We're home from Asheville now. We got home on Friday afternoon.
I wanted to write more about Asheville because we really had a great time. I just loved the town. It was not what I was expecting at all! The locals are all so diverse and eclectic, at times Rich and I remarked we could have been in Camden Town. Yet all the tourists were upper-middle to upper class retirees in search of a good golf course. And everyone was fine with it.
The architecture in Asheville is amazing. The shops are all unique little boutique-y places. We saw lots of "green" shops, places that sold "recycled clothes" as opposed to "used" clothes, artsy shops and galleries, antique shops... all sorts. There are lots of restaurants. More vegetarian and vegan restaurants than I've seen in one small area. And all the "non" veggie restaurants have vegan and veggie options. Lots of outdoor seating...
I know I'm rambling and in my head I had lots of things to say about where we went and what we did... but there was just so much!
Some of our favorite places...
Our B&B. We stayed at the Princess Anne Hotel and I would HIGHLY recommend it. The staff, all of them, were so nice and friendly and welcoming. We had yummy breakfasts every morning and every evening they have wine and cheese and little nibbley bits to enjoy before you head off to dinner. They left homemade truffles in our room every night. It was amazing.
We ate lunch two days at the Early Girl Eatery. This was the only place we went to twice. Lunch on the other days was bread and cheese in our room at the hotel. The food at the Early Girl Eatery was very good. Rich had the soup both days and it was delicious. Very hearty and filling. I had a salad one day and the avocado and sprout sandwich one day. Yummy!
Dinners we had such a hard time choosing where to eat. There is every type of cuisine available. The first night we had Indian at Mela. I'm still dreaming about the salmon tikka. And if anyone knows a good recipe, please let me know!
The second night was a bit disappointing. We really wanted to have either a good steak or some sort of fish. We found a place called Magnolia's Oyster Bar & Grille which looked promising. They had a large covered outdoor seating area and the menu looked good. But when we got in and really had a look at the menu, it was a bit over the top (grilled trout with fried shrimp and oysters with a bur blanc sauce....). I kept expecting Gordon Ramsey to come out as they were filming "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares" there. In the end, we decided "simple" may be best so we both ordered a fillet -- rare plus to medium rare. I cut into my steak and it was stone cold in the middle. Fair play to them, they were really nice about taking back the steaks and cooking them more. And they even gave us a new plate with new potatoes and asparagus. And the waitress was really friendly. It's such a charming little place, it's just the menu was a bit over the top and complex. I'd like to think the regular chef was off on Mondays and it's better most other days...
Tuesday it poured rain and thundered so we ordered pizza and watched a movie in our room.
Wednesday we went to a very yummy Thai restaurant called Thai-Basil. It was so nice to sit outside and just have a nice meal. The curry puffs were not quite as good as the ones at Chinta Ria in Melbourne, but they were still good.
Our last day there, we really wanted to have a nice dinner but we didn't know what to have. We were torn between Tapas, a pub meal, Italian or Mexican. In the end, my vote was counted twice and we went Mexican. We ate at the best place ever! Called Salsa's. It's a small little place with "Mexican-Caribbean" flavors. We sat outside and stuffed our faces. It was a great way to end the week. Highly recommend them if you are ever in Asheville.
And, like I said, we got home on Friday afternoon. It was so nice to see the boys again. Sam didn't stop hugging me for about 20 minutes. The look on his face was priceless. We met Josh at the bus stop and he was just as happy to see us!
My parents left yesterday -- completely tired and worn out -- but happy for being able to spend a week with their grandsons! They're off visiting their granddaughters now at my sister's cottage.
That was our anniversary vacation. I really am looking forward to going back to Asheville. I can't imagine a more perfect place to spend with Rich!