So lovely to be on vacation and have no alarm clock going off to wake you up, therefore being able to sleep in. I LOVE that!! Sleep in, we did, then, as Kathi and I have been known to do because we are such nerds, we both get on our computers almost immediately and start checking e-mails and browsing the internet and whatever other mindless activities one gets up to on one's computer on a lazy morning, while drinking coffee and smelling the bacon that one of us put in the oven a bit earlier. Life is good!!
The sisters come over from their cabin after a bit to visit with us before they hit the road back to Raleigh. Then Kathi and I shower and get ready to spend the day doing some shopping in downtown Asheville. (Have I mentioned the weather? The weather is, once again, amazing. We have had 70 degree, sunny days so far. Much warmer than I was expecting!) Asheville is a cute little town with a thriving art colony, lots of nice restaurants, art galleries and quirky, one of a kind clothing shops as well as bars and brewpubs. It is exactly the kind of small town that Kathi and I love to visit and explore. We browsed all kinds of interesting places, beginning with a old-fashioned mercantile store that had everything from candy and greeting cards to the latest high tech outdoor footwear and camping gear, to an old Woolworth's store that still had its soda fountain up and running with pictures from the 1960 Greensboro, NC lunch counter sit-ins held to end racial segregation at Woolworth's lunch counters and their counterparts throughout the country. Kathi and I each ordered a milkshake and sat down together at a table to enjoy them and realized that we were able to do this because of those brave folks back in 1960 who dared to stand up (or sit down, in this case) against the establishment and insist on doing away with segregation.
This Woolworth's store was no longer operating as a Woolworth's, but held booths of local artists' work. Paintings, handmade bound books, jewelry and photographs. Our favorite display here was of photographs taken in abandoned places. Haunting and spooky, yet beautiful. Unfortunately, I did not write down the photographer's name, but they were truly amazing photographs.
Just outside of the Woolworth's was a guy spray-painted all in while standing atop a pedestal with a black and while electric guitar strapped on. (You can see him in the background of the photo at the top of this post). He stood statue-still until someone dropped some money in one of his money boxes, then he would begin to play the guitar, and sometimes sing, sometimes not, for a few minutes before resuming his statue-like pose. He was really quite good and seemed to be playing more than standing still, so I am assuming he made a decent amount of money by the end of the day.
Kathi and I continued to wander around downtown and we each found something we like enough to buy (Kathi, a skirt and a top for me), as well as eating lunch at Salsa's, a small restaurant that served up Mexican and Caribbean food. We shared a butternut squash and carrot enchilada dish that came with rice and beans that was quite delicious, although a little spicy for Kathi's taste. Kathi had also been on the hunt today for some orange earrings to take the place of a pair that she had lost at home. Once again, success was hers!!
Tomorrow, we hike.