Category Archives: Love of Travel

11/23/16

Asheville Adventuring

There are few places in this wide, wonderful world that hold my heart quite like Asheville, NC.

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In fact, Mom and I have been making annual trips there since I was quite young and I feel like I know parts of the city as well as I know my own hometown and can even navigate them like a local. When someone stops me on the city street and asks for directions or where a certain landmark or restaurant is located, I get a thrill that I am mistaken as a local!

We have been all times of year, but I have to say that late fall and early winter is my favorite! And we just returned from our most recent Asheville adventure this week. And, oh what an adventure it was!

We took a long weekend and drove into town late Thursday evening after work. On Friday, we arose early and hit our favorite local, breakfast hang-out, The Early Girl Eatery downtown on Wall Street.

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It’s this perfectly eclectic breakfast and lunch spot that specializing in farm to table fare, and their breakfast is not to be missed!

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We toured the Biltmore Estate because that too is a tradition we hold near and there are always new rooms that are open in the house and more historical information the guides will share that they have unearthed from the archives.

But, this visit, we walked through the house because it was decorated for Christmas! And a Biltmore Christmas shouldn’t be missed!

Seriously, does anyone do it better than that?

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Wow!

And my personal favorite is the Conservatory, or the Winter Garden… love all the greenery, garland, and poinsettias!

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After a little sightseeing, we got the hankering for a little adventure. So, we did something we have never done before… We segwayed!

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And we absolutely loved it! Off-roading on trails snaking around the Biltmore Estate was the absolute best!

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The scenery was just breathtaking as we raced on trails parallel to the French Broad River.

The following day, we again rose early (how do I always manage to do this on vacations?!?) and went to a new little cafe we had read about on the VisitAsheville Instagram account, Hole Doughnuts Shop. They specialize in delicious hot, made to order, gourmet Mennonite-style, yeast doughnuts and hot coffee.

Now, that is speaking our love language. Hot, fresh doughnuts and hot coffee.

And the doughnuts? They didn’t disappoint.

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We tried one of each that they had! (From Top Left to Bottom Right: Chai Spice, French Vanilla Glazed, Toasted Almond & Sesame, and Cocoa Rubbed)

They are truly unique doughnuts that are rolled and shaped by hand, so no 2 doughnuts are perfectly uniformed. The baker in me absolutely loved that!

Read even more about Hole here.

The remainder of the day, we shopped, explored, relaxed, and wandered. We even ventured to the Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market where we perused local produce (and come home with some insanely delicious Pink Lady mountain apples), handmade products, and fresh greenery just in time for the holiday season!

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I love local Farmer’s Markets and farm stands. It’s agribusiness at its finest. Whenever I see local farm stands, I just have to pull over!

Most of all, I just love adventuring with this one…

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She makes everything fun! So grateful for her.

We hiked, segwayed, shopped, sight-seed, ate, and laughed our way through Asheville! Can’t wait for our next adventure.

So, I hoped you enjoyed living vicariously through our meanderings. Maybe you too will take in Asheville for a long weekend sometime soon?

xoxo….

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10/13/16

Adventuring | San Antonio, TX Ed.

Did a little bit of travel and adventuring this last week, San Antonio, TX style!

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I love this city! And almost everything about it. It’s a rich melting pot of cultures and it keeps me coming back year after year.

The food. {the food could be an entire post within itself!} 

The people.

The weather.

Although, I could have afforded it to be a little cooler, not going to lie… it is October after all!

And the sites and the sounds.

Never been?!? 

Join me for a little Texan excursion…

Upon landing in San Antonio, take a deep breath, put on your walking shoes, and head downtown to the iconic River Walk for some shopping, people watching, and some delicious traditional Mexican food on “Restaurant Hub.”

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The River Walk is so iconic and a must-see.

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And that little boat ride? It’s pretty fun too, and you learn so much history and local know-how from the tour guides.

And I always make a bee-line for Casa Rio, where all those colorful umbrellas are on The River Walk.

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It’s “A Taste of History on the River” that has been family owned and operated since 1946! I just love that!

And I love this too…

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It’s the “Regular Plate” and it’s never been off the menu. It is a Cheese or Chicken Enchilada, a Beef Tamale steamed in corn husk, and Chile Con Carne served alongside steaming Mexican Rice & Refried Pinto Beans.

So traditional, and so unbelievably delicious!

A recent and new restaurant find is Boudro’s, also on the River Walk, and was a recommendation from one of my coworkers who said they had the best guacamole they had ever had. So, it immediately flew to the very top of my to-do list while in San Antonio.

And you know what?!?

It was just about the best guacamole I had ever had! And their secret? Nothing major or fancy, but they add equal parts lime juice & freshly squeezed orange juice to their guacamole. The result is bright with tons of citrus flavor and extremely flavorful.

Good Taste TV did a video with directions for Boudro’s Famous Table side Guacamole… maybe you too will mix some up sometime?

Good things just are not meant to be kept a secret.

I can’t wait to add Orange juice to my guacamole recipe next time and see how it turns out!

And at night? The River Walk is lit up with thousands of twinkling lights strung up in the trees that line the walkway.

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I think it’s absolutely enchanting.

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We always, always get out and walk San Antonio at night. The city comes alive once the sun goes down! Mariachi bands, street performers, and then, of course, this beautiful site…

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Remember the Alamo!

And on nights like these, it may be the one and only time you can get a picture of the front of the Alamo without tons of other people being in your shot.

But, make sure you come back in the daylight for the self-guided or audio tours and walk the grounds.

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It’s much more expansive than you imagine, and right in the heart of downtown within walking distance of the River Walk.

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Alamo Selfie!

#wheninTexas…

Don’t think that you are done with downtown San Antonio until you visit La Villita and La Mercado, the traditional Mexican markets. Tradesmen will sell their local goods, art, pottery, carvings. You name it! It’s all here!

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I love walking among the stalls and pausing to inquire about something. So, so much to see and learn.

This year, on my visit to La Mercado, or Market Street at locals call it, I purchased a Christmas tree ornament that is make entirely of corn husks. It’s a young girl dressed in traditional Mexican dress with a fruit basket on her head. Very Carmen Miranda.

Can’t wait to see it on my tree this year!

And just when your feet are beginning to tire, and you need a breather, pop into Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery in the heart of the Markets.

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Again, another restaurant and bakery family owned and operated since 1941! What?!?! You know they are doing something right here…

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And not just one thing either. They are doing lots of things the right way, and the way it has been done since the early 50s!

The picture above is their bakery case, and you see the line of hungry people salivating over all the delicious baked goods and pan dulce.

Sit down, take a break, and share a slice of Tres Leches cake with someone you love.

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Talk about an “afternoon delight!”

Tres Leches Cake is a traditional Spanish or Mexican dessert made with Vanilla Sponge cake that is soaked in 3 Milks, hence the Tres Leches, and then topped with creamy meringue or sweetened whipped cream and either strawberry or a cherry.

It’s served slightly chilled, it’s creamy, and decadently sweet. I highly recommend.

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And just look at this Market at night! Just beautiful!

So, that concludes this trip to San Antonio, but I’ll be back for seconds (and possibly thirds) next year. There is always something fun to do and a new corner of the town to explore.

So, I leave you San Antonio with a full belly (my blood type is pretty much type guacamole by now) and an even fuller heart. Thankful that you always, always give more than you take in return!

xoxo…

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