Well it was time to head down to North Carolina and visit one of my best friends. Chris and I have known each other for a long time and it is always good to meet up and renew our friendship. You might remember him from one of my earlier blog posts from December 2015.
I took a few vacation days and started to drive down to NC on Tuesday, April 18. I ended up leaving work around noon and getting on the road.The drive down took about 11 hours with stops and rush hour traffic around Columbus, OH. It was really nice to see all of the red bud trees blooming in the mountains.
As with my past visit my mornings there were spent sitting on the front porch and drinking a few cups of coffee.
I went to Ashville on Wednesday and toured the city. I had lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe and visited a lot of the shops in town. I really liked the pottery shops, some of the galleries and 3-D tapestries in one of the hippy shops. I saw so many things I wanted to buy but just couldn’t figure out how it would fit into what I had going on at home.
Wednesday night Chris took me out on his Razer. I had never really seen or learned anything about Razers. It is basically a four-wheeler on steroids. It flies across field, holes and bumps at 50 mph and just feels like you are gliding across everything. It was so intense the adrenaline that was in my system had my eyes wide open and hands shaking a bit. It was overheating so we couldn’t stay out long but an exciting experience.
Thursday night his friends joined us and we drove to Charlotte for a Trey Anastasio Band concert at the Fillmore. We all piled in his friends car and drove to the show. It was really a great group of people. The show was awesome, we had a great night and even hit a Waffle House on the way home.
Friday Chris had the day off but we were both exhausted from all the fun so it became a recovery day. In the evening though we managed to have dinner at Highland Avenue. I had the Shrimp and Grits and it was really delicious. The restaurant is in an old lumber mill that has been renovated to house a number of different businesses. The city has put a large push to invest in local businesses and from what I can see it is succeeding.
I also learned that Apple and Google have moved large offices nearby which is helping the local economy.
Saturday we planned on having breakfast with his mother and father, driving up Mount Mitchell (highest point in the Eastern U.S) and attending the Pisgah Brewery Anniversary concert (Moe. and Kyle Hollingsworth). With storms moving in we decided after breakfast to just go to Ashville and hang out with his friend Forest (everyone calls him “F.O.). F.O. bought a house in the mountains in Hendersonville, NC. It is a beautiful home on 10 acres, mountain views and he owns his own spring! He lives there with his boyfriend.
We went out downtown in Ashville (about 15 min away) where we had a drinks and had some fun. Knowing I had to drive 10+ hours the next day though we returned to Forest’s house to have a few more beers and enjoy each others company. Luckily I was able to get to sleep around 1am and that made the drive home manageable.
From Ashville, Detroit is only 9.5 hours away but with the storms it made the trip stretch into 12 hours. It never stopped raining on my drive through the mountains to Knoxville. I took it slow and enjoyed the fog, clouds and water pouring off the mountains on the side of the road. Around Knoxville you hit I-75 and start working your way north on I-75.