One Week, Two Trips to North Carolina: Part II

On Friday afternoon, we headed back to NC for our second road trip of the week. After another dinner at Bean (this time in Asheville), we went into Hendersonville for a haunted house/hayride. They also have a zombie shooting paintball attraction, but we skipped that one. The haunted farm was impressive. The rooms were very detailed, and the scenes were creepy. Tickets were $19 each, and the line to get in was long (about an hour wait), but we had a good time.

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On Saturday morning, we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed for the Mt. Mitchell State Park. We visited the summit before hiking Mt. Craig via the Deep Gap Trail.

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We picked a beautiful day for a hike. It was chilly (in the low 40s in the morning,) but the sun was shining. The air smelled like Christmas trees!

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This hike was difficult – more so for me than for Chris, as he exercises far more frequently than I do.

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Some portions of the trial were steep enough to require ropes.

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We went to Fresh for a hard-earned dinner of pizza and root beer. We got veggie pizzas with vegan cheese, and it was great!

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We have been longing for a vegan ice cream parlor, but there aren’t any near us in Charleston. We found an incredible one in Asheville called The Hop. While the whole shop isn’t vegan, they do have one of the largest selections we’ve ever seen. There were six to eight vegan options, such as coffee, coconut crunch, Aztec chocolate, and more exotic options like cantaloupe curry. We each got sundaes; mine was coffee with Oreos and wet walnuts, and Chris got Aztec chocolate with peanuts and chocolate sauce. They also had coconut milk whipped cream, which was a nice touch. Everything was delicious, but the Aztec chocolate was probably the best. Another great thing about The Hop is that it’s dog friendly, and they offer dog ice cream! Next time, I’m taking Hamlet.

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On Sunday morning, we found ourselves back at Bean for breakfast. The waffles were easily the best thing on the menu. We got chocolate chip and berry compote. Both were great, but I think the berry was better.

In Hendersonville, we found Graddad’s Apples, where we drank cider, explored the corn maze, and bought apples and a pumpkin.

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The corn maze featured a beautiful mountain view.

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We loved the apple orchard.

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I’m excited to try these Stayman apples. They are said to be an excellent dessert apple, so I’m looking forward to baking a pie with them this weekend.

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We like unusual pumpkins, so we took home this green monster. We’re calling him Frank N Stein Mart. We’ll carve him at Thanksgiving (AKA Thalloween, our made up holiday) if he survives that long.

Needful Things Antique Mall is very close to Granddad’s Apples. There are lots of interesting vendors, but we managed to make it out without buying anything (except for one postcard), which is unusual for us.

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Our last stop on our way out of town was the Hendersonville Community Co-op. They had  a very nice vegan chocolate chip cookie, and we also tried a coconut bar. They had several vegan options in the deli section, including wraps, dips, and baked goods.

We really enjoy the Asheville area of North Carolina, so much so that we even discussed moving there. It probably won’t happen, but it’s fun to think about it. We’ll happily go there for road trips anytime!

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