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09 June, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend: Highlands & Asheville, NC

My computer is still being worked I snagged Eric's computer for the night. 
And while I had my two cameras with me the whole weekend, I always had the camera card in the camera that I didn't have with me. Silly me.

Several weeks ago Ashley contacted me to let me know she and Mike were thinking of taking the long way to their beach trip via Asheville.  Coincidentally it would be the same weekend that Eric and I would be a little over an hour away in Highlands, NC.  Perfect timing.  Much like last year's rendezvous in Indianapolis.

Eric took Friday off from work so we drove to Highlands on Thursday night.  We enjoyed quiet conversation with my grandparents, and toured all the renovations to the house due to this winter's pipe bursting disaster.

After a lingering breakfast at their cabin we drove to Ashville just in time for brunch with Ashley, Mike and Gabe.  Whole wheat strawberry-banana pancakes. Please, and thank you.  Eric had a local fish of the day and of course, an Asheville beer.  The day continued with us literally walking, talking, and eating our way through the streets of Asheville. 

Kat, another college girlfriend, who drove all the way from Nashville for the day, met up with us just in time to walk through the botanical gardens.  While free, the gardens were more like a hiking path.  I was a little disappointed, but hey, I could use the walk.

As we strolled along we would periodically stop for candy, window shopping, strawberry lemonade or simply to sit for a few minutes.

After walking a mile (or two) in search of a coffee shop we found ourselves at a gourmet Mexican restaurant for dinner and we closed out the night watching a group of locals participate in a drum circle.

It was so wonderful to catch up with them.  Twitter, Facebook and Blogging has made the 500 miles between all three of us feel more like 5.  And our random impromptu meet ups have helped savor our friendships.  I am so blessed to have Ashley and Kat in my life :)

Of course Eric had to make a pit stop at a local brewery for some growlers, and at Bruisin' Ales for some rare beers.  Beer is just one of the many reasons we love day tripping to Asheville.

On Saturday Eric drove down the mountain to Covecrest, the retreat center that hosts our retreats and the summer camp I took the teens to.  He was asked / volunteered to help with the annual bike maintenance for all the mountain bikes they keep at the camp.  He spent the better part of the day working on the bikes and teaching the staff how to do some basic tune ups.

I literally laid on the couch or on the deck at the cabin all day.  I finished my book club book, so I took the cabin Jeep and drove into town for some free Wi-Fi and a rootbeer float.  I downloaded another cheesy summer read while I waited in line for my ice cream.  Hooray Kindles.

That evening our extended family joined us at the cabin for a Memorial Day feast of ribs, corn, salad, and s'mores. 

Sunday after Mass, Eric took some of my cousins to the other side of town to go rock sliding down the river.  What a trooper.  We had lunch and dinner with the family before heading back to Atlanta, as I had to be up Monday morning to take the kids up to Covecrest for a week of summer camp.

Friends, family, food.  I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.  And what a way to kick off summer (and have a calm weekend before the storm of middle school madness...more on that to come!)!

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