Monday, October 20, 2014

Asheville + 20th Birthday Celebration

I spent my woefully short fall break with my family in the beautiful mountain city of Asheville, NC. I much prefer the mountains to the beach, especially in autumn when the weather is cooler and the leaves change colours. As we only had one full day, we made the most of it by spending the first half of the day at the Biltmore House and the second half exploring downtown Asheville and driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I had never been to the Biltmore House before, and I was surprised by how old everything in the house felt, even though it's much newer than places like Colonial Williamsburg and DC. Downtown Asheville was even more "hipster-y" than I expected, with its countless microbreweries, coffee shops, independent art galleries, and basement yoga studios. Although there were a number of tourists downtown, it felt a lot like my hometown in a way with its old, small atmosphere. Although we had hoped for a more colourful experience on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was nevertheless still a beautiful view while driving through the Appalachian Mountains.

Although I spent the large part of my birthday in class and at work, I was able to have fun in the evening. My family, roommate, and boyfriend went to dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in my hometown, a little Irish pub tucked into the corner of a shopping centre, before we went downtown to see Cameron Mackintosh's production of Phantom of the Opera. I had never seen the play or the film before so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I loved it. The male vocalists were not quite up to the same standard as the women, and the new chandelier prop wasn't as exciting as the old (so I'm told), but overall I enjoyed it.

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