Last week I visited my parents in Asheville (actually north of Asheville) for the first time. It's so NICE up there! I never want to go home when I go to the mountains. We had a very low-key Christmas. Basically no one has any money for presents, and it's kind of nice that no one has any money all at once because it takes the pressure of everyone entirely. We decorated the tree, decorated cookies, and I basically relaxed and didn't think about my career or house much at all, which was exactly what I needed.
Of course my mom made delicious food every day, local sausages with mashed potatoes, spaghetti and meat sauce, Indian food (including my sister's contribution of a poor man's gobi manchurian--fried cauliflower--that was DELISH), and my favorite, the falafel wraps with tahini-garlic sauce and other toppings and sweet potato fries. Who needs takeout, man.
Asheville also happens to have the most AMAZING (the name does not lie) food store I have ever been to, Amazing Savings. It's like, expired health food store rejects, except, most of the stuff hasn't even actually expired yet, and, it is REALLY GOOD stuff. For instance, I got Green & Black's 70% dark organic chocolate chips for $1.99 a pound. $1.99 a POUND for organic chocolate!? That is crazy! I came home with a bag the size of a child's head for $7. And chip-esque things are 99 cents a bag, buy two get one free. At that price you can try any chip-esque thing you've ever been curious about, from wasabi popcorn to hemp chips. I got some kind of strange corn item--they are like, big unpopped looking kernels but they're soft and they taste like Fritos. Kombucha for $2! And the freezer section! Why can't I live near something like this!?
Hey, this is Livejournal, I can take a really long paragraph to talk about food bargains, right? ;)
--I got to hang out with Beth Revis and Stephanie Perkins! They are both rad and I'm so glad they live around Asheville because now I know I'll see them at minimum once a year.
--It snowed! My parents' house is like, the BEST weather watching house ever because it has a big ol' open living space with a ton of windows looking on the mountains and we got to watch the storm come in and the rain turn to snow. I've never seen that before.
--I had super-nice seatmates both ways on the plane, especially on the way there. Allegiant allows you to buy your seat for $11 (which is what I always do, I love you 20A) or otherwise have open seating so I could sit there and watch everyone go by and wish for a cool person and both times I got chatty artsy folk. The girl on the way there was practically a long lost family member, she was a bird artist like my sister and we both were toting around these BOOKS, mine was "The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Endangered Languages" and hers was "Born to Run" on the long-distance running Indians of Mexico, and we were chatting about, you know, the healing power of foods and yoga and homeschooling...
--Aww, I love Asheville.
--On Thursday the rain had stopped, and the temperature sat about at freezing in the morning and we walked down to the river, a pretty steep huff where I once nearly passed out coming back in warmer weather, but this time? I felt awesome. Now I'm home and JEEZ, this must be one of the warmest falls I can remember. We've barely had any cold fronts and when they come they only last one day! I want my cold weather back!
But if all goes well, we're moving Feb. 2nd, sooo, I'll have it soon enough...