I just returned from a rather swell weekend spent in the Western part of our beloved NC. I gotta be honest, I don't get out that way much. I am more of a Coastal gal. However with rankings such as those listed below, I may need to start making the 3.5 hour haul more often.
"50 most alive places to be"
"America's top 25 art destinations"
"Happiest city for women"
"Best place to reinvent your life"
"New 'freak' capital of the US"
"Best 'outside' town"
"One of the happiest places in the US" (in case you were wondering, San Louis Obispo, CA is # 1 & happens to be my birth place!)
This was only my second visit to Asheville, however I am not sure if the first one even counts. It was 5 or so years ago and it was for a Widespread Panic concert weekend. So one can assume there was not a lot of city exploring, eating of awesome food, enjoying and taking in the nature, or visiting with friends ( or any of the above that one can write of ). So lets just call this my first encounter with the city. I was there to celebrate the beautiful nuptials of two friends, Becca and Yates and what a charming place to do so.
I arrive in West Asheville in time for cocktails and snacks at my friend Lauren's. Lauren is the sister of dear friend Katie. Shortly after a couple drinks we realize we must hurry to the party. The Grey Eagle http://www.thegreyeagle.com/ is a local favorite spot of the Bride and Groom and decided gathering place for the welcome party. I was pretty sure I was going to fall in love with this joint as soon as I see the old rugged building, paint chips falling off the sign and the old warehouse that resides beside Mr. Grey Eagle. Then I walk out back and see the "Blue Person" as I will call it, and then my love for this spot is confirmed.
There is a spread of yum yum laid out along the bar for all of us to enjoy along with Spirits sections by the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Dew. The musical entertainment was provided by many: Brother of the Groom as DJ, several friends take their turn on stage and the main event. Mr. Yates Dew's college band come together again!
Once the Bride decides its time to get her beauty rest, Asheville local and new favorite person, John loads a pile a of people in his car and takes us to LAB downtown for drinks. http://www.lexavebrew.com/. Cool spot for sure. 2 am rolls around and we decide its time (we want to look our best of the day of festivities!).
Not long enough, Saturday am, wedding day, the BIG day, is upon us. The Bride and BMs are getting dolled up starting at 11:30 at a cool little salon in the heart of downtown.http://www.studiochavarria.com/. I drop Katie off, get some directions on my day's tasks from the bride and I'm off to meet friend back at LAB for lunch. We also stumble upon a great shoe shop http://www.topsforshoes.com/ where myself and 2 other gal pals buy the same shoe!
One of my duties was to pick up the custom made surf board Becca had made for Yates and deliver it to the venue. I wanted a sneak peak of the place so I was happy to be on top of this task. The surf board was wood and was going to be serving as the "guest board" for all to sign then hung in their house. Driving up to the farm, Claxton Farm that is I knew it was going to be a beautiful wedding. http://www.claxtonfarm.net/. I almost could not wait to load the bus at 5pm to get back out there and see how it all turned out!
The Bride, Groom, family, friends, food, music, drinks ceremony were all icing on the cake (cupcake)!Even with the gorg arbor being blown down due to a little afternoon thunderstorm ( Pineapple Mojitos to keep everyone company as the stormed passed) the backdrop was just breathtaking. After a every personal, well thought out, sincere ceremony presented by the Brother of the Groom, we made our way to the "barn" for the reception!
|Programs, aka Fans|
The band was unreal. Hailed from ATL, Yacht Club something or another. All you need to know is there were about 6 of them, loving the signature drink, dressed head to toe in 70's gear, stormed up in a "kidnapper" van with decorated with, well I don't even know, on the side ready to jam out. The food was very tasty: apple walnut salad, mac n cheese, chicken skewers, shrimp and grits. Mogitos continued to be thrown back along with wine and liquor ( you know its going to be a good time with the bride is continuously drinking Maker's Mark).
As the sun sets behind the mountains, I look around and take in the splendor, animals (goats, cows, horses, llamas) the laughter of old and new friends, and joy in its purest form that surrounds me. I am then once again grateful for the life I have and the people that are in it!
Ok, back to the party... around 11ish the bride and groom take stage and tell us be all better be (this is a demand not suggestion) at http://ashevillesazerac.com/ when they arrive for the "after party" and welp, who can argue with the new Mr. & Mrs?! Sparkles light the night as they run through us and hop in their bad ass get away vehicle
|Bride and Groom leaving reception!|
We all gather at said location drinking drinks on the roof top as we wait for them to arrive. When they do, we all (20ish of us) start singing, or yelling, "Going to the chapel and we're gonna get marrrrrrried, going to the chapel of love". They were impressed and applauded. What Saturday night is complete with out late night? So we are off....
Sunday we get up, strech, piece together our night and say our "until next time"'s....
Antique Tobacco Barn ( my new favorite person, John Pomeroy owns it): http://www.atbarn.com/
Cools Streets: Lexington, Haywood, Wall
The Biltmore Estate and Gardens: http://www.biltmore.com/visit/calendar/christmas.asp
West Asheville: (all of it)
Louise's Kitchen: http://www.louisesblackmtn.com/
Christmas Jam (annual event)
Blue Ridge Parkway: http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/
The Farmer's Market
Jack of Wood: http://www.jackofthewood.com/
Southern Highland Folk Art Center: http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/pages/folk-art-center/general-info.php