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Welcoming the New Year in Asheville

Happy New Year! It’s been a fun two days for us and I am ready to share the highlights with y’all. We spent New Year’s Eve in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina at The Avett Brothersย  show for the second year in a row. We are really not into going out to bars or big parties on New Year’s Eve. We much prefer to spend the night with close friends or at a concert. I have loved ringing in the past two years with my favorite band, The Avett Brothers. (More history on my love for them and meeting them in this post.)

We had so much fun playing with my new camera and took a ton of pictures. Get ready for a photo-heavy look at the past two days!

Because I am a crazy person and addicted to yoga, I got up at 5:45 a.m. on New Year’s Eve (I had the day off!) to attend my regular class. It was totally worth it. There is nothing like starting your day with a yoga class, much less ending your year with one. The one thing I will carry with me through 2011 is my teacher telling us at the end of the class that our slate was wiped clean for 2011 and to think about who we want to be, how we want to act and what we want to do.

I came home and made a big bowl of pumpkin/banana/Silk Nog oats and packed for our overnight trip to Asheville.

We got a bit of a later start than we hoped so we decided to stop in Saluda for lunch rather than wait until we arrived in Asheville. Saluda is the next town over from the summer camp where Brandon and I worked in college so we visited an old favorite.

Green River Bar-B-Que! I am so in love with the North Carolina mountains and love that they are filled with awesome small towns with great locally owned businesses.

I had a veggie plate on my mind and went with a New Year’s theme.

Baked apples (these were my favorite – so good!), collards, hushpuppies, black eyed peas and fried okra. Brandon always laughs at me because I always go straight for the veggie plate in BBQ restaurants and meat and threes. They always have the best sides!

We couldn’t resist stopping by our camp after lunch. We have never seen it with snow on the ground. Good memories! ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived in Asheville around 2 p.m., checked into our hotel and headed downtown.

Asheville was slammed. I have seriously never seen it so busy – even when we went into town on our days off from camp during the summer season. I think it was the combination of a beautiful day (the temperatures were perfect) and the holiday.

We walked around for a little while and then ducked into a bar to catch a little bit of the Georgia bowl game.

Brandon took this picture of me and insisted that it had to go on the blog as an example of what he has to deal with. He banned me from my BlackBerry. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We took a break from the game to stop by the Spice Exchange.

And then met Brandon’s cousin and his wife at Asheville Brewing Company for the second half of the Georgia game.

Unfortunately, the Dawgs lost – it’s been a rough season – but it was great catching up with Joe and Kat.

We didn’t have dinner reservations anywhere before the concert and were a little concerned about finding a place to eat. Luckily, Jerusalem Garden Cafe was just right around the corner from ABC and were able to accommodate us with a short wait. I was excited to try the restaurant after hearing great things.

The atmosphere was great. Lots of low tables, pillows, live music and a belly dancer!

Brandon had the lamb kefta and I had the vegetarian platter with a generous side of warm pita for dipping.

We saved room for rocket fuel Turkish coffee and dessert.

Baklava and whipped cream. We loved Jerusalem Garden Cafe and are so happy that we ended up there. It was an unexpected fun and festive New Year’s Eve dinner!

After dinner we walked down to the Civic Center for the show. It was packed and most of the good seats were already taken (general admission) so we ended up on the floor.

I am usually anti-floor but for the Avett’s I will make an exception. We ended up with a pretty good spot even if it did get a little too crowded for my liking during the first set.

I was excited to look up and see balloons waiting for the countdown!

We danced and sang our way through the first set and before we knew it, it was time to countdown to 2011.


The balloons dropped and the music kicked off again. The Avett’s played until about 12:40. It was an awesome show with great energy, as always!

Before the trip, I volunteered to drive after the concert last night. I am so happy that I made that decision. It was awesome to wake up feeling 100% this morning! Really the best way to kick off a healthy and happy 2011! ๐Ÿ˜€

We had a cup of coffee at Starbucks and then made our first visit to the Grand Bohemian Hotel for lunch. This hotel just opened in Biltmore Village and we were so impressed. It has a fun trendy lodge feel.

It had a warm and welcoming feel with lots of stone, archways and comfortable sitting areas.

The Grand Bohemian is definitely on our “must stay” list now.

The restaurant, The Red Stag, also didn’t disappoint. The service was right on and the menu was great.

I decided to go with the mushroom and brie Swiss rosti.

Wow – was this ever rich! I was not expecting the thick cream sauce that the dish came in but it was delicious. I was able to make it through about half of this. I loved the presentation of the dishes!

Brandon had housemade bratwurst with potatoes and saurkraut.

We slowly made our way back to Charlotte after lunch. We stopped in another of our favorite mountain towns, Black Mountain for coffee.

The Dripolator is a fabulous little coffee shop in the heart of downtown. I’ve been coming here on mountain trips since I was in high school!

We hung out and had coffee and split a cookie.

And then were sufficiently caffeinated to make the drive back to Charlotte.

I changed into running gear and grabbed Sullie as soon as we arrived home.

We ran 3.5 miles in light rain. Call me crazy but I love running on cool, gray, drizzly days.

Brandon and I were both ready for a home cooked meal tonight.

Spaghetti with arrabbita sauce (recipe coming soon!) and French bread with olive oil and Tuscan spice mix (from the Spice Exchange) for dipping. This dinner totally hit the spot.

I can’t believe I’ve finally made it to the end of this post…two hours later! That was a lot of photo editing and typing. Brandon is watching Inception (this seems like a very complicated movie). I am going to read in bed. I really need to get myself back on a more normal sleep schedule!

Again, Happy New Year!!!

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Cate January 1, 2011, 11:21 pm

    Love all these amazing photos! I like running in the rain too…it’s my favorite weather for a long run.
    Happy New Year!

  • Nicole January 2, 2011, 12:27 am

    Happy New Year! I was in Asheville for Christmas with my family–too bad we weren’t there at the same time! Jerusalem Cafe is a best kept secret. They have the most amazing brunch on weekends and since people don’t think of it as a breakfast spot, there is no wait. Looks like you had an amazing NYE! See you soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jen January 2, 2011, 8:02 am

    What a great NYE, Jen! I love Asheville, there’s so much charm. And we got engaged in Saluda ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great job on the run! I like dreary runs, too, because in the winter, the air doesn’t seem as cold, and in the summer, the hot sun isn’t shining.

  • Lou January 2, 2011, 8:16 am

    I have never commented before but I have kept up with your posts since i found your blog several months ago. I consider finding your blog one of the highlights of 2010 for me and wanted to thank you for the hard work you put into your writing and photos to help keep your readers motivated. I am already excited about 2011 and all the ways you inspire me to be more of what i want to be! Happy New Year!

    • Jen January 2, 2011, 10:44 pm

      Thank you so very much for the comment Lou! I was very excited to see this comment from you this morning! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year to you too!

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 2, 2011, 8:31 am

    Looks like you had an AMAZING nye! And I have endless admiration for you getting up that early for yoga on your day off! You are my hero! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy New Year Jen! I know you’re going to have a great 2011, and I’m looking forward to reading all about it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Jen January 2, 2011, 10:42 pm

      Thanks Emma! Happy new year to you too!

  • Matt January 2, 2011, 9:50 am

    That sounds like a great way to ring in the new year!

    I’ve only been to Ashville onece, but it was gorgeous. We ate at a restaurant called the Laughing Seed. Have you heard of it?

    • Jen January 2, 2011, 10:42 pm

      Yes – it’s a fabulous vegetarian restaurant! Yum, yum!

  • Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover January 2, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Such amazing pics, such delicious eats!
    Happy New Year, girl ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jen January 2, 2011, 10:42 pm

      Thanks Gabriela – happy new year to you too!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alaina January 2, 2011, 6:06 pm

    Looks like a wonderful trip! And I think Asheville is definitely on my must-visit list now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m totally with you on running in the rain. The first time I ran sub-9 was in drizzly rain. Loved it!

    • Jen January 2, 2011, 10:41 pm

      Alaina – you must visit Asheville. It is an awesome mountain city with tons of quaint towns surrounding it. It also has an awesome food scene – farm to table is huge there!

  • Pure2raw Twins January 2, 2011, 7:06 pm

    Gorgeous pics of your trip to Asheville!! Glad you had a great New Years!!

    I love a good run in the rain too!

  • Mary Beth January 3, 2011, 9:01 pm

    Fun post!! Love Asheville, love the Avetts and love those cookies at Dripolator. I actually know the lady who makes them for that shop and have her recipe if you want it- email me! Happy New Year!

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