Wedding Festivities begin
Asheville Travel Blog› entry 13 of 59 › view all entries
We left garish Gatlinburg for the beautiful drive across Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We stopped at the Sugarlands Visitor Center for advice about the Blue Ridge Parkway, the slowest but most scenic way to Asheville. We were a bit concerned as to how much time it would take us, so we decided to drive only a short portion of this famous road.
The drive through the national park is so peaceful (except for the bikers on "hogs". Why do Harley-Davidson motorcycles have to make so much appalingly loud noise?). Tree tunnels made poor Roada lose the satellites several times, but oh they are so gorgeous.
We made a stop to see the Mingus Mill, a grist mill that still grinds corn for grits and wheat for flour. Rather than the traditional water wheel, this mill uses a turbine. It is extremely interesting, but not as dramatic as one with those big wheels one thinks of when it comes to seeing a grist mill.
Shortly after our visit to the mill we turned onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were only able to travel about 20 miles of it. The fog was not condusive to views for the many overlooks. The road is in good shape and I can well imagine how marvelous this drive must be during the height of the fall leaf-color season. We are just a few weeks too early for that. After a picnic lunch of leftovers from last night's dinner, we continued on to Asheville. We passed through a resort town named Maggie's Valley.
When we arrived at our hotel in Asheville, we discovered that access from the Blue Ridge Parkway was right on the same road. We probably could have continued on the drive, but we just did not know. The hotel, Comfort Suites, is very comfortable. The room is large with a king-sized bed, a sofa and chair and a nice bathroom.
We attended the rehearsal dinner this evening at a terrific restaurant called Limones. The food was outstanding. It was so wonderful to see the happy couple and their parents. My cousin, Irene, was rarely sitting still for long. She was busy snapping photographs. Aunt Marcia has become somewhat eccentric. She takes pride in her age, which is now 92, and she tries to use it as an excuse for some not so perfect behavior. She liked the napkin rings the restaurant uses. She wanted to take one!! When I told her she could not do that, she said: "I don't care! I like it." She was distracted when it was removed from the table, for which I heaved a great sigh of relief. She keeps very busy and is enjoying her life and for that I give her a lot of credit.