To begin with, I should mention that I kind of had this trip thrust upon me when my wife schedule a class in Ashville and even paid for it before mentioning it to me. It’s not that I had anything in particular against Ashville, on the contrary, I was interested in visiting there again, but the timing was an issue. Having had one screening of my film, “Take That” already this month and a big Halloween screening to get prepared for, I already kind of had my hands full. So faced with a couple of days to kill in Ashville, North Caorlina, I tried to make the best of it and plan a few things to fill my time. It’s always good practice when you have to think on your feet and make a plan in 2 seconds, so thanks for that, Babe!
We left Albemarle around 8 am on Saturday after a very early wakeup time of 6:00 am. There were dogs, cats, chickens and a hamster to double feed for the time we’d be away. So we high tailed it to Salsibury where we stopped into Cracker Barrel for a naughty but delicious breakfast.
We arrived in Asheville around 11:40 am. Nancee’s class didn’t start until 1 or so but WOW, was it crowded downtown. No parking spaces whatsoever and tons of young bearded dudes and skinny women walking around. The hippies had that place socked in. To boot the air smelled like one big ashtray. Every 3rd shop was a “tobacco” (read pot smoking paraphernalia) shop. To folks like Nancee and I this is a real turn off and the single biggest downer about the place.
On the upside they have great cafes and eaterys as well as lots of cool art store making everything from scarves to star shaped lamps. Lots and lots of same sex couples walking around. We won’t go into what the Bible says about that. I’ll just say that it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as all the second hand smoke. My point here is not to condemn anyone, but to say that Asheville is a very alternative place. I think many gravitate to this area because it’s known as a very, very accepting environment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You see lots of mohawks, kids with skateboards and gals with pink hair. Minus the smoking and drugs, nothing wrong with any of that.
As far as I could tell there’s only a single free public parking lot way down the hill from the town center. They even have pay parking in the park out in front of the courthouse. Milk that dollar why won’t ya? Geesh!
Asheville seems very pet friendly and that is extremely cool. Lots of folks had their furry four legged friends with them in the downtown. Nancee and I were doing a little early morning window shopping and right next to a fake Halloween cat figure suddenly something white and ghostly moved. It really got me, I’m not going to kid you. This little girl was up for adoption with the details on the window. Apparently the shop owner was an caretaker and she left this little cutey with the run of the well lite shop over night. She kept curling up and trying to interact with Nancee at the window. It was actually pretty precious.
After our street romp in the early hours of Saturday, Nancee was off to class and I was off to fill my day. I worked on my FPV setup in the hotel room until check out time at 11 and immediately went off in search of a safe place to fly my Phantom and try out FPV (First Person View) for the first time. I found a neat little park at the edge of town that even had free parking. Wow! I was begining to think that free parking was outlawed in Asheville.
In the “Art is Everywhere” category, in Ashville art truly is tucked away everywhere. That’s cool The skate boarder I saw standing in the town center with his shirt off in 60 degree weather on the other hand was not cool. I know it’s a dragon, but it looks like a giant head to me.
While they my have paved Paradise on the outskirts of Asheville all around the Carmike Cinema, when I got out to an early 1 o’clock movie to see “Captain Phillips,” I have to say that parking lot has one heck of a nice looking backdrop. Very nice cinema and a good movie. 8:45 is now OFFICIALLY the most I have ever paid for a bag of theater popcorn. Also $5 for a water. They think a lot of their water in Asheville apparently.
I actually ended up feeling bad for the pirates who were all basically forced to go after cargo ships and lived in brutal conditions. If the film is to be believed their tactical acumen was barely higher than that of a pack of 5 year old. How ironic that only the pirate band leader survived. They apparently didn’t get the memo that the U.S. Navy and especially the U.S. Navy Seals tote around a God-sized hammer just looking for some poor schmucks to drop it on! Wow! Made me proud of my country’s military, but also a little sad for the bad guys at the same time. If they’d been Al-Qaeda, I’d have felt not an inkling of pity on those dirt bags. The Somali pirates however were another story. They were all very young and recruited by wealthy and vicious criminal warlords who treated them harshly.