Thursday, May 19, 2016

Traveling with Baby - Car Mode - Mother's Day in Asheville

Our caregiver's daughter graduated on Mother's Day weekend so she asked for a few days off. We decided it was also a perfect time to take a vacation. We have previously stayed at a VRBO cabin just west of Asheville, NC on the French Broad River. The cabin is on the side of a mountain and completely secluded, but just a 15 minute drive to downtown Asheville. We love this cabin because it is very well appointed for a VRBO rental and it also has a separate bedroom allowing us to put Henry to bed before ourselves. (See my comments under Hotel Observations in my post Traveling with Baby Airplane Mode.)

Asheville is a 2.5 hour drive from where we live, making it an ideal weekend get-away spot! We left at 9:30 which is just before Henry's morning nap time and he slept for 2 full hours! The dog slept less well, Frisco is stressed by travel and he panted a lot of the way there.

We settled in and Henry had lunch at the cabin. We brought his jumper with us which was an extravagance for our very full car, but he got a fair amount of use out of it at the cabin. We brought his smaller highchair and the pack n play for him to sleep in. I made an improvised mattress in the pack n play instead of buying the 3 inch foam mattress. I just used a king size fleece blanket, folded and wrapped around the bottom board, then tucked around one of his crib mattress pads, and used a pack n play sheet (I did buy one HERE) to hold it all together. It held up great! The sheet was tight enough to make a secure mattress and Henry thought it was pretty comfortable.

Cabin view from the Loft Area
Frisco settling in
Asheville is a fun, funky town and a great place to go for craft beers! Being pregnant and then having a small infant, we had not traveled to Ashville for nearly 2 years and the brew scene had exploded during that time!

Despite the great new places, my favorite place in Asheville is still Wicked Weed Brewing. We had some empty growlers from there, so we had some sushi for a late lunch on Friday afternoon and then headed to the brewery.

Wicked Weed - Restaurant area wall

Friday nights in downtown Asheville, there is a drum circle in a park. It was too chilly and too late for us to attend this trip, but here is a picture from a previous trip! Hopefully we will get there next visit, I think Henry will enjoy the music and the people watching.

Drum Circle - Downtown Asheville

The Coffee Bus - Downtown
Unfortunately, Henry did not want to take an afternoon nap in his stroller. I hadn't brought his carrier with us - big mistake! So we had an appetizer, filled our growlers, and headed back to the cabin. He napped only on the drive back, but he was ready to go again and enjoyed late afternoon on the deck.

Henry was tucked into bed by 6:30 p.m. We cooked dinner in the cabin and enjoyed the beer and hot tub!

After Henry's morning nap, we had brunch at the Sunny Point Cafe with our friend Robyn and her beautiful 3-year old daughter Zoey. We waited 65 minutes for a table. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Would I have preferred not to wait? Of course!

Waiting for a table at the Sunny Point Cafe
Robyn and Zoey spent the afternoon with us seeing some of the local sights (by that I mean breweries). I believe the largest tourist attraction in Asheville is the Biltmore House. The Biltmore is a great attraction and I have previously visited it many times. My favorite time to go is in November or December because the house is decorated for the holidays. We did not visit there this trip.

Instead we ventured first to the Funkatorium. This is owned by Wicked Weed and they specialize in sour beers, delicious!

I was disappointed by our second stop - the flavored sake at Ben's Tune Up. The restaurant and the patio area was all pretty run down looking, maybe that was atmosphere. Despite that, Robyn and Zoey said the sorbet was excellent! They also had a 2-man band which we all enjoyed and Zoey had fun putting many tips into their jar.

Staying out of the Sun
Checking out the Band
Finally, we enjoyed Asheville Brewing Company which boasts delicious beers and by-the-slice pizza!

On Sunday we enjoyed the botanical gardens at the University of NC, Asheville. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed, so Frisco had to stay home. We took advantage of the pretty setting to get a few pictures!

Henry's favorite spot to sit!

We then visited New Belgium Brewery. Although this beer is not native to Asheville, they have a great new location right on the French Broad River with a spectacular patio.

He fell asleep right after this picture!

The next day we headed home right at morning nap time and he slept most of the drive! Fabulous weekend away!

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