Monday, April 27, 2009

Asheville Highlights, Day 2/Part 1

April 18th. Day 2 of my Asheville weekend started with an early morning walk around the inn's grounds and in the idyllic, tree-lined neighborhood surrounding the inn.

Flowers in early morning light...  
a magic of its own

 I found it interesting how these flowers grew so close to the ground, they would have been easy to miss if I weren't paying attention. I'm glad I did a leisurely, meditative walk in addition to a power walk. 

After a freshly made breakfast (meat-free, upon prior arrangement with the inn when I booked my reservation) and tea, I headed to the North Carolina Arboretum.

I was excited to see their bonsai collection and ikebana exhibit. My late grandfather, who made our garden in the Philippines so lush and beautiful, also used to make bonsai years ago. Bonsai and ikebana are both such fascinating art forms.

 "Open your mind to the possibility that the greatest mysteries of life 
can be found in a single, tiny leaf."
I love that! 

"A living art" indeed.

My time in the North Carolina Arboretum was so slow and peaceful. It was a perfect spring day - blue skies, warm sun, a cool breeze.

I kept thinking of my grandparents and how they would have LOVED this place.

Next: the indoor ikebana exhibit. I'll let the images speak for themselves...

 My favorite one!

The North Carolina Arboretum is a place where I can be all day. Time stands still here.

But... I had more on my itinerary. Specifically, meal #3: Lunch. I had the Grove Park Inn on my list for lunch with a view of the mountains.

I got there after a short, pleasant drive. It was a long wait for a table, and when I checked the menu, the vegetarian dishes were... ok. But as I was in a different city, I was in the mood for something different, something inventive. I decided to hold off on lunch for the time being (Me? Hold off on lunch? Are you shocked?) to just tour the grounds and take photos.

This would have been my view if I had lunch there:

Instead I toured the grounds...

Now that's a lunch spot with a view.

The best find, I thought, was this tree that seemed to glow in the sunshine.

Up next: Asheville Highlights, Day 2/Part 2:  Downtown Asheville - my food trip and art gallery hop!

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