The hours have blurred into days that have blurred into weeks over the last month. I'm not complaining. It was necessary, the settling in process after our big move. I've still got a list of people who have requested a block of time in the coming weeks for catching up and I'm happy to oblige.
Sometimes, you have to get away though, ya know? Every so often, I crave the disconnection from social media and the hubbub of daily life. And as is my style, it's always fairly spontaneous. Thank you family, for understanding me. ;)
This is how it happened:
Friday morning, a small seed of an idea rooted itself in me. Mountains. I envisioned myself hiking through the wilderness, breathing in the crisp air, cut off from the world. I couldn't shake it. By afternoon, I had to share my idea with the hubs. What if we drove to North Carolina this weekend? By the time I fell asleep that night, the kids and dog were heading to Nana's. Saturday morning, we left.
Asheville is beautiful. Nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's a hip little city. Downtown Asheville is full of art, music and quirky people. The restaurants are big on farm-to-table. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) boasts local pride. There are pubcycles!! I didn't get to ride one, but it excited me nonetheless.
Instead, I walked into Malaprops Bookstore. This wasn't a big box chain. This was Heaven. You walk through the front doors and there are all of these little nooks and crannies, with books buried everywhere. In the left front corner is the requisite coffee stop. The first section is local and indie writers. There is an entire row of bookcases devoted to Staff selections and while some are mainstream, there are many more that you've probably never heard of, but need to. Towards the back, I stumbled upon the most spectacular sight in the whole shop.
This. This is what bowled me over.
It's like Christmas, New Years and my birthday all rolled into one!! You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?? ;) Yes, yes I do.
Now that we've firmly established I'm a nerd, let's move along...
We visited Early Girl Eatery for breakfast. I love hole in the wall places for eats. They almost always turn out to be the best spots! This place was highly recommended by locals and travelers alike online, so I decided to check it out. I was not disappointed.
Full disclosure: This isn't actually a picture of our food. I neglected to photograph mine, so I took this off of their Facebook page. But, it's pretty darn close. The Hubs had an omelet with homefries and a homemade biscuit. I can't vouch for the omelet personally (he liked it), but I did try the homefries and the biscuit, and yes, they were delicious. I had banana chocolate chip pancakes with organic maple syrup and a side of bacon. I'm very particular about my bacon, you see. It can't be too greasy, thin or soft. It has to be so crispy, it borders on burnt. This bacon was a transcendental experience for me. I can no longer settle. And their jam. Another local producer, Imladris farms. I'm gushing, it's silly. It was a beautiful thing, that's all I'm saying.
Walking around downtown was great, but the mountains were still calling me, so eventually we got back in the car and drove onward. It should be noted that spontaneity doesn't always account for extreme temperature changes. Charleston was a breezy 70 degrees on Friday. It was 55 degrees when we left Asheville and 45 degrees at the Craggy Gardens trail entrance. By the time we reached the top of the bald spot, the temperature was easily mid-30's and the wind gusts had to have been about 20 mph.
I am not one to be deterred, however! After awhile, you barely feel the chill. My heart was pumping, I was leaping and bounding over rocks and stumps. I felt good. I felt alive.
I laughed, listened to good music, ate delicious food, sat still in the woods. I didn't check social media all weekend. It was revitalizing. I think that everyone should step away from their virtual worlds to re-submerge into the "real" world. I find that periodically disconnecting allows me to come back with a deeper appreciation for it all, honestly. It's akin to placing money into a piggy bank, albeit an emotional/mental one. When I invest in myself in that way, I'm more readily able to invest in others around me. Sometimes a few days is all it takes.
Weekend in the mountains-check.