We were in the high country of North Carolina. We spent time wandering the mountains. A arts and craft fair on top of Beech Mountain the highest populated town in the East, a spectacular time at the museum and swinging bridge on Grandfather Mountain. The bridge hums in the wind and let me tell you with 40 MPH winds it was humming as we crossed it. It is a mile above sea level and the views are awesome. We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at a local craft store located in an historic home, hiked around the lake and picnicked among the trees.
We browsed the shops in Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. The art co-operatives were wonderful to see. We missed the art walk but loved the concept. All the artist galleries are open one evening a month and you stroll from art gallery to art gallery where refreshments are served. Sounds way better than a pub crawl to me.
We visited Linville Caverns. After seeing the Luray caverns it was a let down but brought about a whole new respect for those first discovering and exploring the caverns. And instead of a t-shirt to remember my vacation I found a beautiful mortal & pestle to use in my kitchen.
We spent a day in Asheville at the Biltmore Estate. Wow! We were able to tour the gardens before the rain started. A good two hours was spent in the many gardens and I could have spent longer if the weather and family would have allowed. We were so happy we opted for the audio tour. The attention to detail in this 250 room house was mind boggling. That a young bachelor built this blows my mind. The colors, carvings, artwork, antiques and thought awe inspiring. The fact that he deeply respected and honored those that created, designed and worked on the house elicited a deep respect. Youngest favorite room was the pool room. An indoor 70,000 gallon heated, lighted pool. Keep in mind this house opened Christmas Eve 1895. Hubby loved the billiards room. And it was quite impressive. The dining hall had three fire places and a pipe organ. Our house could be set in the center of the room and you could walk completely around it or sit on top of it. My favorite room of course was the library with over 10,000 books. And with all of that it wasn’t gaudy. After the house tour we headed to the winery and farm. The blacksmith was fantastic. And after his demonstration he played the anvil. What a beautiful musical instrument. We never knew.
Daddy and daughter went to the movies to see the Wolverine. I went to Art History Museum instead. They had an exhibit of American Impressionists. Lovely.
We ate breakfast in the cottage and packed a picnic for lunch. At night we tried different restaurants. We avoided the chains and sought out the mom and pop operations. There seemed no one food the high country was known for except maybe trout. One of the few foods I am not a fan of but, that is another story. We did have plenty of sweet tea. I did get my fried catfish and hush puppies one night. We had steaks, BBQ, Mexican and Cajun. We went to the Black Cat one night. They have a wide variety of burritos. I had a chicken satay that was delicious. One night we ate at the Bayou and I had the Louisiana sampler plate that included rice, sausage & beans, crawfish etoufee and gumbo. The gumbo was out of this world. I’m not a spice loving fan but gave it a try. You could taste all the wonderful flavors and then the heat hit the back of your throat. Your lips didn’t burn, you could taste it and it was really good.
And now I’m home and settling back in.