I touched down amid the mountains that surround Asheville, North Carolina today for a three-day vacation with a friend.  I love Asheville.  There is something magical about the people who live here, the pace (or my perception of the pace), the art community and history (it is home to the Biltmore Estate).

We checked in here…

What I love about downtown is the uniqueness of the restaurants, stores, etc.    You won’t find a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts on the streets of downtown Asheville.  There is nothing resembling a “chain” establishment, at least downtown.  You will find clever, vegetarian and organic.  Galleries and boutiques.  History and heart.  We took a walking tour making stops for appetizers and sips.

Lovely vegetarian menu here!

I had black bean cakes here!

Today’s special at 12 Bones, a local barbecue hot spot. I didn’t try this sandwich but I found it amusing!  Sugar bacon?  What is that?

Clever menus.  Goat cheese grilled cheese – intriguing!

Asheville sips.

We indulged at Cúrate for Spanish tapas, alongside a full-house of dinner patrons.  Wonderful food and heartfelt conversation.  Laughter and tears.