Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Asheville, North Carolina over the 4th of July weekend

Asheville is a beautiful town in the mountains of Western North Carolina. It is a hippie town, and please no offense, but it smells like hippie. You know, the we're-trying-to-save-the-earth-by-not-wasting-water-on-showers kinda hippie. Anyway....
 The first day we went to the North Carolina Arboretum. It was a hot day, but thankfully there were plenty of trees for shade! Before going outside and hitting the trails we went through the visitor information center where we found a big pot with these lily pads. Isn't it so cool how the water droplets keep their shape?

Zuben was stopped and invited by these woodworkers to help finish making a top. As a true military child, safety first is ingrained, thus the sunglasses indoors.
Here he shows the fruits of his labor. The man let him keep the top and Zuben was delighted. Weeks later, he plays with it still.

Bonsai! That's gotta be the coolest word ... BONSAI!
Hitting the trails ... At the front desk they had these backpacks for the kids that were filled with all sorts of charts and sheets to fill out with the information on the flora and fauna spotted during our walk. It also had a bet and binoculars. Zuben LOVED it. He strapped that thing on and was in a hurry to go on the adventure. Zofia wouldn't be bothered with carrying anything! Such a princess.
This little mushroom caught my eye because it just  looked so beautiful. It was there catching the one ray of light that squeezed through the canopy and it made the golden cap shine so radiantly. Just so beautiful, rising out among all those dry leaves.

The canopy above ....

This was cool, even though it was obvisouly made made. It still looked cool.

During our short walk on the trails we heard a creek but where unfortunately not on the trail that went along it. So we later went and looked for a trail that did.

On a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway we stopped at a look out and well... looked out at this!

Asheville is a quite the vegetarian friendly town. You remember what I said about it being a hippie town? Well, this is one of the perks, GOOD FOOD! There was a cute little independent bookstore coffeehouse that not only offered a complete menu of snacks, sandwiches, salads and desserts that were ALL VEGAN but they were also kid friendly! At the end of a long day of walking around and driving around (getting motion sickness) on the curvies of the parkway we went into town for some vegan brownie a la mode at this coffee spot.

The next day there was a bluegrass festival in the downtown area. The festival was called, "Shindig on the Green" and it was very packed with people. The weather was nice and the sunset light was gorgeous!

On Monday, we went east to a little (and I mean LITTLE) town called Blackmountain. It is a nice community with nice homes, a cute downtown and more beautiful scenery. We spotted and stopped at this park that had three different areas with playgrounds and a creek that ran along two sides of it. Some parts deeper than others and kids everywhere splashing around on a hot day, but under the shade of the trees.

On our way back to the car we saw a little girl using a net to fish out these huge tadpoles. My little natural scientist Zuben could not help himself, he just had to hold one.

After lunch we headed to the Western North Carolina Nature Center " in Asheville, NC provides a one-of-a-kind adventure where guests can experience animals and plants native to the Southern Appalachian region." This river otter was very friendly and Zuben had so much fun playing around with it because it would follow his hat whereever he would move it.

So cute together! They are quite a pair. They adore each other! Even if they do make each other scream sometimes, the majority of the time they play together and crack each other up. They chase around together and are inseperable. Zuben will squeeze Zofia's cheeks and say "How are you my little chipmunk?" So cute ...

Here is a couple of young kids with a sign offering free hugs ...
.... Zuben took her up on the offer!