TIME TO SAY GOOD-BYE
We had a wonderful time visiting Margaret & Jim in Asheville. There was never a dull moment and conversation never seemed to wane – that’s just the way it is with old friends. We all sat sipping our coffee on the deck looking out onto the magnificent mountains, soaking as much of the mountain air and scenery we could before loading the car and setting off on one more Asheville gastronomical adventure before setting off toward Charlotte and home to Dallas.
We drove into downtown Asheville for breakfast. The streets were still pretty quiet, the church crowds hadn’t arrived yet, the tourists were still waking up, just a few locals getting their papers and coffees. A few joggers and dog walkers passed as we made our way down Biltmore Avenue towards The Chestnut. The restaurant is housed in a 1924 building that was restored to reflect the era it was built. The décor is charming ~ pretty iron work, “period” feeling light fixtures, cozy booths and etched glass panels make the dining room warm & inviting. The brunch menu, while not exotic is well done and tasty. Their eggs come in a variety of preparations and are complimented with smoked meats, grits, collards and potatoes. There are vegan & vegetarian choices, a couple of sandwiches, soups and salads. Freshly baked yeasty breads are toasted and serviced with local butter and seasonal home-made jam. They even have the most delightful gluten-free bread, toasted to perfection. All the breads & rolls are made by local bakers.
We finished our delightful breakfast and said our good-byes to Margaret & Jim (always hard) and the beautiful mountains and headed to Charlotte. We lived in Charlotte in 1983 right after Peter got his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. It was a lovely time for us, he was working for NCNB (now Bank of America), I was working in the design department for an office furniture company; we lived in a pretty little townhouse development called Strawberry Hill and we made some really wonderful friends. While we weren’t there terribly long, we have such wonderful memories. Peter has been many time for business since we left but I’ve only changed planes, so a tour was on the docket before catching our flight back. It was fun to check out all our old stomping grounds.
Our sweet little brick townhouse is still there, they’ve added on to the development, but it is relatively unchanged and still beautifully kept. The city has grown so much, that I struggled to remember how it was. I remember how sad we were to leave, but a transfer to the office in Tampa was calling and we were off to a new city to make more memories. Charlotte will always hold a special place in my heart! We said our good-byes to North Carolina and headed home to Dallas.