Once John and I had a few days to recuperate in Bloomington, we drove about 7 hours south to Asheville, NC for our honeymoon. We chose Asheville for a few reasons:
- John fries like an egg in the sun, so a beach vacation seemed like a bad idea.
- We didn't want to fly so that our schedules could be especially flexible, and because it was cheaper.
- Asheville is close enough to Bloomington, and has lots to recommend it: beautiful scenery, outdoorsy activities, good food, and more breweries than we could count.
So we made a reservation at an Air B&B place (more on that in a minute) and stayed Tuesday through Sunday. All the funds for the trip were included in the generous wedding gift I received from my brother, and it was fun to pretend for a week that we had high paying jobs. I think John and I have been poor long enough that we're very easy to please when it comes to vacations. We get to eat out - every night! And we can pay for parking!
Our first stop was Wicked Weed, a brewery with fantastic food.
My favorite beer upstairs was the Cool Cumber. It's based on a gin cocktail with basil and cucumber, and it was cool and refreshing. For my tastes, their peach habanero was kind of meh, but I liked the idea. On the whole, though, most of their beers were pretty good. We eventually made it downstairs to try their more limited release beers.
The basement room opens up to a second patio and, as you can see above, it only had five beers on tap. But they were the best. The bourbon barrel stout in the photo below was by far the best thing I drank all week. And because we were in America, where things are cheap, it was only about $5. The beer was so good that I started to think it would be fun to wear John's summer vacay hat.
Before dinner, we bought raincoats (again, more on that to come) and poked around the stores downtown while we waited for a table for dinner.
We learned right away that Asheville is very dog friendly. Those coasters were only the first of many indications.
For dinner the first night, we decided to try Curate, the tapas place we'd heard so much about.
All the things we heard were true. It was probably the best dinner we had all week, well worth the wait for seats at the counter. I didn't photograph all the food, but each thing seemed better than the last.
White, pickled asparagus with a homemade whipped mayo.
Breaded and fried eggplant with local honey and rosemary (how is this so good?).
Goat cheese stuffed pimentos.
Some kind of custardy cream with fruit on the bottom and caramel on top.
Here's the reading alcove at our B&B, just outside our room.
And the view from the front door.
This was the first time we've used Air B&B and I was so glad we did. The room was very affordable; our five-night stay was less than $400, and it had pretty much everything I could want. The room and private, attached bathroom were clean and well stocked. It's part of a "Model Community" home, in that the mother-daughter team that own and rent it also live with other renters, and they have various types of agreements about rent and responsibilities. Everyone we spoke with in the house was accommodating and polite. With downtown only about a half mile away, we were well located by all the places we hoped to go, as well as a couple grocery stores an bakeries. The house felt completely safe and welcoming, friendly as well as private. I would definitely stay there again.
More to come!