Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North Carolina

Cabin in the Woods: An Asheville Birthday Weekend

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From a travel perspective, the best thing about living in Tennessee is the strategic location: We are bordered by seven states and within a half day’s drive from 17. So it’s a great spot from which to take road trips—particularly if your closest pals are scattered around the South.

weekend in Asheville, North CarolinaAs a sort of early birthday celebration, we convinced some of our favorite Semester at Sea pals Layne, Brian, Jane, Andrew and Chris to drive down from Charlottesville and my sister to drive up from Charlotte. I’ve been on an Airbnb roll lately, and this time wasn’t different: We scored ourselves an awesome 3,000-square-foot cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville for just $300 a night.

cabin in Asheville, North CarolinaThough this might be the proper time to add that even though the listing said “entire home,” the owners actually lived beneath this very floor pictured above, and the husband just decided to pop in four times throughout the weekend. So awkward. (Has that ever happened to any of you home renters before? It felt as if he was trying to monitor us and prevent any suspicious behavior.)

Asheville, North Carolina Asheville DCIM100GOPROBut what are you going to do? The cabin was perfect if you discount the semi-creepy couple residing below, and we managed to make some serious headway in some cake (one of which they left us, which was very sweet I admit).

Asheville birthdayAsheville birthdayOK, and maybe some bourbon, too.

Asheville-22 Asheville, North Carolina Asheville, North Carolina Asheville, North CarolinaThe next day, we set out to explore Asheville. First, we found ourselves at Wicked Weed Brewery, simply because I loved the name and it had cool font. (What can I say—I’m a sucker for aesthetics.) Luckily, the beer selection was delicious, too—not to mention cheap (three pints for $13!).

Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North CarolinaWicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North CarolinaWicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North CarolinaIt was crowded as all get out, being a Saturday over a holiday weekend, but eventually we loitered long enough to nab the end of a table.

Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, North Carolina Asheville-25We made our way down the Ale Trail to Wedge next, then had a very early dinner at Early Girl Eatery and ended the day at Asheville Brewing Company before heading back to our cabin in the woods around 8pm for an all-night card game and a meager attempt to finish the hardest puzzle ever (we failed miserably).

Asheville weekendThe next day, we headed back into downtown Asheville for one of the best brunches I’ve had in ages at Cúrate, a Mediterranean-style tapas place with a flair for the inventive. When I looked up the chef afterward, it made perfect sense: Katie Button worked at elBulli and then at Jose Andres’ The Bazaar in LA, which is one of my favorite restaurants of all time.

Curate, Asheville, North CarolinaThe conclusion of brunch was a sad one, as it meant everyone had to go back to their respective homes to make it to work on Monday, but SVV, Ella and I were meant to stick around one more night and spend the evening at the Grand Bohemian Asheville—“meant to” being the operative words. We hadn’t been there five minutes when the terribly rude and condescending desk attendant caused us to cancel our reservation on the spot. In all the years I’ve traveled and, literally, thousands of hotels I’ve stayed in, this is only ever the second time I’ve checked back out right after checking in (the first being the Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff). Luckily, when I called Expedia and told them the story of what went down, they refunded the $222 I had prepaid for the room.

AshevilleBut that aside, the weekend was perfect.

Asheville, North CarolinaAnd will hopefully become an annual ritual. What say you, little sis and Virginia friends?

Asheville, North Carolina

  • February 19, 2013

    1) I can’t believe the owner checked on you…that’s weird!
    2) Love the pics!!!
    3) What did you think of Asheville?
    4) WTF about the Grand Bohemian. We were planning on staying there next time we’re in Asheville. Good to know!

    • February 19, 2013

      Next time I will stay at the Biltmore Inn (isn’t that where you just stayed?) or the Grove Park. There are so many cute-looking B&Bs in Asheville! No need to suffer the extreme ‘tude of such a snobby hotel. Judging by other Trip Advisor reviewers, it was clear that they pass judgment on the “younger crowd” (even though we’re 29 and 38!) and those who don’t have a lot of money (even though we rolled up in Scott’s Audi!). It was ridiculous.

      But I love Asheville in general. Such a fun and delicious town.

  • February 19, 2013

    That looks like a super fun time! And the picture of your dog is so cute.

    • February 19, 2013

      Thank you–we think she’s pretty cute, too 😉

  • February 19, 2013

    Asheville is my favorite easy getaway! The husband and I do a beer tour at least once a year. ABC and LAB are our favorites. Next time you go, try the Princess Anne Hotel — a great little boutique hotel.

    It seems like for every great Airbnb story I’ve heard, I’ve also heard one about a bad experience. One of my friends had serious trouble with Airbnb rentals in NYC and New Orleans.

    • February 19, 2013

      Awesome–the Princess Anne sounds great; odd that it didn’t even pop up on my searches before. I prefer boutique hotels or B&Bs when I’m just traveling with Scott!

  • February 19, 2013

    Wow That’s an awesome Cabin at an Awesome Price!!! We like to split cabins in Vermont but they border around 1,000 a night in ski season. I want to go down south!

    • February 19, 2013

      Are you serious??? How big is the cabin? I’ve been doing mountain rentals for years via Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO (usually for groups of 8) and never paid more than $350 a night!

      • February 20, 2013

        The cabins are usually that price but not each, in total. They have 2 master bedrooms and 3-4 rooms with sets of bunk beds so they sleep A LOT of people. They have hot tubs, bars, pool tables, home theaters, and are right on the Killington slopes. You literally walk outside, strap on your snowboard, and go, then when you are done, you ski back to your house and hang out. I’ll have to check out your website though airbnb 🙂

  • February 19, 2013

    I want to know what Ella is thinking in that last picture!

    • February 19, 2013

      She’s thinking “Get that f*ckin’ beanie off my head. NOW.” Girlfriend has the mouth of a sailor. We’ve long since stopped trying to punish her for her language.

      • February 19, 2013

        Oh, whoops, that was the first picture. In the last, she kept trying to paw me as I was jumping. So funny. She’s used to her parents’ antics by now…

  • February 19, 2013

    That puzzle is huge!! I’m not surprised your failed miserably. I would have too.

  • February 19, 2013

    Looks like you guys had a kick-ass time (except for the nosy-ass landgod). Next time you’re in Asheville I will hook you guys up with some free scented soy candles from Asheville Candles to take back for some aromatic intoxication. How about “French Broad Roast” or “Mountain Vineyard”? No! “Beer City Brew!”

    • February 19, 2013

      All of the above! I can smell them from here!

      • February 20, 2013

        All of the above huh. Send me your mailing address and I will send you some free tea light samples by Priority Mail to try out.

        I noticed the cute little dog in some of the photos. We’re about to launch a new line of candles called “Pet & People Candles” aromatherapy for ALL family members.
        Catnip & Puppymint
        Pine Bark
        Calming Lavender
        Raining Cats & Dogs
        Dogwood Bouquet
        Paw Meadow

        it’s gonna be awesome!

  • February 20, 2013
    Briel K.

    Sounds like a fun trip! That is so weird that the guy you rented from checked on you guys four times. I find that pretty invasive. Not cool (even if they did leave you cake)! 🙂 Happy belated birthday! Mine isn’t until July but I’m trying to decide what I want to do. I’m pretty sure I’ll have the 3rd-8th off of work. Don’t say to come to Nashville unless you mean it! haha

  • February 20, 2013

    That cabin looks sweet! I hope you left a comment on the AirBnB page for the owners. If no one says anything, they will keep doing it. Maybe they’re just new to the whole system and were a bit worried about renting it out to strangers?

  • February 20, 2013

    Awesome cabin. As a semester at sea alum myself (fall ’05). I approve of this message and I am sure the Tennessee alcohol delights from the region that I am sure we’re there. Good on you for canceling for bad service.

  • February 21, 2013

    Kristin – I am so kicked to have access to your blog at work again (so much easier to keep up with your writing:D) that I keep going back and forth between posts like an excited child! My five minute breaks should be a lot more interesting again (fingers crossed it lasts a while now!!!).:-/

  • February 21, 2013

    You were visiting my old stomping grounds! I went to school at UNC-Asheville (go Bulldogs). I haven’t been back to visit in a long time and the town has changed a lot (for the better) since I graduated in 2000. I miss that place more than I ever imagined and plan on making my way back sometime this year for a visit.

  • February 23, 2013

    Looks like you guys enjoyed a lot. Love the pics and the place.

  • February 23, 2013

    Love the pics and the B&W! what score for $300 a night!

  • February 24, 2013

    That looks ridiculously fun!

  • February 24, 2013

    Congratulations on the selection of pics, really good stuff

  • February 24, 2013

    Looks like you guys had a blast! That being said, the landlord checking in on you guys is beyond creepy. I mean, what if you were on a romantic getaway and you and the husband decided to get freaky on the living room rug and…hey, what’s up? Not cool.

  • February 25, 2013

    I love Asheville – haven’t been in years but keep meaning to get back down there. There’s really no reason I haven’t visited recently, seeing as it’s only about 5 hours away.

  • April 19, 2013

    It looks like you had a good time. Love the pics!

  • July 22, 2013

    Wonderful experiences.

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