Asheville

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The Irishman and I just returned from our first ever alone trip! Well, technically it was our first alone trip since Parker was born, but you wouldn’t have known that based on our enthusiasm. It’s not that we don’t absolutely adore spending time with Parker…it’s just that sometimes, it’s nice to taking more than 23 seconds to shovel your food into your mouth or to watch a TV show that doesn’t involve a blue tank engine. I’m sure we could probably stay up after Parker goes to sleep to enjoy a nice leisurely dinner and a movie, but quite frankly, we’d be snoozing on the couch 2 minutes into the film.

So, with the blessing of both sets of our parents (who were kind enough to watch the munchkin for 3 days, we hopped into our little Acura and took off into the sunset. Ok, that’s an exaggeration since we left at around 10am, but it sounded nicer than “we rode off into the traffic.”

The drive up was pretty smooth sailing and we arrived just in time for happy hour at the Bed and Breakfast we were staying in. We also met some really nice people (also B&B visitors) and got some good recommendations for dinner. We ordered too much food in our excitement, but it was nice to enjoy an appetizer, a salad, a bowl of chili (the Irishman’s choice) and dinner.

The next day, we headed downstairs for breakfast, which turned out to be the absolute highlight of our trip. I mean, getting served coffee, juice and a 3 course breakfast on fine china as soon as your rear hits the seat is definitely the life…especially when the innkeeper was serving creme brulee french toast. Yes, it was just as good as it sounds! Anyway, after our scrumptious breakfast, we headed on a drive towards the university.

I showed the Irishman around what could possibly be my new place of employment (still pending on that one) and then we stopped at Sylva for lunch. Sylva is the cutest little town I have ever seen. This is Main Street and has some lovely gourmet restaurants and shops. If we moved, we would probably live there as it’s only 5 minutes from the university and 45 minutes from Asheville.

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We drove back into Asheville a couple of hours later and decided to check out the Biltmore on a whim (we were planning to go the next day). We found out that if you buy your tickets after 3pm, the next day is free, so we decided to check out the winery and stay for the last night of Christmas at Biltmore.

Here we are at the wine tasting:

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And here I am pretending to know what I’m doing.

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After we bought some wine and had a couple of glasses of our favorites, we headed over to the Biltmore.

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It was breathtaking and I immediately started making plans to move in. They had a choir inside and ballet dancers spinning around the main hall…very festive. After we left, we ate dinner at The Laughing Seed, an entirely vegetarian restuarant, and I had a blast watching the repeated looks of surprise on the Irishman’s face as he tasted and liked every single thing that I put in front of him.

The next day (after a yummy quiche breakfast), we headed back to the Biltmore and wandered the beautiful grounds. Here are the pictures from there.

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That night, we headed out on the Brews Cruise, which was a tour of local micro-breweries. You didn’t really think that the Irishman would eat at a vegetarian place without some kind of trade, did you? So, we headed out to see how beer was made and to sample the local brews. Now, a beer tasting is somewhat different than a wine tasting in that you’re supposed to drink all of the beer they give you…and they give you a lot. I think we had 6 samples at each of the 3 breweries and they topped you off with your favorite before you left.

That might possibly be why I decided that taking this picture was a good idea.

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Those are the employee taps at one of the breweries. The employees are allowed to drink all of the beer that they want during their shifts. This concerned me due to the heavy machinery that was all around the place. Call me crazy, but operating forklifts while tanked does not seem like a good idea.

Anyway, we headed back to the B&B after eating a lot of pizza and cheese fries and left for home the next morning (after eating our homemade Belgium waffles of course). I must say, I’m sincerely going to miss being waited on in the mornings. I wonder what the Irishman would do if I bought a small bell to ring every time I needed something??

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