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Travels Near & Far

I'm *thisclose* to 40 hours of freedom - yep, one whole week of vacation. Downright indulgent, right ?

My Mother Dear invited me to tour Nova Scotia with her and we're setting out this Saturday on a plane to Halifax. Just picture it: Me, Mother Margaret, a subcompact rental car, a GPS that hopefully works, and the open Canadian roads.

Hopefully there is lobster involved. And Prince Edward Island mussels. And views like this one, from the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton.

Credit: Dennis Jarvis, Wikimedia Commons
There will also hopefully be ferry rides, a moose sighting, Anne of Green Gables tours (will I dare drink the raspberry cordial?), maybe a puffin tour if I can overcome my bird phobia (and one doesn't attack me), and a trip to  North America's first and Canada's only single malt whisky distiller.

I'm excited about taking a vacation this summer, though Scott and I aren't not too far away from getaway spots here in North Carolina. In fact, a few weekends ago I made it up the mountain to Asheville to see some college friends.

After a nice light hike in Bent Creek (we dubbed it a "big walk"), I decided I needed to keep the healthy practice going with vegetables. Luckily AVL has plenty of spots to enjoy fresh food.

The decision? HomeGrown, a new-to-me spot that professes "Slow Food Right Quick." Right when we walked in, I knew my friends picked the perfect place. (UNCA peeps, the location is the former Picnic's. It's the Southern way to describe every place as "where the old so-and-so used to be.")

It was so Asheville. Tempeh as a salad or entree add-on -- dead giveaway! Adorable rustic mountain/shabby chic decor. Friendly wait staff. I loved it instantly.

My salad choice, with mixed greens, farmer's cheese, grilled apples, almonds, and a balsamic reduction, got some additional love with some Falentils (falafel made with lentils). Delicious! It was filling and fresh, and my whole body just smiled after that dinner. Again, so Asheville.

After dinner, we stopped by The Hop in West Asheville (though the Merrimon Ave. location near UNCA will forever be etched in my mind) for a sweet treat. One large scoop of Aztec Chocolate and I was pretty much, like, totally blissed out, man. So good.

Asheville's heavy tourism factor could potentially blow prices sky high (and in some restaurants I'm sure they are), but you can still visit and eat well for a modest amount.

Whether it's big cross-continental trips or just a few hours up the road, it's always fun to get out and explore. I hope you find your way to something new & exciting also.


  1. Homegrown also has good fried chicken. In the wintertime The Hop has cardamom ice cream! If you'd ever like a free place to stay in Asheville while enjoying Asheville cuisine just let us know!

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