Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I have thoroughly enjoyed having a fiancé living in Tennessee and exploring the south. I have been fortunate to visit Memphis and see historic landmarks such as the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin L King was assassinated as well as visit Graceland, home of Elvis. From Nashville to Chattanooga to Charleston South Carolina I have toured plantations and museums and enjoyed the cuisines and live music of the region.
Last week, my Southern exploration landed us in Asheville, N.C. It was over a four hour drive through the Smokey Mountains, which were literally smoking. I was eager to visit this quaint community known for its vibrant art scene and boasting the largest privately owned residence in the United States, The Biltmore Estate. But our first priority was to meet Rikki, Johnny and Grayson, Eric’s niece who after five years of living in Asheville is headed home to Pennsylvania. Being COVID cautious, we had an outdoor picnic, where we enjoyed a meal from a local vegetarian restaurant, The Laughing Seed Cafe. It was so great to finally meet this beautiful family and hear their input on life in North Carolina and our “must see” list. Although the forecast called for 100 percent chance of rain the next day, it did not deter our trip to the 175,000 sq ft Vanderbilt Estate, built for George Washington Vanderbilt ll between 1889 and 1895. Fun fact: George Vanderbilt was Gloria Vanderbilt’s great uncle, making Anderson Cooper his great, great nephew. As we roamed the 33 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms with 65 fireplaces, one could only imagine the grand gatherings around the formal dining rooms. Each room was filled with ornate, luxurious furnishings, designs, tapestry, art, and floorings. Fun Fact: Frederick Olmstead who designed the Arboretum in Seattle and New York’s Central Park did the landscaping at Biltmore and called it the crowning jewel of his career. Visit Biltmore.com
The rain subsided as we ended the tour, so we continued by foot to the commercial hub of downtown Asheville. Asheville is also known for its breweries, as well as farm to table restaurants, chic cocktails bars, and art galleries. Getting an Uber was a challenge, so we walked until we came across this mural and stopped for a photo opt with this nun. I thought to myself… Asheville Eat, Pray, and Love. I’ll be back!