Happy (late) 2016 everyone! After a little time off, I am back in action! We had such a great trip to Asheville, North Carolina to visit John’s family over Christmas break. It was a week full of all of all my favorite things. Good food, even better company, and warm weather. I was lucky enough to have John playing tour guide for the week and showing me around all of his favorite spots. Here are a few of the highlights from our trip:
Grove Park Inn
After a great breakfast at Abejas House Cafe (a new Garrett family fave) we stopped by the Grovewood Gallery. Asheville is full of fabulous local artwork, and this place is not any different. We opened the doors and I didn’t even know where to start. The gallery has work ranging from jewelry and pottery to bedroom furniture, and everything in between. The whole time I kept thinking how amazing it would be to furnish a home with all of theses unique pieces! The price point varies quite a bit, so you’re sure to find something in your budget.
After the gallery we walked over the the hotel, which is actually more like massive resort. The hotel hosts a national gingerbread house competition each winter that brings swarms of visitors. It was a site to see! I was not only surprised by the number of houses that were on display, but the wide array of styles. I naively thought this was going to be run-of-the-mill gingerbread houses. I was way way off the mark. The level of craftsmanship and the creativity was astounding. Highly recommended!
After we went out for another delicious breakfast , this time at The Corner Kitchen, we headed to the Biltmore Estate. We missed visiting the Biltmore last year, so this time around we made a point to put it on the agenda. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The estate was so much bigger and more beautiful than I could have imagined. The tickets can get a little pricey and it was crowded, but between the house tour/conservatory/winery, it’s totally worth it. The house itself is lovely. The original decor was very well maintained (surprisingly so), and I found the history behind every detail interesting. The over the top Christmas decorations didn’t hurt either. After we toured the house we wandered around the grounds and ended up at the conservatory, which totally lived up to my (high) expectations. I would love to go back in the spring when the rest of the outdoor gardens are in bloom!
The Blue Ridge Parkway
We took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent the day exploring the highest parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We started off doing a hike up Black Balsam, which was crazy windy and cold at the top. Not my ideal weather conditions. On our way back down I finally figured out (curiosity was killing me) what all the men in trucks with big dogs riding in the back were doing. Hunting bear! I expected them to say tracking rabbits or something. After I got over the shock, we headed to Devils courthouse. That was a short walk (not really a hike) up to the top with gorgeous views. We continued to take the parkway to Richland Balsam, the peak of the parkway. Again, more amazing views. I can see the appeal, North Carolina.