New Orleans

Now that we are officially living in the South, Mike and I figured we should take advantage of all the region has to offer and go on our first road trip to….

New Orleans!

While driving from Greenville to New Orleans is doable, the nine plus hour trip is far from easy. Fortunately, we are seasoned travelers and already have a glove compartment full of road trip CD’s and we always pack a cooler with cold drinks and sandwiches. We took the quickest route via I-85 and I-65 which takes you through Georgia, Alabama, and finally, Louisiana. After ten hours of driving in pretty much a straight line we finally made it to The Big Easy!

We checked into our hotel, a delightful 18th century inn in the Garden District. It had a beautiful courtyard with an overgrown garden full of hydrangeas and bougainvillea. The tropical plants and old architecture made us feel like we were in a different country and a different time!

After settling in, we hopped on the St. Charles Streetcar (an experience in itself) and headed to the famous French Quarter. We wandered into one of the many restaurants and ordered some amazing shrimp and oyster po’ boys. After strolling around the French Market and admiring the St. Louis Cathedral, we approached the iconic Cafe du Monde. Although the line was well out the door, the cafe au lait and beignets were well worth the wait. We ate on the banks of the Mississippi in the waning afternoon light and knew that this weekend would be one for the books.

And it was! We spent our time strolling through the old streets and admiring the courtyard gardens. We ate New Orleans favorites like gumbo, muffaletta sandwiches, and even turtle soup! A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without jazz, and we saw an amazing performance at the famous Preservation Hall. We had an amazing time in New Orleans, my only complaint is that it was too short! We can’t wait to go back, and I hope that this post will inspire you to visit one of America’s most unique cities!

Trip to Asheville

As Mike and I have family in South Carolina, we decided to venture out and see some of the different cities and sites close by. One of these was Asheville, North Carolina. And let me tell you: there is nowhere like Asheville.

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We’d heard about Asheville for the first time when one of Mike’s work buddies mentioned going there for camping trips and some music festivals. He talked about the unique characteristic of the town and people, describing it as “high-class hippy.” With only that description to go off of, we didn’t really know what we were going into. But we were intrigued, none the less.

Now having experienced it for myself, “high-class hippy” is actually a very fitting description for this amazing city. The people are definitely quite earthy (as in probably a quarter of the population has dreadlocks), but it’s also an extremely clean city. It’s very green and sustainable and also extremely supportive of local business.

While we were there, we visited the Early Girl Eatery which was amazing! They had lots of organic options and all of the ingredients used there come from a local farm. Then we explored the city which had tons of really neat little shops and treasures. While in one of these shops, a local told us to visit the West side of the city.

When we got there, it was as if we’d found a little piece of heaven.We got to sit outside of a large area that used to be warehouses but have recently been converted into small art studios and a micro-brewery. Again, hello heaven! And of course, as a rule of thumb, where there is outdoor beer, there are food trucks. Which are my favorite! We chose a Mexican food truck which had the most amazing tacos. Until we went up the street to White Duck Taco Shop and got the truly most amazing tacos! (Mike and I like tacos).

However, after all of the tacos and beer, we had to get moving. We decided to trek up to Black Mountain which has some of the most stunning hikes and views I’ve ever seen. We chose a relaxed 3 mile hike, which became increasingly hurried as the sun started to set, and enjoyed breathing in the North Carolina air.

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For our stay, we found a quaint little tiny house which sits on the side of a mountain close to Black Mountain. (We found it on Airbnb). And in the morning, we got to enjoy the first sunrise I’d seen in far too long.

Just typing all of this up has me ready to go back and continue adventuring on. Asheville was one of the most interesting and romantic cities I’ve ever been to. It’s a guarantee that we’ll be back for more.