Today we went in and around Asheville and played tourist.
Our first stop was the Asheville Visitor’s Center. I had heard that you could get cheaper tickets to the Biltmore Estate here than at the gate or online. It was a few bucks less than online but not worth going out of our way to get here.
I got some information about the downtown area because it is supposed to be interesting. We may come back to look around but we much prefer to be out in nature.
Our next stop was the Western North Carolina Farmers Market. It is open everyday of the year and is made up of several buildings and covered sheds. Two of the buildings are retail. Two of the sheds are bulk retail and wholesale and the rest are wholesale for commercial buyers only.
The retail buildings were typical tourist farmers market fair.
The guy’s waiting room.
The first building didn’t have any prices on its produce, which is always suspicious.
In the second building everything was priced.
I heard a vendor in the second building saying that always hears people getting there and kicking themselves for what they paid in the first building. We bought a jar of honey and one large tomato.
I am not sure what the deal with boiled peanuts is down here, but they are on sale everywhere, frequently at roadside stalls. I guess I should try them sometime.
We strolled through the outside bulk shed. You can drive your car or truck through here in case you are buying a lot.
We bought a bag of huge Honey Crisp apples.
Heading off we were looking for something fast yet unique for lunch. We saw an outlet mall that said it had a food court. On arriving we found it hadn’t been built yet and there were signs pointing to some food trucks out in the parking lot. Why not? Jennie bought a Portuguese chicken and rice dish and I bought what turned out to be a tiny taco. We were still hungry but it was enough for now.
On to the Arboretum. Both of us, but especially Jennie, like to look at plants.
We started at a greenhouse that had some carnivorous plants. I didn’t realize that Venus Fly Trap was so small. The pot below was at most a foot across.
Hungry looking things. FEED ME!
For some reason there was a giant one in the middle of the room. If you pushed a button, it would make a buzzing sound and then close.
Inside and outside there were Pitcher Plants.
This one looked happy.
Some extra large ones.
The main reason we had come here was that they have a big collection of bonsai trees displays along this beautiful winding path.
Here comes the parade of close ups. It was actually a terrible time of day to be here to photograph them because the sun was almost directly overhead. We should have come first thing in the morning.
The individual tree were great but we really liked the grouped one like this miniature forest scene.
Mount Mitchell, from yesterday.
For once I noticed something first.
We wandered around the rest of the gardens but not a lot was in bloom. Some was already done and lot not yet started. Perfect bad timing. There were some nice sculptures.
Lots of plants but not much colour.
At one point Jennie felt something land on her arm. She almost swatted it. Another fearless bug.
We had never before seen these plants that looked like starburst. I wonder what they look like in bloom.
Another one had a bunch of fuzzy pods on it and then we saw that the pods turned into flowers. Very strange looking ones though.
On our way back to the car we came across this large scale model railroad.
Heading home, even though it was before 4 pm, since we had such a small lunch we were enticed into stopping at another BBQ place. When in Rome. As usual we ate too much.