Monday, June 20, 2016

Asheville Summer Kickoff

Last weekend one of my beloved friends from college, Courtney, came to Asheville to visit! Now, Courtney is a bit of a planner, so we had a strict agenda to follow. That meant that we did all the touristy things that one does (with a bit of my own input) and it was the perfect start to the season!

Friday night I scooped her from the airport and we went right to the Bywater for a drink. It was dark so I don't have a picture, but sitting by the river under the fairy lights was a pretty sweet intro to Asheville!

Saturday morning we were up early for the Biltmore! It was 80 degrees at 10am and we had to wait for the shuttle in the parking lot, as the blacktop radiated heat...and it only got hotter as the day went on. Courtney also didn't believe me that there wouldn't be AC inside the house. I sure showed her!

That afternoon we were a bit pooped from trolling the Biltmore in the heat, so we did the sensible thing and cruised the breweries. Court made it very clear that she wanted to eat (+ drink) her way through Asheville, so I did my best to show off our finest.

First stop was my favorite, Burial, so that Court could get her donut beer! For dinner, we hit All Souls for their delicious pizza and then we cruised downtown to Pack Square to see the Steep Canyon Rangers play a free show at Pack Square. Sadly, Steve Martin wasn't there but it was an awesome show and there's always great people watching downtown. Near our house is a sweet little cider brewery that recently upgraded their patio, so we headed to Urban Orchard to czech it out, and it was awesome!

They had all these ENO hammocks set up facing each other so you could lounge and chat with the person next to you. It was such a cozy and relaxing way to hang out, I know we will be back there soon. We peaced out around 10:30 since we had grand plans for Sunday and wanted to be prepared!  I love having a guest that would rather get up early and explore than stay out late, since it means we get to see even more of Asheville.

Donut beer at Burial!

At Pack Square Park!
Hanging at Urban Orchard

Sunday morning I made breakfast and we headed out for a beautiful drive on the parkway and a hike at Mount Pisgah. After our hike, we initiated Courtney on the dirty (French) Broad river!

After washing the hike + river off of us, we had a very weird and very delicious meal of appetizers (read: bread + cheese) at the Smoky Park Supper Club, the largest shipping container restaurant in the country!

Twas a long day spent in the sun and Court had a 6am flight, so dinner was the end of our shenanigans. I feel like she got such a great slice of the Asheville life: Free live music, breweries, yummy food, a hike, a drive on the parkway and a float down the river!

It was such a great way to start summer, and so lovely to have one of my besties in Asheville!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tahoe + Louisa's 2nd Birthday!

Summer is off to its usual whirlwind start.

Last week I was in Lake Tahoe for work and then flew to Philly for Louisa's second birthday party! While I was in PA, my mom and I snuck in a little surprise baby sprinkle for my sister. Thanks to Louisa's godmom, Kelly, for teaching me the term Sprinkle (aka a small baby shower, typically for a second child) and for helping to make it happen!

It was a whirlwind week, but a deeply satisfying one. The work trip was super fun and I got to spend time with some amazing people. Everyone on the trip was incredulous that what we were doing was "work," I felt quite lucky.

Exhibit A, B, C and.....

Horrible, right??

A big part of my satisfaction from the week came from my bonding time with Louisa. I say it all the time, but I have never really loved kids that much. When Louisa was born she totally changed me. I suddenly eyeballed at every baby on the street, wanted to talk to friends about their kids and I found myself being a lot more open to the other children in my life. The baby stage with Louisa was so amazing, to hold an entire human body in the crook of your arm is a seriously magical feeling. Baby hair smells so good, their little eyes are so sleepy, and they will drool right into your neck as they sleep. 

I absolutely loved that time with Louisa, and I have been a little worried about what our relationship would be like as she became a toddler and eventually a school aged kiddo. But last weekend with Louisa, we had some solo bonding time and it was so fun! We went on walks together every day, played in the yard, and barked at every dog we saw. She stole my water bottle immediately but then I got her back by dressing her in an outfit fit for her 1-year-old self. Woops.

There's not much to say other than that it was jam packed and wonderful. We celebrated niece #2, Louisa's second birthday and got to see friends and family in two full, long days. Second niece, second birthday, two days...weird.

Of course I have a million photos and they don't need captions.