Sunday, February 21, 2010

Asheville

If you've known me for any length of time, you know I suffer from Wanderlust. After about two years in any given "home", I'm ready to move on. And I don't really care where we end up; however, I have offered a few suggestions along the way. Like when we docked at the Cayman Islands a few years ago on our cruise, I may have offered a "We should live here" after we had been on the island for only a few minutes. I've wanted to make Miami my home. I've even suggested we move to that charming town in Middle-of-Nowhere, Alabama. And, despite the fact I was so cold I thought I would die, I remember envisioning how beautiful Wheaton, Illinois, would be in the spring, so of course I could make a home there.

Occasionally, though, I adventure to a town I know right off I would not want to order address labels for. I discovered that to be true for Asheville, North Carolina. Mark and I dropped the kids off at their grandparents on Friday and took the scenic route up through the mountains to Asheville. And there were moments along that trail where I may have mentioned that "I would love to live here!" It was a gorgeous ride with snow covering many of the mountaintops and quaint little towns dotting the map.

Asheville itself, however, is one of those artsy-fartsy towns. Since I am not of the artsy-fartsy persuasion in any way, I never feel comfortable in that type of environment. We spent some time exploring downtown Asheville. There is a beautiful building they have dubbed "Grove Arcade", which seems such a strange name. When I think Arcade, I think a child's gaming paradise. But this is not that. At all. It's one of those hoity-toity places, grand as it is, that houses only a few shops. Expensive shops. There was an overpriced quilt shop, an overpriced rug shop, a very tiny farmer's market full of organic anything, a cheese shop, and some art shops where ordinary people like me don't feel comfortable browsing.

Outside the mall, I was excited to see a bookstore. But I wondered what a champagne bar was. We wandered in, again feeling a little out of our element. There was indeed a bar serving champagne, so the name was not metaphorical for anything else. The shelves were laden with books, but they were clearly collector's books because the cheapest one I saw was $90. In the back there was a group of over-dressed (for a Saturday afternoon) what I can only assume were book collectors nursing their glasses of champagne over the dusty covers of some rare books. Where does a person go if he simply wants to read a Grisham novel around here?

Don't get me wrong. We had a wonderful time together. I love to see new things, and this type of environment, though not a comfortable one for me, is fun to observe. And we enjoyed each other besides. We finished whole conversations. Mark opened my car door for me like in the days of yore before he took on the duty of strapping children into carseats. We ate a delicious dinner at an Indian restaurant, a cuisine we love but the kids not so much. And we even went to a 10:30 movie which meant we stayed up way past our bedtime.

The movie was an interesting experience. It was a Cinebarre movie. I don't know--maybe the average person is more sophisticated and more experienced in American culture than we are, but we had never experienced a movie like at this theater. At the ticket counter, you can also purchase a drink--not just soda, but wine or a margarita. Then inside the theater, the chairs sit behind a counter that runs the length of the row. Every two or three seats, there is a setting of salt and pepper and other condiments as well as a menu and an ordering tablet. There is full fare offered on the menu. You write down your order, a waiter picks it up, and at some point during the movie, the waiter brings you a plate of hot wings or pizza or chocolate cake. We only indulged in some popcorn and chocolate cake since we had already had dinner. We really weren't hungry for anything, but you've gotta experience it, right?

We saw Valentine's Day, which turned out to be a cute movie. Kind of slow and all over the place at first, but good in the end. Since this getaway was sort of our combination birthday trip and Valentine's celebration, it seemed appropriate. And even if I wouldn't want to put roots down in Asheville, North Carolina, I did have a wonderful time away with my favorite person.

8 comments:

CrossView said...

I knew I liked you! LOL!

Though the movie experience sounds interesting; I'd still prefer a DVD at home.

With very few exceptions, most of the hoity-toity's I know aren't even comfortable with hoity-toity. And the ones I know who have money? They've done it by being careful with it - they wouldn't be shopping in where you were. ;o)

Arby said...

That sounds like you both had a very good time. The Boss has the wander lust, too. She started talking about "our next home" on the way to write our bid for the home we now have, and she wasn't talking about this one!

5thsister said...

I adore the area surrounding Asheville but, like you, wouldn't be well suited for the culture. They are also very extreme left in their politics. Whether you're liberal or conservative, extreme to either end is uncomfortable. Thanks for sharing your weekend with us!

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

I've never been to Asheville, but I am artsy. Very artsy--so I'm intrigued. I have blogged many times about Wanderlust. It is a very real, daily affliction....

SmallWorld at Home said...

I adore Asheville--to visit. But I'm not rich enough to live there! And the pretentious artsy does get tiring, and I'm an artsy person....

tsinclair said...

I'm glad you had fun. It is nice to get away sometimes and try new things.

Holly said...

Wow! I've never experienced a towl or movie theatre like that before. I'd have been uncomfortable, too. And I know I would have had to check my shoes for manure to make sure I wasn't too unpresentable. LOL Holly

Linda said...

I too suffer from wanderlust. In fact, I was considering writing about the very thing this week.
Thanks for the warning about Asheville. ;)