Asheville Trip

Still playing catch up here, but I wanted to write a little bit about the girls trip I took recently with my mom and sister. My mom recently had brain surgery (her second of such in 4 years–long story) and had time off work. She also had a free airline ticket that she needed to use, so she opted to take my sister and me to Asheville, North Carolina for our recent birthdays.

We flew into Nashville because it was significantly cheaper and we knew the drive would be beautiful. The flight there was gorgeous as we floated up above the clouds.

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Once we landed, we got our rental car and headed off to see a few sights before lunch. We stopped by Vanderbilt University to take a quick look around,

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then continued on to Centennial Park and the Parthenon.

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If only it were the real Parthenon:) Someday I’ll make it to Greece!

After that, we stopped for a quick lunch and then drove over to the Belle Mead Plantation. We didn’t have tons of time, so we didn’t go instead, but instead just wandered the grounds for a bit.

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We also stopped by Andrew Jackson’s family home, but when we saw that it took at least 2-3 hours to see everything, we decided we better not stay. We still had to make the five hour drive to Asheville and it was approaching late afternoon. So we hit the road!

The next morning we were off to see the Biltmore, which is the Vanderbilt family home.

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It’s a gorgeous (and huge!) home, nestled on 8,000 acres of absolutely stunning land.

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We spent the whole day there, ate some lunch, wandered the gardens, took lots of pictures and watched the sun set.

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The next day we ate a delicious breakfast in a super cute cafe with tons of gluten-free options for me and then decided to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to see more fall colors. We don’t get fall colors like that in Texas, so we were all in awe. The drive started off a little bit hazy and dreary,

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but as we continued to make our way up the mountain, the sun slowly started to peek out. And then we saw this:

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So amazing! We kept going and came to this:

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We stopped a lot. Thankfully there were tons of lookout spots along the way. But even without them, the road itself was gorgeous.

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Finally we reached the highest point, and the views from there were incredible.

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It was easy to see why they are called the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The timing of our drive ended up being perfect as the sun was beginning to set.

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So as we drove down, we stopped several more times to watch the sun go lower and lower and the sky get pinker and pinker.

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Wow. This had to have been the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken.

The next morning my sister and mom went to check out a local church. Since that’s not really my thing, I decided to go enjoy a solitary breakfast at a downtown cafe. I ate gluten-free pancakes, sipped on some chai tea, and read my new book.

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I actually kind of love doing things like that, so it was quite nice. After that we went to the North Carolina Arboretum for a bit, where they have the largest collection of bonsais on the east coast.

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I always thought that bonsai trees were a specific type of tree as opposed to just the specific type of pruning. So in fact, there are many different types of bonsai trees. I never knew that!

After walking around there for a bit, we decided on watching the sun set from the Grove Inn, which offers some of the best views of downtown Asheville and the mountains.

We ordered some appetizers out on the terrace and I got a champagne.

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As the sun started to sink below the horizon and the temperature began to drop, I became very envious of my mom’s amazing looking hot chocolate!

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Once again we sat in awe of the beauty surrounding us. The view from up there was gorgeous, and the hotel itself was spectacular.

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The photos really just don’t do it justice at all.

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One day I’d like to go back with Nathan. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic, mountain getaway!

The next morning, we got up early and started our trek back to Nashville. The morning was foggy, which made the mountain views even more spectacular. We ate lunch in Nashville then headed back to the airport for our return flight. After being redirected to San Antonio due to bad weather, we finally made it home two hours late. Poor Nathan had to sit and wait in the car with a sleeping Annabel because he had already arrived to pick me up by the time he got notice of our delay.

It was a quick trip, but a fun and beautiful one…and after five days away, I was so happy to be home with these two:

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