This weekend has been on the calendar as long as we have known where Shannon would be going to college. This is the weekend that we move her into her residence hall and she begins her freshman year. We arrived late Thursday night and checked into our hotel exhausted from the drive. We were unconscious before there was time to think of what was ahead.
Friday morning, we were up early for breakfast and headed to the campus to get in line for the unloading of our vehicle and load-in to her room. We went right to work and made more than a couple trips to various stores to set her up right. Although we spent most of the day arranging and building, hanging and organizing, it was not long before she was headed off to convocation and an evening of activities with her new classmates and teammates.
We went off to explore Asheville and to apply a liberal amount of carbs and alcohol to our wounds. I believe we did a great job of it since we included Asheville Pizza and Brewing and a stop at the Grove Park Inn for drinks and finally dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe. Asheville was overflowing with people, music and excitement. There is no mystery as to why Shannon fell in love with this area. While waiting for a table at Tupelo, we walked down to Green Man for a beer and acquired album by The Tillers.
Saturday morning called for an early morning run due to the full day we had planned. I scouted a safe route from our hotel and while certain there would be elevation change I was excited for the opportunity to run in Biltmore Forest. I was up early and out just before the sunrise. I ran nearly straight uphill on Vanderbilt Road for the outward mile and a half and downhill coming back. My legs did burn on the climb and I was unable to maintain any pace, but my shins burned even more on the descent.
13′ 38″ / mi
After breakfast, we drove out the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craggy Gardens and did the 0.7mi hike/climb to the summit for the 360 degree views.
As Saturday went on, we found ourselves at Wicked Weed for a late lunch and explored Asheville while returning to Grove Park Inn for sunset drinks.
We saw Shannon for a few more minutes across the weekend to setup her television and some decorations that we got her for her room and finally to go to Mass before we left. We made the long drive back to Florida to start our week of work and school and left Shannon to her new chapter in Asheville.