Asheville, North Carolina

March 25 – 29, 2016

The drive to Asheville was easy and straightforward even though we were on the interstate and I was waaaay out of my comfort zone with tractor trailers whizzing beside me.  But I did it!  Zuma was with Doug so she would have room to move about more.  She was totally chilled out on the drive, happy to get out at Rest Areas and easy going about arriving at our new “home”.

A couple of times en route I lost Doug due to lights and traffic but we worked it out. Before entering the city, we stopped into the Visitor Center and gathered up a melange of glossy tourist literature.  Gorgeous stuff. Tons of information.  This gorgeous quilted wall hanging adorns a main wall in the NC Visitors Welcome Center.

When we arrived at Bear Creek Campground (just outside of Asheville) we were given the choice of two campsites.

Doug granted me the decision and I picked a site that has an extra green space on one side for Zuma to stretch out in, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and basically no neighbors.
It’s working out really well.

After unpacking, we could hardly wait to get out and explore the area so we walked Zuma and set up Hula Girl and then visited the local outdoor market.  It’s a gigantic wholesale market for local restaurants where produce is available in bulk, combined with a retail section.  Next, we drove around an area known as West Side Asheville.  Perfect.  Bohemian.  Fun.  Funky shops, cafes, restaurants.

Returning to the campsite, I dove into the glossy literature and went online to learn more about Asheville.  There’s so much to the city and so much to learn.  I LOVE researching!  It turns out Asheville is a hot spot for music which is Doug and Emma’s love.  We looked up Top Cities in the USA in various categories and Asheville makes every list.  It is a fantastic hub for artists of all mediums, potters (good red clay here) and photographers, theatre and of course, music.

Doug had to leave today (29th) for England and Holland.  He needed to meet up with his business partner in Holland and then go on to England.

Last Summer Doug was asked to accompany his friend Peter on a trip to sail Peter’s boat home to Maine from Bermuda.  What began as a smooth sailing trip turned into a hell ride.  Peter and Doug wrote an article for a Maine magazine Ocean Navigator.  Here is the link to the story:

http://www.oceannavigator.com/Web-Exclusives-2016/Delivery-leads-to-OCC-Rambler-Medal/

Almost immediately, the article attracted international attention and now both sailors have been invited to England to receive a coveted medal in a ceremony this weekend!  I’m so excited for them both! During their sailing trip, Peter’s wife Peggy and I kept in touch; Doug’s e.mails were short and I knew things were not good.  They had terrible weather, they had a knock down, a cabin fire and lost all communication.  Being too far out and without communication, they had no chance of being saved by the Coast Guard.  I am forever grateful to have had contact with Peggy as she assured me the boat is safe and reliable.  But oh, the sea is unforgiving.  Somehow we all survived that week.

So, now Doug is en route to the ceremony at Henley-on-Thames near London to receive their medals.  Peter was unable to make the trip so Doug will accept Peter’s medal for him.  Way to go, Boys! Now stay close to the dock, please!

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