Thursday, July 12, 2012

Asheville, NC

I've been visiting Asheville, NC since my college roommate moved there after graduation.  Now, it doesn't have the beach, but it is a damn fun city for a vacation.  Up in the Appalachian mountains, you can check out the hiking trails or drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I actually went horseback riding for the first time ever last year.  More importantly, the town has about a dozen breweries in the city limits.  Twice that in the surrounding area makes it a beer lover's paradise.  Check out the Fire Escape Ale if you get a chance; it's infused with jalapenos!

It's the mountain scenery though.  The best time I ever had in Asheville was with a bunch of friends from college.  We didn't interact with a soul.  The seven of us rented a place way the hell up in the boonies.  Between the keg, the hot tub, and my friends,  I could live there forever.  Sans beach.  I know, madness.

The whole town is full of hippies and hipsters.  I can't actually tell them apart, but they both are apparently health nuts.  This has the effect of making all the food amazing.  I had a fried egg BLT at a place called Tupelo Honey CafĂ© and I can't remember a better breakfast.  My buddy in the Peace Corps keeps sending me emails telling me to eat as much as possible before the variety in my diet severely diminishes.  I could fatten up nicely in Asheville.  My last night there we had a big cookout with grilled corn, homemade steak fries and sauces, burgers and dogs, and the freshest toppings straight from some nearby farm.  Oh, and I learned a sweet trick on how to grill dogs that I will be trying myself.  I know food and travel are intimately linked in my life, but Asheville just has something unique going for it.  And such information must be shared.

Check out Asheville the next time you are in the mood for a mountain trip.

Sigh, parting is such sweet sorrow.  It was really good to see my old friend once more before I'm off.  We are on the home stretch, ladies and gents.  The next time I see you is like to be the last.

For the foreseeable future at least.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A week in NC

I'm tired.  Quite.  Traveling does that to you.  I had planned on a road trip to go up to Milwaukee this month, but I had to cave.  If I didn't have any place to be I might be willing to devote the time to it.  But I want to enjoy this last month in Charleston.  If I rushed the trip, well, that defeats the point.  There will be time for road trips later.  Besides, God taught man to fly, best take advantage of it.  I decided this while driving all around North Carolina this past week.  It probably didn't help that my radio is too damn quiet to hear with the windows down and my A/C refuses to be more effective than a light breeze.  Who the hell turned on the heat this week?  Clarice, I love you, but you are getting old.

It was a grand week though.  I hiked out in the wilderness and swam in a rock query.  I fished with my brother and grilled out by Lake Johnson.  (Actually, I know nothing of fishing and just watched him.  Oh, and we never actually caught anything either; does it still count as fishing?)

Was pretty though.

We played videogames, watched Netflix, and had late night brotherly conversations turned pissing contests.  Just like brothers do.  I saw some old friends and reminisced about riding bikes through dirt parks when I was eight years old.  I spent time with new friends, who I hope to see again. I went to a wedding in the golf country of Pinehurst, NC.  It was fantastically beautiful to see two people who love each other so much get married.  Their family welcomed me into the fold without a thought.  Just laughter and stories.  And also a nice parting gift.  Beer, my favorite.

I will be back again soon enough, NC.  Then other things and other places and other adventures.  For now, I'm going to relax.  And write.  And entertain guests as we celebrate some American independence.