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Asheville, NC

lamp postThose of you who follow the blog might remember that I mentioned Kendall and I were going to take a little trip to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Well, I’m just now getting around to posting about it. However, it is intentional since I like to mix up my categories to keep things interesting for you guys.

Thanks to recommendations from some friends, we chose to visit Asheville, NC. We wanted something fairly close since it was just a weekend getaway, but we were also looking for a neat place to explore. Asheville certainly did not disappoint. We had an amazing time.

As soon as we arrived at our hotel that Friday evening, we headed right back out again in search of “the drum circle” which a friend, and the hotel clerk, highly recommended. We sallied forth into downtown and literally followed the sound of beating drums. I have to say it was one of the craziest and coolest things I’ve ever watched. Basically musicians, locals, and anyone with a drum gathered in an area called Pritchard Park and started pounding out a beat. By the time we arrived, there was a crowd of drummers, dancers, and spectators gathered in a huge group. One would think it would just be a bunch of noise and chaos, as there wasn’t a particular beat or plan, but they all played together in an impressive percussion show. Apparently they do this every Friday evening and it’s just a thing. How cool is that?

After we watched the drummers for a bit, we walked across the street and ate dinner at an outside cafe. While eating our tasty meal on the patio and still listening to the drums, we took in our surroundings. Ashville was swarming with people from all walks of life. It was so entertaining to people watch. I loved the huge range of diversity I saw everywhere I looked. That might sound silly to many of you, but you have to remember that we live in a small town and city life is quite different – and intriguing. It seemed as though the city was buzzing with energy.

The next day we went out exploring again. We walked all over downtown Asheville and I took pictures every other step. I was in my element and loving every minute of it. We enjoyed poking around the many shops that lined the streets. We stopped by a sinfully sweet bakery for breakfast and had lunch at a scrumptious bar and grill. Adding to the ambiance of the city, were the street performers everywhere you looked… from musicians to living statues, and even street poets (something I’d never seen before). Possibly my favorite attraction of the day was the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Kendall said that Asheville reminded him a little bit of Rome, Italy, because of the layout, all of the shops, the fountain, street performers, and cafés. It might also be because I drug him all around the city taking pictures and we ended up at a Basilica (haha).

Later that day we also took a cruise on the Blue Ridge Parkway with our first stop being the visitor center. I’d been on the Parkway in Virginia before and was looking forward to more breathtaking views. However, Kendall has a phobia of driving on roads with drop-offs (go figure – a native West Virginian and he’s afraid of mountain roads!). So we didn’t make it very far before he deemed our adventure sufficient and turned around. I’m still teasing him about that.

I’m sure you’re wondering if we visited the Biltmore Estate since that’s one of Asheville’s most popular attractions. I definitely wanted to!!! Goodness knows old architecture is one of my favorite things to photograph. Unfortunately, we only had one day to explore, and the price of admission to the Biltmore was more than I was willing to pay. I couldn’t bring myself to pay $65 (EACH) to get in – particularly since Kendall could have cared less about seeing it. I hope to go back sometime in the future (perhaps with a photographer friend) and explore all that the estate has to offer – which is a lot.

In all it was a fabulous trip! We enjoyed ourselves immensely and it was exciting to visit someplace new. It was also the first trip we’ve ever taken without our kiddo – so that was definitely a different traveling experience. At any rate, I certainly recommend putting Asheville, NC on your list of places to see if you haven’t already.

Note:

Apparently if you book your tickets to the Biltmore in advance they are cheaper. Click here for more info.

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