Ok, so yesterday did not go quite as I had planned. This morning, I woke up, determined to REALLY start my solo trip. I also wanted to rebound from the melancholy I felt last night, when I ended up crying on the phone to Dad-orelli and The Prof before having to resort to comfort drinking at the Applebees across from the hotel.
After eating the complementary hotel hot breakfast (pancakes and sausage), I took a short drive to check out "historic downtown Hendersonville"...a 10 minute drive from the hotel. Of course, this being the South and a Sunday, everyone was in church. So I strolled around the cute main street, took a few photos, got back in the car and went for a short drive on the Blue Hills Parkway. There are mountains surrounding the Asheville area, which makes for a beautiful panoramic with the leaves just in the final stages of their fall colors.
I talked to Mom-orelli, who assured me that everything would be fine, and I was off to explore the New York Times-hyped River Arts District's Open Studios. Now, I've said this while visiting the South End Open Studios, Somerville Open Studios, and basically any museum ever...one can only look at so many pieces of 'art' before slipping into a saturation coma. I made it for about two hours. Good lordy, do western North Carolinian (?) artists love the ceramics. Also present: a lot of metal working (blame the mountain culture and history), which I actually enjoyed.
After the Open Studios, I headed downtown to check out a little of the Asheville local flavor. I'm there right now, in a little cyber cafe. So more updates to come tomorrow...but I'm now enjoying my vacation -- and I might actually make it to Thursday!