Mark and I are sitting with our friend Rachel as her 3 girls, Jacob’s friend Gallagher and Jacob go crazy in his room playing “witches” given that it’s halloween this week. Gallagher goes to Jacob’s preschool and he is a very sweet, very enthusiastic little boy. When I asked him if he would like to come for a playdate he said “Wow, that would be great, all the way to New Zealand – well, I’ll pack my bag and bring my toys”!!! HIs father told me he was convinced that we would be coming to our log cabin in NZ. He gets so excited when he talks that he can’t get the words out fast enough.
Gallagher and Jacob
Well – it’s a day later now and it’s 8pm and we are sitting at home and mark is watching an NBA game while trying on his Darth Vader halloween outfit!! It looks very good and fairly scarey! Jacob is going to be Ironman and I’m a witch (boring I know but all the women’s costumes looked like they were out of the pages of Playboy – the men had really cool things like Woody from Toy Story, Batman etc and the large proportion of the women’s were sexy bat girls, sexy pirates, sexy tavern maids blah, blah, blah so I went for a witch)! This is a family show after all. So on Thursday at 6pm we are heading out with Rachel, Kenny and their 3 girls and Kristy, Phil and Tristan to go trick or treating – should be an experience. Houses have been decorated with scarey halloween stuff for about a month!
Two weekends ago my friend Gen, who I’d met at the yoga retreat in California 7 years ago, drove down from Minnesota with her partner Naren. It was an 18 hour drive so we felt pretty honoured that they came all that way to see us! They arrived on the Saturday and on the Friday before they arrived we went to the LEAF festival in Black Mountain. It’s a primarily a music festival but they have yoga classes, contra dancing, healing arts, stalls and lots of things for kids. We had missed out on tickets as it sold out but some friends managed to get us in free of charge which was incredibly kind. Jacob had a ball with lots of kid’s activities – a vertical bungy, a climbing wall which he did great at, costume tent, music tent where kids can try all different kind of instruments out, puppet shows – he was very happy. The festival is round a small lake surrounded by forest-covered hills – very pretty. It is a 3 day event and heaps of people camp there – it has quite an amazing atmosphere. There is a dining room where you can get great meals and listen to live music, 3 other stages – very cool.
Lake Eden – LEAF venue
Contra dancing at LEAF
Poso at LEAF
music tent at LEAF
Music tent at LEAF
Weaving at LEAF
Before LEAF Jacob and i went to see an amazing puppet show (think large scale as opposed to hand puppets). it was a 3 person company from Nova Scotia who created a puppet show 3 of Eric Carle’s stories (The Very Hungry Caterpillar being the most famous one). It was great and Jacob loved it.
On Sunday we took Gen and Naren to Catawba Falls which is a lovely walk with beautiful waterfalls at the end – Gen and I climbed up beside the falls which was fun – one part had a rope to pull yourself up the rocks – and a fantastic view at the top. On Monday Gen, Naren and I headed off on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the fall colours and do another longer walk – unfortunately Naren rolled his ankle 15 mins into the walk – it took us 1 hour to get him back to the car and they had to spend the afternoon at A&E and he had broken his ankle!! We still had a lovely night with them and I did a run with Gen the next day and we had a yummy brunch together before they left – very nice to see Gen again. Hope it isn’t 7 years before we see them again!
GEn and Naren just before broken ankle!
walking to Catawba Falls
Trail to Catawba Falls
Dinner at 9 Mile with Phil, Gen, Kristy and Naren
Graveyard Fields Trail
We moved into a new house on Sunday – we had only booked the original house until 20 Oct as we were originally going to be heading up to New England but we decided to stay in ASheville since we are LOVING it so much. The new house is only 4 minutes from our old one and in a slightly more rural setting – very pretty.
We had a relatively quiet week last week. Jacob had a few days off preschool for fall break so I took him to a children’s hands on museum in Hendersonville (which is about 25 mins away) one day. It has a little supermarket, a vet centre, stage with costumes, lego car racing track and lots of cool things for him to play with!
On Friday night I headed off to listen to singer/songwriter Crystal Bowersox sing at the Grey Eagle – she was an American Idol runnerup a couple of years ago – she is sort of soulish with a beautiful voice and a fantastic band and not what you would imagine an Idol runnerup to be like – very personal lyrics in her songs and she obviously hasn’t had such an easy life.
On the Saturday morning our little family was entered in a fun run/walk. The weather turned suddenly cold last week and we woke up on Saturday to an almighty frost – so beautiful but very cold. The 5 km run started at 9am and the 1 mile walk/run was at 10am. I was doing the run with the lovely ladies from A Better View – Family Eye Care (which is owned by Kathy Milam our Ashevillian friend who is currently living in Blenheim). We had met her team when Mark and I got our eyes tested (yes, I now have reading glasses! – which Jacob told me are “very styley Mum”). Plus we have had dinner with Kiki, the optometrist, several times and been for some great hikes with her (and her son Will babysits Jacob)! They very kindly included me in their running team so it was a really fun run – I like 5km as a fun run!! Then Mark, Jacob and I did the 1 mile walk – although Jacob wanted to run so we ran for about half of it (until he got stitch)!! It was really lovely to do that together!
Black Mountain Eye Care Tean
On the Sunday we took a Sunday drive along the Blueridge Parkway – the fall colours looked beautiful. We drove up to about 5,500ft where it had been so cold that a waterfall beside the road had frozen over – looked amazing!
Jacob went back to preschool today and Kiki took me running/walking on the Bent Creek trails which are just outside the city. It was through beautiful silver birch and maple forest and with the fall colours it was gorgeous. Mark and I are hoping to get out on a longer hike this Thursday – if we can fit it in between Halloween festivities!!
We had a halloween party and potluck lunch at preschool today which was fun – the kids looked so cute dressed up. One girl came as a turtle, there was a little green dragon. Jacob went as Superman. they all painted little pumpkins and then after lunch the teachers had set up a “spider’s web” made out of yarn in one of the rooms, (looked like the scene in Entrapment when Catherine Zeta Jones crawls through the laser beams!!), and the kids had to crawl around without touching the web – they had a ball!
Rachel, Bree, Kenny and Ruby
So, busy few days ahead with some meals out, trick and treating tonight – on Saturday night we are going to a play in Hendersonville on the life of Hank Williams – meant to be really good with great singing. On Sunday our friends Kenny and Rachel are making us a thanksgiving dinner since it is such a big American tradition that we are missing out on by a couple of weeks.
Ilots of love
Charlotte, Markey and Jacob xoxo
Tristan in front of his halloween decorations
Pumpkin carving with Bree and Ruby
pre fun run carbo loading
our finished pumpkins
Old time mountain music jam at Jack of the Woods
with the gorgeous Bree
Charlotte and Kristy on a playdate in backyard
Lounge at new house
Fire at Grove Park Inn
Fall colours on hills behind our house
Fall colours on Kimberly Ave
Fall colours on Grove Park Inn golf course
Fall colours at Black Mounain
Drive on Blueridge Parkway
View from Craggy Gardens
Beautiful house on Kimberly Ave
Artist’s studios in redeveloped River Arts District