As much as we were enjoying Atlanta, we were excited to get going because we were meeting Aunt Alice and Uncle Dan next in Asheville! Alice & Dan rented a lovely house with great artwork and beautiful views near downtown Asheville. We stayed with them after dropping Clyde off at the Freightliner facility (where he was born!) in Gaffney, SC for a check up. In the five days we had together with Alice & Dan in Asheville, we endured rain, then snow, and then 80 degrees with sun! Three seasons in under a week that still somehow allowed us to do everything we wanted to do in the area, plus gave us time to just sit around and bond (my favorite thing to do IN THE WORLD). We enjoyed walking around the galleries and ate at several good restaurants in town. We drove out to the Biltmore Estate and enjoyed a special exhibit at the house, “Fashion from Titanic the movie”. So much fun to remember Jack and Rose and the beautiful “Heart of the Ocean” necklace. We did not try to reenact the famous scene on the bow of the ship but in hindsight I realize we should have. The porch at the house had just the perfect lighting for Alice and I to stand against the balcony with our hair blowing in the wind and our arms spewed to the sides, shouting “I’m flying!”, but then we would eventually have to look back at Dan and Johan who would be either a) looking at us strangely wondering how we became so drunk or b) looking at their phones researching if our collective app idea is a viable business opportunity. Either way, they would not be standing behind us participating in our dramatic moment. After the home tour, we continued on to the gardens and then to the winery. (For those of you going, the Biltmore makes a variety of wines and sells them for a surprisingly reasonable price!)
In the evenings we enjoyed the large porch on the side of the house with beautiful sunset views, one night even spotting Jupiter without a telescope. (I think it was Jupiter, maybe it was Saturn. When it hadn’t moved after several hours I at least had to admit it wasn’t an airplane.) We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and hiked a few trails in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. We were sad how quickly the time passed and gloomy when we had to say goodbye. But we will see them again for Duck and Justin’s wedding in August!
We had just one more day in Asheville after Alice & Dan left before heading to Nashville. We started out exploring the River Arts District but quickly abandoned our tour of the galleries when we came across the New Belgium Brewing Company. By the time the 90 minute tour was over I almost decided to forego wine for beer in the future – the tour guide (and the beer) was really that good. Even Johan Beersnob DeKeyzer admitted he liked the beer more than he expected to, and we actually have some bottles of Fat Tire in Clyde today. Five beers just wasn’t quite enough, so we wrapped up the day with a trip to the Asheville Distilling Co. and a whiskey tasting hosted by the lovely Troy Ball, of Troy & Sons. Listening to Troy tell her story of moving to Asheville and becoming the first woman with a legal distillery license (color me inspired!), we were not only compelled to buy a bottle of her Blonde whiskey, but also her book, Pure Heart. We continue to be the luckiest people – enjoying precious time with family and friends in our travels, and meeting new friends we will never forget along the way.