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Visit to Asheville, NC Aug 17-20, 2023

The plan of the trip was for a family gathering, which fell through, but we had the reservations anyhow, so here we are!!
On the way to Ashefille, we stopped in Griffin, GA to meet with Ateer to learn his thoughts on re-development of the downtown area, and more importantly...for lunch!
Ash817 Ateer.JPG
David and Len and Lori and Art got in late, so not much happened Thursday night, but next day, David took advantage of some good lighting for a quick pic.
Ash818 david and I before breakfast.JPG
After breakfast, we all squeezed into Merle's 4Runner to get off to the Biltmore.  (For pics from a previous trip there, click here).
Ash818 fix 6 into one car.JPG
Here, we all revel in the joy of not having to mow this lawn.
Ash818 gp in front of Biltmore.JPG
Here, Merle and I show the view from the back of the house. 
Ehh, it'll have to do.
Ash818 me and TM looking out back view.JPG
Ash818 david and I back outside of house.JPG
One detail that is not immediately obvious is the size of the stones used to make the foundation and the walls, and all before hydraulic cranes, and laser pointers and even those "design your own giant summer home" apps.
After a little lunch, we all went off our diets.
Ash818 ice cream at the B.JPG
After lunch, we toured the botanical gardens, and here Merle prevents a few seeds from possibly landing on the ground.
Ash818 TM harvesting seeds.JPG
Friday night, we met with the family that was there (anyway) for the event that got cancelled, and we had a lovely Italian dinner.  One of the people there even has his own IMBD page!
Next day, Sat am, we had to take David and Len to the airport so they could get back to Palm Springs before having their flights cancelled by the oncoming tropical storm Hilary
We were sad to see them go a day early
But we were happy that they weren't going to be stuck in airports for an extra day.
After dropping off David and Len, we decided to do something outdoors, and chose to go hiking on Mt. Mitchell.  We got there by going on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  At one point there was a little traffic jam.  Why is everyone stopping?  
Oh...there's a bear eating some leaves on the side of the road.  How 'bout that!!!!
Here, we have a quick rest stop at a place apparently a bear.
From the "you learn something every day" category, the namesake of this mountain is buried at the top. 
(And fyi, Elisha is a dude).
So, even back in the day, they were able to determine that this was the highest peak in the US east of the Mississippi. 
I'm just glad I wasn't the guy who had to carry the tape measure.
Of course, stop at the peak for a pic.
After that, we went for a little hike, and Merle shows her technique for picking wildflowers.
Into the woods.  I was not going to get lost in that T shirt.
That evening, we went to downtown Asheville to hear some live music, but not too close to them that we'd have to shout at each other.
There was another event called Shindig on the Green where people sat outside with their own chairs to listen to bluegrass music.  With all of us coming from places that were very hot, with the music and the cool night air, it was lovely.
Alright, now back to work, people!!

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