The Guilty Party

Friday, August 5, 2011

More from North Carolina

A few more photos and notes from our recent trip to North Carolina. Or, to be more specific, Western North Carolina. Quite a few times we saw the WNC acronym, on both publications and signs. It signifies the mountainous nature of the landscape, at least as mountainous is defined in that part of the country. This part of the state has the Appalachian Mountains running through it, dominating the landscape. The term rolling hills came more readily to this Arizonan's mind, but if they want to call them mountains it works for me.

As I said in my last installment, we were not enthralled with what little we saw of Charlotte. But a short drive outside the city took us to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens where we had a wonderful time touring their formal gardens as well as the Meadowood Walk and the Orchid House.

I don't recall ever seeing crape myrtle trees before. They have lovely trunks.

Those who ventured under these arching streams of water did so at their own peril. They shut down every once in a while, causing the water to fall onto the path and anyone who happens to be on it.

Inside the Orchid House

Photo credit for this one goes to my wife, Anne.
There are no restaurants at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, but the very nice lady at the information counter gave us a sheet listing local eating establishments and told us that Sammy's Neighborhood Pub in Belmont is a particular favorite of her husband's, which means that they dine there just about once a week. We checked it out and found the food quite good, the service excellent and the beer selection extensive . I imagine that may have something to do with her husband's affection for the place. I had a nice pulled pork sandwich with a side of deep fried okra and a glass of Death by Hops beer produced by the Olde Hickory Brewery in Hickory, NC. It was a good choice.

And now a few words about the place we stayed in Asheville, Carolina Bed and Breakfast. The innkeepers, James and Susan Murray, are, simply put, doing it right. The location is on a quiet residential street, the facilities are comfortable and clean and very nicely decorated, and the food is amazing. Susan is the chef and James the host and they both excel at what they do. Of course it didn't hurt that the people at the breakfast tables the mornings we were there were interesting, good conversationalists and a general delight to spend a bit of time with before we headed out for whatever the rest of the day had in store for us.

The dining room at the Carolina Bed and Breakfast. I asked James about the portrait on the wall, expecting it to be something they picked up at an antique house or yard sale. Fact is, that is an ancestor of his. I should have been taking notes, because now I do not recall the gentleman's name, although I think there may have a been a Colonel attached to it somewhere. The painting, James told us, has been all over the world with them. The Murrays lived overseas for twenty seven years before settling in Asheville and purchasing the Carolina B&B.

We stayed in the Cottage, just out back. Lots of room, a kitchen we never used and a more than decently sized bathroom. It was, in a word, perfect.

One last photo and then it will be time to bid farewell to WNC.

May today find you just where you are supposed to be. 

Whatever that means.

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A Bit About Me

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I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.