Wednesday, May 16, 2018

North Carolina - Asheville

Hominy Valley RV Park

Our third year ended on March 28, 2018 when we arrived back in Asheville, NC. Unfortunately our usual campground has stopped doing monthly rental so we stayed only a few nights at Hominy Valley RV Park while waiting for our spot to open at the next place.
Asheville West KOA
On April 2nd we moved to the Asheville West KOA, both parks are in Candler, NC. We were just 10-minutes from downtown, the Blue Ridge Parkway and everything else the area has to offer. The KOA park is very well maintained, the sites are gravel and wider than normal, with a strip of grass, a picnic table and fire ring. WiFi was good as was our Verizon signal. The laundry and bathrooms were very clean. There is a lot of road noise as you are right off of I-40, but you can get free ear plugs from the office. We paid $21.67 a night with their monthly rate.

The park has all the amenities you would expect from a KOA. Plus, beautiful hiking trails and a very large fenced dog park.
Nancy and Mielikki got a mile in every morning walking all of the trails.
Of course, Nancy had to take pictures. One of the best things of spring is watching everything come to life.

Not only did we watch the flowers go from buds to full bloom we watched the woods come to life as well.

As usual Mielikki found plenty of large sticks to
 play with and a shady spot to relax

L: early in our stay
R: the last day of our stay

The VA Hospital
has a sense of humor
While in Asheville we took care of all of our doctor and dentist appointments. Both of us got new glasses so we can now see better and Les got the all clear from his cardiologist which we were very happy about.
Stitches for Mielikki 
Mielikki had her yearly check up too, she had a cyst removed which thankfully was not cancerous.
The license plates on the RV have been renewed so we are road ready and the car will have its inspection down the road before we leave North Carolina, so we can renew our plates in July.

We did some repairs/maintenance as well. We fixed a side mirror, replaced the water pump and the fender on the tow-dolly. Plus, Nancy painted our curtains to add a little fun color to the living room. (pictures in the tip below)

Semlas - a Swedish delight - at Hi-Wire
Catching up with friends is always the best part. Janet introduced us to some of the new breweries and we of course hit up our favorites from the past. At Hi-Wire Brewing we not only enjoyed the beer and Semlas pairing, we got to see Christine which is always fun.

The Wedge is always fun -
Smoke and Salt oysters at Burial
and loved the sign
outside of Archetype Brewing 
We shared laughs and stories, plus beer and Chicago style hot dogs with PhilipToni and Janet at Mills River Brewing. Breakfast and dinner was shared more than once with Donna at numerous places, and we wish we could have had more time with Sally.
Nancy spent a wonderful three hours catching up with her pen-pal Barbara, yes they really did meet as pen-pals when Barbara lived in New York. Barrett and Emily came for a visit from Raleigh to pick up their wedding gifts that we brought with us from Dallas.

Breakfast at Fractals Coffee Shop and Cafe was an experience. As if pancakes made by a robot wasn't enough, they have giraffes inside and out, and a Tardis! Nancy was in her glory.
 Coffee and tasty treats at City Bakery with Billie and Judy rounded out our visits.
Even though the Asheville Tourists lost the game we attended we still had fun. Janet and Nancy enjoyed people watching and of course Mr. Moon was a hoot as always. The food and beer were tasty and there was even a touch of Detroit, with a picture of Sparky!

While is seems like we did a lot - a month is just not long enough. There were a number of places and things that we did not get checked off of our to-do list.

One thing we did accomplish was a hike with Janet on Easter Sunday. We conquered a small portion of Max Patch, which is on the Appalachian Trail.
The views are spectacular as you walk around the patch - every direction offers something new and we never get tired of the blue ridges that go on for miles and miles. 
We got to talk to a few people who are hiking the Appalachian Trail, either all the way to Maine or working on it in bits and pieces.
Either way our hats are off to all of them for taking on the challenge. Mielikki made a new friend as well.

A stop at Mad Co Brew House in Marshall was a nice ending to the hike. We not only enjoyed the beer and pretzels but the sign over the bar made us chuckle.

A day spent in the River Arts District is always a good day and even better when it is 2nd Saturday and the artists are in studio and doing demonstrations. Jonas Gerard  is one of Nancy's favorite artists and his demonstrations are always entertaining.

Up next three stops in North Carolina, which will include the ocean!

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way
~ Getting creative
Somewhere in the first year of our travels, Nancy made curtains for the living room windows. We purchased room darkening drapes and then cut them down to fit the windows. A ribbon is used to pull the drapes open to whatever height we need.
They are just plain beige drapes but they help with privacy and keeping out light at night. As well as keeping it cooler when hot out and warmer when cold out. As functional as they are, they were very boring.
Nancy solved that problem with the help of some fabric markers.
Using the fabric that she used to cover the cabinet doors in the hallway as inspiration she painted bright, big, bold flowers on all of the drapes.

Using flower and leaf shapes cut from paper she determined the placement of the painted flowers.
The markers helped to control the amount of paint being applied, and they didn't run like liquid fabric paint may have.

The finished product turned out better than expected and has added some fun color to an otherwise drab area.

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