Sunday, November 30, 2008

A great movie!

Let me tell you about a great movie! I really enjoyed it. We saw it at the new Regal Cinemas off Long Shoals Road with stadium seating!

check out the movie! It so rocked!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Asheville's Queen of Fashion - Constance Boutique

Maybe you have never been to her little shop over across from the downtown Asheville Public Library? For many of us who worked downtown and got to network with many business owners, Constance Boutique became one of our favorite places to stop by, shop, and just enjoy the whole atmosphere. I remember one day I was out with 2 ladies and we were walking by the store. We saw Laura, Constance, and a few clients talking and having fun. So we dropped in, Constance broke out the wine, and we had one of our best times in many weeks. More people came in, it was literally "dress up" time for adults. Well, we escaped after getting one of the ladies I was with a beautiful BCBG dress and the other lady a Diana Von Furstenberg dress and top. Everyone left with a smile. Constance and her "crew" are just great people, consumed with clothing style, and a mended business mind. Maybe a little bit ahead of the time for Asheville North Carolina years ago, but now very well established in the community and the timing is perfect.

One of the stores is downtown right near the Asheville Civic Center, across from the library. The other is located in Biltmore Station right next to Biltmore Village (That spot is hot!). She also had a temporary store in the Grove Arcade at one time. She recently tried to expand and accommodate a new location in South Asheville on Long Shoals Rd, but the business and lack of shopping due to the market is forcing her to focus on the other 2 shops after Christmas and put her space on Long Shoals up for lease (photo above). This location is great, with a new 4 lane in front and a booming area... but juggling the 3 stores in this economy forced her to choose the top 2 / oldest 2.

For those of you who know Constance, she is a local star, style guru, fashion consultant, and great overall resident of Asheville NC. She is well versed in many high end womens fashion and can easily create a complete wardrobe custom made exactly for you. Some of the clothing can fit in the "high end common" realm, while others fit the "movie stars". I fall in love with clothing all over again every time I walk into this place. You would expect to find a store of this magnitude in New York City, Atlanta, or Charlotte; but she has brought this beautiful style to Asheville North Carolina. I talked to Constance one time at Savoy Restaurant where she was moderating a "model fashion runway" show for Al Lorenzo from Al's Contractors Inc. in Marion. He was about to marry Natalie, and this was her bridal shower. Wow! Very nice bridal shower. Thank you again Constance.

You can call the boutique at 828-252-4002 or click HERE to go to her website. Only if you want the best, if you know what I mean. Head to toe, perfection.

Biltmore Square Mall's Game Stop Asheville

Just about every time I enter the Biltmore Square Mall, I pass by Game Stop and it is usually packed out. Sometimes if the kids are with me, I have to tell them to step away because there is simply no room. Besides all of the stores in the Asheville area suffering, Biltmore Square Mall has always suffered somewhat. It is sometimes called "The Rich Mall", "The Boring Mall", "The Prison Mall" (because of the security officers being rude and over reacting), "The Sleeping Mall" (see people sleep on the sidelines waiting for something to happen) and "The Dead Mall", read more by clicking HERE.

They just need to call it the Asheville Mall South or #2 and let the mall on Tunnel Road just buy them out. Somebody was saying the other day that the Biltmore Square Mall is going to head in the "Clearance Outlet" direction. How can these poor people revive this mall? What about an area survey and ask the people what they want in that mall? It is sad for businesses to go into that mall with excitement, and the whole overtone quickly becomes dim, second line, and now second hand (Dillards Outlet, and also Envy Me... who just came from the Asheville mall because of no business). I say we redo the whole mall and start all over, before it gets even worse. Finish this Christmas season, recruit Macy's or something worthwhile, and then build from there. Belk's is the "last one left" and going down. Goody's already took off. Who runs the strategy over there anyway? Game Stop and Chik-Fila keep this mall alive to say the least. People crowded these two stores. You can see some video on To visit Game Stop, just click HERE!. Oh, and if you really think you want to visit the Biltmore Square Mall, click HERE.

What's A Derby Girl To Do?

What's A Derby Girl To Do? Adventures of the Off-Season

After an intense eight month 2008 season with the Blue Ridge Rollergirls, Asheville's all-female roller derby team, I can't help but feel a little lost and confused about what to do with all my free time during the off-season.

For folks unfamiliar with the sport, women's flat track roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the country right now (it may be THE fastest growing sport, but I am too lazy to look up any sort of statistics). Most everyone is familiar with the dramatized antics of roller derby in the 70's, but around 2000, there was a revival of the sport and it has blown up ever since. Drew Barrymore has even taken notice of derby and is producing a movie starring Ellen Page entitled, "Whip It," which will come out next year some time. There was a reality show on A&E a couple years ago called "Rollergirls", which characterized the lives of rollergirls living in Texas. Typical to any reality show, it displayed the drama that occurred between teammates but also during each episode, showed the fast-paced, hard-hitting action from real roller derby competitions. Probably true for many rollergirls across the country, when I saw this show, I thought to myself, "I am meant to do this."

Several years later after moving to Asheville, I discovered we had a roller derby team of our own, The Blue Ridge Rollergirls. It was one of the most exciting days of my life. I went to practice the Monday after I found out about the team and have been a part of it ever since. Any rollergirl will tell you that once you join derby, if you're into it, you're really into it. It takes over your life in an unexpected way; it becomes an obsession. Since all roller derby leagues are grassroots types organizations, we run everything ourselves. We not only skate but are working together to run a business. We put together competitions ("bouts" is actually the correct term--like boxing) against different leagues, we run a Board of Directors, we fundraise, we do PR, put on events...meanwhile we practice three times a week during the season for 2 hours and drive one hour round trip to get to the rink in Hendersonville since we don't have one here in Asheville.

After our last bout of the season on November 1st, the season is over until next spring. Already I find myself a little depressed, pacing around the house and eating ice cream while watching 90210 marathons. I wear derby attire (a lot of black, bright colored tights, leg warmers, and shirts with our logo) to inappropriate places and stick out just in attempt to strike up conversation and promote our league. I go out and party with my team mates, drink too much and talk about how much we're going to kick ass next season. While we're out, if we spot a girl at the bar with any sort of tattoo, piercing, or she just looks like she could knock the crap out of someone, we try to recruit her. It has also come to my attention that throwing blocks at parties does not quite have the same appeal as it does on the track, etiquette wise.

We still practice a couple times a week during the off-season and have events to plan which should keep me busy in between the drinking and ice cream eating. Fundraising is the main thing, since we are broke after giving the Civic Center all our money to reserve the dates we want for the 2009 season. We are having an End-Of-Season party on Saturday, December 13th from 6 until 11 p.m. at the Dragon Lady Salon if you want to check out all the derby debauchery for yourself.
For more information about the happenings of the Blue Ridge Rollergirls, go to our myspage page (our webpage is under construction) at:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Asheville Woman Firefighter talking to friends

The Asheville Fire Department goes shopping at the new Ingles on Tunnel Road, right across from Dairy Queen. Here is a quick pic of one of Asheville's Finest, Woman Firefighter talking to friends outside. These people protect, serve, and save.

Asheville Police Search Car & People on Cherry St

The SUV was out tonight and obviously rolled up on these people hanging out in the lower parking lot of the Food Lion Skate Park on Cherry Street in Downtown Asheville. Here you see the officer has 3 people sitting against the car, and is frisking the "biggest" one of the crew.

5 McDonald's McCafés Coming To Asheville North Carolina

McCafé is a world of delicious coffees and drinks. They have a wide selection of exclusive expresso cofffee, gourmet cakes and muffins, and delicious snacks. Note that McDonalds is taking some "green" steps in making every McCafé coffee out of 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica coffee beans. This is big for Asheville.

There will be 5 new McCafés going up in the Asheville area. You can view the plan approvals by clicking HERE. Other nearby McCafés will be in Fletcher, Old Fort, Forest City, Columbus, and Marion North Carolina. This is big and fits in perfectly with the paced area growth that is sneaking in the area. Obama, Tiger Woods, and now McD's making a sustainable move in Western North Carolina. They need to put one in Weaverville to go along with the new Super Wal-Mart about to open.

To view McDonalds McCafé information, click HERE.

See the McDonalds on Patton being demolished to make way for the new McCafé by clicking HERE.

Photos above are some McCafés around the world including the dessert display in Paris, France

This was approved 3 days after the 2008 Election (Nov 7th, 2008) a few weeks ago.


Dorky Husbands: Another thing to be thankful for every day.

Okay, y'all. I must admit, my Thanksgiving was awesome. My husband, daughter and I did not go to Raleigh or Rockingham to visit family this year like we usually do, because we just took a trip back east earlier this month and got to see pretty much everyone. So we decided to save the gas for Christmas this year. We were thinking it was just going to be another quiet day in the RV (or "bus", as our 3 year old daughter calls it), but as it turns out, we got a last minute invitation from some friends to come spend Thanksgiving with them at a vacation house in Yancey County.

So we went, and it was wonderful. The vacation house had been rented for three days by a group of friends who wanted to have a big Turkey Day throwdown. There were about twenty five people and fifteen dogs in attendance, and everyone brought a dish or two to share, potluck style. The house was beautiful, complete with a fishing pond and a jacuzzi on the back deck. We met a lot of new people and got to spend some time with some old friends we hadn't seen in awhile. The food was fantastic (although I filled myself up on appetizers like spanakopita and crackers with brie before dinner was ready). There certainly was an awful lot to appreciate.

But isn't there always? Perhaps if we could spend every day in a state of appreciation, our lives would be easier and happier. It's not as if there's a shortage of things to be thankful for every day except Thanksgiving. For instance, I always have access, without even trying, to a mixture of gases that is suitable for my lungs to breathe. I am ALIVE! I have a brain that can do a wide variety of things that are so incredible that no scientist has quite figured out how it works. I'm probably the most miraculous thing I can think of, actually. My brain, my body, my spirit, and the universe, working together seamlessly and I don't even have to give it a second thought. That's just basic stuff that pretty much everyone can count on their everyday list of things to appreciate. I know not everyone has a family, or a house, or a car... but everyone, no matter what, can be thankful for the miracle that is this reality and his or her opportunity to actually participate in it. There was even a time when I didn't have much food for a couple years. Often I went to bed hungry. But I even learned to be thankful for that. The great thing about hunger pangs is that they are proof you're still alive.

Not only that, but if you think about it, pretty much everything you try to do works out perfectly, I'd say about 98% of the time, for most of us. When was the last time you wanted to eat, yet couldn't find any food? When was the last time you needed to eliminate, and couldn't find a suitable place to do it before you had an embarrassing accident? When was the last time you turned on the TV and found that all the stations had stopped broadcasting? When was the last time you wanted to read a book and and you suddenly went blind for the rest of the day? Sure, sometimes things don't work out as planned or expected, but really, on the whole, most things work out great. Why not focus on all the little things that go well for us instead of the couple little snags we hit each day? The only answer I can think of is that we must be insane. Literally. I mean, if you wake up and everything falls into place all morning, from waking to dressing to tooth brushing to eating breakfast, literally hundreds of things have gone right for you already. But then if you go outside and step in a pile of dog doo, all of a sudden you're having a bad day. What sense does that make? Go change your frickin shoes and be grateful you have an extra pair!

Just some food for thought (as if you weren't stuffed like a turkey already). Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vote for Asheville company vying for $100,000 prize

Matter of fact, go to our friends over at AshVegas (yes, click the name) to see the details. If you have not been to the Asheville North Carolina AshVegas blog, you are missing a bunch. Stay updated on the local real peoples news! The Editor/Moderator Ash stays up with the community, networks, news, and lots of local AVL info, pics, and more. Keep them on your blogroll or rss feed with us. Let me take a quick pic of their homepage for you to see, and remember to vote for these Asheville Moms. Go directly to the article by clicking HERE.

24hr Coffee in Asheville North Carolina

Plenty of business at this coffee shop on Merrimon Avenue. It stays packed inside and out, especially on Thanksgiving, when most places are closed. This place is right next to New York Fashions on East Chestnut and Merrimon Ave in North Asheville. From their website... "Caffiend is the Carolina's first and only 24 hour coffee and espresso bar. We started just this year and have already gained a reputation as a destination coffee house in the Southeast. Caffiend features amazing coffee from not one, but four roasters as well as a variety of local gourmet baked goods. Many things set us apart from the competition; whether it's the widest variety of drinks available in our region, the over one hundred varieties of gourmet teas, the lowest prices in our region, or the comfortable seating there's something for everyone at Caffiend. Caffiend also offers amenities you come to expect from any great coffee house such as free wireless internet as well as an in-house computer with available printing (for a small fee). So we invite you to visit a true phenomenon in coffee, Caffiend... and don't forget SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK!"

Asheville deserted for Thanksgiving

Took a stroll through downtown and it looks like a beautiful ghost town for the most part. Maybe tonight will pick up a little. I know Athena's is open later on.

The Frog Bar in Asheville North Carolina

One of the only places open on Thanksgiving in Asheville. Pretty decent crowd for today, cheerful workers, and a great atmosphere. It is on the corner in the same building as the Haywood Park Hotel.

Modular Condos in Asheville NC

These modulars were installed just a couple of years ago in downtown Asheville, and fit in pretty good with the area. Lexington Avenue Station is the name of these buildings and there are shops and businesses all across the main level.

Vigne Restaurant in Downtown Asheville

Outside patio and canopies.

Thanksgiving at the Pioneer Building

The Pioneer Building in Asheville North Carolina on Broadway Ave dowtown is soon to open. Here are some painters cleaning up after a hards days work. If you have to get it done, you just have to get it done, lol.

Lexington Avenue Art Mural Asheville NC

Quick picture of the pillars under I-240 on Merrimom Avenue is Asheville North Carolina. They need support to keep this going. Contact to help.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Gobble Gobble day!

Well, all, another turkey day is upon us. Thanksgiving eve I guess you would call it! It's supposed to be a pretty day. I want to wish everyone a safe and happy gobble gobble day! And remember what it is really all about. Not food. But family! For being thankful for all that we have been blessed with and not all that we don't have. I choose to look at my cup half full then half empty. There is so much to be thankful for. A beautiful day for one. My daughter. My family. My friends. My church. For all kinds of things. My job. I just urge you all to reflect on how great your life really is. Be safe and try not to eat too much!

God bless!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The final exams are peekin their little heads out from around the corners of Autumn....

For me, it comes down to World Literature, and Juvenile justice this semester. I should have no problem acing the hell out of these tests :) My GPA could certainly use the boost. But, i've always been that way. BS my way through the entire semester, and then whiz through the cumulative exam, get a perfect score, and then move on. My test scores are the only reason I was admitted to ANY college. Anyways, I pray for the best for you folks in the test-heavy weeks to come.


Please, check those Asheville bridges and overpasses!

Quick pic of the State crew out working on this bridge overpass in West Asheville on Brevard Road on I-240. From what I heard there was a distressed kitten stuck up under the overpass... (just kidding). I am glad they send crews out regularly to check these overpasses. Of course Westgate gets checked very frequently, and it should. The Westgate bridge has some elevation on it and two of my kids are scared to death of it after several bridges collapsed around the country. What is the term for "bridge phobia" anyway?

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Asheville Attitude of Gratitude!

This Asheville based website and universal lifestyle is so beautiful, we have to share it with our Asheville family, and the whole world for that matter...’s mission is to foster peace and happiness through:
1. Raising public awareness for thankfulness
2. Providing simple tools for practice
3. Inspiring joyful expressions of gratitude
4. Educating about related scientific findings

Asheville Artist Damaris Pierce who, through her own development and studies, underwent tremendous transformations in her life that led her to share her findings with others. “Gratitude is more than a concept”, states Pierce, “it is a state of being that can be cultivated every day”. “I believe when you focus on the things you are thankful for each day you begin to live a more joyful, fulfilled and pleasurable life,” she continues, “I want to share this with others and create a public display of gratitude that ripples around the globe! Gratitude is a powerful force that can help people from any walk of life change their perspective and achieve a better quality of life. It is important for each of us to say thank you to family, friends, pets, nature or places we love for enriching our lives and bringing us joy. As an artist, I infuse gratitude into every piece I create, whether it is stone, glass, wood, canvas or metal. As a human being, I feel the richness of life in every interaction, every event, every thing. I believe sharing this energy with one another can create a ripple that spreads across the globe and helps remind everyone that there is beauty, love and good to be found.”

Great downtown Asheville location

They just recently removed these old diesel tanks from this lot, right besides the Western Carolina Rescue Mission in downtown Asheville NC. I see a Dunkin Donuts truck on the left there, so maybe they will be making a move on this property soon. This is right near the corner of Downtown Patton and Haywood Street. About 3 blocks from the Asheville Federal Building, Salvation Army, and the Buncombe County Sheriffs Department. Whatever goes here in this spot will definitely get some heavy traffic passing by daily. We look forward to seeing what pops up!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sale at Asheville's Biltmore Square Mall

Quick pic of a "street signer" they have standing near the Biltmore Square Mall in South/West Asheville (in between, so I hear people calling it both ways). Stores are suffering here. This mall has been lagging behind the Asheville Mall as far as business and clientel, but vendors hope that the area growth moving in will soon level things out here.

Plenty of great restaurants surround this point including Garfields and the Stone Ridge Tavern. This point is about 4 miles away from Biltmore Park (South AVL) and about 5 miles from the Candler area of West Asheville Buncombe.

Asheville's Virtual Ambush Gaming Lounge

This Asheville based "video game heaven" is run very smoothly by a retired Military Police Officer who has dedicated his time, life and business to serving the great video gamer industry here in Asheville NC. It is a very safe haven for the kids who come to play and interact with many other gamers in Buncombe County and beyond. Video cameras are always live on the scene and you can view them live on their website at any time. There has only been a few instances where he had to escort some people out, who thought it was a "club" or pool hall. No way! It is a friendly, secure, family based fun place for people to hang and try almost every video game you can think of. They even have program where developers that are launching new video games sends them plenty of samples for gamers to try out free of charge, and submit a review before they have their grand release into public. They cater parties here, and could accomodate almost any type of get-together you can think of. They are open 7 days a week, around Noon on most days and 10am on the weekends. You can also call Tom (828-210-0017) if you have any questions about this great place that I personally love to bring the kids. Once we go, this place is all they talk about for weeks. You need to check it out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Appearances Salon & Spa Asheville Hair!

Misty did it! She passed her State Board exam and now has her "cutting papers". We know dozens of people who use this salon in North Asheville for everything from a cut, color, style, perms, highlights, massages, facials, and custom make up application for any and every occasion. These stylists work hard to earn and retain clients all over the Asheville area (I have personally seen them at work).

If you are looking for a local stylist in the Asheville Buncombe area, Misty Baker or Manager Stephen Veltman (shown above) are open to new clients and look forward working with you to get that "Appearance" you are looking for. You can call them at 828-645-8585 or visit their website at

Beautiful Saturday!

I love lazy days like this. I'm just enjoying my day around the house with my daughter Reading. Cleaning. Just relaxing! Nothing special. Today is a good day!

God bless!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton can represent Change... Especially with Obama

Barack Obama represents change. We have all heard his slogan, seen his signs, and know that he needs to back it up. Today they have announced that Hillary Clinton is his Secretary of State. Everyone is saying how can he say that CHANGE is going to happen when Hillary is on his cabinet.
I think this does represent Change. I think that if he is willing to look past his own personal thoughts (not saying he thinks bad of Clinton) but know that America's best interest is the real concern. I believe that Hillary has some great ideas and will work closely with Obama to Change America!
During the beginning of the Democratic Primary Clinton had a lot of old ideas, the same thing we had heard before, but at some point she realized that if something doesn't change, America is not going to. So some of her ideas changed, some of her policies changed. Get the point... They CHANGED!
Now so can we. So can America! So can our economy! I encourage Obama to look past personal thoughts, I encourage him to Change US!

Thai Food in Asheville is Plentiful; Not Equal

Back when I moved to Asheville (about seven years ago) there was only one Thai restaurant in the area: Wan Pen out in Arden. My first house was only a five minute drive from Wan Pen, so I ate there frequently. Wan Pen has an authentic, delicious menu, but once I moved into Asheville, it was too far away to visit with any regularity. Soon Doc Chey's Noodle House opened up downtown, with several Thai dishes on the menu, and while I like their menu and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, it's not truly a Thai restaurant. When you get down to it, this is an Asian fusion restaurant (or, as the chain's website states, "Pan Asian Cuisine"). This fact makes me and my friends wonder why Doc Chey's consistently gets in the top three Thai restaurants in the Best of WNC. We understand "Best Cheap Lunch", and even "Best Takeout" (although it's not really a takeout joint, either), but "Best Thai"?

Next in the Asheville area's quest for abundant Thai food came Thai Cuisine Express on Patton Avenue. And this, for me, at least, was the end of the quest. Thai Cuisine Express is now in its fourth year in business, and as far as I'm concerned, this is the best Thai food in Asheville. It also happens to be one of the cheapest.

Other Thai restaurants have opened since. Maybe too many, in fact. There's Thai Basil, Noi's Thai Kitchen, and a slew of other Thai places in the area. Most of them, in my opinion, rely on their swanky atmospheres more than their menus to draw patronage. In large part, they are overpriced and lack authenticity (read: Americanized). But Thai Cuisine Express continues to serve up spicy coconut curries and tangy stir-fries in large portions to satisfy your craving for the true taste of Thai. For a mere $8.95, you can get a heaping helping of the most delicious cashew chicken in town (maybe in the whole USA; owner Palm Thonesuwan brought Thai Cuisine's menu all the way from Hollywood, where he helped open a Thai restaurant/bar that has earned international acclaim for its menu). Also available are such Thai staples as Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, and Thai Basil. Anything on the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan (just remember to request it without fish sauce!), and I promise you won't find a better spring roll in these mountains.

This is a true family restaurant- and the customers tend to quickly become extended family members. Palm is always there (he's not only the owner, he's also the restaurant's only chef) to wave and say hi, or "Sa-ba-di-kah!", if you speak a little Thai. The atmosphere is snug and casual, and with only five tables, a diner often finds herself participating in the next table's conversation. Most of the business is done in takeout orders, and this is a great option if you don't have time to cook dinner, especially if you live on the west side. So if you're in the mood for incredible, delicious, authentic Thai food, but not in the mood to pay extra for a formal, fancy atmosphere, head on down to Thai Cuisine Express!

Thai Cuisine Express is located at 1438 Patton Ave. Phone: 225-6082.
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 3pm to 9pm.

Asheville Commercial Construction & Development

We really have to take a minute to brag on one of the best Commercial Contractors in Asheville North Carolina. This is not an advertisement. We just keep hearing that if you want a job completed right, at a fair price (not too low or too high), great communication, great follow up, great project managers, great superintendents, and a very successful project... you need to talk to Perry Bartsch Jr. Construction in Asheville North Carolina. They do not do giant advertising or marketing schemes, but you have probably been in many of the structures that this company has built everywhere around Western North Carolina.

One of the projects they recently completed was a Regional Destination Center for the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was LEED GOLD Certified AIA Atlanta COTE and also the Showcase winner for the 2008 Greenprints Conference. From what I heard, this was the first LEED GOLD certification in this area. Project cost was $5.5 million. Thank you Perry Bartsch for paving the way! Here is a quick picture of the inside, and also a picture that Asheville Framing gave to us of Brian (PBjr. Superintendent), Rob (PBjr. Project Manager), and Steve (PBjr Project Manager). They have a very strong team spirit. Successuful projects are what they do in and around the WNC area. When talking about the future of Asheville, Perry Bartsch Jr. is sure to have a big part in it. You can visit their website by going to

Good Morning

So, how do you know when it's safe to drive to work? This is such a sticky situation. It's such a hard call to make. I got up early this morning and tried to make it to work. The roads in Waynesville were so bad, and I have to admit, I do not drive well in icy conditions, I ended up coming home after 20 minutes of driving. I was a nervous wreck and praying the whole time. I work in Asheville. That is a long way and the conditions change so much between here and there. It is 9:3o now and it is still flurrying here, but the conditions may be OK at work. I always feel guilty when I don't feel safe to make the drive, but it's OK there. Does that make any sense. I have work to do, but I know it will get done whether I am there or not. I have checked the weather and it is not supposed to get above freezing. So, I ponder this, at what point do I say, "OK, I'm staying home?" Even if the accumulation is not much. I just don't feel safe driving in icy conditions. The snow is not so bad. Anyway...I thought I'd just put that out there. Maybe I can get some input as to how you all handle this. Let me say, it sure is pretty out there! God's glory at His finest!

Christmas at Asheville's Pritchard Park

Stopped by Pritchard Park last night and took these photos. It actually got me in the Christmas spirit for a moment, but then I went back to thinking about Thanksgiving next week. The light chill, the lighting, and just the whole scene is beautiful. The only thing missing here tonight were some Christmas Carolers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Couple asks for help in South Asheville

Getting off this Asheville highway exit, I met this couple and the first thing they said was "this is not Florida", referring to how cold they were. I did not have any money on me but was able to give them a few bags of snacks that I had in the truck for the kids. Here they are... the woman leaning into him with the "peace" sign, and the man throwing up the "rock and roll" sign.

New Meaning of Tree House!

Take a look at this house. It has a tree growing on it. This gives this house a very unusual look. I wonder how they passed the building inspection. Asheville City Inspectors would throw a fit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

P.F. Chang's Opening in Asheville NC!

When I travel to Greenville SC, I always pass a PF Chang's and say in my head "I want to try that place". Well I do not have to travel to Greenville for that anymore thanks to Biltmore Park in Asheville inviting PF Chang's as their lead restaurant in this wonderful "all inclusive" development and mega shopping world. Visit PF Chang's by clicking Here! It is not open yet, so do not run over there tonight, but it will be open very soon, and I will be one of the first to go!

Biltmore Park Regal Movie Theatre South Asheville

So here it is, now open, but construction and equipment everywhere you look. No prob for us, we love the progress. This movie theatre in South Asheville boasts a 15 screen 57,220 SF cinema. It will be operated by Regal and it will be Asheville's first stadium cinema.

University of Phoenix in South Asheville coming soon

Stopped by Biltmore Park today off of the Skyland exit in South Asheville. We saw so much development that we could not completely comprehend it. Major, major work going on to provide every need a person living there may have. Here is a picture of the University of Phoenix, still under construction, but coming real soon. Currently they only offer classes online for the Asheville area, but not any more after they finish this beautiful structure surrounded by apartment complexes, condos, and plenty of food and entertainment options. Somebody here had a plan!

The University of Phoenix has many locations all over the United States including a campus in Charlotte and Raleigh. They are also in Alberta, British Columbia, and Puerto Rico... but this is WNC's first!

Visit Biltmore Park by clicking Here Energy & Environment Policy, Green Thinking

Meet members of the Energy & Environment Policy Transition Team

Wishful thinking......

In my 22 years, not once have I had the opportunity to visit a drive-through movie theater. I've always wanted too. I think that eventually, i'd like to build one around here. Take out a couple of loans, scare up some investors, and some friends to help build it. I'll show what I want to. Damn the censors :) Have a dozen or so grills going in the summer-time. Maybe a couple of in-ground pools. Good idea ?

Old Asheville Chamber Site

The steel on the building is almost complete, and I took a pic of this crane going into the high heavens. This site is caddy cornered from the Buncombe County Sheriff's Department. If you put your left elbow on your desk and lean your head on your hand, you should be able to see this photo perfectly level.

Worst Carwash around Asheville - North vs South

We drive around Asheville very much, so we have tested just about every carwash in Buncombe County. This one in Arden hit rock bottom in satisfaction, especially for the price of $8 for the "Super Wash". Even my 3 year old daughter said "where is the soap daddy?" I am heading back to the Weaverville Citgo or the Gorilla Car Wash on Patton Avenue where life and soap is good!

Sonic South Asheville

Most of us have stopped by Sonic during their "happy hour" when they have half price drinks from 2-4 pm. This is the Arden Sonic right near the new Wal-Mart, right near the Target shopping center, and right near tons of development going on now and many big plans for the future.

Airport Road in South Asheville is becoming a mega shopping and restaurant area. It is centered perfectly between Hendersonville and Downtown Asheville, 10 miles in either direction. Oh, and the Asheville Airport is just 1 mile from this point! Very nice and convenient.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome to Montford, Asheville North Carolina

I personally love Montford. The homes, people, and vibe is wonderful. I did not know too much about the area, but I took this from their Montford website. Please read the info and history.

"Whether you are a visitor, new to the neighborhood or a longstanding resident, Montford is a great place to be.

A Brief History:

Montford is a neighborhood in Asheville, North Carolina. A portion of Montford is a National Register Historic District, the first of three local historic districts to come under the jurisdiction of the Historic Resources Commission (HRC) of Asheville and Buncombe County (see the Asheville city link for more information and guidelines). Montford Hills is an adjacent neighborhood which is outside the jurisdiction of the HRC. Recent years in Montford have witnessed the renovation of many of the neighborhood's residences by individual families and a myriad of industrious bed and breakfast owners who have helped to restore the district to its former splendor.

Located in Buncombe County (founded in 1792), the town of Asheville, North Carolina was incorporated in 1797. However, until the arrival of the railroad in 1880, Asheville was little more than an isolated mountain village, a small trading center and occasional vacation spot for a few summer visitors. When rails overcame the barrier of the Blue Ridge, a boom began that was to continue almost uninterrupted for five decades.

The neighborhood that permanently expresses the diversity of this era is Montford. This sprawling, homogeneous neighborhood of about three hundred acres retains over six hundred structures representing a rich diversity of architectural styles, most constructed between 1890 and 1920 during Asheville's emergence as the greatest city of the Southern Appalachians. The adjacent area know as Montford Hills was dubbed a suburb of Montford and built primarily in the 1920s.

The residents of Montford welcome you. It's the people here, through all their efforts, that make this neighborhood a great place."

Holy Trinity Asheville Greek Orthodox Church

This Church in Asheville was founded in 1922 by Greek immigrants. It features parish council, history, programs, youth ministries, calendar and photos. It is located on Cumberland Ave about 3 minutes north of Downtown by Montford Avenue. Beautiful structure of faith in this great Asheville Montford community. You can visit their website for more information

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce

The old Asheville Chamber of Commerce looked pretty good, but then this one popped up on this old restaurant spot in downtown Asheville. I heard when they dug up the footings of the old place for this building, they found bones and everything buried deep in the dirt.

The Asheville Chamber has been very effective in putting together programs to benefit the Asheville community and Western North Carolina. They had an Internet Technology Council years ago and tried to implement the "Starfish" mentality with other professionals in the area. Do not know exactly what happened to that. The last thing I heard is that they got direct flights from Asheville to NYC and several other locations from one of the Major Airline Carriers.

Then they have a colorful vibrant marketing face called Explore Asheville that is a local resource guide for the Asheville area. We were actually doing a poll recently and comparing it with another great site in the area called Asheville Now. Check both of them out and comment what you think is the better site, haha.

So here is the "new" (3 years old) Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Beverly-Grant Construction of Asheville built this structure and it was about $1 million over budget, and rumor is because of a irresponsible construction superintendent that was playing on the internet in the work trailer while the job schedule and budget was being blown to smitherines. Oh well, tomorrow is another day, hopefully better.

The Chamber is a wonderful place to network with local businesses and if you have the time to get involved, it is well worth it. Members Only is their undertone and they run a tight eventful network circle in Asheville NC.

Asheville Sun Yi’s Tae Kwon Do

Are You Looking For
• Cardio Fitness • Weight Loss
• Strength • Flexibility • Coordination • Reflex -response • Balance
• Energy & Vitality
• Focus • Discipline • Intentionality
• Confidence • Social Skills • Self Awareness
• Better School Grades
• Courtesy • Integrity • Perseverance • Self-Control • Indomitable Spirit
• Inner Sense of Peace and Personal Power
• Intelligent & Effective Use of the Body
• Defensive Techniques to Protect Self & Others
• Stranger-Danger Awareness • Bully Prevention
• Conflict Resolution
• Confidence in Ability to Protect Self & Others
You Will Find It All At Asheville Sun Yi's Tae Kwon Do and so much more.
They offer Mixed Class (All Ages, All Ranks), Yoga (For Everyone), Business Networking International, Music Together (Music Class For MOM, DAD and TODDLERS), Kids-All Ranks (Ages 6 to 11), Nia (Combines Yoga, Dance, Aerobics and Martial Arts), Masters Club(All Ages- Black Belts), Kids- Beginner (6-12yr Just starting out), Kids Advanced (6-11yrs old Orange Belt and Above.), Beginners (Mixed/Adults), Black Belt Kids (6-11yrs old High Orange through Brown), Black Belt Club Adults (12 and Up High Orange through Brown Belt), and The Mighty Tigers (Ages 4 & 5 Years Old).

The Dojang or School can be found at 1341 Parkwood Rd. Patton Square in West Asheville. You Cant Miss it Right behind Sonic on Patton Ave. Next to Jersy Mikes

My 5 year old Son is one of the students at Asheville Sun Yi's Tae Kwon Do he Loves going to Tae Kwon Do and Studying with Jr. Master Tony Morris. Mr. Morris who teaches the majority of the classes is great with kids and adults. He maintains a commanding presence in the Dojang and has a great sense of humor. Ok He's Just a big Kid But he Knows his stuff He began to study Tay kwon Do in the 70's with one of the first Korean Masters to come to America Grand Master Jun Hun Kim in Charlotte North Carolina. My son also like to work out and study with Ashley Banks (Ms. Banks 2 or the younger Ms. Banks will explain later) a 19 Year old university student who holds the special distinction of being Mr. Morris' First Black belt. Dont let her Age Fool you her maturity far exceeds her years. Her Teaching style is sweet and caring in addition to powerful and precise. Also Teaching at the Dojang and the other Ms. Banks My Son Like to work out with is the Wife, Mother and co-owner of Asheville Sun Yi's Tae Kwon Do, Ronya Banks (Ms. Banks Aka Mom, Ms. Banks 1 or the older Ms Banks see I told you I would explain later). This is one smart lady She holds a B.A. in Psychology, an A.A.S in Computer Programming and is a certified life coach as well as a certified guerrilla marketing consultant. Ms. Banks 1 as in instructor exhibits a flexible and adaptable style of instruction encompassing a blend of speed, power, precision and most of all fun. See I told you this place has it all.

So Stop in and check it out or give Sun yi's a Call at 828-515-0142. Now You Could always stop in on December 13, 2008 And see just what all the fuss is about Why December 13? Thats the Next Promotional Testing Date. Lots of new students Testing for that next belt and older students moving on up in rank the day will be exciting, fun and filled with demonstrations.

One Side Note About Asheville Sun Yi's Traditional Tae Kwon Do Acadamy That I would like to Drive Home. This School is what Asheville is all about. Coming together as a community of all walks of life living and working together as one.

The group that every mom wants to find


I can't begin to say how many times I have been bored at home as my baby napped and I googled "play groups asheville" or "baby friendly events asheville" or "asheville mom group". I think all moms do that at some point. I've joined a few groups over the past 20 months of my son's life, but none were what I was really looking for. Then I finally found Asheville Mommies and fell in love. There's a huge online forum that is super easy to navigate (not like yahoo groups...ugh, I hate yahoo groups) and best of all, real life things to do. There is a calendar with events posted as well as an entire subforum to discuss events.
It is not just a play group or an online forum or a way to get out and socialize your child. It is a group of friends that are at the same point in life as you. We get together weekly at the Hop on Merrimon, with numerous other events sprinkled in throughout the week. We have mom's night out, where we break away to catch a movie or some drinks. It is exactly the kind of group that I spent hours online searching for. Come check us out at!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tiger Woods Falls In Love With Asheville North Carolina!

Tiger Woods is building a home on the outskirts of Asheville North Carolina. No Builder has been specified as of yet, but maybe he would possibly use one from the local Asheville Home Builders Association (, which is very close to his property. Asheville Custom Home Builders also sent out a bulletin that they are serving the "golfer market" and have some nice land/home/golf packages available in many developments in Asheville, as well as other private mountain properties and real estate. Asheville is building up!

Tiger said that Asheville is a community and a place where he wants to bring his family. He also said he sees it by "looking through his daughters eyes", seeing the leaves (leaf season). Out of all of the places in the world, Tiger Woods chose Asheville North Carolina, to make what he says is complete nature and beauty mixed with what he is best at... Golf! Looks like many "Green" concepts will be implemented in this great Cliff Community! View Tiger's 1st American Design by clicking Here.

Mr. Woods said "It’s about making it perfect. He does not do anything not perfect." People will find a great mixture of ideas on this course because he is personally designing it for himself. Here comes a good percentage of the golf world to Asheville to "chill" with the Man who re-invented the Game of Golf. Obama recently complimented the area when he was in Asheville at the Vance/Aycock dinner and said "If there is a prettier State than North Carolina, I have not see it yet!" He also confessed that he had not been to Alaska, lol. See it on Also see

When they leave, he wants them to say they "I cant wait to come back". Asheville North Carolina / Buncombe County is where Tiger Woods and his family will live and play! Ps.. many more celebrities moving toward Asheville soon. Quiet... Tell me what you know...

Click Here to See the News Channel 4 KRNV article

Seattle Times article on Obama, Tiger Woods, and Asheville North Carolina

Antiquing Gone South

They call it “The Barn” optimistically. A real barn would be more inviting.

The first entry for our blog Don’t Even Go There ( is a tale from our town: Asheville, NC (aka “The Happiest Place on Earth”). Judge for yourself. —Mark Bloom & Jason Scholder

Before we begin this story, remember that times change, as do memories. What was once true may no longer be and visa versa. Keep that in mind as you read . . . all our stories.


To find antique bargains, people travel to out-of-the-way places with historic pasts—places like Marblehead, Massachusetts, or Solvang, California. Asheville, North Carolina, is another choice spot. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts. Home to the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn and Spa, the city also boasts a thriving arts scene, the South’s most impressive art deco architecture, and colorful local characters, such as “trustafarians” (trust-funded street people).

If you’re antiquing, you can do quite well there. Many stores offer authentic artifacts from the past, everything from candlesticks to claw-foot tubs. You can also find some kitschy fun, like plastic plates from the ’60s and a complete collection of Dale Earnhardt cups. Downtown has so many antique and second-hand shops, you can’t whip out a credit card wit hout hitting one.

Despite the plethora of choices, though, one place gets voted “Best of” more often than the rest. This place also has, in our opinion—from one ill-fated, wrong-turn visit a number of years ago—the most oppressive shopping experience of them all. The infamous Antique Tobacco Barn is a musty metal garage-like structure, larger than bowling alley but with less charm. Its aluminum facade inhibits breezes, thieves, and apparently, good taste. The environment is uncomfortably humid in the summer and seasonably uninhabitable the rest of the year.

During our visit, the items for sale inside were arranged chronologically, from oldest to ugliest. Some of the wares seemed too new to be considered antique. The rest were slowly disintegrating. The Tobacco Barn might be more accurately named “Garage Sale Outle t Center.” The merchants evidently believed that any old, dilapidated, or aesthetically irrelevant item must be an antique. Was there a really market for an original oil painting of plastic tulips on a Formica kitchen table? Perhaps it didn’t sell during the artist’s lifetime for good reason.

Like an Ikea store’s winding layout, the Barn’s entrance was easier to find than its exit. Once you wandered inside—through the narrow rows of “what was I thinking?”—you might feel compelled to keep going, believing that the night table you’ve always wanted waited for you just around the next bend. Don’t get us wrong; you might find a treasure there, especially if you’re looking for something … unusual, but the chances will seem to decrease with every turn you take.

Eventually, you’ll admit that the pounding in your chest is not love for the perfect affectation to place on your mantel. The quickening of your pulse, you’ll suddenly realize, isn’t joy at all. It’s fear! Fear that some of this bad taste will rub off on you. Fear that something heavy will fall on you, preventing your escape. Fear that asking for directions from the toothless “connoisseur” a pproaching you will lead to an unwanted conversation involving spare change. (He doesn’t need coins for the restrooms—they are free and worth every penny.)

When you emerge from the Barn at last, having wasted countless hours (but hopefully nothing more expensive than that), you will find yourself asking your partner questions that thousands of others have asked before you:

“Do you need a drink as much as I do?”

“When did I become someone who likes antiques?”

“Why do I feel like I should take a shower?”

Lessons Learned: Like cigarettes, the Tobacco Barn left a bad taste in our mouths. In the past, our government fought the tobacco companies and won. Someone should tackle the Antique Tobacco Barn next. Only then will the country be safe from the perils of antiquing gone south.

How We Saw It:
Blight-Seeing: 4
Communication Breakdown: 2
Customer Dis-service: 3
Discomfort Level: 3
Grunge Factor: 3
Inactivity Guide: 4
Rent-Attainment: 2
Spontaneous Consumption: 5
Fun Fraction: 2/5
Vibe-Rating: 1

If You Won't Listen to Us:
Nearest Airport: Asheville Regional Airport
Native Population: 75,000
Normal Attractions: The Biltmore Estate, the=2 0Grove Park Inn & Resort, downtown, the thriving arts scene, the outdoor activities, and antiquing (unfortunately).
Final Point of Interest: Bele Chere, a huge outdoor arts/music festival that happens every July, draws 300,000 people including some billies from the surrounding hills.
Mark Bloom & Jason Scholder (Asheville North Carolina)
writers / editors / bloggers
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