Today we drove into Asheville, to see ole Colorado friends, Priscilla and Mike Herzoff, who now live here. They have a lovely home in a beautiful area just south of Asheville. We embarked on a tour of Asheville. A river walk area is full of artisans shops. Lois purchased a kilim purse and two pillow covers, Peter a souvenir coffee mug. We strolled around downtown and had lunch at the Tupelo Honey restaurant. Shades of Elvis! Lois had their grits and shrimp, Peter the fresh trout and grits. Terrific authentic tastes of southern cooking. Asheville is a small (80,000+), old city which has 5 colleges, and a flourishing downtown area.
Mon.: We’ve had a needed, lazy, restful time at the Rumbling Bald Resort at Lake Lure, NC. This is a huge time share resort. It’s a challenge to remember how to get to our unit each time. Another name of the resort was Fox Run, and most of the streets have “fox” as part of their name. We keep passing “Red Fox Lane” and want to turn on it, for old times sake! On Mon., we rode around the beautiful lake on unbelievably curvy roads, went and got some jam and salt and pepper at the local store, Lois did stocks, we both read and just hung out. We went to the Apple Valley Golf Course Restaurant for their special roast beef buffet for dinner. Delicious.
Tues.: We played 18 holes of golf at the adjacent Apple Valley Golf Course, a relatively new, long, difficult course. We vote it as one of the most beautiful courses we’ve ever played.
Golf day on the lovely Apple Golf course. We’ll miss it. Dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant, with a highlight of a great sunset over the lake.
Day 57: Friday, October 25th
Another relaxed, hang out day. Lois spent much of the the day stocks. I must say here how very much Motif Investing staff has come to my rescue – in particular Stephan and then today, Carrie. There is no way I could figure out how to do things on this little ipad. So, to Motif, I certainly say THANK YOU.
Peter went swimming, did email and wrote and edited the rest of our pictures as of today, and we did laundry in anticipation of our next few travel days. Big lunch at our mountain home.
Day 50, Friday, Oct. 18 – Charlottesville, VA to Hickory, NC
Left Charlottesville on a rather dreary morning. No colors on the lower elevations. However, the higher we ventured, the more gorgeous the forests. The drive along the Allegheny Parkway was breathtaking. The views were not as sharp as on the Skyline Drive yesterday, but the sunny day today enhanced colors and the views. Lunch at Otter Peaks – strictly for the views of the lovely lake – salad bar lunch was just ok. Arrived in Hickory, NC rather tired, but satiated with the beautiful sights. Excellent Fairfiled Inn.
Day 51, Saturday, Oct.19 – Hickory, NC to Biltmore to Lake Lure.
Morning travel through heavy fog and drizzle. Went to see the Biltmore Estate outside of Ashville, NC, built around 1894. What a place!!! Talk about decadent oppulance! This place takes the prize. Ole George Vanderbilt spent a whole bunch of his daddy’s railroad wealth. He modeled the castle after a French Loire River chateau, with touches of Versailles. The interior continues the model, rooms lined with huge Flemish tapestries, leather wall coverings, paintings by Renoir. Vanderbilt hired Sargent to come here and paint portraits of the family. The library contains over 20,000 books. Busts galore. Must have been several thousand people touring, and at $50 per just to enter, the place was making a lot of money. 250 acres, 3 resturants, plus winery, plus snack bar places, plus horse back riding, boating, a huge lodge, etc. Peter preferred Jefferson ‘s taste to Vanderbilt’s!
Left there and went on the most winding road we’ve been on. Arrived at out resort destination, Rumbling Bald Resort, on Lake Lure, which is – believe us – in the middle of nowhere, USA – about an hour SE of Asheville in the Appalachian hills on a large, pretty mountain lake. The leaves have just begun to change. Peak here will be in about a week, but as the whole area is heavily wooded, it is indeed quite pretty, especially at higher elevations. Our time share unit has two bedrooms along with the usual living room, kitchen, etc. Good interior decor and views of the woods and the golf course. We will be most comfortable for a week here. We designed the trip to have 3 one week sojourns in one place to provide needed breaks from 1, 2 and 3 night stands
Day 52, Sunday, Oct 20 – Lake Lure
Lazy morning, played 9 holes of golf – not our best, but then again, not our worst. This resort has two excellent golf courses, with reasonably price green fees. Nice to again be in one place for a while. Unpacked all our bags and found some forgotten treasures. Zoned out watching football games and other Sunday TV. The Broncos – Colts game was a big downer. We figured that Peyton Manning was off his feed due to being back, for the first time, in the city and stadium of his 14 glory years.
Thursday: Left Front Royal, Virginia on the Skyline Drive. Although overcast, it was quite breathtaking. Colors were muted and many of the overlooks showed layers of clouds penetrating mountains (the Allegheny’s & Shenandoah’s). Our pictures do not do justice.
Went to Michie’s Tavern, built in 1784, famous for its hearty fare – fried chicken, green-beans, beets, potatoes, homemade biscuits, blackeyed peas, and peach cobbler – and it was very good. Then on to Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. Quite beautiful and interesting history. Jefferson was certainly a selfish, brilliant and multi talented man. Back through old town in Charlettsville, then through the U of V “grounds” and on to our motel. Another great day.
We spent the first couple of hours in and about the Lenscrafter shop in King of Prussia, PA, about 30 min. west of Philly. Lois’ reading glasses had fallen out of her pocket in a cab, and had to be replaced. Why King of Prussia, you might ask? Phil Alandt says it was in tribute for the great assistance given by the Prussians in the Revolutionary War. The highlight here, beyond getting L’s new glasses, was finding a Legal Seafood restaurant near Lenscrafter where we had a delicious lunch of raw oysters, fried oysters and Portuguese seafood stew.
We then were off to the Pennsylvania Dutch country on a byway suggested by our AAA travel consultant, Jane Henninger. The little road went through Compass, Intercourse (that’s really the name!) and Bird in the Hand (named after the sign name of a tavern in the hamlet). Amish riding around in buggys, plowing fields with horses, all dressed in their clothes style of yore. Lois looked at beautiful quilts, Peter had a shoo fly pie.
Tuesday: We’ve fallen in love with Philidelphia. It is a lovely city. We arranged to stay an additional day at the Warwick Hotel – which is a great place with the nicest staff imaginable. After a delicious breakfast – how we managed that is not known as we had such a fantastic dinner the night before – we took off to explore more of the city. We started at the National Constitutional Center. Now that is definitely an institution to visit – a beautiful facility. We were there at least 2 hours. In addition to bronzes of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, numerous interactive displays of various issues that had gone to the Supreme Court, a theater presentation of issues around the period of the signing, they had the most extraordinary display of Pulitzer Prize Winner’s photos spanning decades which left us in tears. It was the most stunning acclimation of photography as art as one will ever see. A must if you go.
Leaving the center, we walked down the old town to Betsy Ross’s “house”. On to the “oldest alley in town”, around to Christ Church, which was the first Episcopalian church in America, and then, for a very late lunch, to an Greek/Italian little restaurant on Archer street for a bite. Continued to Independence Mall where Independence Hall was closed due to the garbage still going on in Washington about whether or not the US should pay their bills or not – ask you – what happens if you don’t pay your bills. The tea party chose the wrong issue to make a point. Anyhow, after all the walking, etc., we took a cab back and collapsed for the evening.
Wendy & Hugh’s friends, Lisa and Phil Alandt, were terrific in getting us into the Barnes Foundation on their membership. This is a super museum, now housed in a modern building, consisting of the largest collection in the world of Renoirs, many Cezannes, Soutines, early Picassos, Utrillos and other impressionists and post-impressionists with a sprinkling of old masters such as El Greco and Tintoretto. We spent four hours wandering around this wondrous private collection assembled by Albert Barnes in the early part of the 20th century.
We then did a quick tour of the adjacent Rodin Museum, another treat.
We returned to the hotel to rest our weary feet and got slicked up for a fancy dinner with Phil and Lisa, and two of their friends, at the Devon Restaurant on Rittenhouse Square. The Allendt's treated us to a most delicious fresh seafood dinner. A great evening.
I’m having to write all the blogs for a few days because Lois’ reading glasses fell out of her pocket in a cab and we have to wait until we can find a Lenscrafter store (on Wed.) for her to see up close. Bummer. Today we all went to the Met Opera House for a backstage tour. As we regularly go to see the MetOpera HD performances at the movies, this was most interesting to see what goes on behind the stage. We fortunately had an expert guide, who has been doing tours for 35 years! It lasted about 90′ and was most thorough.
We then went across the street to Ed's Chowder House, in the Edison Hotel, and had guess what for lunch. Then back to the apartment, picked up our bags and Keith escorted us to Grand Central where we caught the train back up to Yorktown. The taxi driver who took us from the station to pick up our car at Wendy and Hugh's house took us by the Groton Reservoir dam, which at it's completion (1907) was the second largest stone structure in the world (the first being the Great Pyramid in Egypt). See photo. A stunning site. Our drive over the George Washington Bridge and down the New Jersey turnpike to Philadelphia, with the sun in our eyes and the planes landing in Newark looking like they were going to land on the turnpike, was perhaps the worst drive of our trip. But we arrived safely in Philly and our room here at the Radisson Warwick, an old hotel a block away from Rittenhouse Square, is lovely and welcoming.
Our week in NYC, with Keith and Andrew, was a treasure to forever remember.
Last night we went to Patsy’s, K & A’s favorite Italian restaurant in Chelsea and had a gargantuan feast. Absolutely the best salad we’d had in just forever. That, along with a huge pizza, eggplant parmesian, and lasanga, pretty well finished us off.
Sat.: Today was our planned visit to MOMA, which is always a lesson in art history when we are guided by Keith. We began the day by seeing Keith and Andrew’s apartment, which they had been working on cleaning up, for days, in preparation for our visit. It looked spiffy and we loved all their new furniture. Keith had brought in delicious croissants and served cappuccinos to go with them. We then were off to the museum. There is a grand, huge exhibit of Rene Magritte, whom we have always found to be one of the best of the surrealists. We became immersed in his views of the expression of the unconscious mind. Keith then took us to see a large, bare room with a book whose cover alleged it was The Holy Bible. Inside was a book about Marcel Duchamp, whom the artist creator, David Hammonds, believes is the inspiration of modern art. Hammonds is a client of Lois Phlem, an art consultant who has been most helpful to Keith over many years. We then moved on to see many old friends, including Picasso, the impressionists and post impressionists, and made some new acquaintances in a room of 20th century artists. MOMA with Keith is always a stimulating experience. We wrapped up the day taking Andrew and Keith, Lois Phlem and Carol Gonsalvez, another collector of Keith’s work, to dinner at their favorite Chinese restaurant in Chelsea.