Stranded In Asheville:) YES!!

black-mt-2016Here I am on Black Mountain in North Carolina with my daughter Alicia. I am so glad my granddaughter Emerson decided to take our picture. And that is why Alicia is holding not one but two ice cream cones..

Black Mountain

Emerson & Liam on Black Mountain

When my husband Jack and I flew to Asheville for the weekend recently we fully intended to fly back to Cape Coral on Sunday morning, early.  We had flown up for a special day at the grandkids’ school. They were honoring grandparents. It was such fun. And so important to the kids, and to us as well.  We had three days of visiting and eating unbelievable foods.

Lucky us. We started the visit with lunch at  Sunny Point Cafe. I always say that there is no bacon like the bacon in North Carolina. We began our stay in style with plenty of bacon and biscuits.

The next day was filled with visiting the kids’ schoolrooms and participating in special classroom events planned with the grandparents in mind.

cat

Emerson’s artwork.

As a treat Alicia booked us for a very special dinner at the Grove Park Inn Sunset Terrace. Talk about special. A once in a lifetime event! Views that make you breathless, and food touched by angels. Not to mention the pampering service that makes you feel right at home. Then we topped it all off with a coffee drink in front of the roaring ten-foot high fireplace in the bar. This fireplace is fronted with tall rocking chairs filled with people knitting, or reading, or just nodding off and glowing in the warmth as they rock away their troubles.

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn Fireplace.

Not to be outdone, Saturday came along with a trip to downtown Asheville. The city was filled to capacity. Why, we asked ourselves? My son-in-law kept shaking his head and saying he had never seen the place so packed. Had to park in the parking garage. Well, in addition to a street fair there were mobs of people visiting that had to evacuate their coastal homes. Yes, that’s right, the hurricane scared them inland. It ended up adding  to the festive atmosphere. We joined the throngs and headed on out to find one of my favorite stores: the champagne book store called The Battery Park Book Exchange Champagne Bar.  Business was  booming. The place was filled with people browsing and sipping champagne.  The kids quickly sped up to the kids’ department where they discovered some little gems. Jack and I gravitated toward fiction where I came across a first edition of Anne Tyler’s THE LADDER OF YEARS.  Yes, I bought it! Time for lunch. White Duck Taco was a great spot for us. There was a line even though it was barely noon. A chalk board menu in pastels. Eclectic and unique, it was exactly what we needed.  Across the street we spied a great store called  Mast General Store. They have everything  and I mean everything. We all had a blast. But we had saved the most important shop for last: French Broad Chocolate Lounge. This place is an institution in Asheville; a must-visit.

Asheville

French Broad Chocolate Lounge is an institution in Asheville. They have handmade chocolates that I dream about. Their salted honey caramels are like nothing I’ve tasted before.  The kids opted for their homemade ice cream even though it was chilly that day. A cup of their signature Liquid Truffle sipping chocolate was a MUST since Jack had never had it. He was properly wowed. It is simply amazing.  Served hot, smooth as silk and like nothing you’ve ever had before in this country. And we shared…

By late Saturday evening the winds were howling in the mountains.  Our bedroom on the third floor sounded like a wind tunnel. We were up before dawn and headed out to the airport in Greenville. As we left the mountains the sun came up and the weather was just perfect for an early morning flight out. Arriving early at the airport, we got special clearance. And we were so early we thought we’d have breakfast. Fun.  But the fun ended suddenly when we discovered the airline still did not have our gate number on the board. As we approached the corner spot of the terminal  we looked out and saw OUR plane, on the runway about to take off, without US. OMG! We missed the plane.  No one was around to speak to. No amount of yelling would have made any difference.  And it was ten minutes BEFORE take off time:( I thought my husband might have a conniption. Truly. We rushed downstairs and thankfully were able to talk to an agent. To make a long story shorter we were able to book Jack on the morning flight from Asheville. But there was only one seat. He needed to get home for business. I was then booked on the Wednesday flight out from Asheville. Done.

Hence, three extra days, with family, in Asheville. Oh what a shame:) Since my daughter had Monday off for the holiday, and the kids had no school, we decided a trip to Black Mountain was the perfect outing. After all, they had a small bookstore there… And shops.  It was a picture postcard day. The weather was cool and crisp in the morning. The sun was out.  And there was a tiny sweet shop that served Hops ice cream.

Alicia and Liam and Emerson

Sweet Shop on Black Mountain

Not to mention the many specialty shops in this quaint little town.

Tuesday found us  having lunch at 12 Bones. Yes, THE BBQ joint our president always makes a point to visit when in Asheville. You want to arrive early. There is always a line. And it is worth every minute of it. I’m presently working on reproducing the collard greens… Yum, yum. Later that afternoon I made a pumpkin pie and then settled myself on the back deck for reading and sunning. The back deck sits on the side of the mountain and has THE most gorgeous view you can imagine of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

Asheville

Mountain view

When the sun began to move I moved as well, but only to the front porch where I sat reading until the grandkids arrived home from school. What a joy to be there to welcome their smiling faces and enjoy watching them barrel down the driveway shouting to me with glee.

Later, when Alicia arrived home from work, we enjoyed some mother-daughter time on the deck as we sipped cups of the Blue Lady tea that I had brewed and reminisced about the amazing week we’d shared.

So my stranded days finally came to an end. But I arrived home with the best memories to hold close and pull out at times when I miss the kids… And the morning I left I got this snapshot of the kids dressed up for hat day:)

2016

Hat Day

I  am now trying to play catch-up. Behind in reading and writing. Not to mention housekeeping etc. But it was all worth it:)

 

 

 

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