Day 9: Christmas, Asheville Style

What is it about a weekend trip that can completely re-calibrate a spirit?

We just returned from a holiday jaunt to Asheville that set my weary soul a-soaring. Of course it helped tremendously to spend the time with friends I treasure. But it also reminded me how marvelous it is to simply experience a change in altitude. Get this girl too far from the mountains, for too long, and she starts to wilt.

From the River Arts District, to downtown Asheville, to Biltmore Village, to the Grove Park Inn—we did it all. Would you kindly indulge me while I relive it all here?

World's Greatest Brunch

World's Greatest Bloody Mary During World's Greatest Brunch

even old is beautiful

in the village

strolling

sidewalks

Sunday morning at the Village Church

waiting

holiday splendor

carriage rides

welcome to the grove park

dusk at the inn

eventide

30 Days of Joy

Day 8: Deck the Halls With Boughs of English Pomanders

The alarm buzzed early, early. I reached across the bed to find Tim gone—up before six (as usual) to get in a workout before daylight. I smiled. Saturday had finally come. We were heading North.

It was a trip both long-anticipated and spontaneous. My dear friend, Teresa Coles, had just reached a milestone birthday, which meant she and Jay, and Tim and I, were heading off for a weekend of celebration. It has become a bit of a tradition with us. We joined them on their vacation to Italy—a trip that also happened to be our honeymoon. (True story.) We spent Thanksgiving together, in New York. The Coles traveled with us to Ironman Wisconsin to cheer Tim on in that grueling competition. And two years ago, the four of us stood together on the edge of the Grand Canyon, toasting my 50th.

So this trip for Teresa was a bit of a foregone conclusion, although the question of where and when loomed large in this crazy, busy, holiday season.

Asheville, we up and decided. This weekend, she said. And so we did.

It was the perfect way to celebrate a birthday. It was also a beautiful immersion into the magic that is Christmas; a really lovely way to bring my heart back to the joy of this sweet and savory season.

Just this morning we lingered over Sunday Brunch at the Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village. The Stuyvesant Avenue Bagel and Lox were so good the dish deserves a post of its own. And yet I was utterly captivated by the restaurant’s gorgeous greenery and think I shall make some orange-cloved pomanders tonight.

Doesn’t this just make it Christmas?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very happy eaters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Joy