Heeellloooo friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Does the month of May seem to be the month of Cray at your house???? School’s almost out, the field trips are ramping up (we have 3 next week), and all of the other end-of-year activities and projects are in full swing.
I’ve barely been able to come up for air and even enjoy our spring weather, or shall we say summer…here in Ohio we go from snow boots to swim suits in a matter of 3 days. A-n-y-w-a-y….I’m back and here to share our recent trip to Asheville, NC.
Greg and I decided to take a little getaway trip to celebrate his 40th birthday and our 15th wedding anniversary. We wanted to keep it somewhat low key, and my only stipulation was that it was somewhere south of us because I needed to be in warmer weather. Greg’s stipulation was that we have activities. He doesn’t really like to just sit and hang out for more than a day or so.
I can’t remember how we landed on Asheville exactly, but I knew it would be warmer. I had always wanted to tour The Biltmore, and I found out that they had a winery, so I think that’s what sealed the deal So our activities were The Biltmore tour, the winery, hiking (lots of hiking) and eating
Here’s a rundown of where we stayed, where we played and where we ate!
Our Home Away From Home
I found an amazing cottage on VRBO called The Suite at Bittersweet and it came with some pretty incredible views. Here are a few of the pics of the suite and the view from the deck.
The suite was located just 5.5 miles from Asheville and within close driving distance to countless trails for hiking. We actually spotted a black bear on our way down the mountain from our suite, but I couldn’t get a good pic through the car window. I was such a scare-dy cat that I didn’t want to roll it down to take pics even though the bear was not close to the car at all
Our week began with a hiking tour of 3 waterfalls in the DuPont Forest. We started on a trail that lead up to High Falls, then Triple Falls, and then off on a side trail to Hooker Falls.
At the beginning of the day we had planned to do this hike in the morning and then hike Mt. Pisgah after lunch. I think that was a bit ambitious of us because after this trail, which spanned about 4 miles of rugged, steep terrain, I was pretty tired. But, these views were totally worth the hike.
The Biltmore Estate
Oh you guys. You have to go see The Biltmore Estate at some point in your life. Most of us have seen pics, and they are glorious in their own right, but until you’ve seen it in person, you just can’t grasp how big, how palatial, and how awesome this house is. I use the word awesome because I was completely awestruck. I couldn’t stop staring at it.
George W. Vanderbilt created Biltmore in 1895 as a country estate and escape for his family and friends. The house which took 6 years to complete, sits on 8,000 acres and boasts incredible views of the Smoky Mountains.
All of the costumes from the movie Titanic were on display in various rooms of the house. You’ll see a few in my pics. It was pretty incredible to see these, not only because I’m a fan of the movie (I’ve seen it like 8 gajillion times), but because they were period pieces which helped you to visualize what people would have been wearing in the house during the Gilded Age.
Below is the robe that Rose (Kate Winslet) wore in the infamous scene where Jack draws Rose.
View from the loggia (back of the house).
View of the grand staircase from outside of the house. (ever wonder if you’re one of those random people that find their way into someone’s vacation photo??? Guess I could’ve cropped them out…oh well)
Bridge over Bass Pond
(You may have noticed some Chihuly displays in my pics. They were installing them while we were there as part of an upcoming exhibit.)
Annnnd, because I’m obsessed with orchids, here are a couple from the conservatory. I won’t bore you with the 900 other orchid photos I took!
We wrapped up the day with a tasting at the winery (complimentary with your admission). It was so lovely! I was kinda wiped out from hiking the grounds all day that I forgot to take any pics of the winery….But, it’s amazing as is everything there! It’s located in the old Biltmore Dairy Barn.
So we had one more stop to make before heading back to Ohio on the 4th day and guess what it included….more hiking!
The Appalachian Trail
Greg was really eager to get one more hike in before we left, so he actually found a trail on our way home. The point we climbed is called Sam’s Gap and it’s along the Appalachian Trail. It is a 4.2 mile round trip hike with half of the trail being up hill. I have to admit, I was a little freaked out that we were going to see another bear so I kept looking around and listening for weird sounds!
Well, there are plenty of weird sounds in the woods, but eventually I calmed down when we started seeing other hikers. I figured someone would hear me scream if I was being attacked!
We made it!!
Where to Eat!
I got a lot of recommendations from friends for places to eat on our trip. We took a few of them and added a couple of our own.
Wicked Weed – Super yummy pub fare with 25 beers on tap.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge – Gelato, chocolate confections to meet all of your hearts desires, coffee, and more! We went here twice! Can you blame us???
Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian – Wow. This place has authentic Italian fare, but with a fresh updated flavor. Sooo good! The chef’s daily specials are his own inspirations.
Never Blue – This one was a total accident. We stumbled upon it on the way back from our hike at DuPont Forest. It’s located in Hendersonville, which is about 30 min south of Asheville. All I can say is AMAZING. The food was beyond. Unique, fresh, tapas, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, etc. So so good.
The Bull & Beggar – Interesting and unique fare. We tried a few new things here…how did I not know that Greg had never eaten lobster???? The things you find out when you’re kid free…so we got the lobster roll to split. Yum!
Here are a few more random pics from downtown Asheville…what a fun place!! We can’t wait to go back!
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts
French Broad Chocolate Lounge