Saturday, October 2, 2010

Asheville, North Carolina


Fun day around Asheville today.  This city is most famous for the Biltmore Estate built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1800’s.  But it takes a day or more to tour, so we decided to do other things today.

We took the Gray Line’s “The Red Trolley” around town.  The ticket, good for two days, lets you get on and off at any of the stops along the route.  During the time you are on the trolley (a bus made up to look like a trolley) the driver provides narration of the sites along the way and stories of the city and its famous people. 

Our first stop was at Pack Place.  Because we got a late start, this was our lunch stop.  We ate at Pack’s Tavern. 


They feature many local North Carolina beers on draft and a really interesting menu.  Among the menu items was Shrimp and Grits, a popular southern dish.


There are a lot of different style buildings in this area (and all around the city).

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We also found this bronze statue in this area.


Next we rode to River Arts District and spent some time at the display studio for artist Jonas Gerard.  He was present at the time we arrived and welcomed us to his place.  Among other things he does performance art, where he starts with a blank canvas and does a quick sketch and painting.  He works very quickly and “lets the painting do the talking”.  He works to music and equates his method to that of a jazz players improvisation.


This particular painting is hanging in the city Visitor Center, but gives an idea of some of his work.  We also got a kick out of his truck.


The River Arts District is full of artists’ studios.  Unfortunately we only had time to visit the one.


From there it was back on the trolley to Biltmore Village.  This is an area near the entrance to the Biltmore Estate and was originally where the private train station was located and where George Vanderbilt had his office.  It has grown into an area with a lot of specialty stores and boutiques.  It was fun to wonder around and the ladies had fun doing a little window shopping.

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We ate tonight at Stone Ridge Tavern.  Their menu has a wide variety of items and they all looked interesting and good.  On our table tonight was Filet Mignon, White Fish, Steak Salad, and Shrimp Bisque.

Tomorrow we are going to do a Segway tour around Asheville in the morning and then drive to Charleston, South Carolina. 

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