Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Asheville's Charms

Early yesterday afternoon, David, Son and I drove into the very cool little city of Asheville, North Carolina. We had such a wonderful experience here last year that we thought we’d stop again for the day this year.

Lunch was first on our schedule. We started where we started last year: Laughing Seed Café, a fantastic vegetarian restaurant. After a late on-the-road dinner last night where I ate nothing particularly good for me, it was a pleasure to look over the menu and see beautiful vegetable after beautiful vegetable. And when my choice arrived, the taste of the seasonal veggies, black beans, and rice with a sesame-ginger sauce was out of this world—yet totally grounded as well. Highly recommended.

My favorite part of the meal is something I ordered last year as well: a fresh basil martini!

Last year we had the incredible fortune to completely fortuitously run into my brother and his girlfriend at this restaurant. We had no idea they’d be in the state and they had no idea we would be here.

This year, we planned things a bit and my brother joined us for lunch. Son absolutely glows whenever he sees one of his uncles (David has one brother as do I), and my brother’s wacky humor and ability to be as silly as a 9yo definitely helped make up for the 8 hours in the car Son had just had to live through.

* * *

We spent the afternoon exploring the galleries and shops in town.

I love all the street art in Asheville.

My favorites stores, of course, were the knitting stores and the amazing book store.

At Purl’s, which has moved since last year, I especially loved the handmade pottery buttons. Pictures to be inserted sometime soon.

At Earth Guild, I experienced a pang of serious lust for Kromski rigid heddle loom in the largest size. I managed to resist any really major purposes, but we came out with some black dishcloth cotton to make martini-glass dishcloths as well as some lovely natural dark brown alpaca laceweight.

My brother and I also loved going in the small Scottish store and admired all the Clan Cameron stuff. The store also displays many gorgeous sweaters that left me itching to start yet another sweater. (But... um... I have three sweaters on the needles at the moment, all very different from each other. Three, despite the hot weather. Details when we return to Takoma Park. And my plan is to cast on a new lace shawl tomorrow, to boot.)

* * *

The local independent book store has a knack for putting every book on my bulging nightstand either in the front window or on the front table. Every book in those locations that is not on my nightstand obviously belongs on my nightstand, right?

One thing that David found in a special display was especially exciting to me: my book! (Feel free to check out the link in the sidebar.)

The store has a great selection of buttons, magnets, and bumper stickers of the liberal persuasion. My favorite:


* * *

Although we wanted to eat a locavore meal at the Early Girl Café like we did last year, we didn’t think to make reservations early in the day and the wait for dinner—a wait we would be spending with a child already saying he was about to pass out from hunger—was going to be at least 90 minutes. Perhaps we can return next week after camp is over.

So we went to a Middle Eastern place around the corner with good food, good live music, and a belly dancer that Son embarrassedly said reminded him of a veela. (My boy is growing up!)

* * *

After dinner, we said goodbye to my brother and headed off to our little cabin by the lake in Brevard. In the dark as we pulled our little car into what we hoped was really a parking spot, I started thinking how much I need this quiet week. As much as I love my son, we’ve had a more intense few months lately than we’ve ever had before. I am increasingly impatient with him, and he is quite verbal in his response. I hope this week will be not only a break for both of us but a time where I can contemplate how to make things better—and come back at the end of the week to enjoying the parenting of my amazing child .


Madeline said...

I too love Asheville and Martinis! As for your week apart, I did this recently and it made both of us (the more sensitive of my boys and I) appreciate each other much much more. We have had such a good few weeks since. Enjoy the quiet.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Love the McCaint bumper sticker - so true - the guy is down right scary.

Looks like you guys had a great time! Your meal at the vegetarian restaurant sounds wonderful. And a basil martini? Interesting!

That bookstore is what really caught my eye. I may have to make it out to Asheville one day.

The Cooking Lady said...

ACK! I have a fresh basil plant...I wantt that recipe, so that when I get off my medications from my surgery, I can have that drink. Oh my stars!!


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