But before we left Marty gave me roses, a nice card, and the receipt (prices scratched out) for a new laptop! My current one is almost 4 years old, which in laptop years means it's a dinosaur. I'm very excited to get one that will be much faster.
Here's a view from our cabin.
The next morning we got up and found a great breakfast place that allows dogs. Actually, most places in Asheville (if they have an outdoor patio) welcomes dogs. Tassie loves going with us places and she travels great in the car but she can be SO skittish. She loves people and other dogs but those inanimate objects are completely scary to her. The tables, chairs and definitely the umbrella were all things that would make her quiver. She would calm down after a bit, but was always sitting or laying as close to one of us as possible. The chair thing, I'm sure, has to do with her little adventure last year when she ran through downtown with one attached to her leash.
And going for a little pee break. For Tassie, sicko!
Then we headed off to Maggie Valley to check out some cabins. One of our hopefully not too long term dreams is to have a little cabin in the mountains.
We tried to go for a mountain bike ride but Marty's chain broke before we got going, so instead we drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to find some hiking trails. The storms were rolling in and our hike quickly turned into a mad dash for our lives as the lightening was frighteningly close.
The trail we barely got started on.
For dinner, the three of us went into downtown to the Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. This was actually our real anniversary. And now I ask you, is a grilled chicken sandwich still healthy if it's covered in blue cheese? It sure did taste good (neither one of us had pizza for dinner, but they have a lot of other stuff on their menu).
And then I had to make a stop at the corner cupcake house! YUM!!
The next morning we got up early because Marty had found us a 4miler in the town of Fletcher, not too far away. It was mostly on wide trails, although parts of it were pretty muddy (just like old times in cross country!) It was a small, first time event called the retro run and they had a contest for the best costume (you were supposed to dress up like a 70's runner). Tassie came along with us, but she slept in the car which we parked in the shade for her. It wasn't too hot but it was pretty humid. There were also some pretty fast looking girls wearing racing flats and real running outfits. I looked grumpily at my heavy trainers I had on because I hadn't wanted to pack 2 pairs of running shoes. The guy yelled "Ready? Set? RACE!!" to start us which was...different. And as is typical, lots of girls were ahead of me. Marty started off well and he ended up pulling me out faster and into the lead by the first mile. I truthfully wasn't feeling all that great but concentrated on my form and tried to stay strong. The footing was tough and mile 3 was a crawl, but I rallied the last 1000 meters and won by about 40 seconds or so. It was long and I was SO SORE afterwards! I couldn't believe how sore! It was a fun little race and I won some nice trail socks and a running t-shirt from REI. The park the race was in was really nice, with a mountain creek right there and mountains off in the distance. We all enjoyed a little soak in the creek afterwards.
Post race cooldown with Tassie
It was really neat. I had to keep reminding myself that people actually lived here, and it wasn't some Disney set. It got pretty warm in the afternoon and they set up fans throughout the house; you'd think with all that money the Vanderbilt's could've sprung for some AC ;) Seriously, it was pretty fascinating.
Here are the dorks on the audio tour (thanks for the suggestion Tim, it really was worth it):
It really is crazy how much land this estate has:
Back into downtown Asheville for a great dinner and then we went right to bed after an exhausting day.
This morning we woke up to a light drizzle but we managed to get a nice ride in between showers. Marty had his chain replaced at a local bike shop and we went straight up the mountain near our cabin for about 35 minutes. The return trip down only took 10! It would've been nice to go further but we had to pack up and head on out. We had one last lunch in town and now we're home unpacking and cleaning up.
What a great weekend!