since I think Kathy is going to get me if I don’t talk about Asheville a little bit.
To put it bluntly, I LOVED IT.
We left Wednesday before lunch and arrived about 4:00. Since we had never been to Asheville before, we decided to make our way downtown. The first order of business was to score some food. So many people gave us restaurant suggestions, but my uncle was adamant; we had to go to Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria. So, we went. It was great, not quite as great as much uncle built it up to be (don’t tell him that!), but still really good. I loved their crust. And the slices are HUGE! After that, we went walking.
And I fell in love. Not only with the city, but THIS PLACE (and I’m using thumbnails for most of this post, you can click to see them bigger):
This is the Battery Park Book Exchange and Wine Bar. And it is amazing. It is a used book store that, obviously, has a wine bar inside. And all these large, comfy looking chairs and couches. It is heaven y’all. Heaven.
We specialize in books about North Carolina, American History, the Civil War, and the American South. Not what you’re looking for? Check out gardening, architecture, poetry, or psychology. Whether it’s fiction or foreign language, cooking or transportation that interests you, we have something for everyone.
Interested in selling your books to us? We are currently purchasing books in excellent condition. Call the store for more details and to set up an appointment. Ask for Brooke or Thomas. (828) 252-0020
And they do mean excellent. All the used books looked brand new. Many of the hardcovers had been, I don’t know what you call it, but wrapped like a library book, with the cellophane covers? And the prices, despite the fancyish looking atmosphere, were very reasonable. Well, except for the very old first editions that are locked up behind glass. Geez y’all, I wish I had had my camera so I could show you. There were some truly amazing books in there, some even signed by their authors. They even have an espresso dog bar, “where all dogs eat and drink for free!”
Of course you’re wondering, what did I get? I got one book. Yes, it was hard, but I did have my very not readerly hubby with me. And you guys, he had to talk me into getting it, and I am so glad he did. It was actually on the more pricey side, but it. is. gorgeous. See:
See? Gorgeous. I loooooves it.
After we, reluctantly on my part, left Battery Park, we wandered a bit more. The slightly annoying thing about downtown Asheville we discovered is, they “roll up the streets at 6?” I believe the saying goes? All the stores, except the two bookstores, were pretty much closed! That and the bars. So, we went to Malaprops. I wish we had waited until the next night. My head was so full of Battery Park that, sadly while very very very nice, Malaprops was a rush and a no purchase, and a hard to compare kind of place. Next time we go, I’m going there first, and I’m eating there, and I’m staying for a good while.
The next day was rainy and cold, so we tooled around the Parkway, then went back downtown. We had the best. lunch. EVER. at this little hole in the wall place called The Noodle Shop. I got the best HUGE bowl of Wonton Soup I have ever had. And the hubby got some sort of spicy calamari stir fry that he is raving about a week later. It was so good, we went back Friday night. That night we went to see The Woman in Black, which gave me the heeby jeebies. Mr. Ratcliff did a great job carrying most of that movie by himself. And dude, it freaked. me. out.
Friday, we went to Biltmore. Finally. I have wanted to go to Biltmore for years upon years. And I loved it. I loved every square inch of that place, down to the TWO STORE LIBRARY. That George Vanderbilt dude LOVED BOOKS. Being a gentleman of leisure and so independently wealthy that it makes me sick, he did a LOT of reading. There was no photography inside, but I managed to find a picture of the library:
Sit back and drool. All it needs is more comfortable furniture.
Saturday, we rushed home to the babies, whom we were missing pretty badly by then. So there you have it, my wonderful bookish trip to Asheville. We WILL be going back.