At some point last week, Kristin asked if I wanted to go with her yesterday to Asheville. She was going to go help her friend Motor officiate some roller derby bouts, but we figured I could skip out on most of that if I wanted to and just get out of town for a while. She also invited our friends Logan and Becky, and we decided to just meet up on Saturday morning, head to Asheville, and wing it. After a bit of a slow start (I am the only one in the group who is consistently on time), we were in Kristin's car and heading east, and then:
There we were.
I've been to Asheville once before, to tour the Biltmore:
which was formerly the largest private home in America (I say formerly because I don't think anyone actually lives there now and it's mostly operated as a museum and wedding venue), but we didn't really go into town and see anything, so I was excited to walk around for a while. I've heard a lot of good things about Asheville and everyone said that I would love it, and it turns out to be a nice city to visit.
Kristin didn't get to see much of it, because our late start meant that she had to go straight to derby. Logan and Becky were doing couple-type things, and I didn't want to do third wheel things so I struck off on my own and went solo for the day, and I had a really good time.
The business district of Asheville is very pretty and colorful:
It's full of interesting stores:
random street sculptures:
and street musicians:
So many street musicians.
I stopped counting them at thirty, but it seemed like there was one or more people playing a guitar, fiddle, bass, accordian, bongo drum, harmonica, or some combination of them roughly every five feet or so. On the one hand, it's nice to hear music everywhere you walk, but on the other hand it seems like there should maybe just be fewer musicians clogging the sidewalks.
Asheville also seems like a very dog-friendly city. I saw bowls like this:
outside of a lot of the stores.
I also saw a couple of famous landmarks, besides the giant iron pictured above. The convention center was right next to the Basilica of St. Lawrence:
and I spent a lot of time at the Grove Arcade:
It's an old building that's been completely renovated to house a lot of stores and restaurants, and is gorgeous inside:
I had a really nice lunch there:
at a counter by the window:
and read my book for a while before going back outside for more shopping and walking. Late in the afternoon I also had an ice cream soda at the lunch counter in the old Woolworth's:
which has been converted into two stories of gallery space:
went to a bunch of bookstores, bought a print at another gallery that I need to pick up a frame for, and eventually joined Kristin for derby:
before we had dinner, piled back into the car, and headed home.