So we’ve been “settled” – if you want to call a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment “settled” – in Asheville for 3 ½ months, the longest we’ve stayed in one place since we left Virginia in June 2017.
I haven’t written much because the blog is “wandering car” and the car hasn’t wandered much past the golf course, gym, and grocery store in all this time. There also have been numerous trips to architect’s office, the property we purchased in June, and too many kitchen, granite, bath, tile, flooring stores to count.
Despite its small size, we’re pretty content with our space. Our landlords are great, providing helpful tips like how to see the Biltmore Estate’s Fourth of July fireworks, where’s their favorite local brewery (so hard to choose!) and leaving gifts like home-grown tomatoes and blueberries for us. We have a lovely front porch with two rockers, a table, a grill and the basil plant Walt and I bought at a farmer’s market so we could have fresh basil with our caprese salads.
I sit on the porch with my kitty buddy, Charlie – currently taking a bath at my feet – to write. Despite not blogging much, I am working on a book on my hiking experiences and am keeping a diary of our house building. I don’t know what, if anything, I’ll do with my house diary, but I noticed that while trying to write my hiking book there are a lot of things I don’t remember. So I try to write down all the steps and activities we’re going through in our process.
Of course there’s plenty to do in Asheville and we are very much taking advantage of the lovely summer weather with its sunshine, light breezes and low humidity to get out and about a bit. Some of the things we’ve done this summer:
- Attend an Asheville Tourists baseball game (twice). Fun little park just a couple of miles from our rental.
- Visit the Biltmore Estate (we bought annual passes) to walk, eat ice cream, enjoy a drink while a band plays at Antler Hill Village, watch the aforementioned fireworks display, see the gardens both before and during the fabulous Chihuly glass exhibited opened in May.
- Explore numerous local arts and crafts fairs, where we’ve found a number of artisans whose works we plan to buy for our new home.
- Dine and/or drink at a restaurant or brewpub. There’s almost always a band of some sorts playing anywhere you go.
- Boring stuff like find doctors and dentists to get caught up on all our physical checks.
- Visit my parents in New York for Mother’s Day weekend.
- Attend a retirement party for a friend of Walt’s in Maryland.
- Visit Walt’s family in Hilton Head.
Still on our list for this summer (and it’s already August, going by so fast):
- Visit the Chihuly exhibit at night.
- Go to Sliding Rock, a 60-foot natural rock slide.
- Go tubing on the French Broad River.
- Go hiking.
I know. No hiking in months. Hard to believe but the only hike we have done locally was the short 2-mile loop to the top of Bearwallow Mountain. The trailhead is located at the edge of the community where we bought our property. We haven’t been hiking for a variety of reasons. When we first arrived in April, I was suffering from a horrible chest cold that lingered. Then there were torrential rainstorms in May, with the area getting about 3 or 4 times its monthly average of rainfall. Not only do we not like hiking in the rain and mud but we didn’t want to risk taking our low-slung car up a washed-out dirt road to a trailhead. By the time the weather cleared in June, we were deep into planning for the house and doctors visits – nothing seriously wrong with us, it’s just that you get sent to a specialist for every question you have. It was the same in July – doctors and house, I mean – and I still can’t believe the whole month has passed.
We can’t make any more travel plans until we know where we are with the house. We’re still finalizing plans and need approvals and a builder before any work can begin. Once we feel like the house is under way, we plan to hit the road again.