Day 3:   Burning Up Asheville !

Main Page > 2008 The Making Charlotte our Bitch Tour 

Mike and Bone arose at 7:30 ready to break their fast and head up for the day. Unfortunately the City of Asheville was not ! 

A Ridiculously Late Breakfast !!!

Where the Heck is everybody!! Asheville is definitely not New York, the "City that never sleeps," Asheville should be known as the "City that sleeps late!" Mike and Bone wandered through the entire downtown and could not find a restaurant that would open until 9:00 AM ! Dejected and hungry the could even find a Coffee Shop open !

The Boys did finally find a Bakery that served fairly decent coffee. Grabbing a coupla cups of Joe, the Boys sat outside, slurping their coffee and waiting for the Tupelo Honey Cafe (which was highly recommended) to open. Walking up to the restaurant  five minutes to 9:00 AM there was a very long line to get in, obviously this was a great restaurant !!

Much Ado about Nothing. Nah, the food was way too expensive (hence much), pretentious and just very ordinary. However it did serve to break their fast and prep to boys for their next big misadventure (which it was !)

Getting Bilked at the "ilkmore"

George Vanderbilt built the Biltmore at the end of the 1800's as a summer retreat for the Mountains and the Fresh air. Building Biltmore was, at the time, one of the largest undertakings in the history of American residential architecture and the results were astounding. Over a six-year period, an entire community of craftsmen worked to build the country's premier home. The estate boasted its own brick factory, woodworking shop, and a three-mile railway spur for transporting materials to the site. The House has 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement alone would house a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants' quarters, kitchens, and more.

Last lived in by Cornelia Vanderbilt (George's daughter) in 1976, the Biltmore is now a museum to the 1890's Gilded Age, and freaking expensive to tour. Upon reaching the ridiculously ornate Visitor Center that look more like an upscale Rail Station, the Boys knew that this was gonna be expensive ! However when Bone saw that the cheapest tour was $50 bucks Bone balked big-time ! Mike graciously picked up the tab since he had a bigger interest in seeing the Estate, until they were herded like sheep into buses to the Estate !  

Yeah .... Right !!

Mike, Bone and rest of the mindless lemmings shuffled out of the Bus only to be told to wander around the Gift Shop and wait 45 minutes for their turn to tour the House. Yet another crass, brazen attempt to further deplete the monies of the hapless trapped tourists !! Bone however had crazy  idea....  

The absolutely best way to wait for a Tour ,,,, Slurping German Beers !!

Rather than getting pissed about the tour, get pissed !! (British vernacular for gettin' drunk !) There is no better way to see something than with a mellow buzz on. So the Boys chugged two quick Becks a piece, chatted with a fellow Michigander from Grand Rapids then queued up like mindless automatons to enter the house.  

Mike and Bone in the Dark on the Biltmore Veranda

Have no doubt gentle reader, the House is unreal, with the grounds, furniture, and paintings the value of the property is incalculable, but touring 250 gilded rooms turned out to be a little to Gay (not that there is anything wrong with it !) for Mike and Bone and 80 rooms in the Boys bolted a velvet rope and boogied out of the Estate on the bus, and bee-lined it off the property !!!  Having had more than enough of getting bilked the Boys bolted for the bucolic pastures of the Blue Ridge Parkway !

Weaving thru Weaverville

Denied Entry and Wearying Wandering. Hearing of very cool sites on the Northern Route of the Parkway, the Boys headed el Norte'! However, they didn't go very far when they were "Detoured" for road construction. The Detour wasn't it wound the Boys down the Western side of the Mountain Range in and out of small Appalachian towns, and all of a sudden the detour signs ended leaving the boys in the middle of nowhere or in the little Town of Weaverville, where the Boys decided to wet their whistle with a few local micro-beers and a very nice lunch.

While dickering with the Waitress the Boys were given directions to the Interstate and exit to Grandfather Mountain to spend the afternoon. However jumping on the Freeway the Boys didn't pay attention and ended up in .......................... 

Granddad at Grandfather's Mountain

Tennessee !?!?! While dickering in the car the Boys did not pay attention, overshot the Freeway exit by 20 miles and ended up in Tennessee, which is a lovely state, but was not the objective of the trip ! So after another 45 minute detour, the Boy finally made it to their destination which was:

Grandfather Mountain, near Linville North Carolina, at 5,964 feet is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grandfather Mountain is privately owned and operated as a nature preserve and tourist attraction and is best known for its mile-high swinging bridge, the highest in America, built in 1952 by Hugh Morton and dedicated to William B. Umstead. The bridge links two of the mountain's rocky peaks, and is known as the "swinging" bridge due to its tendency to sway in high winds. 

The Mountain's name was particularly ironic to the Boys since they had just been talking about how Mike was a Grandfather, and Bone may be a grandfather (from some earlier unknown indiscretion !) The temperature at the top of the mountain was quite chilly in a driving wind which made the Bridge "sing" in a high-pitched whine.  

Why does the Bridge Sing So !?!?

And on the topic of that wind, Grandfather Mountain has experienced some of the highest surface wind speeds ever recorded, with speeds in excess of 200 MPH, which made the walk across and trying to balance standing at the lip of the cliff VERY interesting to say the least. The Boys estimated that the winds that afternoon were in the 40-50 mile an hour range, which made them wonder what it would be like at 150 MPH !!!

The Blue Ridge Boys !!!

The Boys horsed around the Mountain until 5:00 and decided to take the much faster Freeway back to Asheville, rather than backtracking through the Mountains ! Getting back the hiking around had aroused their appetites oddly enough for some Sushi!!

A tale of two Sushi's !

Despite the size of the City, Asheville had a plethora of fine restaurants. With the Boys "jonesing" for Sushi, found two Sushi joints right next to each other Downtown. The Boys started in Heiwa Shokudo, where the atmosphere was stuffy and the Sushi was OK, Afterwards, Mike was still peckish, so they went next door to Wasabi for more Sushi and beers !! After enough tuna, salmon, and Dragon Rolls for the Emperors new groove, the sated sows moved on for some entertainment and cool jazz tunes.

All that Jazz

Squeezed in between the two Sushi Joints is Tressa's Downtown Jazz & Blues, where Mike and Bone noticed a significant imbalance of attractive women to men and sought to correct the imbalance and enjoy one of their favourite art forms (no not flirting !), listening to live Jazz ! The had just Boys sidled up to the Bar ordering Martini's and Vodka tonic's, when a group a local girls walked in and decided that Mike and Bone were the guys they needed to party with ! While finding out their life stories, the girls drank and danced with the Boys. The live Jazz ended at 11:30 and was replaced with a VERY wild punk-lite dance club in the Basement of the Club.

The Boys thoroughly entertained themselves with their new friends who led them to Magnolia's Raw Bar and Grille for a final bout of drinkin' and dancin' until 2:00 AM which was fun and concerning, since the Boys had to get up by 5:00 AM in order for Mike to make his return flight!

Trip: PostScript - Racing down the Mountains !

5:00 AM came awful early for the Boys, but their struggled to their car and quickly shot down I-26, through South Carolina and then up I-85 giving Mike enough time for a greasy McDonalds breakfast and 20 minutes, thus ending the Boys first tour of 2008 !!