And just like that, Thanksgiving and my mother’s trip to Asheville are over.
It’s funny how we spend so much time in anticipation mode, simultaneously stressing out about and looking forward to big events, and how fast they fly by once they’re here. I feel like we just picked my mom up from the airport and on Monday I was dropping her off again.
Jeff and I will be in New York for Christmas in less than a month so at least we have that to look forward to. Sometimes it’s hard living so far from my family. It truly makes my trips home and their visits to Asheville that much sweeter.
This was my mother’s fourth visit to Asheville and each time she comes I always wish we had more time to do more! In between Thanksgiving prep and actually cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I tried to fill our days with as many of my favorite Asheville activities as possible. I come from a very food-focused family so naturally, a lot of our outings centered around eating, which isn’t really that surprising considering Asheville in such a foodie city!
We picked my mother up from the airport last Monday and drove her straight to one of our favorite Asheville restaurants: Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, where she enjoyed the quintessential southern meal: fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, and a biscuit!
Our Tuesday was chock-full of fun activities:
A personal training session for my mom with my coach Becca Lee at Strength Ratio, a visit to Whole Foods to pick up our turkey and other last-minute Thanksgiving necessities.
A trip to see Dr. Reena Newton of Get 2 Know Your Body for my mom’s InBody Body Composition Scan,
And, finally, a pizza dinner with Jeff and some of my favorite Asheville friends at White Labs Kitchen & Tap.
On Wednesday, after a quick trip to OWL Bakery to pick up our apple pie and 500 pastries and to The Hop for Salted Caramel ice cream for Jeff’s birthday, we spent ALL DAY in the kitchen chopping vegetables and cooking in preparation for Thanksgiving.
I don’t know how professional chefs do it- my hand was so sore and tired from chopping onions and garlic and brussels sprouts and potatoes and mushrooms all day! We were so wiped out from cooking that we decided to order takeout from Universal Joint for dinner. My falafel wrap and cheese fries really hit the spot after a long day in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving Day (Jeff’s birthday!) was a full day of cooking, eating and lazing around the house. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of those very activities and I was so happy to host for the first time. Even though I’ve never hosted a large dinner party before, I somehow timed everything perfectly and all the food was delicious!
My mother-in-law made Jeff an amazing birthday pumpkin pie and it was so great to have our family there to help him celebrate his 34th birthday! (Side note: I met Jeff when he was 20. How are we in our 30s already!?)
We had a slow start on Friday but eventually made it out of the house to take a drive in the mountains.
We started out with a quick ride through Waynesville and then took the Appalachian Medley Scenic Byway over to Hot Springs, where we had a delicious lunch and popped in and out of a few stores. Happy to say that the only things we bought on Black Friday were lunch, a sticker from a local artist, and coffee from Odd’s Cafe on the way home.
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is that you typically have leftovers for days, so we spent Friday evening around the dining room table with heaping plates of lentil shepherd’s pie and mashed sweet potatoes. My mom and I started to work on a dessert puzzle (a wonderful gift from my mother-in-law) and we watched an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It was a great night!
We spent Small Business Saturday in the best possible way: frequenting local holiday markets and shops.
Up first was the Holiday Market at Highland Brewing, followed by a delicious lunch at City Bakery, then a stop in the Sip & Shop market at Rustic Grape, and last, but definitely not least, a trip to Malaprop’s Bookstore.
We had tickets for Candlelight Christmas Evenings at the Biltmore so after shopping all day it was home for more Thanksgiving leftovers and then back out to see the Biltmore Estate all lit up and decorated for Christmas! We hit up the Biltmore winery first for our complimentary tasting because free wine. Duh.
My brother-in-law is a tour guide at the Biltmore and he accompanied us to the house Saturday night, which was absolutely awesome because it was like we were on our own private tour! I’m so glad he came because we learned so much that we wouldn’t have known if we had just toured the house by ourselves. The house was beautifully decorated for the holidays with what seemed like a Christmas tree in every room. Even the basement swimming pool was decorated! I highly recommend visiting the Biltmore this time of year because it’s just so festive and fun!
We spent Sunday driving around the Biltmore Estate one last time and then made our way over to Black Mountain, where we walked around all the little shops and ate lunch at The Trailhead Restaurant.
My mom’s last night in Asheville called for dinner at my all time favorite restaurant: Nine Mile.
It was a terrific and delicious end to a fabulous week! I can’t wait for my mom to come back to experience more of Asheville!
How was your Thanksgiving week?
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