check it out: Oh the Places You'll Go #2: NYC

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)


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6 comments:

Kim of Mo Betta said...

Such a fun post! I used to live near Chimney Rock, and I miss being able to drive up there whenever we felt like it! Great place to hike and picnic!

happyvballgirl said...

Thanks so much, Kim!! Yes, it's just a beautiful area. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Marie said...

I love Asheville! The Great Smokey Mountains are always my getaway of choice. Chimney Rock is awesome and scary...loved it anyway. Well written!

Marie @ http://asatisfiedspirit & http://123craftcafe.com

happyvballgirl said...

Yes, Asheville just fabulous. We went to the Great Smokey Mts a couple years back and just loved them. Gotta get back there again sooN! :) Thanks so much for stopping by, Marie!! :)

mary_smith said...

I've always heard that Asheville is absolutely gorgeous. Your pictures prove it!
Thanks for sharing at The Creative HomeAcre Hop. Hope to see you again this week!

http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com/search/label/creative%20homeacre%20hop

happyvballgirl said...

Linked up! Thanks for co-hosting and thanks for stopping by, Mary! :)