Monday, September 15, 2014

Decisions Decisions!

Before I start this post about our travels, I have to express my dismay about the current situations in the world today. I'm afraid we are coming very close to a new World War. I am not in favor of war, but I know we as a nation cannot isolate ourselves from what is happening. As an American, I believe strongly in freedom of religion. But as a citizen of the earth, I wish we had freedom from religion and that all those making war in the name of their god would make peace with each other. 

In the current world we cannot turn the other cheek. 

That said, this is the post I started Saturday.

We had two choices for what to do with the day.

We could go for an afternoon of front porch, down home, bluegrass pickin' jam session at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville. It is a State Historic site and the house looked interesting. It is an old Victorian style boarding house, and was the model for Thomas Wolfe's novel "Look Homeward Angel".  There might also be some readings. There was nearby parking, and the setting is intimate. The front lawn is not large.
The Shining Rock Riverfest, with bluegrass music played by a series of "upcoming" bands. It lasted from 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM, and was up in the mountains at Camp Hope.  Parking was "limited". 

BBQ would be available. I love BBQ.

But, we had take out BBQ last night from a great little place called "12 bones", and I made some just a few days before at home.  We also enjoyed some in High Point last week ... 

The Riverfest sounded like fun, and quite a local event.

But storm clouds were gathering and the weather forecast was for possible showers.  We could take our rain ponchos and umbrella.  


So what did we do?

I choose the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. It was very close to starting to rain when we left the Alfa.  Black clouds hung over the mountains. Of course because we chose the city venue, it cleared up in town. However when we were driving back we did notice the clouds were still very low and gray over the mountains.

The image above was taken when we first arrived. Later the lawn was full and people were standing on the sidewalk and sitting on chairs on the grass between the walk and the road.

I am not sure if the music was "good", but it was authentic and fun. Take away the microphones, and they might have been a bunch of musical boarders having a front porch jam. 

After listening for a while we went to the Memorial building and saw a video about Thomas Wolfe in preparation for a tour of the house. 

It was quite interesting and well restored. Almost all of the furnishings were original to the house. As a boarding house it had 15 bedrooms and three bathrooms. At times there were over thirty guests. Most were middle class, working or vacationing people, musicians and circus performers, men and women. The cost was $1 per night and included two meals. There were often three to a room, and it was not unusual to wake up in bed with a stranger.

The small front parlor was quite elegant. There was also a large sun porch that the guests used for socializing and relaxing.

Although it was totally different, it reminded me of the big old Victorian house my great-aunt had on the east side of Milwaukee. It was big and dark. This house was big but full of light. My great-aunt also ran it as a boarding house up until the early 50s. I remember visiting her as a very small child and being fascinated by the fact that she had the skin of her favorite Dalmatian made into a throw cover for her piano bench. 

I met a couple of her boarders, and thought they were "smelly old men." No women lived with her.

Strange what you remember.

We have extended our stay here by one day. On Wednesday evening, when I was checking into things to do I looked up information about the tours at the Biltmore Estate. I was dismayed to read that we had missed the senior discount. It is available only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  We had planned to leave this Tuesday. Now we have tickets and will spend the day seeing how the ultra-rich lived in one of the largest homes of the day.

Yes, Karen, I signed up for the audio tours too.


  1. I am also very worried about our current world situation - well said Merikay.
    Enjoy the tour of the Biltmore Estate - we missed it on our trips through the area. Guess it will just give us an excuse to go back.

  2. Ahhh, you made it to 12 bones. Which one did you go to? How did you like it? I thought their sides were good...home made and not from a food vendor.

    I agree with you about the world situation. It is pitiful.

  3. Don't you just love having to make a decision between two fun choices. Enjoy the Biltmore. Should be interesting. The world is becoming a pretty scary place.


  4. I enjoyed this post.... Ashville is a great place ....I think you will have a very enjoyable day at the Biltmore....gosh, you both are having a Bar B Que fest this past week !!! I have not been to 12 Bones but will look it up next time I am in Ashville.... My mountain cabin is in Robbinsville so I get over to Ashville every once and a while.....
    I am with you Merikay, the status of the world situation is not good and seems to be growing darker as the days go by ..... I do feel people are beginning to feel a sense of the gravity of the situation worldwide ....
    Keep having a great adventure ......

  5. Made a note about the Biltmore senior discount.

  6. I agree with your statements about the state of the world - they were very well stated.

  7. I agree with your statements about the state of the world - they were very well stated.


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