Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Travel by the Book ~ Cold Mountain/Asheville

Welcome to Travel by the Book. I mentioned on a Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged post one time that many, many of my vacations with Hubs have been inspired by a book. Hubs is kind enough to indulge me and take me to said places. So I got the idea to share those books and vacations with y'all. This will be a monthly feature and I hope y'all enjoy it!

***The Book***

Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain is another book I read while in the moms group book club. If you enjoy historical fiction, and the Civil War era in particular, I highly recommend it. The movie is also good. ;) I have no idea what originally drew me to Cold Mountain but it's a beautifully rendered and haunting novel of a woman trying to survive on her own in the South during the Civil War, and a man fighting his way back to her. I felt Frazier did an incredible job of conveying the struggles that Southern families faced while their sons were off fighting, what war as a Southern soldier was like, and how demoralized soldiers and their families ended up feeling about the war itself.

***The Travel***

As we drove into the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had this overwhelming feeling of peace. To this day, I can't explain what it was about this area of North Carolina but when we entered it, I felt at home. It sounds silly but I actually teared up. I honestly don't know if the Cold Mountain we saw was the Cold Mountain described in the book, but even if it wasn't, the trip was well worth it. I really enjoyed the music, the people, the atmosphere, and the hiking of Asheville. One of the reasons I wanted to travel there after reading the book was the beauty of the location. But I also liked the feeling of community that seems so prevalent in the South. (I felt that growing up in Texas as well) I did feel as though the people in Asheville are tight-knit. The music was amazing and I was able to watch as this group of people shared their love of the music and dancing. And I loved the scenery so much, I lobbied to move there. I got my mountain home in the Rocky Mountains instead. :)

We had a fantastic BBQ dinner at the Fiddlin' Pig! Not only was the food great, but we were entertained by a local bluegrass band. And there was even square dancing! How many of you had to learn square dancing in elementary school? Is that a southern thing? 

While in the area, we drove the Blue Ridge Highway, stopped in at the visitor center, and we did some hiking. FYI, the weather tends to be stormy in July/August in North Carolina. :)

Here we are atop Mount Pisgah. This is the mountain we had to climb in order to see Cold Mountain, which is behind us. Yep, we couldn't actually get to Cold Mountain without backpacking to it. But we knew that going in. The hiking was through a gorgeous forest.

This is Cold Mountain. Obviously, it was a stormy afternoon. Those are clouds making it so foggy-looking.

My hubs made me include this picture. On our way down from Mount Pisgah, the heavens opened. We were so soaked I had to wring my bra out! I was hoping it would drip dry. Luckily I'd brought multiple bras because it was so humid, it wasn't drying any time soon. :)

I believe I've mentioned that my hubs is always happy to take me where I want to go...particularly if there is hiking and beer involved. Well, hiking was covered. And here we are at Asheville Brewing Company. I had to get a shot of the wall painted with Where the Wild Things Are. And just so you know, he's really not a two-fisted drinker...he's holding my beer while I take the picture. :)

Have any of you been to Asheville? Or read Cold Mountain? I recommend both the travel and the book! ;)


  1. I love your Travel by the Book posts, Brandee! And I love the photos you've included in this post, even the bra one :) I'm sure James thought it was funny to make you include that one ;)
    I have always loved the mountains, and these seem both majestic and mysterious, possibly because of the storm clouds, and the eery feel to those, but so beautiful all the same! Thanks for sharing :)
    Only 48 more days - that's just shy of seven weeks, Brandee. I'm getting more excited for my trip to Dallas every day. And I've never been to the south of the US, so that will be an added bonus for me :)
    Have a wonderful Wednesday, my dear. *BIG HUGS*

  2. Great post Brandee. We took the kids there years ago and spent as few days hiking and white water rafter nearby. I did see the movie Cold Mountain.

  3. This is a great feature series, Brandee! And this time, it's somewhere I've been - but not since I was a child. The Blue Ridge Mountains are so beautiful! I went to summer camp not too far from Asheville for several years, on a farm in the Pisgah National Forest. I have very fond memories! You've inspired me - I think maybe I'll plan a trip for Mr. Bookwyrm and me, next year sometime. I'd like to see Biltmore, too.

  4. I haven't read the book or visited the place, as I've never been in the US. It does look like a great place, although it's certainly stormy! It does give a nice athmosphere those stormy pictures. That forest looks gorgeous indeed. And your husband looks way too happy on that picture holding two beers ;).
    I love this feature! I still would love to visit some places inspired like books that are closer by like Prague (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and Dublin (Fever series), maybe in a few years. I have once visited a city called Luzern in Switzerland and then later read a book that took place there, which was fun as I could remember some of the landmarks from when I visited the city. Although I think it might be even more fun to read the book first and then visit the city.

  5. Hehe! That trip looked like fun! The view on top of the mountains is amazing! And my hubby is fine to go anywhere if alcohol is involved too *wink*

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  6. It sooo was a fun trip! So, you and I can plan a trip to meet up sometime and both our hubs will come along for the promise of alcohol?!? Sounds like a plan! ;)

  7. The book is definitely worth the read, even if you aren't into US history. :) I hope you can travel here some day to see a place you've read about. Ooh, I want to go to Dublin myself because of the Fever series! Some day I'll make it over to your continent. :)

  8. Thanks, Lark. I'm enjoying sharing my trips! And I'm so happy you know where I'm talking about. Isn't it a beautiful place? *sigh* I hope we'll go back some day. And I hope you and the Mister get to visit next year. That would be a lot of fun for you to share with him. :)

  9. Thank you! I'm enjoying sharing my trips. :) I'm glad you've been there too. It is such a beautiful place. I hope we get to go again...and take the kids. Of course, we better hurry since the oldest will be a senior next year! Did you like the movie? I loved it...but then, I'm a Jude Law fan. :)

  10. I'm glad you're enjoying these, Lexxie. It's fun for me to share my trips in a way outside of my scrapbooks. :) Yes, James thought it was too funny that my bra was so soaked. He figured y'all would get a kick out the picture.
    I'm a mountain girl at heart, myself. And the Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful. They aren't as high and rugged as the Rockies but they're steeped in history...if only they could talk. :)
    I'm getting more and more excited too, Lexxie! I can't wait to share my home state with you! :) I hope your week is going well! **BIG HUGS**

  11. Yes! We can totally do that! *wink*

  12. The pics are beautiful and it looks like you've had another fun trip. I don't want to feel jealous, but you're not making it easy on me... Love the one with the bra :)

  13. Sounds like you had a good trip. I visited Ashville once when I was 12 and still remember. I didn't read the book but I did see the movie..and all I can say is-I wanted something different to happen! I loved your pictures, especially the bra one!

  14. Looks like a fun trip! I've never been or read the book - I'm not much of a traveler, but the hiking sounds fun. I had to LMAO at the picture with your bra. Before the explanation I was like, "okkk what's going on here? Too much fun?" Lol!


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