Thursday, March 6, 2014

Anniversary in Asheville

Liz and I spent our fourth anniversary together in Asheville. We planned a weekend of hiking, eating, and drinking with a few stops at antique malls sprinkled in for good measure. All went just as planned – except for the hiking part.

The stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway that we were hoping to use, to access the trails, were closed. I was a bit disappointed and surprised at first. I was hoping for some scenic views. In fact, the only “scenic” picture I took was of the quote above, printed on a wall size image, in the Blue Ridge Parkway visitor’s center. However, after taking a moment it completely made sense. Elevated, narrow roads on the sides of mountains probably aren’t the best to drive on in sub-freezing temperatures. The time we had allotted for hiking and exploring the mountains, turned into hiking and exploring antique malls and breweries. Not a bad plan B at all.

We hit several antique malls that took me back to my grandparents’ barns in Oklahoma. The familiar sights and smells brought about a joyful calm as I casually walked through the comfortably crowded booths. Liz captured it nicely, here.

If I am not mistaking, eleven craft-breweries call Asheville home. We got the pleasure of visiting three while we were in town. The highly recommended (and for good reason) Wicked Weed Brewing lived up to the hype. A Double IPA known as the Freak of Nature, and French Toast Stout? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! It was nice to relax in the Green Man Brewery tasting room. And pizza and pints at the Asheville Brewing Co. was just the cherry on top.

It was nice to spend additional time running around town taking in the shops, brews, and ever-present street art. Asheville is always a refreshing change of scenery. While we didn’t get the chance to drive the scenic parkway, and hike the picturesque trails, Mr. Blake’s quote still holds true. We are already looking forward to returning when the parkway opens up later this spring.