Last Friday, we drove up to Asheville to see daughter in the UNC-Asheville Dance Concert. Dear husband took the day off so we had the whole afternoon to wander around the Biltmore Estate. It was a beautiful afternoon!
I'm usually very much against public Christmas decorations* before Thanksgiving, but I know that the Biltmore house has a lot of Christmas tours to do so they start early (the tours get really crowded in December)(Hint we got from someone who works there - go at about 4 pm. The day tourists are mostly done, but the Candlelight tours haven't started yet). Here, they have the outside Christmas tree up.
The greenhouse was beautiful as usual:
Bird of paradise
Wreath made of...
...epiphytes and succulents
The greenhouse roof
The orchids were beautiful:
The paperwhites smelled wonderful!
Very large ferns
* I don't care if people decorate their own houses that early - I just don't care for it in stores.
When we were in Asheville a few weeks ago, we had lunch at the West End Bakery. I tried hummus for the first time a few years ago there. It was wonderful, although, unfortunately, the hummus I've tried from other places, while good, is never as good as it is there. Here's the hummus we got three weeks ago:
When we were in Asheville for our early anniversary trip last weekend, we spent Sunday at the Biltmore Estate. The gardens are beautiful right now - there's so much blooming and so much color that it was like walking through a box of crayons. Here's the video I took (I'm still getting used to the camera so it took a few seconds to stop recording at the end):
Dear husband and I went for an early anniversary trip.* We had breakfast at the City Bakery early Saturday morning, and then we wandered around downtown Asheville before all the stores opened. I enjoyed doing this when I was visiting daughter back in June. It's calm and peaceful, you can really see the architecture because there are fewer people and cars, and the people downtown, in some ways, are more diverse than later in the day.
You can't take a photo down Lexington Ave. later in the day.
Dear husband took this photo of a sunflower on Wall St. (I'm too short to get this angle for the photo).
The last time we were in Asheville, younger son mentioned wanting to go to a stream or river after our Saturday morning hike. We ended up going to The White Duck Taco Shop, getting takeout, and eating lunch at a park next to the French Broad River.
Early last week, I started looking at the weather forecast for this weekend - it was supposed to be beautiful. Older son was starting his last week at his intern job and didn't want to go anywhere this weekend. Younger son said he'd be happy staying home. I started playing with the idea of dear husband and I going away for a WARM anniversary trip. Our anniversary is in February, which is a bit on the chilly side if you like to spend as much time outside as possible.
We also wanted something familiar and relaxing (since I'm still trying to slow down). Beautiful scenery, familiar, great restaurants - we went to Asheville again! Dear husband and I had a wonderful time, took long walks, sat and watched the kayakers and tubers paddle/float by on the French Broad River, and really enjoyed having a late Saturday dinner with daughter after dragging her up to Craggy Gardens for a chilly (temperature in the 50's!) sunset.
Saturday afternoon, after wandering around the River Arts District, dear husband and I picked up lunch at Duck Taco, and ate it, again, at a park next to the French Broad River. This could get to be a regular habit until it starts getting cold.
We spent today at the Biltmore Estate. We almost never go in the mansion, but we love to wander the grounds. When we had breakfast at Dough,* we picked up salads (bean, chickpea, chicken pesto, etc.) for lunch and ate lunch by the French Broad River.
* Best chocolate croissants ever - and fresh out of the oven this morning!