Monday, June 30, 2014

Photos - Smoky Mountains Vacation - Asheville, North Carolina

Here's a super-quick, photo-heavy recap of our recent vacation to the Smoky Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. I wish I could go into more detail, but I just got done with my first day of orientation for my 3rd year here at MSU CHM, and I'd like to write out a post about that tonight as well.

Here's how the vacation went following Step 1:

Monday, June 16th: 
      - Step 1 from 7:30am - 5:30pm (click here to read My Step 1 Experience)

Tuesday, June 17th: Driving
      - Drive to Asheville, North Carolina (12hr trip took 13.5hrs d/t traffic jams)

Wednesday, June 18th - Free Day #1
      - We hung around the Hummingbird Cabin, which was pretty much all ours in the middle of ~70+ acres of small mountains, streams, and trails. Went out to eat at 12 Bones Smokehouse - AMAZING. They're so good, they didn't even blink an eye when I jokingly told them we'd driven from Michigan just to eat there. They only laughed once Wife told them I was kidding. Afterward, we soaked in our hot tub and generally recovered from Step 1 and the drive.












Thursday, June 19th: Breakfast & The Biltmore
      - Ate books and read breakfast - oh wait... Nevermind - at the Early Girl Eatery. Highly recommended; awesome books food.
      - Visited the Biltmore Estate. Summed up in one phrase: The American Downton Abbey. Very literally. Couldn't take pictures or videos inside, but below you'll find some outdoor pictures, several of which are pretty cool panoramas.
      - Went hiking on the trails with Wife and Hobbes.





























Friday, June 20th - Sliding Rock and Waterfalls
      - Explored the beautiful Pisgah National Forest
      - Visited (and slid down) Sliding Rock. Tons of (cold) fun - luckily weather was hot that day. A video will eventually (once I get the time to make it) get posted, including lots of fun GoPro shots of us sliding down it.
      - Visited Looking Glass Falls - very cool. Sort of wish we'd had time to go swimming here.
      - Returned home to hike around with Hobbes, grill out, nap and enjoy the cabin.























Saturday, June 21st - Blue Ridge Parkway & Mt. Mitchell
      - Got lost finding the Blue Ridge Parkway. Met some interesting mountain people who were having a yard sale by the roadside when I stopped to ask directions. Before I could get out more than "Hi, I was wondering if you could-" all seven of them pointed in the same direction and in unison said, "That way." Apparently there was nothing in the other direction.
      - Found (after speaking with the communally-dubbed "Map Man" (and then getting lost again)) and drove around the Blue Ridge Parkway
      - Drove to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest point East of the Mississippi River.











To explain the above photo, after walking the trail at this "scenic outlook" there were no Glassmine Falls currently falling. Hence the joking frowns. 



















Sunday, June 22nd - Free Day #2
      - Slept in, enjoyed reading around the cabin, cooked the best bacon I've ever eaten. Of course, I can't remember what kind it was...
      - Ate an absolutely FABULOUS late lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville.
      - Walked around downtown, spent too much money on books at a local bookstore
      - Went back to the cabin and enjoyed relaxing one last evening before packing up. Below are some shots of the cabin itself, since I neglected to take them at the beginning of the trip:















Monday, June 23rd - Driving

All in all, it was the perfect post-Step-1 vacation. Many, many thanks to Wife for organizing and planning EVERYTHING while I was in the throes of Step 1 prep. She even worked three 12-hour shifts back-to-back the three days before we left on the trip. I'm still kind of confused as to how everything worked out, but never before has a vacation gone so smoothly. Well done, Wife.

Well done.

2 comments:

Susan said...

Ahhmazing pics! Definitely draws you there for a vacation!

Anonymous said...

Your dog is very photogenic!!

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