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*** PLEASE NOTE *** I use no other social media, and my comment section here remains closed due to chronic harassment/repeat impersonations by a certain individual. Also, I rarely comment anywhere; when I do, only from this blog as "Chrysalis" or with my real name from email (see correct spelling my profile). If there is ever any question as to legitimacy, please contact myself or Mark via email or phone.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

5th Anniversary Weekend Getaway, Part 3: Biltmore Village, Downtown Asheville, and the River Arts District

 

Just outside of gates of The Biltmore Estate is a little town, once called "Best," now called Biltmore Village.  Upon first arriving, my first thought was, "Who designed that fabulous church?"

Well, of course, The Cathedral of All Souls, a French Alps Chateau/Tudor/Spanish Colonial/American Prairie/Craftsman style mix  - was designed by none other than Richard Morris Hunt -  the same architect of The Biltmore Estate, also commissioned by George Vanderbilt, and it is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

In fact, George and Edith's daughter, Cornelia was married there:)


It's Episcopal, of course, and also part of the world Anglican diocese - go my fellow Pisckies! 

(My Catholic husband just rolled his eyes ;)

However, he agreed the cathedral was unique and fantastic ...
































































In fact, though the entire town wasn't designed by Hunt, it was built by George Vanderbilt as a sort of company town for Biltmore employees.  

Though it was incorporated as part of the City of Asheville in the early 20th century, you cannot buy a home in Biltmore Village anymore - with two exceptions, they are all zoned as retail shops and restaurants.  (In fact, there are very few houses at all in downtown or South Asheville at all, mostly newer apartments/condos and hotels, thus the high price of homes for even small homes there.)


In fact, though the entire town wasn't designed by Hunt, it was built by George Vanderbilt as a sort of company town for Biltmore employees.  

Though it was incorporated as part of the City of Asheville in the early 20th century, you cannot buy a home in Biltmore Village anymore - with two exceptions, they are all zoned as retail shops and restaurants.  (In fact, there are very few houses at all in downtown or South Asheville at all, mostly newer apartments/condos and hotels, thus the high price of homes for even small homes there.)

Nonetheless, a quaint little town, and we really loved the artsy vibe there,  and friendly people :)

In fact, we ate breakfast or brunch at this little bakery cafe twice - The Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe :)


























I'm not a big sweets fan, never have been, plus I'm prediabetic (from too much daily soda, which I've stopped completely), so I had crust-less spinach and red-pepper quiche, but my husband had this monstrosity - it's called a mountain eclair, which is like a regular eclair, only enormous, like a mountain, and with a truly American amount of chocolate and custard ....







Which Mark ate within 5 minutes, without remorse, which is perfectly okay, because it's our anniversary getaway!








... giving some of the custard and pastry part (no chocolate) to the ever-patient Brookie :)








Then a walk around the little town, only taking pictures of the older buildings, sparing you the newer Tudoresque shops in the town center because ... Zzzzz.






























Now, literally just outside the Biltmore gates is The Grand Bohemian Hotel.  It's only $700 to $1500 a night, just a drop in the bucket ;)

Though we did stay in Marriott nearby, of course we did not stay in a Grand Bohemian - Marriott, but wouldn't that be nice?

However, we did eat our anniversary dinner here, at their restaurant, The Red Stag Grill (well, takeout due to COVID)  ;)
















































Mark insisted that I take a picture of the Kentucky longrifles on display, so here you go, antique craft  and military gun fans lol 








As mentioned, though we didn't stay here, we did eat our anniversary dinner here, at the Red Stag Grill restaurant - well, more accurately, we got takeout  for our anniversary and ate in our room - and it was fabulous! 




























Unfortunately, I don't have too many pictures to show you from downtown Asheville, because we essentially just drove through it on the way to the River Arts District, and despite some cool building and sculptures (Asheville if very artsy), it was so busy that ever time we stopped for a picture, we were blocking traffic and/or someone honked, so this is the best I could do - love this Art Nouveau/Art Deco building!









The River Arts District, Southwestern Asheville, North Carolina ...

This is the former industrial side of town, which now houses business-sponsored local artists ... 































They each have little booths they rent, and often you can watch them work.  Most studios also give pottery classes ...











I just thought these little clay tiles outside of each door front and around trees were really cool? 
































































Now, this area, Foundy Street, may not look like much from the outside, but they have the best artwork inside, IMO.  This is also the area where graffiti is encouraged rather than downtown - even giving graffiti artists a map of what can still be painted and what can't ... 





















I found my favorite store ever, here, in fact -  The Sunnyside Trading Company - which sells handcrafted imported items from India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East ....







I fell in love with everything in this store, and became especially obsessed with the doors, so I bought them all ...

(Just kidding, I wish.) 






























































Mark fell in love with this pair of Hindu guardian/warriors ... 












And thus, our wonderful weekend concluded - but we still didn't see a single live bear on either trip to North Carolina, this summer.

However, my husband just sent me this video, which was originally uploaded to "Viral Hog" on August 9th, and which has gone viral, which explains why - apparently, the bears were all at Lake Toxaway, NC, which is about an hour south of Asheville, on the Georgia border,  playing golf  - or more accurately, playing "Capture The Flag" with the golf-course flags - and losing lol. 

Aren't they adorable?   :)


(Again, NOT my video) 






LOL, they are TOO cute!



Otherwise, just some pictures to show you how beautiful the drive to Asheville, North Carolina is, upon entry  - stopping at the exact same beautiful little rest area, on the exact same day we did five years ago, August 5th (the day before our wedding) ...
















































And upon leaving ...






























Goodbye, North Carolina  - we hope to see you again soon!

Highlight-reel video, coming soon :)










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