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asheville

Travel

What We Did : Asheville

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When Jeremy and I went to Asheville we decided to take a laid back approach to the trip and plan essentially nothing. We did get out in between naps! These are the things we discovered and found worthwhile and worth doing again in the future.

 

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Stone Cottage Garden Homestay

I totally recommend picking something on airbnb while staying in Asheville. The town is eclectic and its residents a fun
reflection of where they live. We stayed in a fairly large home in Candler, NC. The host, Kathleen, was very accommodating and the room was comfortable.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/284022

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Craggy Gardens

One of the best things about Asheville is the really outdoorsy atmosphere. The locals are an active people and there are tons of beautiful places to go hiking.  I suggest you start with Craggy Gardens because it’s not a very intense hike and only about a mile from the parking. You can complete the hike in about 2 hours or so, and the view is spectacular from the top.

You can get more information here.

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North Carolina Arboretum

If you want a peaceful walk and beautiful trails and gardening, check out the arboretum.  It was raining the day we went and we still totally enjoyed it. It’s got a ton of foliage you don’t normally see in Georgia, and enough trail miles to keep you occupied for a couple of hours. It’s definitely romantic.

http://www.ncarboretum.org/

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Bascilica of St. Lawrence

Some old world charm lies in this bascilica! It’s got a beautiful oval ceiling capping all the trappings of the catholic church. Stained glass everywhere and tons of religious items, gilded or otherwise. The organ was playing at the time we visited and there weren’t many people. It’s a great stop for an architectural photo op.

http://www.saintlawrencebasilica.org/

 

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Rejavanation Cafe

We had many breakfasts and lunches and dinners all over Asheville but two places really stood out enough for me to recommend. First is this nicely sized coffee shop with an excellent, unique menu. It has some standard favorites but some adventurous meals too. Try any of these with your morning coffee:

In the Garden Breakfast Panini
Roasted red peppers, baby spinach, tomatoes, goat cheese, and  pesto aioli, topped with an egg on pressed flatbread.

Lox and Bagel
Lemon dill cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomatoes, cucumbers, capers and onions on an everything bagel.

Apricot Banana Breakfast Panini
Cream cheese, sliced banana and apricot preserves, pressed in a croissant.

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French Broad Chocolate Lounge

We tried to come here on Friday night but couldn’t get in because there was a line out the door and down the street. I took that as nothing less than a challenge and the next day we arrived at a non standard hour so we can get in and get some of this in demand chocolate. The menu was extensive and although we each ordered one drink and one dessert each, it was all so rich that neither of us could finish anything. I recommend this place to anyone who loves chocolate! I recommend the following:

Chocolate Truffle Torte
65% cacao bittersweet chocolate, local free range eggs, and organic sweet cream butter. flourless. best served with whipped cream and a tart sauce of local berries.

Oaxaca
A contemporary Mexican hot chocolate with house-ground chocolate, almonds, organic sugar, cinnamon & milk. this is what you\’d get in a chocolate shop on the streets of Oaxaca.

http://frenchbroadchocolates.com/

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Grove Arcade

I was honestly disappointed when I stepped in here and discovered that it was not the type of arcade I was expecting. There were no games, coin dispensers or Mortal Kombat in sight. The grove arcade is an indoor mall! I got over myself and was soon going from store to store buying things for my house that I didn’t need. Since there’s a large artist community that resides in Asheville, the furniture and decor has an artsy, eclectic twist (that I love!).  Definitely meander in here for a while and you’re going to find something you  need  on your shelves at home. :)

If you’ve been to Ashville and have some must-do’s let us know! :)

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Photography

The Arboretum

Part of the reason Jeremy and I decided to go to Asheville was to just get way and do something relaxing, low key, and was just the two of us.  On recommendation we decided to visit the North Carolina Arboretum.  It’s a beautiful experimental forest and it cost only $8 for the car. It was worth many times more and even though it poured around us, we managed to see some beautiful gardens, hike some trail along a rushing creek and get that alone time we’ve been running short of.

A solo squash!

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General

BnB

One of my favorite things about my trip to Ashveille was the home we stayed in. We decided, after a little deliberation, to forego the usual hotel reservation and instead try out a place via AirBnB.com  We weren’t disappointed. The house we chose is located in Candler, a few minutes outside downtown Asheville. It had an attached farmland, chickens, and cats galore. It was nicely decorated and our room was spacious. I slept well every night of the four we decided to stay and having a host whose resposibility was just you and another couple made it really nice. Kathleen, our host, made us breakfast two of the days and was really fun to hang out with.

We made friends with all the kitties at the home. :)

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Photography

Craggy Pinnacle

One of the nicer things we got to do on our four day mini vacation in Asheville was visit Craggy Pinnacle. It’s located fairly close to Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views and scenes traveling up there are spectacular. The saturation of the greens lining the dark gray street seemed unreal. A common thread of Asheville was the lush growth throughout. Flowers, gardens, mountainsides and street, all densely populated with the richest foliage I’ve ever seen.

Next hike? :)

Next hike? :)

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Movie, Photography

Light Leaks

I love going through my iPhone photos and playing with the new apps that seem to come out weekly.

These were all edited entirely with Afterglow, which I use almost exclusively now. I never thought I’d deviate from Snapseed!

I love my phone. Unfortunately while getting ready to hike the craggy trail I dropped my phone and cracked the screen. The damage isn’t over the screen (thankfully) and I’m surprised this phone has lasted more than 8 or 9 months. I am excited for the iPhone 5s or 6 or Lakers or whatever. Here’s hoping for a better camera + awesome processing power so I can edit more quickly on the fly!

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Photography

Drive to Asheville

Jeremy have done a lot of local traveling this summer. It’s been pretty great and we’re meeting some fun new people. We headed to Asheville the Wednesday before July 4th weekend. It looked like it was going to rain the entire time but sometimes nature provides beautiful images and  a bit of bad weather is a photographer’s blessing in disguise.

The roads were steamy, and the resulting haze made for some beautiful views.
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