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Spring Break!

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Mar. 16th, 2008 | 08:27 pm
mood: quixoticnot tan, but refreshed
music: Matchbox Twenty "How Far We've Come"

My mountain getaway is more organic than your mountain getaway.





Sam and I mercifully had a chance to get out of town for a few days and recharge. We chose to go to Asheville based on recommendations from various folks (thanks, Cara and others) and spent Wednesday through Friday there. Here's a recap!



We woke up later than planned on Wednesday and I rushed off to get an oil change and tire rotation at my local dealership. While I was waiting, I did some work on a writing project, read my latest book, and tried to resist pulling the TV off the wall and throwing it out the window during The View. After 2.5 hours OJ had finally made it through the line of cars and was done, so I rushed out of there to the ATM and gas station, then picked up Sam and our luggage and we were off, with some Chick-fil-a on the way. The drive was uneventful and we arrived in Asheville around 7 to check in to our bed and breakfast.

Our host, David, toured us around the fabulous house and showed us our room; we got the Emily Dickinson Suite on a discount, lol. And we intermittently saw the owners' two Welsh Corgis throughout our time there; <3 them. Then we sat around in the sun room drinking wine and reading magazines, and intermittently chatting with a couple from St. Louis. When we finally mobilized and got out the door, we drove to downtown (which was right down the street) and scoped out a place for dinner. The winning restaurant was a tiny noodle shop, where we ate a ton of fabulous noodles and almost sploded before going out to find the nearest Ingles to buy beer for our room. And the rest of that night was spent drinking and watching our fancy TV.

Some photos of our room:


Entryway



Living room. I almost hit my head on those damn low-hanging lights a few times.



Fake fireplace and TV. Both remote controlled.



Bedroom



Bed, and Sam fiddling with his iPhone



Our desk chair was pre-ironed. :D




We woke up at 8:45 or so Thursday and trooped downstairs for breakfast. Not just any breakfast, but three-course, served-on-crystal-and-china, lit-candlesticks-and-fresh-flowers-on-the-table-breakfast. It was pretty awesome food, and the dessert was flourless chocolate cake. I died a little. We chatted with the other guests, all of whom were straight couples from somewhere in NC or VA (other than the previously mentioned St. Louisians). After they were done cookin', David and one of the owners, Frank, joined us and recommended things to do. We bought Biltmore Estate tickets directly from Frank, and talked to him one-on-one after everyone had evacuated to their respective days, then we got on the road ourselves and drove to Biltmore, which I have wanted to visit for a very long time. And we spent the entire day there, weeee. Including a visit to the winery, weeee!








Sam at the entrance






It's castley. Yes, that's the technical term.



Back of the house



Gardens






Conservatory



Inside the conservatory






Hiding from a murderous Jack Nicholson in the hedge maze



Sam being eaten by a fountain fish



Sam and Diana



The view




I was impressed by how much of the house we actually were able to see on the general tour (we didn't opt for any of the rooftop/secret/lick the Vanderbilt descendants in person tours); all four floors and the basement were included, and we saw lots of recently restored servants' quarters too. (Hint: housekeeping staff had much better digs than kitchen staff. Just in case you're ever forced to choose between the two.) Following that, we went back to the B&B to have more wine and play a few games of chess, all of which Sam won because he is smart. And because I've barely played chess since elementary school. But! It was fun ... and was followed by a nap before we ventured out for dinner. That night, we ate at a mostly-empty Italian place called Fiore's, where we were seated in a very dark booth and ate pasta, me with beef, carrots, and crimini mushrooms and Sam with tons of seafood. After that, we took another trip to our friendly Ingles and bought some cheap wine (six dollars! with tax!) and drank while watching Office Space in our room; I can finally say that I've seen the whole movie, and it gets an A. Mainly for the O-face guy and Milton. :D

I woke up around 8:30 on Friday and got some coffee from the hallway right outside our room, and vegged out while Sam slept, then we went down for another giant breakfast. This time there were slightly fewer guests so we all fit on one table, and we chatted while we ate our baked eggs and Ukrainian poppyseed croissants. (Sam gets mega-extra points for picking this place, lol.) Then we went back upstairs, Sam took a nap to recover from the food while I watched crappy reality shows, and then we packed up and checked out. Upon checkout the hostess lady on duty gave us a book listing all of the other B&Bs in their mafia outfit loyalty program and we were on our way.

We'd made plans to hike at Linville Falls, but first we were tipped off to a furniture store that was going out of business. Even with the sooper discounts, though, everything was expensive and not all that special. We checked out an interiors store next door, then got gas and made our way out to Linville. Except that after turning on to a two-lane state highway, we were stuck behind half of a doublewide trailer being hauled to its new site. For 20 miles. It can't go very fast over hills and around curves, so that was annoying. But we eventually made it to our destination and did a few hours of hiking, to see the falls from various angles. There was a light rain some of the time, but it really didn't bother us. Because we were here:





From above



We're happy to be here. Really.



Upper falls area



Look Ma, a cave!



From way way above




I have other photos I took with my phone after my camera battery died. Maybe someday you'll see them. But don't count on it.

Anyhow, we packed up after that and drove back toward Durham. We stopped for dinner at a Village Inn Pizza in Statesville, as found by Sam. It was an all you can eat joint, with lots of basic but tasty pizza and a salad bar with far more meats, cheeses, and goopy pasta/potato/tuna salads than vegetables. And it was awesome. :D Sam finished the driving and we got to my house around 8:15 that night. I'm so glad we went! Although I did not see the shoe store where head_of_fema got hit on by a shoe salesman. :P


I'd love to go back sometime. Maybe when there are actual blooms on flowers.



When you're not sick of my insanely long entries, I'll write about my weekend around here.

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Comments {10}

Amy

(no subject)

from: withevrylite
date: Mar. 17th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
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Aww it looks like you dudes had a good time. CUTE room!!!! Laurel and I went to the mountains this week too, but we were in West Jefferson and we didn't see no Biltmore House.

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jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
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It was fun, indeed. Hope you all had fun too!

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jetstoamsterdam

(no subject)

from: jetstoamsterdam
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
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That first picture of Sam up there reminds me of pictures parents take of their 9 year old who's shrieking "NO MOM I DON'T WANT TO BE IN ANOTHER PICTURE. ...MOOOOOM."

:)

Pretty pictures.

Don't tell Sam but your camera definitely has better quality than his iPhone.

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jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
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Heh, he was willing to take the photo, even if he doesn't look that way.

My own phone actually takes photos of similar quality, but my 4-year old camera decided to work this week so I was able to use that. :)

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Southleft

(no subject)

from: southleft
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)
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The iPhone pictures are better if you click on them! Go back and click and it'll come up not blurry. I just didn't know how to use LJ.

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jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Ah, I see.

I think your HTML might be a little wonky; I can show you how to make it better if you'd like. :)

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jetstoamsterdam

(no subject)

from: jetstoamsterdam
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
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P.S. Where are the pictures of Frank? And Ida Claire?

I have searched the website to no avail.

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jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Mar. 18th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
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I didn't take any ... the dogs were only out briefly, in case any guests don't like them, I guess. And Frank, while super nice, wasn't terribly notable either. :P

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zobra

(no subject)

from: zobra
date: Mar. 23rd, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
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hahaha. that first pic of you and sam looks like you were hiking in a suit jacket.

nice shots, I especially like "the view"

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jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Mar. 24th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
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LOL it kind of does.

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