This was a weekend of women.
I drove, with my younger sister M, to see K and her girlfriends in Asheville. We stayed at their new apartment with their new Labrador and their old cat, and their cupboard that contained rice and microwave popcorn. Two chefs. Rice. Microwave popcorn. Unreal.
The first order of business was to get some food in the house, so M and I hit the local farmer’s market, as we’re both on the sustainable agriculture train. She’s the mother of three, one college age and two in secondary school, so when we went to the grocery next, between the two of us, we bought up all kinds of canned and frozen foods so the girls should be set for some time to come, especially since they both eat at the Biltmore at least one meal a day.
We also toured downtown Asheville, grabbing lots of breakfast sunshine, scones and bagels at the Grove Arcade. One little artsy shop had some adorable accent light crabs about a foot across…we both wanted to take one home! (Though they cost more there than at this website…hmm…tourists, anyone?)
After a rousing confrontation with the Biltmore security staff, we took the girls to dinner (including K’s friend N, who had just come from the emergency room under suspicion of swine flu!) at Thai Basil, then K’s roommate S treated us to ice cream at Kilwin’s. If you’ve been there, you’ll know the degree of yummy satisfaction we had. Fudge. Enough said.
Sunday we took the long trip home again, but we diverged along the Blue Ridge Parkway for the first leg of the journey, a trip neither of us had made before.
“A drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway is slow paced and relaxing,” the website says, and that’s very true. For the majority of the part we traveled in North Carolina, the elevation was between 3,000-5,000 feet and curvy as a sidewinding snake. It was Slow-paced or Die, pretty much.
But slowing down allowed us to see many beautiful fall vistas, as the mid-range was definitely at peak autumn color*:
Along the Parkway, we found few places to stop, but we were constantly reminded of the breathtaking nature of…nature. Like the area around Linville Falls:
As always, I enjoyed being on the road, though after taking the Parkway, I did gain a solid appreciation of the modern expressway. All the same, there’s something to be said for taking the back roads, waiting to see what awaits beyond the next corner:
*Thanks to guest photographer M for sharing her photos and a sister-bonding trip. 🙂