Since I forget so many details on things I have done and experienced, and my efforts to keep a regular diary have flunked constantly (because riveting content like, “today I went to work and ate and read stuff” x10000000 became quickly monotonous since I don’t usually do exciting things on a day to day basis), I will try to keep a travel log here as well.
On Thursday, 8/31, I went to work despite Scott (my boyfriend) and Irv (his dad) left that morning. Pat (Scott’s mom) waited to leave until Friday, so I didn’t have to drive to Maggie Valley (further west of Asheville but before Cherokee) alone. I had talked about requesting off both Thursday and Friday but, of course, my supervisor said that was not recommended since the Senate and House were in session (I work in the state government). The trip was intended as a birthday celebration for Irv’s 84th or 85th birthday which was in May, but we were finally getting around to it in September. The Senate and House adjourned at noon on Thursday, which meant that I would have been fine if I had taken the day off. I finished the day (we even left early that day, and my supervisor told me that patience pays off and let me take Friday off, even though I could have taken the whole week off and we still would have been fine. I have a lot of resentment towards my work and the people that I work with but that’s another story.)
I was nervous about riding in the car for almost five hours with Pat, since we never really connected, and I never know what to talk about with her. Drive turned out quiet and fine. I tried to tell myself not to stress out about the long blocks of silence and it helped that she knew that I was quiet and awkward by now after three and a half years. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s at an exit that she frequented when she used to have to drive to Asheville for work every month.
Scott had gotten a nice log cabin-ish vacation home with a great view of the mountains. We settled in quickly, and we attended a folk music show late after rushing to make and eat dinner. I value culture, but y’all, this was something else. It was a sea of silver and gray with a few young folk. The performers were either 80- or 8-years-old, and although I knew I didn’t really care for folk music, I enjoyed the musicianship and some vocalists. But y’all, WTH is up with clogging. I know in my Korean culture and various other cultures do some weird shit but watching people clog blew my mind in the worst way possible. I just was baffled by the lack of art or skill (none that I could see, anyway).
On Saturday, Pat and I went to Cherokee casino to play slots. She loves slots, hahaha. I had never been to a casino or played slots, and I am always down to try new things, so we went with $20 in hand. Within my first few machines, I had more than doubled my winnings with almost $45 on my ticket. If it was up to me, I would’ve left there and then, but we had just gotten there and were there to kill time, so I kept on playing until I was down to $23 and some change. I realized that gambling wasn’t for me, because I am still sad about the money I lost that I never had in the first place, and I made it a point to stop before I hit lower than the amount I walked in with. Later that day, we cooked dinner and drove about 40mins to downtown Asheville for a free music show. More folk music and clogging ensued. Scott and I walked around downtown and had a nice time on our own. Sidenote: OMG we brought some snacks to the show and Trader Joe’s ginger snaps with crystallized ginger and shit is so fucking good. We left early because the audio setup was really bad, and we couldn’t hear any of the show (which I was so fucking glad about). Once back at the cabin, we played Cards Against Humanity with Scott’s 60-something-year-old mother and 80-something-year-old father. Hahaha they were actually more vulgar and hilarious than me.
On Sunday, we stopped by Country Vittles to eat their all you can eat breakfast. They had the most amazing crispy potatoes. Everything was delicious and I built a biscuit, sausage, bacon, and gravy tower that I couldn’t finish after eating a fuckton of grits, eggs, pancakes, and more bacon and sausage. After gorging ourselves, we went up to the Smokey Mountains (along with the rest of the world, it seemed like) to do some hiking. After a huge congestion and crowds we found a less popular trail and Scott and I went for about 25mins in and then back. After that, all four of us found a trail by a creek/river and walked some more before heading back. We made dinner and watched Sing and then the Lion. The Lion was an amazing movie that I found myself leaning in and being engrossed in the entire time. Dev Patel was nice to look at heheho.
On our last day on Monday, we packed up and headed back to downtown Asheville. We walked around the River Arts District, which was kind of stressful, because I can’t appreciate a lot of art being kind of an artist myself, and I have a very particular vision when looking for art (my favorite is Art Nouveau, which is what my blog’s main image is. Alphonse Mucha is my all-time favorite artist). Local artists there were intriguing and I appreciated their experimentation in different mediums and their dedication to their art, but I didn’t really like any of the art we saw (sorry, I’m a bitch). Once the heat and low blood sugar kicked in, I had lost all interest in looking around, and eventually we left toward Mellow Mushroom (apparently the first/original location). That was the most stressful event, because ordering food is always a pain in the ass. I don’t like decisions or having to pick something, Scott doesn’t care and will eat whatever and will often have me choose (?! Despite my hatred toward choosing lol), Pat is vegetarian, and Irv is a picky eater who is reluctant to try new things and mostly eats only foods he has been eating since childhood (but he eats curry and lamb and Mediterranean food so he is definitely not that picky). The four of us combined in one table and having to share one pizza turned out to be disastrous. HOLY SHIIIIT. So stressful for no reason. We left after Mellow and headed back to town. I drove the whole way there and back and everything ended well, I think.