Asheville, North Carolina has been on my bucket list ever since Derek and I first started dating five years ago at Hope College. Growing up in northern Indiana, I dreamed of exploring mountains and waterfalls, adoring every road trip my family took to visit my grandparents in Massachusetts and Maine. But when Derek told me that he lived near the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Mountain Range, I was fascinated. We knew that one day we would need to make a road trip to Asheville together.
Plans started shaping up with a few days off for Independence Day with Derek’s work schedule. We were able to set it up using car rental and hotel points from his commuting to and from Naples this year. While his parents have since moved to Gainesville, Florida for work, this trip was an opporutnity for Derek to play tour guide. Since Derek transplanted far from the Carolinas, he wasn’t able to visit home during the college years and would be revisiting the hometown he had not seen since high school.
With Charlie safely at Aunt Jackie’s for the week, we set off I-75 on a Friday afternooon stopping in Cinncinati, Ohio for dinner and Lexington, Kentucky for the night to split up the travel time.
While we had considered taking a detour through the Smoky Mountains along the way, when we hit the road in the morning, all we wanted to do was finally get to Asheville. Derek got excited as we entered Buncome County and made a few quick stops at the WNC Farmers Market and AC Reynolds High School. He showed me his old courts where he had spent hours playing tennis in high school and then we both ran a couple laps on the Rockets’ track located in the heart of the mountains.
Over the next several posts, we will describe the hikes, historic sights, and food delights from our trip. We hope you enjoy reading about our journey from the Gamechangers!