Asheville’s always been on my list of places I’d like to visit – it’s known for being a pretty hip town, and a lot of nomadic 20-somethings who land in Portland, Austin and similar cities also stop over there. It’s not really close to anything else, though, or on the way to anywhere in particular, so it was my mom’s 60th birthday that finally gave us a real reason to go. She and my dad live in New Hampshire, but she chose Asheville as a celebration rendezvous spot. (I actually have no idea why.) In any case, my brother and his wife, and our little crew all landed late last Thursday for an extended weekend vacation-birthday-celebration-get-together. Our little Newman branch of the family stayed in a small cabin about fifteen minutes outside of town, and everyone else made themselves at home in a luxe little house a few miles up the same road. (There aren’t all that many roads in Asheville's surrounding towns. We did manage to get lost between the airport and the cabin upon arriving, but getting around after that was a piece of cake).
As far as sightseeing goes, we went to the Biltmore Estate, we walked around downtown Asheville (cute enough, touristy, typical college town), we discovered West Asheville to be much cooler (more diverse businesses and a more permanent population), and we romped around our cabin’s grounds and ogled the breathtaking landscape. Aaron and I have chronic wanderlust of the ‘Where could/should we move?’ variety, and discussed Asheville’s potential, mostly because our cabin and its location were so idyllic, and Asheville does have its reputation.
Ultimately, however, Ashevile’s very small, and while the word ‘serene’ doesn’t do its countryside justice, that countryside is also (if signage is to be believed) heavily populated by Republican Baptists… This didn’t stop me from pointing every which way and squealing “Look! Cows! BABY cows! We could put up a yurt here and freelance from the hills!” but, well, Aaron doesn’t actually want to live in a yurt (I do), and we don’t really want to live in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of Republicans, even if there is a small city center that organic-food-eating, bike-riding liberals call home. (Oh shit, wait…)