Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vacation to Asheville, North Carolina... a.k.a. the Proposal!

  Matt and I had been planning our trip to Asheville, NC for quite a while. Our good friends Matt and Maggie live out there and we were due a visit. 

  We left on a Monday and arrived at our destination on Tuesday afternoon. We spent our first day bumming around the downtown area, shopping, drinking local beers and trying local restaurants. 

Matt bought me this sunflower at a farmer's market we stumbled upon. It got a lot of attention, everyone complimented it... and he earned his share of brownie points for the day.  
  Day two of our vacation was quite possibly the best day ever. The plan was to climb Mt. LeConte in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Mt LeConte is the third highest peak in the Smoky Mountains at 6,583 ft. The day started out rainy, cloudy and pretty gloomy but Matt and Matt assured me of a back up plan in case we got to the trail and it was still raining. Everything worked out beautifully, we hit the trail around 10 a.m. and hiked the 5 miles UP the mountain. I got a little whiny somewhere around 3.5 miles into it... I was ready for my peanut butter and banana sandwich! 
  But, Matt kept pushing me and encouraging me to keep going so we could get to the special spot the other Matt had scouted out on a previous hike. 
Well, we are getting closer and I stumble upon a look out platform, then I am told that we are having a surprise lunch at the Lodge right next door. All of this sounds great to me, I am just in shock that there are cabins and a Lodge at the top of the mountain. We all settle in to the cozy Lodge and eat our soup and sandwiches and sip hot chocolate. I am pretty sure that I kept talking about what a great surprise the hot lunch was! The top of the mountain was pretty chilly, maybe low 50's. 
  We sit and visit and finish our lunches and then my Matt gets up to go outside in a nervous manner! At this point I am very suspicious of what is about to happen. Honestly, my suspicions grew as we climbed the mountain. Matt returns from the restroom and we all go outside on the deck to admire the view and take some pictures. Then in the midst of changing into dry socks and shuffling wet shoes around I am informed that there is some "extra weight" in our backpack. All of a sudden Matt is on one knee proposing to me! Of course my answer was "YES." We all talked, laughed and celebrated. Of course Matt and Maggie knew all about the surprise. They planned accordingly and had a bottle of wine and cups for us to toast to. All of it was absolutely perfect and such a surprise to me.
It was fun to talk about all the conversations leading up to the top of the mountain. I was kind of rushed to the top and wasn't allowed to talk to the passer-byers in case they wanted to talk about the lodge, wasn't able to read any of the trail signs etc. etc. :)
  I did talk to one lady and she told me "there is something special about the top." I couldn't agree more, luckily we ran into each other again at the Lodge and I told her my news. I snapped a lot of pictures but pictures don't capture the beauty of being up in the mountains. I imagine this will be a place we return to visit quite often.
Matt and I in front of the Lodge we had lunch at. I love how they change the date everyday! The Lodge doesn't have electricity and the groceries are brought up by a pack of llamas!!!

6,500 feet up! Breathtaking!

Matt and Maggie Reynolds, Matt and I.
  The rest of our vacation was very pleasant. We spent more time bumming around Asheville, I did a show in Pack Square on Saturday and then on Sunday we paddled the French Broad River.
  Paddling was very exciting! We opted for duckies (similar to a kayak but you sit on top, kind of hard to explain...) I haven't ever gone down a river in a boat on my own until this trip. It was a great and exciting challenge.
After the river we cleaned up and headed to town for dinner. We had reservations at the new tapas restaurant, Curate. It was wonderful, a must try if you are in the area!

  Monday we started our journey home... in a Northern kind of way. We headed to Boone, NC to meet with a shop that was interested in carrying my jewelry. We started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway but opted for the highway that was a bit quicker. I loved this drive, it was absolutely gorgeous! North Carolina and Tennessee remind me a lot of Arkansas but with bigger hills and mountains. 

Somewhere outside of Boone, headed to Johnson City, TN.
  After that we made our journey home to spend a day with our families and to announce the good news!

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