6-5-10 Saturday (Paying To Shop)

Last night Jim decided not to set the alarm clock for this morning.  He/we is in no rush to get to Asheville today.  Naturally, since he didn’t set the clock, as he predicted, he woke up earlier than if he had to go to work.  I was pretty much up right behind him.  Oh well, it got us a nice start to the day.

The drive to Asheville was uneventful.  That was fine by all of us.  Once we arrived, we checked in, moved the RV from a storage site to a regular camp site.  As typical, Jim took care of the connections while I situated the inside and unloaded the van.  Grandma kept Dasher from running out and getting in the way.

It was close to lunch time so we drove downtown to have lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe.  We had been there on our last visit.  We were looking forward to a sweet potato pancake (what I ate the last time) but not with a 40 minute wait.  We were too hungry for that.  A door or two down was Mayfel’s, a New Orleans inspired restaurant.  I’m glad we ate there.  As usual, let’s talk food:

2010-06-05 006 Above: Grilled Portabella.

Grilled PortabellaAbove: What I ate.

MuffulettaAbove: What Jim ate.

BLFGTTAbove: What Grandma ate.

We all enjoyed our meals.  Mine was incredible. 

After lunch we went to Biltmore.  In May, I said  “We were also told (I don’t see it listed online) that we can bring a car load of people to see the gardens for free.”  Even though Grandma had a ticket, it was to be used tomorrow.  So… we tried to get Grandma in to see the gardens.  They turned us away saying we could enter at 4pm.  Fine.

We browsed some shops in Biltmore Village.  We decided on some beverages at McDonald’s.  We had heard this McDonald’s had a piano in the dining room and wanted to see it for ourselves.  Grandma and I REALLY enjoyed the Caramel Frappe, which I later found out was 11 points!  BUT again, we really enjoyed it.  This was comparable to Starbuck’s in my opinion and a hell of a lot cheaper.

With some time elapsed we drove back to Biltmore, this time stopping at the reservation center to secure tour times for tomorrow.  I was disappointed that the annual pass wasn’t as presented.  The clerk explained that we can get non-passholders into Antler Hill Village after 5pm.  What’s Antler Hill Village?  Oh, it’s restaurants and shops.  Oh so normally people have to pay to come there to pay more for the restaurants and shops?  Yeah.  Oh, there’s free wine tasting at the winery (where they SELL wine), and a couple of free exhibits.  We’ll see tomorrow.  So far, the last time I thought of the Biltmore as overpriced – and I still feel that way – and now I feel like we were lied to or misinformed about admittance to the garden.

So, did we make it to the gardens?  Yes, we were told to come back at 4 earlier because as it turns out Grandma’s pass (and the rest of the planet’s) is good after 4pm and the next day.  No perk there.

Another strike against Biltmore is the lackluster of the passholder perks.  While in Charlotte I called to reserve a house tour time but because Grandma’s ticket wasn’t bought directly through them, they couldn’t do it.  Apparently, it’s not a reservation by name or such but rather the ticket’s serial number.  Well OK.  I asked about some special tour for passholders.  Oh, free to us but $17 for Grandma.  I didn’t schedule.  Back to the present. 

Once done in the visitor center, we moved on to the gardens and had a nice time.  (Photos are in the slide show).

Is it dinner time already?  Back into downtown Asheville for dinner at the Bier Garden.  Here’s what we ate:

  image2010-06-05 060 Above: This was heavenly!  I really enjoyed it.

 image2010-06-05 061 Above: Grandma said this was good.


image 2010-06-05 062 Above: I had this the last time, Jim had it this time.

The great thing about the Bier Garden is the view of the street.  Watching the “characters’ walk by was entertaining for us.  A one point, a man dressed as a nun riding a unicycle zoomed by at high speed.  Folks, I can’t make this shit up.  I couldn’t get the camera really in time.  About 5 minutes later he cycles by, I grab my camera and snap a photo.  Unfortunately the camera didn’t feel like taking the photo when I wanted it to so I have no proof of this interesting phenomenon.  BUT later as we roamed the streets of Asheville, we chit chatted with some locals who explained the nun.  It’s a publicity stunt for a fun tour.  It’s run by husband and wife and it’s the husband that zooms by.  I snapped a photo of the poster for LaZoom so we could look it up and plan it for another time. 

2010-06-05 066

Hiding Scale

Today was an awful point day.  That Frappe really killed the points. 

You’ll see I also took 8 points for the veggie burger.  It was a big black bean patty and I really have no idea what was in it.  The cheese was probably a waste of points too. 

The cashews.  Holy crap.  Grandma had left a bag of cashews in the motorhome.  I guess I figured I had already had a bad point day so I took a couple of handfuls.  I wasn’t thinking it would be that many points.  Live and learn or is it eat and calculate?

WW 6-5  Summary

The day in photos:


DIH - Crow Roswell continues it’s strangeness.  We hunt for my lost cell phone.  We wasted $5 at a state park.  Check it out here.


  1. I soooo want to come and eat with you. You guys find the best restaurants!!

    And the pass thing sounds amazing frustrating. I'm surprised it didn't warrant a RANT from you!! :)

  2. I'm really sorry about the Biltmore pass fiasco! I only toured the gardens last time I was there - we had a pass to drive inside only because my daughter was photographing a wedding there. It's been over 30 years since I was actually inside.

    On to the fun tour bus thing - I see you did find out about it! I emailed my sister (lives outside Asheville) about the nun sighting and she replied:

    yea ,,, that's part of the "fun bus" tour that takes people
    thru downtown while serving drinks!!! the nun eventually
    gets on the tour bus ... they stage all sorts of crazy events
    for the people to see. think it's a riot!


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