Donald and I love a road trip.
But NOBODY loves a road trip more than Harley!
We're rarely in a big hurry for anything, so we're able to enjoy the beauty of the trip and all it has to offer along the way.
We see tons of wonderful barn quilts between Boone and Asheville, but catching one is sometimes a challenge
Before we got to our hotel in Asheville, Donald spotted a couple of signs for The Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain, so we pulled over and spent a perfect afternoon just strolling and enjoying the delights of a small town festival.
Harley met lots of dogs.
There was lots of good food.
And we ran into old friends. This is Jim Rice of Old Turtle Man Jewelry. He makes gorgeous pieces, and I had the pleasure of taking a jewelry making class from him at ASU a few years back.
I thought about several pals when we spotted this dachshund bench - Mary Jane Maffini, Alice Duncan and Tammy Coia
There were pretty little girls in pretty dresses.
And cute little boys with dogs wearing tutus.
And I had some Mountain Fairy Hair highlights added to my hair.
and watched the world go by - - -
We were all a little tired by the time we got to the hotel.
But before too long, we were also pretty hungry.
So we hit one of our all-time favorite pizza spots
We love this hotel and it's where we always stay when we go to Asheville. It's the Holiday Inn on Tunnel Road. It's an older hotel. One that remembers what guest services is all about. And they love dogs. It's lushly landscaped and there are wooded trails for the dogs and for the kids, with swing sets along the way. There are bookcases full of used books scattered around the hotel - just one of the little touches to make you feel comfortable during your stay. It's not the place for anyone wanting a luxury hotel, but it suits us to a "T."
And they serve a terrific breakfast righ here in their funky little bar/restaurant call Big Owl's. (i know, i know - too much, right? Wrong! Excellent food, sourced locally). But, yes there are a lot of owls. But you know me - I do love owls.
Now, I may not want all those guys sitting around my house - but here, they make me smile.
After breakfast, we took a ride.
and prompty got lost.
and never did find The Bat Cave.
But. We did find our way to one of the most wonderful camera shops I've ever been in .
If you're a camera buff, do NOT miss Ball Photo Supply while you're in Asheville.
That was fun!
Then it was time to go back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation time.
Then time to head downtown.
First stop. The Chocolate Fetish. Heaven on earth.
Next up. Malaprop's Books and Cafe, where I'm going to join some other self-published/small press writers for a reading and signing event.
Sheri Wren Haymore, Court McCracken, Malaprop's Virginia MicKinley, Sue Wasserman, and Art Ramsay
Worried that no one would show up.
But they did! And they were delightful!
Especially Asheville peeps Sallie Bissell, Celia Miles and Nan Dillingham. (Thanks, guys!!)
and the best husband, best friend, partner and all round sweetest man on God's green earth. Donald Barley, who even made a video of the event.
Neither of us can ever resist taking a picture of this sculpture in front of Malaprop's. It's one of many scattered about the city as part of the Urban Trail. It's name is Shopping Daze.
And then back to the hotel and a late night bowl of corn chowder at Big Owl's. yum.
I think this little fellow went to bed without us.
And now, after a good night's sleep, it's time to head home, but we can't do that without our usual stop at the Harley-Davidson place.
This little stop makes Don Barley a happy boy.
I, however, am a little less enthusiastic (especially seeing as how I am less than "camera ready")
And we happened across this little place on our way home. All God's Creatures . . . .
Mr. Llama did not want his picture taken.
And he still did not want his picture taken
And another stop on the way home is Tom Johnson RV and Camping Center. We love checking out campers and motor homes. Doing some research in hopes of having one of these in our future when Donald retires.
THIS is the one I wanted to come home with . . . .
And now -
There's no place like home.