Sometimes the best laid plans just don’t work out. My wife and I decided to take a babymoon before our first son gets here in July. It’s kind of a challenge to find activities for a pregnant wife. It has to be low impact and fairly slow paced or it’s just not enjoyable for her.
We decided to head to Asheville, NC for the weekend. We had planned to take a 4 hour canoe trip down the French Broad River with Headwaters Outfitters on Saturday morning. Then after lunch and a break we would go eat supper followed by a ghost tour with Ghost Hunters of Asheville. Well, none of that worked out. The canoe trip was cancelled because of high water level in the river and we found out later in the day that walking was not going to work out for the ghost tour. Pregnancy “takes your breath away” and leaves you winded pretty quickly.
We decided to take the scenic route to the canoe trip since
it only added about 15 minutes over the interstate time. About half way to
Caesar’s Head State Park we got the cancellation call so we decided to turn it into a road trip and
explore the mountains.
I ride these roads all the time on my motorcycle so I knew a
few things I could show her and I had a little firsthand knowledge of the best
roads in the area.
Our first stop was Caesar’s Head State Park. The road is pretty twisty getting there and it is very fun on a motorcycle. There isn’t much at the park itself except a very nice overlook and some bathrooms.
After a short break we hopped back in the car and continued on towards Brevard, NC. We were seeing a lot of bicycles. As it turned out we were seeing the beginning of the Assault on the Carolinas bike ride. Luckily, we were early enough to avoid most of them. Not to sound bitter, but for all their “Share The Road” talk, they could certainly take their own advice.
We took a detour through Brevard to get around the finish line for the bike ride and headed into the Pisgah National Forest. I have to say the roads and pull offs are in great shape through the national forest. We were actually following the GPS trying to find Looking Glass Falls. Well, the waterfall didn’t have an address (more on that later) I could only find GPS coordinates. We were blindly following the GPS when it took us on a gravel road.
I figured the gravel road would take us to an overlook of the falls. As gravel roads go, it wasn't too bad, but all the bumping and jarring was tough on Shannon so we found a spot we could turn around. It was also a trail head for rock climbers. We decided to give it a go. The trail had a mild incline so we started walking. This trail is where we learned that walking long distances when pregnant is not really practical. This trail actually saved us $36 because we figured out walking on the ghost tour probably wasn't going to work out.
After making our way back off the gravel road and back towards highway 64 we saw a sign that said Looking Glass Falls. After messing around on a gravel road for 45 minutes we took a left and there it was right on the side of the road! We pulled over and took a few pictures while we enjoyed the scenery.
It was getting close to lunch time so we started heading over to Flat Rock, NC. We ate lunch at a place called Flat Rock Bakery, it's a bit of a local legend. This was the first time we have eaten there and it was very good. I had a wood fired sausage pizza and Shannon had a havarti and cheddar melt. If you ever find yourself in Flat Rock you need to try them out.
After stuffing our bellies it was time to head toward our hotel in Asheville. We took some more scenic roads passing by farms and rivers to the Holiday Inn Express near the Biltmore Mall. After taking an afternoon break and looking up some local restaurants we headed out to downtown Asheville. We ate at Tupelo Honey Café. I had Fried Chicken and Biscuits and Shannon had a Cheesy Grill sandwich and Tomato Soup. Are you seeing a trend in Shannon’s cravings? That makes two grill cheese sandwiches in one day! The food was excellent as was the service.
Since we opted out of the ghost tour Shannon was worried about me enjoying myself so she suggested a local brewery. There are tons of them in Asheville, but we decided on The Wicked Weed. There is a tasting room downstairs with no wait. If you aren’t eating dinner there, make your way downstairs. They also have beers on tap that you can’t get upstairs. I got the Hey Porter. They brew it and tap it every year on Johnny Cash’s birthday. It was one of the best porters I have ever had the pleasure of imbibing.
Asheville is such a contrasting town. In one city block we saw street performers, jugglers, and musicians performing for change. They looked like they hadn't bathed in quite a while, and then across the street there are five guys in suits getting money out of the ATM. A Geo Metro converted over to run on used cooking oil passing a Mercedes SLK with a tag that reads “Ventures”. The juxtaposition is truly something that makes Asheville a unique city. It’s a bustling city with room for the arts.
Sunday morning we slept late and had a light breakfast. We had planned on eating at Sunny Point Café which is one of my favorite places, but when we got there the line was longer than we were willing to wait. We headed back towards home via 176. We stopped in Landrum at The Hare and Hound Pub. I had a burger and Shannon had ……Fish and Chips! You thought it was going to be a grill cheese didn't you? After our huge lunch we headed home to prepare for the upcoming week. Our babymoon was over and it didn't go as planned, but we had a great time just hanging out together. The trip was a little light on adventure, but it was very nice to spend time with Shannon away from home and go exploring together.
What I Learned:
- Pregnancy and gravel roads are not a good mix.
- There are a lot of trails hidden in the mountains in very unlikely spots.
Proverbs 5:18-19 NIV “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Too often we get busy and neglect the most important things in life. It was very nice to take a trip with Shannon and spend some time together without having to worry about other things going on. We should all take care to nurture the relationships with our loved ones.