Thursday, April 23, 2009


Since I'm so big on list-making, here's a Top 10 List of the Best of Vacation:

10. GPS - Seriously, if you've never used one, it will change your life. You can be a COMPLETE moron and still get from point A to point B like you know what you're doing. It also coined a new phrase with us. If you miss a turn even when the Garmin is saying "Turn here, turn here," instead of calling you an idiot, it says "Recalculating, recalculating..." So now, instead of saying "Way to go, dumbass!" we just say "Recalculating, recalculating..." We're big dorks, but I swear it's much funnier when you've been in the car for 12 hours!

9. Grits. Mmmmmmmmmm...

8. Record Store Day - Saturday was Record Store Day which means lots of exclusives at your local record store. Since we're big on music and record stores, this was a must! We had a yummy organic breakfast at Green Sage in downtown Asheville, then hit up the local Harvest Records. Lots of fun had by all.



And this is what you do while patiently waiting for your husband to make his final selection and wait in the checkout line. The store was truly a GREAT record shop - just a tad hot.

7. AWESOME local cuisine. Asheville is LOADED with nothing but locally owned restaurants and shops. We did not see a single corporate store or chain restaurant downtown. I think this is fantastic and I wish every small city and town was like this (Athens, GA was very similar). Our favorite was Mayfel's. Also, I had Waffle House for the first time. Delicious and gross at the same time :)

6. The Discount Shoe Store - Leave it to me to sniff out the ENORMOUS discount shoe warehouse. It was like a little piece of heaven. SO. MANY. SHOES. Believe it or not, I only walked out with one pair - Madden Girl snake skin ballet flats for $23. I needed only practical shoes or I would've walked away with a lot more. It was absolutely drool-inducing!

5. The Western North Carolina Nature Center - We were going to go to the Biltmore until we found out that tickets are $50 each! So, we opted out of the tour of the old house and went to the local nature center instead. Admission fee: $7 each. Money well spent - It was a gorgeous day outside and we got to see lots of cuddly creatures:



Including this guy:


Such enthusiasm! I only had to ask 3 times for him to do this. Still cracks me up!

And this guy had us entertained forever. He was a riot! (I wanted to use a longer clip, but it was too big to upload - grrr!)

4. Gorgeous weather (only one day of rain, but even that was pretty) and beautiful scenery. Asheville is in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the views are breathtaking. This is what we saw every morning from the hotel room:


3. My New Bracelet - On the rainy day, we took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at the Folk Arts Center. It's a gift shop and exhibit center of all local artisans. Some old, some new, all amazing. We came across some jewelry by Stuart Nye. He started crafting jewelry in 1933 during the depression and his family continues crafting his designs today. Every piece is hand-made right in Asheville. Since the calla lily was our wedding flower and our fifth anniversary is this summer, I walked away with this beautiful piece:

This perfect momento of our trip will be a treasured piece for years to come.

2. Spending Time with Someone You Love - How many people can you spend 24 hours in a car with? Not many, I assume. My husband and I had a blast, though! We drove a total of 1600 miles in 5 days and really enjoyed each other's company. It was filled with dumb jokes, shared discoveries in a new place, lots of singing along to favorite CD's and just plain old down time and hanging out.

Unfortunately, time with the husband was trumped by...

1. The Best Concert EVER! - After three days in Asheville, we headed to Athens, GA for a Wilco concert. They were actually playing in Asheville the following night, but the show in Athens was general admission (as opposed to assigned seats) and was standing room only. This usually leads to a better concert experience. And boy, did it pay off! We arrived in Athens around 1 in the afternoon, got settled in our hotel, walked around the beautiful town, changed, went out to eat and hopped in line for the 8pm concert at about 6pm. Like star-struck teenagers, we waited patiently for the doors to open and once they did, we were off. Through security, down the steps, into the Grand Hall to realize that fate had saved us a space right in front of center stage. We were the people hanging over the fence in the front of the crowd! A mere 5 feet from the stage! It was UNBELIEVABLE! Wilco played for 2.5 hours and it felt like 15 minutes! The music, the band, the sea of excited fans behind us... it was unforgettable! I've never seen a concert so up close and personal before and now I can't imagine seeing one any other way! Of course, I opted not to take my camera to the show, but I'll always have the memories.

I know this is a super long post and it took a super long time to put together, so I hope someone out there enjoys it. I know I will :) See you tomorrow!


  1. It looks like you had a great time. LOVE the bracelet! Nice to have you back in the blogosphere!

  2. God Made Me fuNkyApril 23, 2009 at 9:40 PM


    Welcome back! looks like you had a super relaxing vacation. I have been planning to go on a road trip for ages, looking at your post I am all geared up to put the plan in action.

  3. My husband would have loved that record store too. We have an old jukebox and we have boxes of 45's to put in it. Happy you had a great time! Oh and your view....NICE! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I LOVE your bracelet. For reals.

  5. It sounds like you guys had a wonderful vacation. Asheville sounds awesome, and now I want to go!! That record store looks like a dangerous place...good record stores = money pit!!! Anyway, it's good to have you back in the "blogosphere"!