I was meant to live in a castle-like mansion. I was meant to organize and host the country’s most elite parties. I was meant to have gold wallpaper and see for miles out of my bedroom window. I was meant to stroll through my conservatory at 3pm everyday. I was meant to have an indoor swimming pool.
I was meant to be a Vanderbilt.
Being a Vanderbilt....
This trip to Asheville, NC was unlike any other. Friends welcomed us into their home, we ate like royalty (without paying like one), and we learned what it means to be a Vanderbilt. We may be the couple that always travels on a small budget but that doesn’t mean you have to eat pb&j and sleep in your car. Sure we did sleep on an air mattress at a friend’s house but you don’t always have to have an upscale downtown hotel room to live like a Vanderbilt. I doubt the Vanderbilts ever slept on a floor in their life but they do know how to host friends and show them the finer things in life. Our friends did that for us in Asheville.
Our weekend started with dinner at Chai Pani (a renown Indian street-food restaurant). Oh. My. Gosh. I don’t care who you are...their Matchstick Okra Fries are the stuff. I need some right now. The next time I am in town that is right where I’ll be with my own order so I don’t have to share with anyone. Everything I ate there was fantastic but that is a must buy. Also, if you are into the whole gluten-free thing your options are almost limitless.
Next up, dessert of course. French Broad Chocolates I have not had hot chocolate like Laurie and I savored in Italy until now. They have a European hot chocolate that is heavenly. You can choose a ganache to go on top and I chose the maple and black sea salt I believe it is. Alright...yes ma'am. How in the world they got me out of the door without buying half of the case of their gourmet chocolates I still don’t know. Sidenote, if you are in the mood to lounge and listen to live music or host a party sometime this is also the place to do it.
If you’re into the whole beer thing...the Thirsty Monk is one of the hot spots. We were a little off on timing and couldn’t get in because everyone else knows it is good too. Don’t worry though...there are plenty of places in town with a build your own six pack to take home.
Can you believe that was just the first five hours of our trip?!
The following day was oh so beautiful. In so many ways. The sun came out after icy weather and we, if for only a few hours, became Vanderbilts.
We started our day antiquing a bit. If you enjoy that at all, there are definitely outlets to appease your cravings. After a little shopping around we headed to lunch at The Village Wayside Bar & Grille. They have a little bit of everything; including some pretty fantastic onion rings. The restaurant is located in the old Biltmore train station. The occasional train passes through and the boy inside of every man has to leave the table to take a peek. We had some Greek and American dishes that were pretty fantastic. The location cannot be beat. There are high end shops nearby to enjoy and the Biltmore is merely minutes away.
This is where the writing ends and photos begin. Our lovely friends were kind enough to share some free passes and allow me to become a Vanderbilt. Please take the time to become one yourself. Perks of going this time of year are no crowds or lines I am told. Perks of going in the Spring/Summer months are visible in the gardens. Perks of going during the Holiday season are the fireplaces and decor. -Alison McQuain