Months and months ago, I started thinking about what I wanted for my birthday. Sometimes I thought about getting new outdoor gear at REI, but mostly, I fantasized about going places. My first destination was camping at Skidaway Island state park. I hoped it would be warm enough by March. Then, I found out that Seminole state park has a unique camping opportunity: sleeping in a tree house! However, for a while, I had my eye on visiting Asheville, NC. So when my mom mentioned that she had a free nights stay available at a hotel near Asheville, I jumped at the chance. And that is how Tyler and I came to stay in Asheville for my birthday weekend.
Friday night, after work Tyler and I packed our bags. The week had been hectic, so we hadn’t packed anything prior to Friday. On our way to Asheville, we made a short stop at Tyler’s parents’ house to drop off Gauss. They kindly dog sit for us when we go out of town!
We were traveling late enough that the drive felt very long. Usually, on road trips, Tyler and I talk up a storm, or enjoy lots of music. Since both of us were tired from work, it was a quiet and boring ride. Finally, we reached our hotel just after midnight. Tyler and I stumbled to our room and promptly fell asleep.
We slept in a bit the next morning, which caused us to miss our free breakfast. No matter, Tyler and I decided to drive into town and eat brunch. A few months back, Tyler’s parents visited Asheville. They suggested that we eat at Mayfel’s in downtown. And so we did.
Mayfel’s is a tasty little spot. I had french toast with syrup and blackberry compote. At the recommendation of Tyler’s dad, I order a biscuit as well. Mmmmmm, I’m glad I did. It was so yummy. Tyler ordered their biscuits and gravy. Unfortunately, a theme throughout this trip, is that we didn’t take any pictures while we were in town. Ah well, descriptions will have to suffice.
After brunch, Tyler and I walked around the shops downtown. There were so many fun things to see. We visited a yarn shop, that had spinning wheels for sale to spin your own yarn and corresponding unspun materials, as well as an assortment of handspun yarn, leather, and craft books of all kinds. We also walked through several soap shops which were nice, but the smells were often overwhelming for my sensitive nose!
We visited a store that I can only describe as hippy-esque. They had all sorts of fun flowy skirts and shirts, giant 3-D tapestries, incense, and sage burners among other things. Tyler’s favorite were the singing bowls. Singing bowls are actually a type of standing bell. They work similarly to rubbing your fingers on the rim of a wine glass. You use a little wooden mallet to rub the bowl continuously around the outside, which produces a clear ringing sound. I liked them a lot too. We stayed and played there for a while.
My favorite store was a little wood furniture shop. Many pieces used various types of wood for different colored inlays. Oh, it was all so beautiful! I love wooden anything. They had stunning cutting boards and mirror frames too. I think my favorite pieces was a bed frame that used unique joints to hold the frame together rather than screws or nails. The shop also had a small section of wood toys and puzzles. Naturally, Tyler and I stuck around to play for a bit.
At about two in the afternoon, Tyler and I (mostly me) had decided that we had had enough walking around downtown. It was time to go hiking! Earlier in the day, while we waited for our food at brunch, Tyler and I picked out a waterfall hike. Since we knew we’d be walking a lot around town in the morning, we chose a 1.4 mile trail to High Falls waterfall, about an hour and a half from Asheville.
Generally speaking, shorter trails tend to be easier trails. Since the High Falls trail is only 1.4 miles, Tyler and I assumed it would be a relatively easy hike. We were wrong. The path started our innocently enough, down a gravel road to the dirt trail. We first encountered a series of wood and earth steps, but the trail flatten out again for a bit.
Then came the stones steps. All the way to the bottom.
Though we didn’t know this at the time, and we could have had we read the trail description online, the High Falls trail drops over 500 feet in elevation in less than 3/4 of a mile! That’s a lot of steps! It is obvious that a lot of effort was put into creating this trail to make High Falls waterfall accessible.
On our way down we heard rushing water and could see the top portion of the falls through the trees. Down at the bottom, the waterfall was stunning. I know I’ve seen many waterfalls throughout my life, but they never cease to amaze me.
Tyler and I hung out at the base of the falls and ate a snack. We chilled out for a while taking in the beauty.
For a brief moment, we had the waterfall to ourselves, as a couple groups of people started back up the trail, and another group was making their was down. This is when we took my favorite pictures. Of course, the one of both me and Tyler (the only one from our whole trip!) and the one of me as a little yellow X at the base of the falls.
After our break, it was time climb back up all those stairs. Oh man, my calves were killing me! Any bit of flat trail was sweet relief.
At long last, we reached the earth and log steps that began our hike.
On our way back to Asheville, I exclaimed “That was great! That was worth the drive and was better than I thought would be!” Tyler laughed and told me that he thinks that in my vocabulary, “better” is equal to “harder” in his vocabulary. Perhaps, there is some truth to that.
Although we were tired, our day wasn’t over yet. Next up, showers and dinner. We totally got dressed up for dinner and meant to take pictures, but alas, our overwhelming desire to eat food caused us to forget.
For dinner, Tyler and I went to an awesomely yummy restaurant called Nine Mile in West Asheville. The website describes it as Caribbean inspired cuisine, but I think it is very eclectic. I ordered the special of the day, which was an Asian inspired pasta with shrimp, broccoli, and a sriracha based sauce. It was delicious! Tyler ordered More Fyah, a pasta dish with jerk chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. I definitely recommend eating at Nine Mile if you are ever in Asheville.
Stuffed to the max with leftovers in hand, Tyler and I arrived back to our hotel at about 9:30 that evening. I was cold the night before, so Tyler went to the front desk to fetch an extra blanket for me. By the time he came back, I was already asleep in the bed.