After a great first day in Asheville, we woke up early on Sunday morning to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains. With plans to hike the trail at Mt. Pisgah, we grabbed breakfast at the hotel and headed out.
It takes less than 15 minutes to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the views are stunning as you drive along the narrow roads.
Each trail can be located by mile markers along the way. When we found ours, the area’s campsite and parking lot were in plain sight, but the trail was nowhere to be found. After discovering a small paved path, we decided that must be it and started our descent down the mountain.
“It’s kind of weird how this trail just keeps going downhill,” I said to Kevin. “I thought it ended at the top of a summit?”
“Me too…” Kevin agreed. He was on bear and snake-watch duty and too distracted to muster much of a reply.
Despite our doubts as to whether it was the trail or not, we kept walking down, down and downward. Maybe it was stubbornness that kept us from turning back, or perhaps the futile hope that we’d soon be greeted with an escalator to whisk us back up the mountain.
Instead, we came face-to-face with a fence and Keep Out sign. A relaxing early-morning hike quickly turned into a grueling trek back up the mountain side.
After quite the workout, we got back in the car and decided to drive onward in search of better
easier to find trails.
We stopped to check out Graveyard Fields, a popular hiking spot with waterfall views along the trail. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore, but this is a definite stop for future visits.
Back in Asheville, Kevin picked Mayfel’s for lunch. I had the Karma, an egg benedict with spinach, tomato and veggie sausage. Usually eggs benedict can be heavy, but this was so good and didn’t leave me feeling stuffed in the slightest. Kevin had a burger, although I can’t remember what one he had!
We stopped to watch this band after lunch.
We then headed to the Dillard’s outlet, per the advice of my friend Tiffani. This outlet has so much stuff and there are definitely great finds if you have the time to rummage through everything. Labor Day weekend sales also meant we scored even bigger discounts off clearance items!
That night, we celebrated our anniversary dinner at Solace. I had the seared scallops and Kevin had the filet. The Lexington Avenue Arts Festival was in full swing that night, but we headed back to the hotel after dinner because we had anniversary cake and an exciting present waiting for us!
The man who created our wedding cake prefers to bake a small wedding cake topper for a couple’s 1-year, rather than having them freeze it. Since we were married in my hometown, we weren’t able to bring the wedding cake home to the Carolinas. Instead, I had a cake made at EarthFare, and we have plans to get our 1-year cake from the baker the next time we are in Cincinnati.
We also had a present to open – and we had waited exactly one year to open it.
My friend Caitlin gave us this on our wedding day, with strict instructions not to open until our 1-year anniversary on September 4, 2011. We followed her orders and bought ourselves a bottle of champagne before opening. It was so much fun to see what she got us!
Now we had the perfect napkins, plates, flutes and silverware to go with our cake and champagne!
The next morning we were greeted with remnants of Hurricane Katia and a few tropical storms that had made their way to the Carolinas. Heavy rain was in the forecast all day, so we decided to head back to Charlotte a few hours earlier than planned.
Asheville is a fantastic city and I strongly encourage you to take a trip there one day if you’ve never been. I told Kevin if it had an ocean, it would be my new favorite city in the US.
Current rankings: Charleston, Boston, Asheville.
Find me a city with good food, mountains, ocean, palm trees and history, and I’m all yours.
(Read part one of our trip to Asheville here.)