Sunday, August 29, 2010

Down a dark desert highway...

There is nothing more rejuvenating than going out of town sans child. I love my daughter more than I ever thought I could love anyone. However, now that I stay home and I am with her one hundred percent of the time mommy needs a break now and then. AND, Lila needed some serious daddy time. I am very lucky that I have an incredibly capable and amazing husband. I love that I have no qualms leaving for days at a time. He even washes the cloth diapers. Yes ladies, he's taken.

Anyway, Thursday after work mom, Sara, and I started our adventure to Asheville, NC. Fast forward approximately three hours and mom and I are driving down the darkest, windiest road into the abyss of Appalachia while Sara snores in the backseat. I knew that the cabin mom picked for our vacay was off the beaten path. I guess I wasn't totally prepared for the actual result.

We drove right past the "street" we were supposed to turn on and ended up at a gas station straight out of 1952 with a nice little lady that used the word "youins" instead of "ya'll". This was a new brand of redneck for me. I'm a straight up ya'll kind of girl. "Youins"(pronounced quickly but like you-ins) sounds way to foreign to me. Mom said she had heard it before but it had been quite a while. We seriously got there as they were closing and as I was about to run out of gas.  Thank God for little favors. We managed to get back on the road and successfully make our turn this time.

As we ascended up the mountain in the pitch black I turned into a five year old whiny little kid freaking out that the boogy man was going to come running out of the woods. Instead, a very excited dog jumped out of the creepiness near a lonely home and I may have peed my pants a little. Is that too much information? Well, I'm sorry but that's just life after birth now isn't it? Alright so we go around a curve on the now gravel "road" and in front of us is a cabin. Not the shiny, pretty cabin we saw on VRBO. This one looked like someone torched it or either decided to leave it thirty years ago. Mom and I looked at each other in a panic as I lurched my trusty Xterra around the curve to then see the shiny cabin we had hoped for. Again, thank God.

The cabin was adorable and the hot tub made us forget we were on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. We played Boggle and drank wine and excitedly discussed what was to be done the following day.

No one fully appreciates the art of sleeping in until they have a baby. I slept until NINE, showered alone, drank coffee while laying on the couch, and stared off into space while mom and Sara got ready. Now that's how you start off a vacation.

Our first stop was the Biltmore Village where we ate some scary good Mexican food (the beginning of an intense love affair with Asheville food) and we bought Lila things she doesn't need. Don't worry. We ALMOST bought her a hot pink poodle costume for Halloween. Sara was kind enough to tell mom and I that it was ugly. Instead, mom bought her the book "Once Upon A Potty" at Sara's insistence along with two very cute hair barrettes. I bought her a magnetic wooden puzzle that you will see soon in the next installment of Tot School.  By the way, if you have never read "Once Upon a Potty" or if it's just been a while, you must read it again. It's really priceless.

We then did the touristy tour of the Biltmore complete with a wine tasting. The Biltmore is pretty incredible. We all enjoyed the basement the most with the servants quarters, kitchens, and the swimming pool. If you've never been, the Biltmore is worth a trip!

We avoided the insanely high priced food near the winery and exited the Biltmore for downtown Asheville. Friday nights in the park include a drum circle where Sara could have stayed all night if we had let her. And it was much more than a circle. It was thirty people deep complete with dancing children, teenagers playing hacky sack, and tourists ogling. This would be local Asheville at it's finest.

Sara did some fantastic research on where to eat, but I'm pretty sure we couldn't have gone wrong. We went to Mayfel's for dinner where I ate more than my fair share of my favorite...fried green tomatoes. Let's back up. Asheville is well known for it's farm to table motto. In terms of food this town is perfection in my eyes. If I could transplant this mentality into a five mile radius of my house I would feel like all was right with the world. Who doesn't want to eat an entire plate of food grown down the street and molded into fine dining cuisine? I mean, if you're into canned vegetables who am I to judge? I'm just saying, this food was the BEST food I have had in my entire life. I can put back some food and I have done a pretty tremendous amount of traveling so you could say this is an impressive statement about Asheville.

Now I am starting to babble (or maybe I started to babble eight paragraphs ago) so I am going to wrap things up:
- We shopped like maniacs the rest of the trip....Sara bought many earrings, I bought a gorgeous and completely biodegradable purse, and mom bought many lovely things for her house.
- We ate A LOT more. If you ever go to Asheville, Early Girl Eatery and Tupelo Honey are a must. You will wait, but you will forget how long you waited upon first bite.
- We basically did a drive by at the Grove Park Inn. We went in, went to the bathroom, took a picture in front of the massive fireplace, and left. That's how we roll.
- We were met by the same dog every time we returned to the cabin. We played more games, sat in the hot tub, and slept in.

Speaking of pictures, I took some but it's late and I don't get to sleep in tomorrow. Plus, Sara took more than I did. When she gets them to me I will post them. Sorry for the length of the post....happy Monday!!!


  1. Reading this made me smile and smile some more ... and actually laugh out loud several times ... about Kujo the dog, and about the shack that we thought we might be living in for a few days, and about the VERY dark ride up the mountain. You were the best, Jana! I'm sure you must have wondered where in the HELL I had brought my daughters! I had so much fun with you two. I'd go again tomorrow if we could. I just so love hanging out with you and Sara ... more than anything else I've ever done or will ever do! I love you!! Thanks for putting up with me AND for being such a trooper about all the driving you had to do!

  2. I just want you to know that I've had Hotel California by The Eagles in my head all day b/c of the title of this blog! Glad you guys had a great trip!

  3. So happy you got to get out of town... we definitely need/deserve a break every once in a while...
    PS. The bit of this post that stood out to me the most was that you got to sleep in til NIINNNEEEE. Bitch! (I mean that in the most loving way possible...)


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