NC Trip Day Seven – The Last Day

Today was our last full day here in North Carolina. For our final adventure, we went to Grandfather Mountain. As we entered the park, we were warned that there might be some rain. Fortunately though, we didn’t encounter any rain. However, we did get a few dark clouds and just a bit of wind.

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First thing was first, we crossed the mile-high swinging bridge and climbed to the top of the mountain. With the high winds, crossing the bridge was a little more nerve wracking than usual what with the howling through the metal bits of the structure. Once we were up on top, we had 360 degree views of the area. It was absolutely stunning.

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After being properly chilled between the dropping temperature, the raising humidity, and the sustaining wind, we headed down to the museum and the animal habitat.

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Down at the habitat, we spent most of our time with the bears, because they were the ones that had the most personality, and of course they were very cute. We hung around long enough to hear about one of the first bears they had in the habitat, named Mildred. They say she didn’t know that she was a bear, and when they released her, she came back and just hung around.

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We moved on from the bears after a large crowd formed, and looked at the rest of the animals they had there. We didn’t, however, get to see the cougars, because they were in the process of renovating their habitat.

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After going through the museum, we decided it was time for lunch, so we ate the lunch that we had brought in a little picnic area, and then headed back towards Little Switzerland to have some ice cream.

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Before ice cream, though, we stopped at one overlook that I absolutely needed to see before we left: the Chestoa View. It’s an overlook viewing the Linville Gorge, and it is absolutely staggering. The photos any person takes, no matter the skill, no matter the equipment, will never do it justice. However, every time I’ve stopped there I’ve tried. Every photographer will try, and I wasn’t the only one this time, even. I’m so happy to have seen it again.

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Once we returned back to the cabin, it all came to realization that this was our last day, and tomorrow will primarily be packing the car up and heading out. It’s unfortunate, but the real world needs us.

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I hope my daily documentation of our trip has been insightful or entertaining or inspiring or some other positive adjective. I’m hoping that this practice in writing will lock in the habit of doing something like this every day. I’ve always loved writing, and I’ve missed it, and I thank you for reading whatever kind¬†writing you can call this.

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NC Trip Day Six

Today we ventured into civilization. Well, as much as you can really call it that. Downtown Asheville still maintains a small town feel while also having the look of a big city, except still not a big city. It’s hard to describe, really.

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We started our day parking over at the chamber of commerce. Pro tip, if you’re okay with a short walk, the chamber is the best place to park for free. Then we headed to the Mellow Mushroom for some lunch.

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Mellow Mushroom is more of a franchise that is all over, there’s even one in Orlando, but it really fits in with the aesthetic of Asheville perfectly. So, there we got ourselves some pizza, which was delicious! I definitely recommend it if you’re ever near one and craving a slice. It’s even good as leftovers.

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After filling up on food, we then walked street to street, popping in various shops, galleries, and book stores. Of course, we didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to look.

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Looking through the galleries reminded me why I do what I do, and why I continue to try to be the best at it. It also reminded me that I should probably start selling prints of my photos. I love creating and I’ll keep doing it for the rest of my life.

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Tomorrow will be our last full day in North Carolina, so we are going to savor it as much as possible. What will we do? That’s still up for debate, but we’ll probably, begrudgingly, start the packing process.

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NC Trip Day Five – The Reason We’re Here

Today, the 28th (although, it’s currently past midnight, so technically yesterday) is the precise reason we’re up here in North Carolina. Today celebrated Sarah and my third wedding anniversary.

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I know, in retrospect, three years doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to us, while it seems like just yesterday we started on this journey, it also feels like we’ve always been together.

I’m going to skip all the mushy stuff, here. I could go on and on about feelings and whatever, but you’re here to read about our trip.

Today had one goal: steak dinner.

We had made reservations at the Sunset Terrace Restaurant at the Grove Park Inn over in Asheville. Quite literally an outdoor dining experience specifically set up to watch the sun go down behind the mountains as you’re eating.

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We both had amazing steaks, I had a couple of the local brews, and we had a wonderful dessert (of course). The only thing that could compare to our meal was the stunning views from my seat. Of course the view of the sunset, but also my beautiful wife who never ceases to take my breath away.

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After our drive home, we popped open a bottle of the same wine that we had the night of our wedding, put on some Top Gear, and talked about the future, which I can’t wait for.

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In other news, I’m very proud to see that David and the gang all got to record an episode of the Attack of the Beards Cast in my absence! I think you probably should listen to it, which you can over at http://attackofthebeards.com

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PS: I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry for all the iPhone photos. If this was any event but my anniversary, I would have shot it with my real camera, but I didn’t want to divert my attention too much from whom really matters, so I only took a couple shots with my iPhone. Maybe next time.

NC Trip – Day Four

This evening’s update on our trip will probably be the most boring, at least to you folks at home. You’re probably just getting settled in after a long day working, just hoping for a glimpse at what the world outside of your own has to offer. Sadly, though, I do not have any photos or videos to offer you today.

Today (and tomorrow, for that matter) has been the absolute essence of what this trip is all about: relaxing and spending time with Sarah.

Because of all the walking and hiking that we’ve been up to as of late, we decided that today would be a good day to give our legs a rest, and just stay in. We watched the rest of season three of Bojack Horseman, and a couple Louis C.K. stand-up specials. Then, we drove into Burnsville and picked up some more milk and some lettuce from the local Ingles for dinner tonight.

I’ve been doing my best to avoid as much of the news on the presidential debates as possible, but of course it’s inevitable. The thing that I’m completely flabbergasted by is that people are actually believing the theory that the bulge in the back of Hillary’s outfit was an earpiece or a “cough-prevention” device. Clearly these conspiracy theorists never even payed attention, and completely missed the lapel mics that both candidates were wearing to reinforce the podium mics, which are awful half the time, so let’s face it, wireless lav mics are the way to go, unless you want some poor guy holding a boom mic above them for the entire duration of the debate.

I’m not one for politics, especially the circus which is the presidential election, so I’m going to stay out of it further unless something completely ridiculous like this happens again.

Anyhow, back to the real world; tomorrow is Sarah and my third anniversary. We have a reservation at a (fairly) fancy restaurant for dinner. It will be another calm and relaxing day. We will probably go for a quick drive, and just spend some time reminiscing in the past five years of our relationship. I’ll probably have another wordy post for you tomorrow.

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NC Trip – Day Three

Today, we made our way to the Biltmore Estate. They seemed pretty strict about photos and video, but fortunately, I was able to loophole my way into taking all the photos I wanted.

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After touring the mansion and the gardens, we went for dinner at a local BBQ place, which was alright, definitely no Southern Pig & Cattle. I always feel like I’m taking a risk when I’m trying a new food place.

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After we ate, it started pouring down rain. Since it was too much like home, we decided to head back to the cabin and take it easy for the rest of the day.

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