picking right up from where i left off... so after our slow morning, we we took a quick drive over to asheville to finish off the day. if black mountain is "the front porch of western north carolina", then ashville is it's vestibule. and a swanky one at that. {picture glossy hardwood floors laid in geometric patterns, decorated with black lacquered furniture, chrome-accented lighting, and sunburst motifs.} the town prospered in the 1920s so there's an art deco vibe that is not only prevalent in the architecture, but is echoed by all the dapper dan's strolling the streets in their suspenders and wing-tipped oxfords. we spent the afternoon roaming the streets, gawking at the buildings, people watching, and ogling over the halloween-decorated storefronts. i let august ride standing forward in the carrier for a spell so that he could see the world from a different perspective. look! i'm as tall as everyone else! weee! 

we lapped the same blocks, each time seeing something new. even the buskers seemed to be on rotation, taking turns at the popular spots and street corners. there was a particular duo that attracted us from the opposite side of the road. aaron keith was the vocalist behind the acoustic guitar. his gravel tone was as gritty as the picture below and contrasted his very smooth personal estilo. (notice yet another nod to the roaring twenties with the newsboy cap. no pun intended.) his very talented accompaniment at the cello kept it real in basketball shorts and beat up hiking shoes, reminding us that hey! we're in asheville! 

at the general store we saw all the traditional goods you could've expected to see it stocked with in the 1800's. when it was first built, the business model was to carry all of the items neighbors might need - from "cradles to caskets".  the range of merchandise was truly impressive: replicas of the classic bell jars, the 'chatter phone' toy, carhartt bibs, and barrels of bulk candy.   

part of our annual trip must always include a tour of the areas independent coffee shops, naturally. (i you didn't already know it, i'm a bit of a coffee fanatic) double d's had the best ratings on yelp so we made our way there to verify the claim. sure enough, the latte was the best one i had on the trip - no sugar necessary, just a (double) shot of espresso and four ounces of steamed whole milk. slllllurp. the drink was only possibly outdone by the unique cafe that was housed in a red double decker bus. hence the 'double d'. and the double latte?

our final stop was the acclaimed french broad chocolate lounge. because every day should be rounded out with a triangle. get the contradiction? two opposing geometric shapes? no? ok, well we split a slice of chocolate, peanut butter cake anyway and it was pretty incredible. there was still one more day to the trip so yes, there will be a part three to this saga. but i promise to keep it short. and pretty. (i love my new camera).



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