Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Asheville Highlights, Day 3

April 19th: Day 3 of my Asheville weekend.

So I woke up to my last day of my short-but-sweet Asheville visit. Day 3 started with breakfast again at the inn. I was fortunate to have perfect weather on Days 1 and 2, but Day 3, Sunday, was cloudy and rainy. I thought, maybe the rain will lead me to some nice surprises.

I decided to visit the Grove Arcade, a beautiful, historic building that opened in 1929, that is now home to local boutiques and restaurants. With the weather being the way it was, some indoor sightseeing was perfect. Besides, I did much of my outdoor sightseeing the past couple of days, and had a wonderful nature fix and a self-guided downtown walking tour.

So after a very short drive from the inn to downtown Asheville, I parked by the Arcade and walked in. Interestingly, it was deserted. Pretty, but deserted. Well, it was about 11-ish in the morning (I checked out of the inn at 11 am). And it was a Sunday.

This sign explained it all:

But that's all part of Asheville's charm, I think.

There was a cheese store... which was closed. 

And a bakery...

And a bath products store...

Love the light and open feel of the building. I can imagine how the lighting inside would change dramatically depending on the time of day.

I headed outside and found some locals selling their wares on the sidewalk. I love sidewalk shopping!

There was a "cowboy" selling paintings...

  And a woman selling handmade jewelry.

These beads remind me of home!

Interestingly, they were laid out on rice grains.

A pretty display of colorful earrings.

Handwritten signs add a personal touch.

The one and only photo of me :)
It was a solo trip, after all...


I also ended up stopping at the Grove Corner Market, a little deli/grocery store that sold some of your pantry staples, some fresh takeout items, and some specialty items. When I am in a new place, I always want to try something different and unique to the place. I saw these cookies:

Lavender Lemon and Saffron Cardamom tea biscuits... YUM!
I don't say no to lavender... and I was curious about the combination of saffron and cardamom in a tea cookie. I imagined it to be a hint savory, and a hint sweet.


The cookies were amazing.
AND I think this might have been the best find:
Lavender honey... from the mountains of North Carolina! 

So my next kitchen project would be to re-create the lavender honey dark chocolate truffle that I had on Day 2. :)

The rain started pouring at at around noon... so I decided to head back and start the 6 hour drive home. 

So that concludes my short-but-sweet Asheville trip... 
Asheville is such a charming place. Nature. Art. Food. A progressive vibe. Without the big-city stress, but with all the Southern hospitality.
I can't wait for my next visit.

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