The next instalment

Not so long this time – I promise!

The weather here over the last week has been amazing!  Hot and muggy and with thunderstorms most days.  Mark has been at home watching the last day of the last PGA golf tournament (he was very excited because he usually has to go to work on Mondays and miss the last day of the tournaments – but not here!!).  Anyway, it is a warm lovely night so he went out for a walk abut 30 minutes ago – unfortunately, it’s now bucketing down with the odd thunderclap so I’m guessing that he isn’t having that much fun out there!  The rain comes out of nowhere and goes again just as quick.

After the events of the last blog we had a few days when we just looked around the shops, did some yoga classes, (that would be just me – mark hasn’t had a total conversion just yet), Mark sussed out some golf courses and golf shops, nice family time at home etc etc.

Last Wednesday I was in one of the locally-owned bookshops – Malaprops (fantastic book shop) – and noticed that they had book clubs that anyone could go to.  That night the book they were discussing was a collection of poetry by Mary Oliver called Swan – my lovely cousin Mary had introduced me to Mary Oliver about a year ago so I was quite excited to go along.  I arrived at Malaprops with my usual punctuality, ie. 2 minutes after the starting time of 7pm, and sat myself down at one of the chairs with everyone else. Unfortunately there was two events that night and I spent the first half hour listening to an author reading from his book “Soil and Sacrament” about his journey into finding God through gardening (actually it was quite interesting and could have stayed but slipped away 20 minutes later when he had finished his reading and found the book club).  They were a really nice group of people but certainly a lot more serious than my lovely book club at home with a lot more probing discussions.  The girl next to me was a first timer too so afterwards we went and had a drink at the champagne bar which was fun.  She was bought up in Halifax and New Orleans so had an interesting and diverse upbringing!

On Thursday we had lunch with a friend of Kathy’s – Laura Bond.  She is Head of the Theatre dept at the University of North Carolina here in Asheville.  It’s great meeting some locals and Laura gave us some great tips on gyms, restaurants, spas!!!! (Mark has a massage booked tomorrow and I had one yesterday – not quite as good as Kate Harper but pretty blissful).

On Friday we checked out the gym recommendation from Laura.  Jacob was very excited because when we got there the fire alarm had just gone off so 2 very shiny red fire engines (one with a ladder on top) pulled up just as we arrived.  The gym was great with an indoor and outdoor pool, great childcare and pretty good weights and fitness room and only 10 mins from home.

After that we headed to the Asheville Brewing and Pizza Co which is just down the road from us.  It also has a cinema with full bar at the back.  We had been told it was a great place to take kids – we wandered round thinking it was OK and then we hit the back room – giant screens showing old cartoons on every wall, (the Flinstones was on when we got there), booth style tables and heaps of video games and pinball machines.  We had the pizza and salad buffet but the menu looked great too (Asheville is vegetarian heaven as everywhere has great vego options – Mark is stoked!!). Mark had a Pale Ale and I had a Ninja Porter with Raspberry – very tasty!!

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We managed to get a babysitter for Friday night, one of Laura’s theatre students Maggie who Jacob instantly loved, so we headed out to the Pisgah Brewing Company on the way to Black Mountain about 20 mins from home.  They have a fantastic outdoor stage set amongst big trees, a stall selling their beer and cider and various food trucks (even here there was one whole truck just doing vegetarian food and the others all had at least two vegetarian options – love it, mark can’t believe it!).  We went to hear singer/songwriter J J Grey and his band Mofro – they sing southern rock, blues and soul.  He has a fantastic voice and was a great live performer with an awesome band – Mark and I had a great time.  Hopefully this You Tube link works http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6J-SBfMP5A – if not just you tube J J Grey and Mofro and listen to “The Sweetest Thing” or “99 Shades of Crazy”.

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Stage at Pisgah Brewing

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J J Grey and Mofro

This morning, Sunday morning, we headed to Sunny Point Cafe for breakfast.  A very popular local spot and given that we were told it would be a 35 minute wait we expected good things and it was fantastic. Here’s the menu. I had one of the specials of blackened scallops on egg over medium on rosemary bread with cajum hollandaise!! http://sunnypointcafe.com/daytime-menu/

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Mark and Jacob stayed home to watch the golf and I went for a hike with Kiki and a friend of hers.  We went to the forests in Montreat and did a 4 hour hike on the hills – it was great, beautiful forest, lovely view at the top and good company.

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Mary Beth and Kiki on Montreat walk

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View from top of walk

Contra dancing tomorrow night – mark is very excited.

love Charlotte, Mark and Jacob xo

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2 thoughts on “The next instalment

  1. I have such a clear picture of it all as you describe it Charlotte !!! Aren’t the thunder storms huge (like everything else over there !! Love the balmy, humid nights….It is a beautiful place, and not at all like the America most people imagine. Have you seen the clogging yet ? Always heaps to do and see, with music, art and culture flowing everywhere.

    Enjoy it all….Our love Glen.

  2. Hi Charlotte
    I’m trying hard not to feel jealous of the wonderful music, food and arts. (Paul is jealous of the golf) It all sounds fantastic and thanks so much for posting the photos. I’ve become obsessed with the champagne bar…..
    I’m pleased you have hiking buddies, it’s so good to be meeting new people and having all these new experiences. Such a great decision to go on sabbatical there.
    Today it’s warm and windy here,,,,,,spring is a comin. My new experience today was rope climbing to the crossfit ceiling, it was great fun.
    Miss ya
    Rae

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