It’s cute to think that Rob and I didn’t actually take a honeymoon when we got married. We were both young, and Rob had just started his first job out of college a few months prior and had no paid vacation. We didn’t have ANY money to take a honeymoon so we just made a long wedding weekend out of our “destination” wedding in Atlanta. (And thanks to his parents, stayed in a really swanky hotel.) It was more than enough for us; we were just so happy to just be married that we didn’t mind.
I suppose it’s only fitting now, after almost 9 years of marriage, that we take a trip with the word “moon” in it. A babymoon. The last trip together before we welcome a new life and it’s no longer just us. Rob and I have been “us” for…a long time; I don’t really know how to be anything different. But as the weeks tick away and we get closer to the end of my pregnancy, our anticipation grows for what we know (and don’t know) is next for us.
We started off this week with an exciting teaser of our little girl. By no means is this a finished product, but at 29 weeks, our little looks just like her Dad already. 🙂 It was easy to get in the babymoon spirit after seeing these incredible HD images.
We made it to Asheville around 4pm Thursday and checked into the Sweet Biscuit Inn. It’s a very cold weekend, and it’s actually snowed on us while driving up and for an hour or two when we arrived. This lovely B&B has only 5 star reviews and is 5 minutes from the heart of the city (and the Biltmore!). The owners are wonderful and we were greeted with cookies and coffee and a beautiful suite. We unpacked and took a little while to relax and enjoy the great space before heading out for our first evening in this awesome city!
We zipped into downtown and got super lucky with street parking right in the middle of everything and right near Cúrate which is where we decided to have dinner. This is a MUST if visiting Asheville- perfectly executed Spanish style tapas with elegant finishes and friendly and boisterous atmosphere. We weren’t able to get a reservation, but I’m actually glad we couldn’t because it gave us the chance to snag bar seating where we had a front row view of the chef line. Below are only a FEW pictures of the amazing dishes we were treated to. Fantastic dining experience with excellent service!
Day 2 begins with my FAVORITE part of staying at a Bed & Breakfast- BREAKFAST. Claudia prepares everything so wonderfully and really makes every detail special. She had decaf coffee waiting for me and takes dietary requests and accommodates to whatever your needs are. We had a full house at the table as there are numerous folks staying here, and conversation is always really interesting. We had quite a spread, and I didn’t even get to take a picture of the scones OR the table-side crepes she made!
Properly fueled, we proceeded to the nearest Crossfit Gym, Summit Crossfit, so Rob could get in his Open 18.3 workout in. I got a little WOD in too, but mostly was there as an emotional support animal, HA. A great experience at this gym! I hope baby L thinks I’m cool one day when she looks back and sees me doing strong things even when I didn’t feel very strong (or fit). Can you spy Rob trying to recover on the bike? 😉 After our workout, we had a food tour planned! I booked this tour through Asheville Food Tours and the cost was not quite 60 bucks per person- a huge bargain we would learn. This company offers a few different tours depending on the day, and we wanted to book ours for Friday so it was the “Down Town Tour”. I’m glad we planned it this way as the weather (though it was a bit on the cold side and breezy) was sunny and beautiful and actually quite pleasant! Our tour kicked off around 2pm, and covered about a mile and a half of downtown exploration with 8 different stops! In all, it would last almost 4 hours and was such a FUN experience! I can’t think of a better or more efficient way to experience SO MUCH of what Asheville has to offer by way of culinary fun. Our tour guide, Paddy, was a hoot and so enjoyable to get to know. I’ll post a picture from every stop we took and the name of the place and let you do your own research if you want to visit. I can sincerely say every food place in Asheville is great- they couldn’t survive in this demanding market if they weren’t. Each little dish was delicious and MOST places also paired it with an alcoholic beverage of some kind. Additionally, at the end of each tour, you get a card of all of the places the Tour goes (including places your specific tour didn’t) and you can go back and receive a discount (generally around 10%) Enjoy!
Hello Paddy!Modesto– House Made Bolognese with RigatoniThe Chocolate Fetish– A remarkable Chocolate Shop that takes their craft VERY seriously. Blue Dream Curry House– Delicious Vegetable Curry with a cool Ginger Beer!The Blackbird- a swanky Southern place and these were fried Brussel Sprouts with a citrus balsamic and feta.White Duck Taco– This was their Bangkok Shrimp Taco with Table pickles- it was super unique and flavorful!
The Social Lounge and Tapas Bar– Fried Ravioli with a Tomato Basil Puree. They also served a house made cocktail here too. (Rob enjoyed many libations on this trip).Lexington Avenue Brewery This was a grass fed beef slider with crunchy potatoes and a brown ale. Delicious burger! The cows are raised about 13 miles from here. Actually, most of the places here in Asheville locally source all of their product.Asheville Bee Charmer– our last stop was so neat! This is a bee lovers paradise with more honey to taste than you could possibly want. A very friendly environment too and many products to sample and purchase.By the time the tour ended, we were full and ready for some R&R. We took a few hours back at the house to rest and then ended the night with a trip to Hillman Beer (another brewery in the area).
Day Three was dedicated to visiting the Biltmore Estate! This has been on my bucket list for a long time, and though Rob has been, it had been a long time. Our breakfast this morning was spectacular! Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of it. You’ll have to take my word for it 😉
We arrived around ten am and opted to guide ourselves. The Biltmore offers so many options and add-ons, but I figured we would do fine walking about. For the off-season, it was monumentally crowded today, I couldn’t believe just how many people filter through this property in a day. It was shoulder to shoulder strolling through all of the rooms and in fact, there were so many people that often you would stand in one spot for several minutes before inching forward. This part was a bit unpleasant because it made it difficult to actually enjoy seeing the spaces or take in the details. All of the rooms were roped off so you could only peak in some of them or take a few steps in to look around. I also probably wouldn’t recommend taking on the Biltmore 7 months pregnant. I figured I would be fine, but carrying 25 extra pounds has suddenly snuck up on me and I move fairly slowly and generally always need to use the restroom. This estate boasts LOTS of stairs and the grounds are pretty hilly (and there are only a handful of bathrooms at certain locations) Lesson learned- I’m thankful for the extra exercise today at least and I did enjoy seeing this beautiful house in person finally. We also drove over to the Winery, had lunch at one of the restaurants and saw the animals at the Farm. In all, we spent about 5 hours walking around, holding hands, with me trying to catch my breath.
The last thing we had on our list of places to go was Nightbell. This restaurant is a farm-to-table style joint offering small plates with an Appalachian flare- Nightbell has the same owner/executive chef as the restaurant of Friday night, Cúrate. We couldn’t get a reservation, but knew we wanted to try our best to get these eats in, so we showed up right when they opened and were able to sit, once again, at the bar with a great view of the kitchen line and a very attentive and talented bar tender at our fingertips. 🙂 He even offered to whip me up something tasty but tame (no booze).
Their spin on a “deviled egg”.Hush Puppies!Perfect ScallopsDeconstructed Potato Salad
Last but certainly not least, one of the best burger experiences we’ve ever had. Hard to describe!Leaving absolutely no room for desert, we left Nightbell incredibly satisfied with a great ending to our culinary adventures in Asheville. There, of course, are dozens of breweries we weren’t able to visit and plenty of shops we never stepped into, but I’ll be honest- it’s pretty dang hard to feel cool enough to hang in a hip brewery when you can’t see your feet or order a beer. My hat is off to Rob though- he never once made me feel like I wasn’t still his fun girlfriend.
This trip was about us. I laughed a lot. Rob is so effortlessly funny and he can still so easily have me belly laughing with him at any moment, I feel really grateful for this. I know that in the months ahead we will probably have some moments where laughing will feel like a hundred years away. But I know it will always come back around with him, just like every truly good thing always does.