Thursday, March 6, 2014

Happy Bach. Maggie Moo

So my last trip to the blue ridge mountains when Joe and I visited Asheville for my babymoon was a complete disaster. The whole idea to plan a trip there started when I was watching a dateline special about the happiest place to live in America. Artsy Asheville came up and so of course I had to add it to my bucket list. Since it was marketed as a city of b&b's, coffee shops, art galleries, and music and since being 7 months pregnant meant that any all-inclusive drink fests were out, it seemed like a good choice. I could become one with nature, watch the beautiful sunsets along the mountains, take a leisurely hike, you get the idea.

Well not so much. When the GPS announced our arrival I thought some terrible mistake had been made - we were next to a run down gas station in what felt like the middle of nowhere. A few turns later we did manage to find our bed and breakfast and I felt some sense of renewed hope.

After getting the keys to the cottage on the grounds as Joe refused to actually stay in a house with other people, we decided to go exploring and get some food. On our walk into downtown we came upon some interesting sites - toilets in the middle of yards, instruments laying haphazardly around, and a look of general unkemptness (not a word I know, but I need to use it here). Well it turns out that the whole downtown area closes pretty early. We finally found a small cafe to eat at and upon leaving noticed some commotion. It was like a mini rave right in the middle of the street. People banging bongos and a bunch of people 'dancing' around. My experiences in Ashville so far were definitely making me rethink my romanticized version of what it means to be bohemian.

 The next day we decided to drive to the top of the mountain range. OMG - my life flashed before my eyes like 800 times. The weather was shit - foggy and rainy and the road was more like a tiny footpath than an actual road. Joe white knuckled it the whole way up. I swear to god we even saw vultures circling us. I was certain we were going to die. After an eternity we finally reached the top of the mountain and the visitor's center.
The visitor center park workers and security guards were straight out of some thriller movie - totally flat affect and just creepy. We were freezing so Joe bought a way overpriced sweatshirt. We walked back outside and I said, "So let's hike". Joe was so over the whole trip by this time and thought it was crazy to chance letting a very pregnant wife try to hike down a mountain in the fog and rain. So what did we do - we got  right back in the SUV and headed back down the mountain.

Going down might have even been worse than going out and Joe used the brakes A LOT to keep us from sliding. We safely reached the bottom and Joe pulled in the first gas station we saw to get a six pack. I knew at this point to just shut up and quit planning excursions for a hot minute. I waited in the car for him to emerge from the gas station and when he did he looked pissed. He couldn't buy the beer because his wallet was missing and we immediately thought it might be at the top of the mountain. I encouraged him to just go back to the cottage first and have a look and then I started praying really really hard. In what may have been our only stroke of luck that weekend his wallet was in our room. Joe went right back out, bought alcohol, came back to the room turned the flat screen toward him, flipped to the ND game which was starting, and got in the whirl pool tub and began eating the chocolates meant for a romantic couples bath I am sure. Now, remember I'm pregnant and have gestational diabetes so I can't go in the whirlpool hot tub, can't do the choc. and can't drink. - ummm did you forget I was here Joe!

The next day I had pre-purchased tickets to the Biltmore. You are able to walk your dog on the grounds. We pack Quinn in the SUV and head off for some leisurely strolling in the manicured gardens.

We arrive at the Biltmore and stroll for around 45 minutes. We then decide we will take Quinn back to the cottage and then return to tour the actual mansion.

On our way to take Quinn back the brakes start making an awful sound. Our concern over driving a car 8 hours home the next day with bad brakes prompts us to drop Quinn off and then head to the nearest repair shop.  The news is not good -  basically the mechanic says that the repair  will take all day and cost close to a grand. Well - what choice did we have. So we agree and eventually get sick of sitting in the waiting area so peak outside to see what we can do to pass the time, and of course the only thing even remotely in walking distance and open was a Hooters. So here goes pregnant me walking up some steep incline off the highway to a freakin Hooters where a hot waitress greets huge aggravated me and offers to show us to our seats.  Awesome.

Needless to say, our weekend in Ashville is not one I would like to relive; however, thanks to one of my oldest friends bachelorette party this weekend I am hoping to redefine my view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I fly out to Mt. Welby tomm. where I hope to spend a relaxing and fun filled weekend with a bunch of girls. The estate looks incredible:

We plan on just relaxing and playing games tomm. night, Saturday morning a yoga instructor is coming to the house to give a class, in the afternoon we hit the local wineries, and then a private chef is coming to the house in the evening to cook us dinner. Wowsa! What a weekend! Can't wait to see this pretty guest of honor: