It’s All About the Journey – Asheville, NC

We spent Thanksgiving vacation in Asheville, NC, visiting my brother Eric and his wife Veronica. You can read about our Thanksgiving day tour of Biltmore and our vegan Thanksgiving.

On Friday the plan was to drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway to a high peak and do a short hike. Eric had been hyping us up about the views for weeks. It was going to “blow our minds”!

We woke up early, packed some lunches, and dressed in some warm clothes. We were driving up the parkway – and so far it was beautiful! Eric kept yelling, “just you wait! this is nothing!”. So I didn’t pay too much attention – saving my gazing for the top – when we’d be around 5,400 ft elevation. That was until we ran into a road barrier that stated “ROAD CLOSED”.

The roads at the top of the mountain were too icy. We shouldn’t have been surprised since Eric and my Dad’s Thanksgiving morning hike ended with their car doing a 180, tossing them in an icy ditch. We drove to the nearest overlook, realizing that this was going to be the best view we’d get this trip.

And, you know what? It was so beautiful. There were so many tints and hues of blue. The mountains appeared to go on forever.

That morning was a good lesson in appreciating the moment. You know that  saying – “life is about the journey, not the destination”?  Well we were all ignoring the views of the journey up the parkway – all anticipating the “awesome” views at the top. Views we in fact would never see. We were missing out on what was right in front of us. You never know what tomorrow holds, be sure to relish in today.

I constantly find myself with tunnel vision – only looking toward that special moment in the future. When, in fact, what is going on right now is where the magic is. Be sure to look out your windows instead of staring straight ahead at the door. That is where the beauty is. Staring straight ahead will only provide you with an exit sign and high expectations.

Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, NC

Eric was so disappointed that he wouldn’t get to show us his favorite views. But we were grateful for what we got and we surely made up for it on our remaining two days. We headed into downtown Asheville and walked around and got some drinks.

We then scored tickets for the Amazing Pubcycle. It was a blast! The pubcycle is a 13 person, pedal powered, trolley with a bar in the middle. Everyone brings their own booze, sits on a bike, and pedals and drinks their heart out as they get a unique tour of Asheville. (don’t worry, there is a motor as well).

Amazing pubcycle, Asheville, NC

Asheville Pubcycle tour conductor

Our conductor, Chase, was amazing – he should have his own TV show, he was that fun and hilarious. We had a blast pedaling around town, scream singing Journey and bike dancing (it’s a thing!) to Lady Gaga while chugging some adult beverages. We got to see a lot of downtown. Best way to spend $10 per person!

Pubcycle, Ryan and Katie

On Saturday we had a slower paced day. We toured the beautiful Grove Park Inn. Which was all decked out for the holidays and was showcasing the 21st National Gingerbread House Competition. This Inn has hosted a long list of distinguished guests including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Ford, Woodrow Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Houdini, and Barack Obama.

Grove Park Inn

 The Gingerbread Competition was amazing. It was really hard to believe that these sculpture were made all out of food.

gingerbread competition

panda gingerbread winner

The Pandas above were the Blue Ribbon winner. Can you believe that is all candy?!

We walked around this beautiful resort, checking out all the themed Christmas trees and even got to meet Santa!!!

Ryan and Katie tree

im and Pat, tree

Ryan and Katie with Santa!

After more touring downtown and a nice lunch at Tupelo Honey, we headed back to the cabin for more Thanksgiving leftovers, games, and drinks. Til next time Asheville!

cows, leicester nc

Katie and Ryan on cabin porch

  • Pat (mom)

    I just love those views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The places we visited and the activities we did were all fun, but my favorite times were making Thanksgiving dinner together and playing Guesstures every night!

  • The amount I am jealous about the pubcycle really, truly cannot be put into words. We call them brew-bikes or octobikes (which does not indicate the booziness of it) and they show up like crazy in the summer AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO CRY BECAUSE I’VE NEVER RODE ON ONE.

    • kwalshmac

      You MUST go on one! You simply can’t beat a workout that you can drink though. Afterwards, my butt, thighs, and voice was sore from all of the pedaling and laughing and singing. Go sign up for your local one NOW!