My Romantic Weekend For One

Was neither romantic, nor did it turn out being as lonely as I planned it to be. I have so much content today that I think I might have to hold some of it back so that the rest of the week won’t be a bore.

We’ll Always Have Waynesville Asheville
After receiving some bad news on Friday morning I decided to stay the course and continue with my scheduled “Romantic Weekend For One” in Waynesville, NC. Some months ago I’d bought a two-night stay at The Waynesville Inn, a golf resort and spa, in Waynesville, NC from LivingSocial. No longer being a golfer and in no place to allow people to work on my body it was an odd choice of vacations, but I bought the deal during that small window of optimism that I had at the end of last year.

Before making my way to the inn I decided to head to Asheville for lunch. If ITP-Reader Lisa reads this, yes I ate at Barley’s Taproom, yes I ordered garlic knots.

The Waynesville Inn is okay, but not nearly as posh as advertised. I was in what I’ll call “the servants’ quarters” a very non-descript hotel room whose only feature was being able to look at the golfers putting on the ninth green. You know who play golf? Mostly older, overweight men, that’s who. The Inn had a restaurant which “allowed” business casual attire — ie “not a place I’d go, especially when I’m on vacation — and a bar called “The Tap Room” which was casual attire and had some of Waynesville attractive young ladies working within (in fact, I’m going to go on record and say as far as I’m concerned North Carolina has the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen).

The town of Waynesville, once you are far enough away from the Wal*Mart and Best Buy, is typical small-town America. I liked it very much, but know deep in my heart that I’d grow bored and antsy to leave quickly. On Friday night I went “in town” to have dinner at a local BBQ restaurant (sadly I was less-than impressed) before meandering over to City Hall to hear a band play square-dance music and watch the locals strut their stuff on Main Street. Having already logged a long day I swung by the local Ingles (American Owned!) picked up some beer (which I didn’t drink, nor could I refrigerate) and a twelve-pack of Cheerwine before cashing my chips in for the night. (I also looked for the mythical “dancing pigs” bacon that I swear I bought at an Ingles in Summerville, GA some years ago. No luck finding it.)

“Planning” was not exactly on the top of my list for this excursion; I realized this all-too-late. On Saturday morning I wound around the Blue Ridge Parkway with the intent on checking out Maggie Valley, NC — I never got out of the car. I wound my way back to Waynesville and meandered through downtown again before deciding that lunch would be consumed at a local pizza place. I ate a smashing pie with a glass of Appalachian IPA from Southern Appalachian Brewery. One of the disappointments I suffered in Waynesville was finding the “Coming Soon” sign on Waynesville’s soon-to-be-local brewery Frogs Level Brewery (whose website now doesn’t work so I’m wondering if this will be an indefinite “Coming Soon”).

The best plan I could conjure for Saturday given the somewhat dicey weather forecast was to head back into Asheville and try out a couple of the breweries there. My first stop was the hard-to-locate Wedge Brewing Co.. The address was 125B but the building’s addresses showed 123, then 129. It wasn’t until that I befriended a group of four other lost souls that we found our way around to the back. While standing there. minding my own business, I did a double-take when I recognized my friends Dave and Katherine walking up to the brewery. WTF?!? They were in Asheville for the night and had been given a tip to come to the brewery. Go figure.

I wound up spending the rest of the night with Dave and Katherine. Wait, that sounds funny. I wound up eating dinner with Dave and Katherine before joining them for a (unfortunately unspectacular) sunset drink at a strange bar called Sky Bar. I made the drive back to Waynesville and considered a nightcap at a local establishment but inertia had set in and I went back to the inn.

The initial “plan” for Sunday was to stop in at the Nantahala Brweing Company in Bryson City, NC before heading to do some photography at the Ocoee River again. The brewery’s tasting room didn’t open until noon so I had to find ways to kill time in Bryson City. After giving up on eating lunch at a local Italian eatery (the waitress was on her second day of waitressing and had just spilled an entire glass of water at the next table over) I drank a pint and a half of beer, bought a growler to go, realized that I was too whipped to head to the Ocoee, bought a bag of ice to keep the growler cool, and made my way back to Atlanta.

ITP Flickr Pic
I managed to make it to two breweries this weekend. In addition to Wedge Brewery I wound my way to
What Else Do You Expect Me To Do in Bryson City, NC?
Don’t look for fantastic photos from this weekend’s getaway, I took no photos with my DSLR.

The Garmin Conundrum
The “New Jill” (aka Garmin Nüvi 850 GPS) has the worst turn-by-turn directions I’ve encountered. The directions are not timely and oftentimes get you to go off the road you are on in order to get onto the road you are on. No fewer than three times this weekend I was instructed to leave a road only to return to it. Even worse, on one occasion I was told to stay left on the highway and at the last minute was instructed to take the ramp on the right (traffic didn’t allow this, I found an alternative route).

Perhaps the only good thing Jill brought to me was a drive down NC-28. Rarely has a road inspired my to ride my bicycle, but this twenty-one mile, winding, psuedo-mountainous, road from Lauada to Franklin, NC was exhilarating to drive and would be awesome to ride if not for its middle-of-nowhere location and potential for injury with cars and such.

View Larger Map
Which reminds me of something else. Apparently there was a triathlon on Saturday near Waynesville. My car was the poser of the parking lot as three vehicles parked around me sported their fancy-pants tri-bikes while the Jackmobile sported an empty bike rack. Given the dire weather forecast I decided to leave my new ride at home. While I’m sure I could have fit a ride or two in, I was somewhat validated by the appearance of two heavy thunderstorms which hit the area on Friday and Saturday.

A New Brew In My Future
Tonight I’ll be making my way to Hop City Beer & Wine on the westside to buy a growler (or two) from Atlanta’s newest brewer Monday Night Brewing.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – nervous. Also, my back hurts as if I pulled a muscle; it started hurting yesterday and I don’t know why it is.
Current Music – silence as I determine what podcast I want to hear
Website Of The Day – On my drive home yesterday I discovered Thomas Kemper Soda. I had the black cherry and it was delicious!
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Friday: stair climbing, 6 flights
Morning Weigh-In – not checking for a while

Foot Mileage – 0.0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 12 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Days – 0
Carnivorous Days – 7

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

August Goals
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash
– Ride my bike no fewer than 150 miles
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run at least once
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than five days
– Lose two pounds

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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13 Responses to My Romantic Weekend For One

  1. Barb says:

    so, as far as I can tell, nowhere on that Hop City website does it have their address or where they are located???

    sounds like you had an okay weekend…….

    Hot tub move was successful – everyone that said they would showed up did, and they even helped clean it up & fix it up after it got to our patio. It ended up taking well into the afternoon, but we had plenty of beverages for everyone.
    I was ready to make dinner for anyone that wanted to stay at that point, but most left, so we ventured up to a houseboat on Lake Allatoona for an evening of fish tacos & swimming. Great ending to the weekend.

  2. Their site is less than optimal. I found the address by going to the Contact Us section at the bottom and then using the Google Map on that page.

    Hop City Craft Beer and Wine‎
    1000 Marietta Street #302
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 350-9998

    Weekend was good, more about it tomorrow. Of course I wish things were different in my life, I start anew today trying to make it so. I have a lot of work to do on my body in order to reverse some of the detrimental affects age, the accident, and neglect have brought. It won’t be until I am happy with myself that I’ll be able to present myself as a viable partner to a female of my desire…

    Glad to hear the hot tub transport was successful. Look at you with the houseboat hookup. The Groves of Marietta representin’!

  3. Barb says:

    it is not an “impressive” houseboat, it is little, was built in 1960 something, and needs some serious updating. But – it has the best slip on the dock (at the very end) so great swimmng (even though technically you aren’t supposed to swim there). They got it for almost nothing……… so it is perfect!

    Plus, Trev wants Allan’s help replacing the decking, so they were planning that, while Anne & I hung out & swam. 😉
    We’ve got some serious paybacks coming up.

  4. Well, if it’s any consolation you have no paybacks coming to me as I was noticeably absent from all of your manual labor. I’d like to say that was because I was concentrating on my own, but anyone who reads this space knows that I’d be lying. 😉

  5. Steve says:

    Barb, I was really worried the hot tub move did not go well when you had not posted anything on FB until late in the day. Glad all went well and I’ll look forward to some cold rides and some hot tub warming… just not anytime soon!

    Shame you didn’t take the bike Paulie, but I understand “new” bike and not wanting it soiled.

    Debbie and I enjoyed a quick trip to Chattanooga to see the aquarium, and almost stopped in Marietta to vandalize a garden we know of 😉 , but instead just headed for the barn. Other than that, a pretty lazy weekend.


  6. Barb says:

    Steve – we just had lots of people there, lots of drinking & socializing going on, thought it would be rude to go inside & play on the computer. I missed the first part of the move (I stayed home to be domestic & cook up some breakfast for everyone), but the 2nd half went pretty smooth. We used a friend’s car hauler trailer, and that worked nice, didn’t have to lift the tub all that high that way.

    You should have stopped by, I had lots of people picking tomatoes yesterday.

    I’ll take some pictures maybe tonight, never even thought about it yesterday.

    how was the Chattanooga Aquarium compared to the Atlanta one?

  7. Soiling the new bike had nothing to do with it. The intent of this weekend was to decompress and reflect on my past and future. After much deliberation I decided that bringing the bike would do nothing more than add stress.

    – Will it rain? (and believe me there were *thunderstorms* not just rain storms; I heard the golf course use an air horn to get people off the course due to lightning.)
    – What should I pack?
    – Where can I safely ride in an area I’ve never been? (Which seems like an odd thing for me to say given last year’s Colorado “I’m bringing my bike to ride in places I’ve never been” trip, but a life-altering car incident can do that to you.)
    – Am I appropriately adjusted to ride the new bike?
    – This being the first ride since the accident, what if I start to hurt while I’m in the middle of nowhere?

    Issues? I have a few.

    It’s the same reason I didn’t hunt for photographs — if something “appeared” I’d shoot it (not much “appeared”) and I wasn’t going to beat myself up for not shooting.

  8. Steve says:

    I’ve actually been to the TN aquarium more than GA and I actually prefer it. Not as much “bang” as GA, but a less “theme park” feel to it. Also very little hassle to park, “Big River Brewery” right across the street for lunch… just an easy day.

    Debbie had mentioned making a garden drive by, and I thought about it, but I was also ready to put my feet up. I thought about texting you with a BOLO for garden thieves in the neighborhood…

  9. I’ll bury the lead here by also admitting that the ITP-Estate may have new plumbing issues, and I have health issues not tied to the bike wreck which I’ve had for the past handful of years which scare fucking the hell out of me.

  10. Stacy Fox says:

    Crap crap crap crap CRAP! I totally forgot about Hop City tonight 🙁 I’m on a crazy deadline at work (until Wednesday – ugh!) and don’t think I’ll be able to go but had really wanted to join you. Not that that makes or breaks your night or anything. 😉 But I’m sorry I forgot about it. *sigh* I need to get myself a better planner/organizer.

    Your weekend sounds wonderful! I like that you go to the little local eateries and stuff. You have me craving pizza now… I might have to go off my diet for a day and find some little local out of the way place here in town for some! Any idea if we have a good hidden gem here in town?

    Barb – I’m a huge fan of the Chattanooga Aquarium myself (Tennessee Aquarium?). I like it better than Atlanta’s.

    What are you dealing with, Paulie? Is it typical “getting older” stuff (not that ANY of us are old, but, hey, we’re not 25 anymore either) or something more serious?

  11. It’s okay Stacy, we’ll get together another time. I meant to send you a message, but of course I forgot to do that. Good luck with the deadline.

    I like Rocky Mountain Pizza near Tech. There is supposedly another great place over that way on Hemphill whose name escapes me.

    Not a “normal” with aging thing. Could be a heredity thing. Shouldn’t speculate too much before I actually consult doctors about it. 🙁

  12. Stacy Fox says:

    Yikes 🙁 Well I hope it all turns out to be OK! Sometimes there’s just nothing worse than just Not Knowing, y’know? (<–er, that makes sense in my head) Hopefully getting to the docs will give you piece of mind.

  13. Thanks. It’s been around for awhile, but it’s another one of those things I’ve been putting off because I’m single and it’s easier to put things off than to deal with them.

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