Tag Archives: Trip

Riverside Cemetery

I’ve always had a fascination with cemeteries, especially old ones. As I walk through looking at the headstones I often wonder what they did in life, if family members still visit them, if they would be happy with the inscription on their tombstone. I know I’m not alone in this, as my family enjoys it as well. AND…if you’re thinking that my family is just weird, Edgar Lee Masters published a book (one of my favorites…not so oddly enough) basically written the by answering the same questions I ask myself. While visiting with my family in NC, we stopped by the Riverside Cemetery. Talk about gorgeous!



They have some beautiful mausoleums. Some have stained glass windows, others have items sitting on the stone tops (inside) as a tribute to the person. This was one that I thought was pretty because of the life growing around it. 



Then, signs of Spring were popping up. There were these beautiful purple flowers sprouting up everywhere!



My Sister-in-Law and I agreed that things would be more interesting if people would put cause of death on the tombstones. We saw one that had the cause of death a railway crash.



We did see some interesting statements on the tombstones though. My favorite of which was:



There were soldiers from all different wars buried here. For example, there were a few from the Revolutionary War:



Some from the Spanish-American War:



There were also some famous North Carolinians that you may recognize. First was O. Henry (AKA Sydney Porter…think Gift of the Magi):




I’m not sure why people were putting pennies on his headstone, but I assume it probably has something to do with him being accused of embezzlement when he was a bookkeeper in Austin, TX (yes really…). However, it may have some other meaning as well.


The other famous writer was Thomas Wolfe. He has a couple of quotes from his works on his headstone. People put little rocks on top of his headstone as a tribute:




One of his more notable writings is Look Homeward, Angel which is an autobiographical account (although it is a fictional work, many of the characters are built on his family and his experiences in NC) of his life in Asheville, North Carolina and the death of his brother (who was only 26).



Since Thomas Wolfe was an Asheville native, his home is now a memorial site and for a dollar, you can tour his home. We drove by it but didn’t get a chance to do the tour.



The information center at Riverside Cemetery has a walk through tour print out that you can use as you look through the cemetery to learn about some of the other famous individuals there. Some of them are just famous North Carolinians and some are national figures. If you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by and taking a look.


Asheville Downtown Market

One of the things that I enjoy about Asheville, NC is the artist community. There are a ton of galleries and sites to see local artists’ works. My parents took me to the Downtown Market (which I think they just opened) during the week.



It’s a great place full of local artisans and their works. There are a few resale places and there was even a grocery section.




When you first walk in they have a “Barter tree!” I’ve never actually seen one of these, but I have heard of them. This one had all sorts of interesting things, including a pair of red high heels, an old 45 record, and finger nail clippers!



I wasn’t able to get many pictures of the different booths as many of the artists were a little protective of their work, which I understand. Many of them were working on their goods while we looked around. There was a gentleman that was making baskets, another guy making glass beaded neckalces and a lady hammering metal for her booth. I was able to get her picture, but she looked up just as I took it!



There weren’t that many vendors there, but that’s probably because it was a weekday. I would imagine on the weekends they have more. Everyone I talked to there were cheery and friendly. This will be on my list to visit again!

Biltmore Estate Stables

One of the pleasures of going to the Biltmore is being able to ride in their horse drawn carriages. On my last trip to the estate I stopped by the stables to see the beautiful animals. My first impression was “wow…this is quite small.” The stables is in fact one of the smallest parts of the Biltmore estate.


The lion is part of the Vanderbilt’s family crest and is seen on both buildings in the stable area. Inside the first barn were the Biltmore Draft Horses. I wasn’t able to get close enough to touch them, but they look so lovable don’t they?



In the second area of the stables were the smaller horses that I’m sure probably pull the smaller carriages.




The horse on the end, “Ol’ Paint” as my Dad called him, seemed interested in what we were doing there. I imagine they don’t get a lot of visitors there.



Behind the stable area is a pasture for the rest of the horses to “horse” around in. Yuck yuck yuck! lol…they were pretty calm until I started taking pictures. They got a little rowdy (nipping at each other) the longer we stood there, so we didn’t stay too long.


Biltmore Estate Second Visit

A couple of years ago I went to the Biltmore during Christmas. The trip was enjoyable, but all of the plants were in hibernation for winter and the gardens were barren. I just got back from the North Carolina where I had planned on going back to the Biltmore to see it in all it’s glory during the Spring. Unfortunately, I got there about a week too early!

The skies were overcast and the wind was very chilly. All of the trees were still without blooms and the garden just had small green shoots of tulips showing. So, I guess I’ll have to go again…this time in the summer when it’s guaranteed to be bloomed out.

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is by far one of my favorite holidays. I love all the music, the movies, the decorations, and the overall atmosphere and “warm fuzzies” that come along with it.

The first year I went to Frankenmuth, Michigan with my friend Jackie she took me to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Oh My Goodness…I was in heaven!

Bronner’s was built by Wally Bronner in 1945. Today, there is the large store and a Silent Night Memorial Chapel. The Chapel is a replica of the original Silent Night Memorial Chapel in Oberndorf, Austria. It plays silent night (and Stille Nacht) year round and has the lyrics written in over 300 languages on placards around it. It was a peaceful place to relax and think back over your year.

The entire building is covered with outdoor decorations including large Christmas lights (no they didn’t light up).

Then you drive through a small “tunnel” (if you will) where it says “Welcome” in numerous different languages.

The decorations never cease in this place! Right in front of the door Santa’s saying “Hi”!

As soon as you walk in the door you’re greated by a huge plastic gingerbread house. I don’t know if it’s a permanent display or not, but it is adorable!

 Inside there are ornaments upon ornaments. Anything you can think of, they’ll have an ornament for it!  They can even personalize just about any ornament for you.


 Hanging from the ceiling and up on the rafters are elves, santas, teddy bears, nutcrackers, and just about anything else you can think of that would be related to Christmas.



 Of course, a Christmas Wonderland wouldn’t be complete without a large assortment of Christmas trees; some traditional, some not so traditional!


Just like Santa was greeting you when you came in, he also waved goodbye as you left.


This was the original sign Wally Bronner painted when he opened his store. It upons up into a manger scene on the other side. This opening is in the same drive through area as the welcome sign, directly across from the front door. I love these coke machines!

*historical information gathered from www.bronners.com.