A Whimsical Fall

Asheville + Whimsical Weekend Wrap Up

Finally collected a few moments to sit down and write about our weekend getaway.

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Sweater // Shoes

Since the leaves are changing and it’s getting colder down south, G and I decided to take a trip to the mountains.

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Ever since we started dating, we have made a point to do an annual trip to Asheville. This time, I put in a little extra effort and created my own itinerary. It was worth it.

itinerary

I didn’t make plans for Friday since we had some things going on back home but we happened to arrive at Wicked Weed brewing before dark. This is an Asheville staple and we have a particular affection for it because they serve beer AND liquor. There’s a brewery on every corner downtown and even though beer is not my forte, it’s still a fun trip for me. I know G enjoys the community and the craft beer and I enjoy the cuisine and culture.

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Next, we ventured to The Black Bird where a few years ago, we had our 2nd date and I first met Greg’s brother. Family on the 2nd date? Yeahhh buddy. That’s how I roll.

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After reminiscing over Black Bird’s craft cocktails, we left for the Sunset Terrace at the Grove Park Inn. Usually, you’d want to visit this restaurant before sunset but settings don’t have to be perfect to be fun. It was still beautiful and we enjoyed our food. People visit from all over the country for the steak, but I visit for the biscuits. You should check it out.

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On Saturday at precisely 10am, we arrived at Double D’s Diner. G honors me big time – he agrees to arrive early for pictures, agrees to take the photos, and scouts out spots for posing. I try to return the honor by turning off the GPS when he says he knows the way.

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If you’re visiting Asheville, do not miss this spot and bring CASH!! I went upstairs to reserve a booth while G bought us coffee and hot chocolate. It was fun to look at the streets of Asheville from a double decker bus.

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Keep in mind that you can walk everywhere in downtown Asheville so once you park, pay for the day and leave the car right there! If you visit on a Saturday and have some time to kill between 9am and 12 pm, visit the Asheville City Market located between Walnut and Woodfin Street during the months of April through December {and located in the Asheville Masonic Temple, January through March}.

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After our morning coffee, we walked to Mast General Store to do some Christmas shopping. Mast General has the coolest old-timey vibe – the wood floors creek, barrels full of candy line the aisles, and old fashion corn is always popping.

Four children’s books, three stuffed animals, and two winter jackets later, we found our way over to the Kress Emporium.

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We could spend hours browsing over the fine art, jewelry, ceramics, and home goods but we quickly perused the aisles to brunch on time. Because as you know, brunch so hard and avoid the hangry.

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We brunched at Rhubarb in the heart of downtown Asheville and watched as busy city goers and street performers passed us by. If you visit, be sure to snag a reservation as this is a popular brunch spot.

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I couldn’t wait for the next stop on our itinerary – a chocolate factory tour at The French Broad Chocolates Factory and Tasting Room.  Here are the highlights.

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We received a brief history lesson on chocolate and were very much enlightened. Did you know that chocolate is not ever supposed to taste the same from one bar to the next? Cocoa is a fruit and much like the apple, how it tastes all depends on how it’s derived. Climate and soil changes the name of the game.

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First we tasted cocoa nibs from Guatemala. This is chocolate in its purest form. It’s similar in characteristic to a roasted coffee bean. I enjoyed it for the fact that it’s minimally processed and an awesome antioxidant. Do you know what antioxidants prevent? WRINKLES.

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Eat chocolate to prevent wrinkles. Next, we tasted a Nicaraguan chocolate bar. The only ingredients are sugar and cocoa. You better believe that they use pure cane sugar. I was surprised at how fruity this sliver tasted!

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We then tried a Guatemalan chocolate bar. It tasted completely different.

The third bar was milk chocolate so I shared mine with G… I wasn’t a huge fan. It was too sweet.

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French Broad Chocolates source all of their ingredients from their purest form while empowering farmers and elevating the chocolate industry. They don’t participate in fair trade, they enact direct trade and pay their farmers 50% above market price.

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Much like the story of Asheville, French Broad first opened shop at a farmers market many years ago and now employs a group of 80. And if you plan on visiting, you better visit ASAP because soon this factory will turn into their very own ice cream parlor. You can call for a tour here.

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After our tour, it was time to make some brewery stops and catch up on Saturday afternoon college football. We wandered into Twin Leaf, Catawba, and somehow ended up at a random bar that served pizza {yessssssss}. With all the walking, I worked up an appetite and ate a whole pie.

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We originally planned to eat at Red Stag Grill in the Grand Bohemian but we were so full that we skipped our dinner reservation.

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On Sunday, we had to be back home by the afternoon, so we had breakfast at Corner Kitchen, a Biltmore Village restaurant settled in a 109 year old home.

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If you plan on arriving hungry, you’ll certainly need a reservation. Take the advice from your very own Southerner and order the grits.

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He knows exactly what you need before you ever know you needed it. I’m so grateful that the Lord put this trip on our heart.  This trip did my soul well.

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Whimsically Yours,

 

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