My Brother is Engaged!
Carolina Road Trip Days #2-4

Carolina Road Trip Day #1

We're back from vacation, a great vacation!  Over the next 4 days, I will highlight some of our itinerary and the most memorable parts of our trip, starting from our time in Asheville, NC.  Pay attention to the pictures that will appear in our "Carolina Road Trip" series, as we want you all to pick your favorite picture.  The poll will open after the last post in the series appears, which will be on Saturday, June 23rd and remain open until Wednesday, June 27th.  Post a comment indicating your favorite picture and we'll let you know which picture has won by majority vote. (click on photos to enlarge)

So without further ado, let's get started!  

June 12th:  It didn't take much convincing for Matt to upgrade our rental car to a Toyota Highlander.  The rental car employee at the Charlottesville, VA airport wasn't all that accurate, or truthful, in his description of the SUV's features, but we were glad to have the opportunity to have it for a lengthy test drive; it's #1 on our list for the next car we purchase once Meg's 1992 Ford Explorer finally croaks (we hope that won't be for a long time though).  For those interested, it drove really well and got great gas mileage, the only question remaining for us though is if Matt's 6'5" frame really has enough leg room.  

We embarked on our road trip leaving Charlottesville and heading toward Asheville, NC through the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a remarkable route to enjoy the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.  Our main stop along the drive was for a picnic lunch at Mabry Mill, the most photographed spot along the Parkway. 

Forty-five mph is the speed limit along the Parkway, so it added some more driving time, but the leisurely drive was worth the views.  Because of rain and low visibility, we ventured off the Parkway around Linville, NC and took back routes down to Asheville.  Along the way, we discovered Christmas tree farms!  Hundreds of Christmas trees ranging in age and size, of course.  These are the trees that get shipped to Austin, and who knows, one of them could be your Christmas tree this year.

In Asheville, we were greeted to a hotel room with two double beds (we requested a king), but we were compensated by being given a pass to the Club Lounge, which enabled us to have complimentary continental breakfasts, h'orderves, and desserts...not a bad exchange!  If you've ever been to Boulder, CO, Asheville has much of the same characteristics.  Upon 15 minutes in downtown Asheville, you're able to pick up on the spirit of the small mountain town:  very free-spirited, earthy, hippy-ish, and marked with new age spirituality.  We discovered a fantastic pizza joint called the Mellow Mushroom, and enjoyed the mid-70 degree weather, a welcomed change from the Texas heat...


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