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Does Asheville live up to the hype? Nope. Outdoes it.

Posted 05-24-2013 at 08:10 PM by BillB44
Updated 05-24-2013 at 08:13 PM by BillB44

Iíve heard and read things about Asheville, N.C. for years. Bumping into articles or people who rave about the place. An art-loving, foodies-centric, granola-eating, deep-moneyed, green-hilled town of about 84,000 that also happens to be home of the spectacular Grove Park Inn and the even more spectacular Biltmore House & Gardens.
So anxious to see stuff ourselves and draw our own conclusions.

It was a short 6-miles from camping spot to parking spot in the well-scrubbed city center. We did a self-guided walking tour (kind of scary, having ourselves as our guides) of local sculptures then stepped into the Asheville Art Museum which had some cool contemporary permanent pieces and a current exhibit based on the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Artís long legacy of realism, of which we knew zip. Very energizing.

Then it was time for lunch. A quick check of Trip Advisor.com generated a huge list of popular eateries. So, too, did the dining guide we had picked up at the info center. The options were crazy. Itís times like these when I think maybe the Romans had had the right idea with the whole eat-and-then-go-to-a-vomitorium-and-then-eat-again routine. But, even though KB is a Roman Catholic, we stayed with our usual single meal approach. Rated #1 was Tupelo Honey Cafť so in we went.

Now, some of you blogees (Marjorie!) say I spend too much verbiage on the food. Perhaps, but as Steve Martin said, ďThe older I get, the more important every single meal becomes.Ē At any rate, Kathy ordered genuine southern mac & cheese plus southern veggies, I had a small but exlnt spinach salad. More importantly, both came with surprise complimentary biscuits that were so buttery they seemed to drip, even before we squeezed on the Tupelo honey. Was sublime.

Then to more shops, the gorgeous Grove Arcade shopping arcade followed by what Kathy called her favorite place: The Book and Wine Store, where customers browse and sip away in two floors of meandering nooks and crannies.

But the highlight of the day was our evening visit to the Grove Park Inn. Just about to turn 100, this arts & crafts monster manages to be a masterpiece not a monstrosity. It is perched up high in what has become a neighborhood of elegant homes and stares out at the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. We bought $14 glasses of pinot and strolled around like we knew what we were doing. Only our slack-jawed mouths gave us away. The scale and solidness of the place is hard to capture in photos, but here are a few anyway.

Having no reservations, and wanting something healthier, we drove back to a small authentic Thai place near our RV park and had a late light dinner, the only customers in the place. It was, not surprisingly, the best Phad Thai Iíve had. But I wonít go on about it.

Hereís a view from our RV park.
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  1. Old Comment
    yeay! Glad you enjoyed it! We're about an hour from A'ville. Stop by next time you're in town, stay a while!
    Posted 05-29-2013 at 09:05 AM by

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