Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beach Vacay...Asheville and Laughing Seed Cafe

On our way home from the beach, we (along with my parents) made a stop in NC to visit my late great aunt Mert's sister and brother-in-law (my sister and Andy actually went to visit them last year). I (sadly) don't have any pictures from this stop because it was an emotional experience for me. It was all I could do to keep from sobbing the entire time, let alone take a picture.

My aunt Mert died a few weeks before I turned 18. She and my uncle Donald were like grandparents/second parents to my brother, sisters, and I. He passed away just a few years after she did (both from lung cancer). None of us have ever really gotten over it...her sisters are all still alive, and it's amazing how much they look like her. Their voices/NC accents are just the was really nice to visit with them. My kids kept pointing out that Vera had the same kind of dolls (crocheted dolls that Mert made) that we have.

They took us over to Mert's gravesite, which none of us had ever visited...the reasons we didn't attend the funeral are complicated and vague...Donald tried to insist we not make the long trip, I was in D.C. on a school trip, I had never even been to a funeral at this point, etc....anyway, it was one of those things I had always planned to do...go to Pink Hill and pay my respects to one of my most important people of my life...Our next big stop was Asheville, North Carolina. I have visited Asheville a couple of times before, and I love it! If you've never been there, it's a fun place to go. Ryan said it would probably be the perfect city for the two of us to live. Perfect mix of beautiful mountains with the civilization of great restaurants, people, and things to do. The downtown has great shops and places to eat. I wish we had more time to spend the night/do some things while we were in the area. I figured we could find a good place to eat, at least that would be something. We had caught up with Cary and Andy, who'd made a top at Duke, his alma mater. They were just finishing up eating in Asheville, too, so they walked over to our place with us.
Dash enjoyed feeding a treat to "Buddy" who happened to be passing by.
We had to wait a half hour or so for our table, but Cary, Andy, and the kids visited with us while we waited.
The restaurant we ate at was called Laughing Seed Cafe, which is one of the favorite vegetarian restaurants in Asheville, I think. I realized as we walked up, I had eaten here before.
It's located on Wall Street, this adorable little street. The kind of street with cute streetlamps, trees, and the sidewalk is even flat with the road. Like if I had to pick a street in the world to live on, this would be a contendor.
Ryan ordered the Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes - finished with a truffled beet creme and roasted corn relish. Served with seasonal sauteed greens. It's fun to eat food that is truffled and "finished" with something.
I ordered the hempnut burger...a hearty combination of hempnut and millet, delicately seasoned and served with basil aioli and vegetables...(I'm not making this stuff up; I'm pasting from the menu.) The kids got rice/bean/tofu/veggie bowls.
It's just really, really hard for me to not order dessert when I'm at a place like this. Whether I'm hungry or not. Whether I'm 20 pounds overweight or not. So I got this delicious coconut cream type pie that had berries on the side. And a cute little flower stuck in it.
At least I had this to think about when I got back in the car (after spending the night in Knoxville and stopping for lunch at one of the largest Whole Foods I've ever seen...there was even a separate Whole Foods Body store for skincare, clothing, etc.) for another 10 hours of driving (well, riding...somehow - heehee - I managed to make it the whole vacation without driving; thanks, Ryan!) and arrived home to face this...
and this...
and this...
and also this...everything from our car.

And with that, I conclude my beach vacation exposé...


Asheville said...

The Wild Mushroom Risotto Cakes look marvelous, the choice of fine restaurants in Asheville NC is immense!

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

What does it say about me that my house looks exactly like that right at this very moment (and has all week, for that matter)...and I've been nowhere?!