States Traveled Through/To: Washington, D.C, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina.
Soundtrack: America, The Book (audiobook), We’re Alive (podcast) Nothing But Thieves, Explosions in the Sky, Simon and Garfunkel, Ryan Adams, Deftones
Big travel day today. After grabbing a quick coffee and taking a failed pass at seeing the Lincoln monument, we were on the road again. Mother Nature seemed to want to have a deep conversation with us as the skies opened up and dumped an ungodly amount or rain on us for a good 3 hours. We decided this was a good opportunity for John Stewart and company to remind us of all of the important history of this country. Jill tells me that America, The Book (the audiobook) won a grammy when it came out. I can see why. Utterly hysterical…and informative.
After getting out of D.C. the weather got better as we got closer to the Appalachians. Neither Jill or I had ever driven through this area and wow, what an absolutely gorgeous drive it was. Rolling hills and mountains as far as the eye could see covered in lush green trees – it actually reminded us quite a bit of our tour in Scotland on our honeymoon.
After getting a bit road weary, Jill found us a place us stop and stretch our legs a bit an and grab some lunch. We wound up in Lexington, Virginia at a place called Blue Lab brewery. Apparently it was named after the mountain range and their favorite type of dog. Turns out the beer was unpasteurized and unfiltered which neither of us cared for. It wasn’t bad, just a bit dull. I guess our palates have been ruined by the hoppy goodness of California IPA’s for too long. Randomly on the way out, we ran into an elderly couple that had just retired in Lexington. He was from Brooklyn and their granddaughter was going to school in Berkeley. Small world, right? Even weirder, as we were saying our goodbyes, the old man leaned into me and whispered, “Remember, someone’s always watching.” True story. What does he know that I don’t?!
Back on the road we continued in awe of the scenery as we snaked through the Appalachians. Dorky but fun moment I have to call out – as we cross the North Carolina state line Jill puts on “Oh My Sweet Carolina” by Ryan Adams on and, of course, “Carolina on My Mind” by James Taylor. It felt right and good.
We landed in Asheville at the Aloft hotel in downtown. It’s what you expect from this chain of hotel – inexpensive, psuedo-chic and full of douchey 20-somethings that linger a bit too long at the bar. Huge pluses though are that it is incredibly dog friendly and it’s literally 500 feet from all of the great brewpubs and restaurants here. And by incredibly dog friendly, I mean that they give you a dog bed, bowls, biscuits and tennis balls to keep your dog comfy. That and our floor has an actual small dog run on it. After 2 days on the road, Wally has been getting fairly anxious cooped up in the car, but he’s been pretty relaxed in the hotel. We’ll take any respite we can get.
The absolute highlight of the day was that we got to see Cliff (George’s Dad) and Juan (his partner) for dinner at Wicked Weed brewpub. Yes, the beer and food were great (ok, the beer is really, really good) but it was such a treat to spend time with these guys and catch up. I wish we could have stayed longer but the strong IPA’s were making us a bit tired and we were up well past Charley and Wally’s bed time. Not to matter, it’s always worth a few extra bags under the eyes to catch up with old friends and family.
Jill and I fell asleep to Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (it’s ridiculous). Tomorrow we hope to catch some breakfast with Cliff and Juan as we wind our way to Nashville, TN to see if we can get a quick gig in before we head to Memphis, TN. Just kidding Sorta.