Asheville and an Ass.

Sometimesash I get bored and like to runaway. Often my family has to come with me.

I woke up Saturday, Labor day weekend and wanted to run away. (it was 2 days before my son’s big “18″ and I was feeling sorry for myself). So I started packing and informed the rest of the family we were taking a last minute road trip to Asheville. We booked a room at the Aloft on the way out the door.

Because, why not.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Asheville when there wasn’t a festival,ash2 and the city did not disappoint. The festival that weekend was the mountain xpress festival. I still don’t know what it means, but there were lots of women dressed like birds all over the place.

I made the grave mistake of bringing my 13 year old, who did nothing but bitch, moan and whine about the lack of cleanliness of a few groups of hippies, and the smell of patchouli wafting through the air.

It was hot as hell, so I did thank sweet baby Jesus that the Aloft wasn’t “too green” to have a nice ashswimming pool with a view and a bar.

Bob and his friends went on a drunk boy fest up to Asheville a few months before and came home raving about Curate. He said we should go there for dinner, and I actually had heard of it via Anthony Bourdain….

Unfortunately he left out the part about it not being a kid friendly menu. (understatement of the month.)

This resulted in a whine and pout fest, not by my 6 and 4 year old, but from my 13 year ash4old princess. A quick promise of ice cream for dinner, I polished off a second bottle of wine, and left half unconscious.

In college, I studied the history of Biltmore and its architecture in one of my American Art classes. At 20 years old, I remember thinking I would just die to see it.

So now I cannot go to Asheville without driving by. (insert eyerolls by each and every one of my family members.)

But there is one thing that does make my kids smile in Asheville while visiting the Biltmore…..ice cream and an ass. Not a joke. The farm is their favorite. I just made sure not to explain to them where beloved “chicken fingers” really come from.

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Savannah, I was born to be southern.

sav3This is my second favorite southern city, even though we only go once a year. (lie- this was the 2nd time this year). I pretty much like the slow pace, as I’m anything but. Opposites attract I suppose. And they encourage walking while drinking so it’s definitely my kind of town.

Last time I was in Savannah, we did the haunted ghost tour at night, which was AWESOME. For a while. Because what I did not know? Chiggers.They don’t really go dormant in Savannah I guess. So as I was stalking through tall grass in a skirt and tights to get closer to the “Hanging Tree”…well you can guess what embedded themselves into my tights. The bites and infection only lasted a few weeks. So other than bugs, the south is awesome.

sav11 Palmer Dresser House is where we stay, (happy hour with wine & snacks, woohoo!) and this picture is my favorite spot in the house. Obviously.

I’ve already done all of the tours, seen the museums, and the carriage rides never get boring. I could listen to tour guides tell me the history of the city every weekend if I could. Also, my memory is short and my attention span easily distractible so it’s like hearing it for the first time every time. Literally.

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I will go anywhere there’s a bar and a boat. Just say “heather, they have a bar and a boat” and I’ll be on my way.

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The Heather Bridge. They’ve erected this giant H in my honor. Good people.

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Savannah Eats.

Lady & Sons- don’t bother.

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Olde Pink House, 45 Bistro, Sapphire Grille, and Rocks on the Roof. There’s a long list of places I want to try. I’ve never had a decent cupcake in the city, but I’ve had some ridiculously amazing chocolates, truffles and other baked goods. My favorite places to shop are Kitchens on the Square because I get some of the coolest kitchen stuff, and The Salt Table. My customers don’t know that I often buy a lot of baking items from them- fleur de sel, fruit infused sugars etc. Because I’m fancy and don’t know how to budget when it comes to baking and whatnot.

And you can walk to everything. EVERYTHING. It’s awesome. And if you are too drunk to walk? PEDICAB.

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My first bird left the nest.

Bittersweet. My almost 18 year old left for college. charleston19I’m excited for him, sad for me, and feeling incredibly old at 37. Many of my friends are actually older than me, with kids half his age. I’ve lived a whirlwind of a life in 37 years, and all of it was because of this guy.

I know he thinks I’m annoying, a dork, and an all around pain in his ass. But that’s my job.

When you look at pictures of your oldest after they’re gone, I’m not going to lie, it’s incredibly depressing. I think a giant source of my depression this year directly correlates with the fact he is grown and 18 years of my life flew by in a blink.

How is it possible two decades went by this quickly?

It doesn’t even make sense. Remember when you were a kid and something a week away seemed like eternity? A year is nothing, and 10 years ago feels like the other day.

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It’s hard to believe that 18 years ago this month I was a teenager myself, getting ready to have a baby. And now I sit here staring at that baby in a college dorm room, all grown up.

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