Holidays are Almost Here!

 

Xmas Biltmore

Thanksgiving is upon us, and Christmas will be here before we know it!  Start planning now for events to get in the spirit, ways to volunteer, and great places to shop.

xmas gingerbread

 

My favorites are the Grove Park Inn Gingerbread competition and the Biltmore Estate Christmas decorations.  There is also the downtown holiday parade, Biltmore Village carolers, and beautiful light displays.

xmas parade

Head to the Arboretum or Lake Julian for their festival of lights.

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Visit Explore Asheville for a complete calendar of events:

Explore Asheville

Also, for volunteer activities, I have worked with Manna Food Bank, Eblen Charities, and the Eliada Home.  For more information, please click on the following link…

Asheville Today

And finally, Shopping!  Please support the locally owned shops and boutiques downtown.  You will find an abundance of unique gifts.  My favorites for the girls in our lives are Hazel Twenty, Lost and Found, and Traveling Chic Boutique.

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Cheers!!!

Halloween and Peak Leaf Season are here!

Fall biltmore

Where is the fall color? Due to the overnight temperatures being 9 degrees warmer on average, this is a record year for fall…and not in a good way.  The leaves are changing but seem to be falling off the trees as rapidly as they are changing color.  If you’ve made the trek to Western North Carolina this weekend anyway, please see the list of where you might want to enjoy the beauty of fall.

Higher elevations like Mount Mitchell and Craggy gardens have already dropped most of the leaves.  Elevations between 2000-3500 should have the best color this weekend and the first weekend in November.  According to the “Asheville Citizen-Times” writers:

  • Chimney Rock
  • Cashiers
  • Blue Ridge Parkway at Haywood – Jackson County line, milepost 431, or Waterrock Knob at milepost 455.
  • Whitewater Falls, off N.C. 281 near Gorges State Park

fall pumpkin

So what about things to do regarding Halloween?  Festivities begin this weekend.  You may want to start out by getting your costume at the tent by the Asheville Mall.

fall costumes

Haunted Tours are a must!  Again, according to the citizen times, you have plenty to choose from:

LaZoom Ghost Tours

Pinhead’s Graveyard

Haunted High

Howl-o-Ween

Haunted Trail

fall lazoom

Finally, take a look at all of these Halloween parties throughout town:

  • MG Road: Monster Makeout Dance Party, 254-4363
  • Grove House Entertainment Complex, 505-1612
  • The Mothlight Halloween Party, 252-5433
  • Zansa: A Celebration of Masks at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall, 575-2737
  • Nightbell’s Halloween Masquerade Gala, 575-0375

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Miscellaneous Ideas for Fall Fun

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My ankle has finally healed!  I am back to blogging now that I can get around Asheville again, try things out, and make recommendations.  I duplicated this fall post from last year and added a few tidbits.  Enjoy!

Asheville gets inundated with what I call “The Leaf People” at this time of year.  No worries (other than traffic), we love our tourists and showing off our vibrant city.  So please see the links for activities, ideas, and fall real estate news:

TopTenTrails

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Too tired or sore to hike, then go for a drive and listen to this playlist from local musicians:

Autumn Playlist

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is such a lovely place to see fall color.  Our Beverly-Hanks blog has more great information:

Blue Ridge Parkway

Ready for Selfies in and around Asheville?

15 Most Instagrammable Spots

Good Vibes

And finally, what’s going on with Real Estate?  Our inventory keeps getting lower and lower especially in more affordable price ranges.

Beverly-Hanks Market Research Center

If you are thinking about selling, try out our “cool” new tool to get 3 estimates of your home’s worth AND to see the number of buyers in our network looking for a home just like yours!

 

Walking Again Soon!

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Hi Friends!  Will this be my last blog post about navigating Asheville without walking? My next x-ray is this week, and although I’ll still be in a boot, I am hoping that I can begin weight-bearing. It will be so much easier to get around!

I am pleased that two of our local tourist destinations/activities were very accommodating to me this week.  I am still using my crutches/scooter/iwalk to get around and visited both the Biltmore Estate and the LaZoom Tour Bus.

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The Chihuly exhibit at the estate runs through October.  It is a must see as the glass sculptures are absolutely amazing!  This particular sculpture appears to be designed after my hairstyle 🙂

The Koi Pond is surrounded by gravel, so it was a bit difficult to get around on my scooter.  But, there are handicapped ramps to access the pond as well as other areas at the house and gardens.

 

 

The Antler Hill Village Winery was very easy to scoot around with ramps where needed.  Finally, dinner at The Bistro was excellent.  Waiters were very attentive to my needs and seated me in a booth with ample room for my boot and parking for my scooter.

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The Downtown Beverly-Hanks office did their annual LaZoom Bus Tour which was a blast.  Our tour guide helped me on and off the bus and let me sit in the front where there was plenty of room to stretch my leg and place my crutches.

If you haven’t yet taken the tour, please do.  It’s not only hilarious, but you will learn much about the history of Asheville and the area.

On One leg so far…

one leg kayak

Hi Readers!  I so hate to disappoint you, but it’s probably not best to vacation in Asheville in a cast.  However, if you find yourself here with your friends or relatives…here is what I have found that works…

Kayaking!  You will need to be helped in and out, but you can definitely do it on calm water.  And the French Broad (normally) has calm water so no worries about capsizing. You do float by the Biltmore Estate without the entry charge…nice!

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I tried walking around in an iwalk and it is too dangerous…you will break other bones, so don’t go there.

Uber around downtown to enjoy the restaurants, bars, and shopping.

Do the pub cycle…

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They don’t really peddle up these hills as there is a motor 🙂

My favorite…the spas…Asheville has the most amazing spas so pamper yourself, you deserve it!  Grove Park Inn spa…

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Attend our local Athletic Events.  We now have a women’s semi-pro soccer team in Asheville!  The team has had an amazing inaugural season with great attendance and dedicated fans already.  South slope is still home to the Tourists Baseball team and now the Men’s and Women’s soccer teams at Memorial Stadium.

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Asheville Tourists Schedule

And finally, pitch a chair and do concerts.  Asheville has the best music scene on the east coast!  For a line up visit…

Asheville Summer Concerts

 

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Asheville in a cast..To be continued…

Challenging Terrain

Broadway

Hi Readers!  So I am in a cast and non-weight-bearing through the rest of the summer.  Will I stay at home and brood about it?  Definitely not!  But…how can I possibly do Asheville on crutches?  I’ll start out by saying that uber is my savior.  I live one mile to downtown Asheville, so ubering to wherever I want to go is not an issue.  The issue is when I get there…do I do my scooter?  Crutches?  Wheelchair?

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but people in general do not take sympathy and look out for you.  I feel like I am an annoyance to anyone trying to get to where they want to be in a hurry.

What I have gathered so far about Asheville with one leg…DON’T Do it!  I fell right in front of Ingles today when my crutch slid across the yellow line.

Visiting rooftop bars this weekend is all my family really tried to do and we were successful!  Elevators!  Although they did not want to uber 1.5 blocks to the restaurant, so Cody offered to piggy-back me…

I’m thinking tubing and River Arts might work…I’ll let you know.

Handicapped in the mountains…can it be done?

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So here I am getting ready to blog about something I would never have asked upon myself.  My Hans pulled me down while trail running, and although I denied it for a week, I do have a broken ankle.  Surgery, cast, boot, the whole shebang!  So here I go trying to navigate my way around Asheville, showing property with Beverly-Hanks, and actually riding this scooter up and down these steep slope streets?  Maybe?  Maybe not?

Always being “Glass Half Full” I figured, why not blog about it.  Is Asheville the least bit handicapped friendly? And if you cannot mountain bike, hike, swim..what can you do?  Well I intend to find out.

Stay tuned readers!

Free Asheville Early Summer Festivals!

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Drum Circle – While this is not technically a “festival,” it sure does feel like one.  The Vibe is very contagious and you’ll want to get up and dance even if you don’t normally dance!  Starts every Friday around 6:00 PM.

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Beer City Festival – Starts Now and lasts all week!!!  The scene above will be in pack square June 2.  Many of the local breweries are making their own specials that they describe with such detail, it will make your mouth water.

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Southern Highland Clay Fest – at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway which is the most visited attraction on the parkway. Saturday, June 9, 2018, 10 AM–4 PM

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Bluff Mountain Festival – Come soak in hot natural mineral springs…this looks so inviting! This bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing festival takes place in Hot Springs, NC, June 9, 10 AM to 6 PM.

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Xpand Fest – This one sounds really cool.  I have not attended it because it is just in its 2nd year.  Held in Asheville’s up and coming South Slope, “Xpand Fest uses music and arts as an innovative tool towards sustainable development and reminds us that the arts are a powerful platform for social change” according to their website.

See Xpand Your Vision for more information, June 9 12-10 PM

Xpand Fest

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The following three festivals repeat in downtown Asheville:

Downtown after Five, June 15, July 20, August 17 and September 21, 2018

Asheville Art in the Park, June 16, repeats every three weeks

Shindig on the Green, Saturdays 7-10 PM, Pack Square, June 30, July 7, 14, 21, Aug 11, 18, 25, Sept. 1

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All Go West Music Festival – 743 Haywood Road.  In addition to the great music, I’m sure this one is great for “people watching.”

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Hola Asheville – This makes my stomach growl in anticipation of the delicious Latin-American food cooked up at the festival!  Pack Square, June 23, 12-8PM

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More to come about the July 4th Festivals!

 

 

Bear Safety in Western North Carolina

I call them “My Bears”, just as I would my dogs or cats.  I name them and talk to them when they come to visit.  The four cubs you see here are Penelope, Phoebe, Pistol, and Ping.  All of the pictures and videos in this post are taken from my iPhone at my house or in our shared driveway.

4 cubs still shot with mama

 

Now that spring is here and summer is approaching, it’s good to remember the “rules” as far as bear safety in Western North Carolina.  As cute and fascinating as these animals are, we must remember they are NOT pets.  We should not feed them, approach them on foot and take pictures in close vicinity, shoot them with any type of gun or sling shot.  We can bang pots and pans, blow whistles, wave our arms and shout, and even throw rocks if they become in any way threatening.  (I have never been personally threatened here at the house or while trail running.)

 

 

 

Romantic Asheville website listed several good tips with bear safety especially with camping.  Always lock food in the car!  Never eat your nightly munchies in your tent and fall asleep…

  • Avoid camping and hiking alone in the backcountry.
  • If camping in national forest or parks, check with the ranger’s office for any bear advisories. All food and food-related items should be stored at campsites in a hard-sided bear-resistant canister, or in the trunk of a vehicle, except when preparing and consuming food. Bear canisters are required in some areas in Pisgah National Forest.
  • Do not leave food or garbage inside fire rings, grills at campsite or cabin. Wipe tabletops clean.
  • Never store food inside of a tent.
  • Items that are not considered bear resistant include ice chests, coolers, boxes, cans, tents, soft-sided campers and passenger areas of vehicles.
  • Never leave food or coolers unattended, even in developed picnic areas.
  • Make noise to avoid surprising a bear.
  • Never approach a bear or other wild animal. Mama bears are very protective of her cubs.
  • Do not hike in the dark.
  • Carry EPA registered bear pepper spray.
  • If a bear is observed nearby, pack up your food and trash immediately and vacate the area ASAP.
  • If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it.
  • If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run. Get into a vehicle or a secure building.
  • Never run away from a bear—back away slowly and make lots of noise.
  • If you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back using any object available. Act aggressively and intimidate the bear by yelling and waving your arms. Playing dead is not appropriate.

One final piece of advice from personal experience … if they stand on hind legs, I have found they are just curious.  Even moms with cubs are not typically aggressive if you do not move forward and approach them.   Back away slowly as they run off in the other direction.

I had to add one more video this morning to remind everyone to take trash out just before the trash man comes!!!

 

Wow!  Another day with bears in my yard…so I warmed up leftover pizza and took it outside to work at my laptop during my lunch hour.  Hans & Hazel are patiently sitting and awaiting the crust when all of a sudden Hans goes ballistic!  He runs to the fence and is barking ferociously.  There are 3 bears, one of whom is still sniffing and walking forward to my table even with Hans going crazy!  So, one last warning, the bears are hungry and are not afraid to find food wherever they smell it!  They will visit you any hour of the day!

 

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