This year’s three summer holidays made for three pretty sweet getaways.
For Memorial Day the dude and I drove up to Asheville, NC. I’d been with my parents as a youngster to see snow, but now it’s Beer City! I think it’s actually called that.
We were really looking forward to all the exciting breweries, but our favorite part turned out to be The Grove Park Inn where we stayed, just a few minutes from downtown Asheville. It kind of felt like going back in time with original rooms, elevator operators and a magnificent view of the blue ridge mountains. All of the furniture, textures and materials were that turn-of-the-century style and feel. The bathrooms, added later, required a step up to allow for plumbing underneath. More cool facts available in your hotel room literature.
They had amazing food and drink, especially their breakfast buffet which included everything your heart could possibly desire…breakfast-wise of course. We’re talking every sausage links, sausage patties, sausage and gravy. Eggs any and every way. Breakfast breads in all forms. There were two large rooms of food and it was heavenly. It was hands down my favorite meal, but I am partial to breakfast foods. Ok, let’s change the subject.
Just kidding! We also ate breakfast in the town of Asheville Sunday morning at Overeasy Cafe. The small restaurant had really good food, but was more of a scene than I cared for. We decided to spend the morning in town, hanging out at a coffee shop, reading and writing postcards. After just a few minutes of sitting in a local coffee shop, the loud adult contemporary music became too distracting. We longed for simpler times, so we headed back to The Grove Park Inn to sip coffee in front of the fire.
Temporary home, sweet home.
The breweries were fun too. After going on two tours I felt like I knew everything, yet nothing, about beer making. We hit up Highland Brewing, High Wire Brewery, followed by the ever-popular Wicked Weed. This place was our last stop on the beer tour and it was completely packed. We learned how innovative WW is with their beverages so we quickly understood why there was such a crowd. I remember drinking a sour called The Black Angel, which turned out to be my favorite.
GENEVA (Fourth of July):
Right as we closed on our new house we had to depart again for Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio with M’s family. His mom’s side of the family has been vacationing there for nearly 100 years! When I heard about this yearly trip I was a bit hesitant to commit the rest of my Fourth of Julys to it. My understanding of it was that it’s one week in a small town, stuck in the past, on Lake Erie, with not much to do. The reality is that all of this is true, but I learned that all of those things are wonderful! Geneva is the best part of your childhood summers, lived every day for a week!
The biggest decision you have to make is what book you are going to read that day. Should you have doughnuts for breakfast this morning or go to Mary’s Kitchen? We’re talking arcade games, sitting by the pool, mini-golf, and the most relaxed I’ve felt in a long time. It’s no mountainscape but the lake and sunsets are quite lovely. It’s more of the idle time and how you choose to spend it. No one is dictating how you spend it but you. How would you spend your week?
Even better was gaining new family members! I got to meet new aunts, uncles and cousins who could not have been more accepting and loving right away. They even threw a wedding shower for us. It was very special to spend a week in a place so sacred to my partner. Here’s to new family gains!
As for goals, let’s just say my biggest accomplishment was Down the Clown with a little help from Uncle Dave. Here’s my badass victory shot:
Every time I think about Geneva I long for it. I can’t wait to go back next year!
MAXFUNCON (Labor Day weekend):
When people asked me what MaxFunCon East is, I called it as a “podcast convention.” But really my description was more like, “Well, we like these podcasts. The company that produces the podcasts has this convention every year. It’s in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania.” M had been wanting to go for years and luckily he found someone weird enough to go with him. He more concisely described it as a “comedy and culture convention.” I like that. Check out the schedule below and you’ll get a sense of what it was about.
We had a blast! We were able to put ourselves out there and meet a ton of people, including folks we listen to like Jesse Thorn, and McElroy brothers. We ate dinner with the cast of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour. What is that, you say? Don’t worry about it. There were comedy shows and live podcast recordings. I took a seminar in storytelling by Elna Baker, an amazing storyteller from This American Life. I learned a ton and can’t wait to put my new knowledge to work.
We’re already thinking about MaxFunCon West! We’ll see.
We flew in and out of Philly to get to MFC and were able to spend one night in the city- Center City to be exact. We rode the train in from the airport (after dropping off the rental car) and hiked around Center City. M was so excited to show me the town that he delayed checking into the hotel. Meanwhile, my luggage was getting a bit heavy and I had to start laying on the complaints.
After unloading we were off again to Reading Terminal Market, a super-diverse indoor market that puts Orlando’s attempts to shame. Then we found the nicest Walgreens ever! It was three stories and had chandeliers at the top level. Philly, home of the world’s nicest Walgreens. And don’t think we didn’t go twice in two days!
We got to meet up with my dear friend, Jenna, who is saving lives as a Resident in Delaware. She drove to Philly for delicious tapas and fun conversation. She’s kicking ass as a doctor and I’m incredibly proud to call her one of my closest friends. Here’s a concept cover for our rap album coming out Summer ‘93, yo!
Looking forward to more adventures next year. So far the San Francisco/Yosemite honeymoon will be early May, followed by another great Geneva-on-the-Lake visit. Have a great week, friends!