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

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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!

 

Dining with Dogs in Asheville

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Hans and Hazel are my dogs and definitely my best friends.  I try to take them just about everywhere that I go.  When they were babies, I could actually take them to restaurants and breweries.  But now that they are full-grown labrador retrievers, I am embarrassed to say that they are not well-trained enough for many of these dog-friendly venues.

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The above picture is of Corky whose master is the owner of Battery Park Book Exchange.  If you haven’t yet been to this book store, grab your canine and check it out…great champagne, wine, coffee, desserts, and appetizers in a superb atmosphere!

According to the Citizen-Times, these are great places to eat and very dog friendly:

  • Posana Restaurant even has a dog menu!
  • The Hop Ice Creamery makes a dog-friendly flavor.
  • Ultimate Ice Cream also makes ice cream for dogs.
  • Twisted Laurel has a great patio for dogs and people-watching.
  • Avenue M has locally baked dog treats.
  • Upcountry Brewing allows dogs throughout the brewery and are going to be adding a fenced area for them in back.

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Hans & Hazel are allowed to come dine out if I have extra sets of hands to control them.  We have been to Hickory Tavern and The Thirsty Monk in Biltmore Park.  Most restaurants with outside seating are very accommodating to dogs with fresh water and places to hook their leashes.

I will say our best dining out together is to picnic while on a hike.  They must carry their own lunch box though!

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Let’s expand on the dining and explore pet-friendly places to stay.  According to Trip Advisor, Hilton Garden Inn, The Indigo Hotel, Four Points Hotel, and The Haywood Park Hotel are all very pet friendly and are in downtown Asheville!

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There are also many VRBO’s and Air BnB’s that are pet friendly because who wants to come to Asheville without their dogs to hike with?

I am building a house in a planned VRBO community that I’m designing for dogs (no carpet, indestructible materials, porch with gate, etc.)  For more information please send me a message.  Check out the website with floor plans and the layout of the community below:

Cedar Cliff Village

Woof Woof and have a great day!

 

Let’s Do Brunch!

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Wow!  Check out Maddie’s Bloody Mary at Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville!  It is practically a whole meal with the delicious vegetables and crispy bacon.  They create their own mix and hot sauce.  Maddie likes it extra spicy! For breakfast, my favorites are the four egg wild mushroom omelette and the daily special, fired avocado scramble.

Sunny Point Cafe

The drawbacks are parking and wait time.  But, you can walk through the gardens as you wait and drink the complimentary hot coffee.

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Also in West Asheville is Isis Music Hall and yes, they do brunch!  The wait time is reasonable, food is great, but parking also tends to be a challenge.

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Isis Music Hall Brunch

If you are staying downtown and can walk, try Early Girl Eatery and Tupelo Honey Cafe. (Are you seeing a theme here with parking issues?)

Early Girl

I am partial toward the Early Girl Bennie.

Early Girl

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And I love Tupelo Honey’s Honey and the fried green tomatoes can’t be beat.

Tupelo Honey Cafe

If you absolutely detest driving around for parking and waiting forever, try Tupelo Honey Cafe in South Asheville.  The Roux in the Hilton at Biltmore Park also serves an amazing brunch.  Parking and wait time are rarely an issue.

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Less Brunchy-type places, but also very good are City Bakery and Biscuit Head which have several locations in and around Asheville.  I love anything with avocado at City Bakery.  You will stand in line at these places, order your food, and hopefully find a place to sit.

Biscuit Head

City Bakery

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Try to get to these early for shorter wait times.  However, if you do have to wait, it is worth it.  Farm to table, homemade and unbelievably delicious food!

Don’t forget that I have links at the bottom of each page on this website for restaurants and other things to do in Asheville.  Enjoy!

 

 

Valentine Day is Just around the Corner

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And…Love is in the Air…

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Guys, if you haven’t yet made reservations, you better get on it quick!

Knowing Asheville the way I do, these are the things that I would like my honey to reserve…

Grove Park Inn Spa Treatments.  Since Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday we have lots of leeway.  If you don’t yet have a reservation, try for the weekend before or after.   Many other massage places are very nice as well such as Sensibilities, Spa Theology, and Sparrow Spa.

Grove Park Spa

For dinner reservations, my favorite “cozy” places are:

 

corner kitchenThe Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village.  Because the restaurant is in an historic house built in 1895, the rooms are small and offer a lot of intimacy at your personal table.  Plus, the food is fantastic!

Jerusalem Garden has cushions with surrounding curtains to sit on.  You can cozy up to your sweetheart and not feel uncomfortable in a public place.

Jerusalem Gardens cafe

Most downtown AVL restaurants are crowded  and the tables are sandwiched in.  If you book a downtown restaurant ask for a booth in the back like these shown at Modesto…

modesto cozy booth

After dinner, chocolate and coffee…Chocolate Fetish, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Kilwins, Chocolate Gems are all divine!

And…please see these additional links for the best chocolate…

Asheville Chocolates

Baxley’s Chocolates

The Chocolate Fetish

French Broad Chocolate Lounge

http://vanschocolates.com/

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If you are making a weekend of it, breakfast at Tupelo Honey, Sunny Point Cafe, Isis, or Early Girl…  Yes, ISIS is a music venue, but has an amazing brunch as well.  And you can make a reservation which most others will not allow.

ISIS

Early Girl

 

Followed by a long winter hike.  Winter views are amazing, and the weather is typically not too cold.  Wear layers!

Bearwallow Mountain…

Bearwallow Mountain

 

For more suggestions see.

romanticasheville.com

Cheers!

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Fun Things to do in January

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Happy 2018 to my followers!  Thank you for sticking with me for another year of Asheville and Western North Carolina news and events.  Check out this picture!  A colleague of mine took this of the French Broad River and claimed that in his 25 years of living here has never seen this.  Wow!  We are having extremely cold and unusual weather.

But, being the optimist that I am, I will encourage you to enjoy these winter months just as much as the summer months.

Beverly-Hanks marketing department has made a very comprehensive list of great things to do, so I won’t reinvent the wheel.  Please see the link below:

Fun things to do in the winter

I will add some indoor faves in the winter…

Bookstores with coffee (and champagne)…

Cozy up at Malaprops and Battery Park Book Exchange.

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Sit by the many outdoor heating sources for a drink and enjoy the winter views:

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The Grove Park Inn

AC Marriott

AC Marriott Bar

Attend a play or two:

Asheville Community Theatre

Bundle up and shop:

Biltmore Park

Biltmore Village

Biltmore Park

Asheville Outlets

 

 

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