I like to end my summers with a true, get-out-of-town vacation. Usually I pick some place where it’s very, very warm. I pack sundresses and bathing suits and flip-flops. I swim and snorkel and sit on the beach. I read poorly written novels and I drink a fair share of rum- or tequila-based drinks. I watch sand crabs peep out of their hideaways. You’d probably think I become very, very lazy and you’d be right.
This year, Howard and I decided to do something different. Money hasn’t exactly been free-flowing, so we ditched the idea of going on a beach vacation and instead opted to hang out in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Asheville, specifically. I can’t remember when we first heard about Asheville, but I was knew immediately that it was a place I’d like to get to know.
It didn’t disappoint. What a cool, funky city. It has a gorgeous, historic little downtown with tons of shopping and restaurants. It’s bike-friendly and easily walkable. It has an amazing collection of arts-related stores and venues. It promotes local products. Plus, it has real hills.
I’m not sure it needs to be written, but I’ll write it anyway: I ate a lot of food on vacation.
But it wasn’t all about the food. There’s a lot of beauty to be seen in this region. I could spend days driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We only covered 50 miles or so, but the views from the parkway, just north and south of the Asheville area, are spectacular. I even managed to get in a little swimming, in between mountain gazing. It was a pretty remarkable vacation.