Sunday, December 14, 2008

Asheville Photos

Finally - Asheville photos. First, photos while driving around Asheville - I literally took these while driving so they're not very good, but some of the buildings were so majestic I had to take the pictures anyway. It was a very dark and cold day in Asheville - but I loved it. It felt so Christmasy to me and whenever I went back to Grove Park Inn, all the beautiful decorated trees and the giant fireplace made it so cozy and warm inside.

This Episcopal church was at Macon and Charlotte Street on the way down from Grove Park Inn.

This is an old stone building that looks like it's being used as apartments. It was kind of messy outside, but it looked like it had a noble history.

Huge First Baptist Church in downtown Asheville.

Asheville street view while driving.

Another Asheville street view while driving.

Old house turned into Christian Bookstore on Haywood outside of Asheville.

Back of old house/Christian Bookstore that appears to be falling apart.

Inside of old house/Christian Bookstore - everything is stuffed and jumbled, but very cosy. The old house had character - the mantle/fireplace was where the register was. The floors squeaked and moaned - I loved it.

The portal to the used book section. This was the second Christian Bookstore I went to in the Asheville area that had used books. Old used books, hardcover, some from the 1800's. I was hooked.

Back out on the streets of Asheville, headed back to Grove Park Inn, my car full of old Christian books.

Long street ahead, mountains in distance.

Detail from an old building painted purple, except for the old ad signs.

Same purple building toward the front.

Toward the S&W Cafeteria building.

Closer to the S&W Cafeteria Building.

The S&W Cafeteria Building is not a cafeteria anymore, but shops of some sort in downtown Asheville. It is a beautiful building, though and I couldn't help but take it's picture.

And now - the Grove Park Inn. This is actually the back view. There is a terrace where you can sit and look toward Asheville in the distance and the mountains beyond that. There is an underground spa recently added to the Grove Park Inn. The services are WAY out of my budget. $100.00 for a pedicure. $250.00 for a massage, but it is a spectacular place. You enter the spa through underground rock caverns, lit with soothing dim lanterns. Mini waterfalls line the way, tinkling down the rocks, and there is music from hidden speakers that is Celtic in sound. The picture above is taken from the outdoor entrance to the spa lobby. What a magnificent place! Here is the web site so you can explore, too

This is one of the giant fireplaces in the original lobby of the inn. If you go to the history section of the Grove Park Inn site, you'll see that this is original and has not been changed. There is another fireplace of the same size facing this one across the giant great room. There are rocking chairs lining this fireplace and they are always filled, so you have to wait for someone to leave to sit down and enjoy the fire. It is worth the wait. Since it is the Christmas season, everything was festive and beautifully decorated. The day this picture was taken, there was a group of adults and a 1st grade class from an elementary school in Asheville singing Christmas carols - in the great lobby next to the fireplace.

This is one of the long hallways leading to the lobby area. Each of these on each floor were lined every so many yards with differently decorated Christmas trees. You can see that there are also rocking chairs facing the windows, looking out over the view.

The above video is from my non-high-techy phone. You can see the gentleman tending the fire - that shows you how huge the fireplace is. Then I move to the right, past the small wooden bar where you can get some potent Irish Coffee to warm you, to the area where the Grove Park Inn workers assisted by the elementary school children begin to sing a Christmas Carol. It was SO lovely, and a memory I will cherish.

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