Six hundred eleven moiles

Asheville, North Caraliney to Ann Arbor, Meeecheeegaan. Am I a little roto, you ask? Yeah. I am a little roto. But not as roto after 611 miles as I have been on past trips down from the Yooperland, which is “only” 350 miles or thereabouts. Our first stop before leaving town last Thursday morning was the Plum Market (Zingerman’s for carry-out coffee and bagels). My first stop after returning to the Planet Ann Arbor this afternoon was the Plum Market (a WALKING trip to forage for food after all of those moiles in the loverly Ninja). I managed to pick out food but I am kind of a zombie right now and I told the lovely 20-something woman who checked out my grokkeries about that and she commiserated with me about that drive and welcomed me home. Love.

This trip was as smooth as it gets. Only one or two VERY minor slowdowns both directions, i.e., only had to downshift to about 4th gear for traffic and/or construction. Even during the heavy rain we got on eastbound I40 this morning between Asheville and Knoxville. That’s pretty dern good. It turns out that Angry Birds (an iPhone game) works about as well as dramaqueen* for those who are prone to motion sickness on car trips. I suspect that plain old solitaire on the iPhone would work just as well. I sure played a lot of games of that over the weekend. But I don’t get motion sickness for the most part.

Our lodging was absolutely beautiful. I posted a photo the day we got down there. Scroll down to last Thursday. I wish I had more photos but this weekend what it was and I had a lot of fun but I didn’t take lots of pictures. The Beautiful Becky (one of my many wonderful sisters-in-law) searched our place out on the internet. It was a log “cabin” (house) in the woods with a huge front porch and creek down the hill in the back yard and every amenity, even an iron! This place was competitively priced with most hotel rooms and sleeps about 10 (we had eight). It was wonderful to have a beautiful place in the woods that we could come “home” to, to spread out and relax. One of my favorite memories of the weekend might be getting up early the morning after the wedding to tink around cleaning the kitchen up and making a breakfast for Elizilla before her flight back to SanFran. One bonus was that we figured out that our place was so close to the wedding venue that we didn’t even need to navigate the main roads to get to it. Another was that, the family who rents it have a non-profit (I think) therapeutic horseback-riding business. They work with children and they were kind enough to give the teenage nieces staying at our cabin a chance to meet and ride some of their horses. We were downtown during this but it sounded wonderful. If I had had that kind of introduction to horses when I was a kid, I’d probably like them more. Oh well.

Asheville? Absolutely gorgeous! I have whoooooshed through Asheville once before. It was at the end of a long day of traveling from Florida to Michigan with young children and I think *everyone* was at the end of their ropes. This time, both of those children were with us but one (23) helped with the driving and the other (25-26) flew in from her home in SanFran and back out again.

What to do in Asheville? The Biltmore? The Blue Ridge Parkway? Downtown Asheville? Well. We had time enough to do EITHER the Biltmore or the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you know me in real life in the last 15 years or so, you will know that, given a choice between the Biltmore or the Blue Ridge, I will choose the Blue Ridge. And so I did. We also dipped in and out of downtown Asheville a few times. We had wonderful food everywhere we ate and I chose things with a southern flavor everywhere except the Indian place we ate lunch yesterday. There are a gazillion stores, restaurants, and art galleries in downtown Asheville. If I was in a more acquisitional stage of life and had a wee little bit more disposable income, I could’ve had a field day shopping. Alas, I got overwhelmed by the shopping. I did like the street musicians that seemed to be everywhere. They were usually pretty good and I wish I had had some dollar bills hanging around to sneak into their instrument cases when the GG wasn’t looking. As it was I had NO cash for most of the weekend. Bad planning on my part.

And then. We stopped to meet someone who Mouse has long known by association with a friend of hers here on the planet. That wonderful person owns an art gallery in downtown Asheville and we only had time to do a little drive-by visit with her but she had some wonderful ideas about things to do and places to eat and where to shop. And where to stay downtown if you wanted to do that. If you didn’t have a car… All of which made me (sort of) wish I had five more days there. But I didn’t. Maybe some day. And so we are back here on the Planet Ann Arbor, missing the beautiful days we spent at the cabin with Jim and TBB and our children.

The wedding? I do not have the words to say how wonderful the wedding was. This CRUSTY, baggy old kayak woman was sitting there streaming tears, wishing she had even just one blasted kleenex (or could pull out her iPhone and play solitaire in order to FOCUS on something!) and freaking out about whether she would have to spend the whole night wearing raccoon eyes. All I will say tonight is that, I know there were probably tense moments during the planning, etc., etc. It’s hard to plan any kind of an event without that. But there was NO evidence of any kind bridezilla in this shindig. These “kids” and their families created a beautiful event that truly celebrated the beginning of their lives as a married couple but made everyone else feel included too. It was one of the best weddings I’ve ever attended.

Love y’all,
Zombie Woman

* dramaqueen = dramamine

3 Responses to “Six hundred eleven moiles”

  1. Margaret Says:

    It sounds like great adventures and wonderful experiences. The trip was worth the zombie aftermath! 😉

  2. Becky Says:

    We all had a wonderful time with your family in Asheville. It was nice to drink beer w/ Mouse and see Elizabeth visiting from Cali. The teens were troopers (even on the long trip home). It was time well spent to witness such a beautiful wedding. Renee and Nick are truly a special couple and hope their honeymoon is fab (as I’m sure it will be!)

  3. Tonya Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip and a wonderful celebration. I miss road trips. We used to take a lot of them way up to British Columbia or deep into Montana to go snowmobiling. Don’t do that anymore since we bought the Harstine Is. property, but I sure do miss that. Happy you got to spend time with both of your daughters! It’s always nice to come home, too.