Waterferalls, Mountains, and Drum Circles at the end of Spring Break in Asheville

On the Thursday of Spring Break, we left Disney World and headed up to Asheville, North Carolina. We had hoped to get to the mountains in time to see some things on the drive up, but we had to pass close to the time suck that is Atlanta, so…

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Although we were losing light fast, I can’t say we didn’t see ANYTHING.

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Our memories of this sign and the closed welcome center of Tallulah Gorge will last a lifetime.

When we finally made it to Asheville, we pulled into our recently refurbished Best Western hotel, which ended up being the nicest place we stayed the entire trip. You heard me, Disney. The next day, we grabbed our free Best Western breakfast and then headed to Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Amazingly, the presence of the sun improved the appearance of the mountains.

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I had found online some cool waterfalls that we could see near Asheville, and only one of them was not right off the road. Knowing that McKenna would barely tolerate a 1 mile in/1 mile out hike, and that at about .6 mile she begins to become suspicious that the claims of a waterfall were a deception to lure her into a waterfall-free hike, I found a waterfall hike that was 1.4 miles round trip.

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Here’s McKenna, already wary because she can’t see the waterfall from this bridge.

Just in time to satisfy McKenna, we made it to Bridal Falls.

Although Bridal Veil is less impressive than other waterfalls I have seen in terms of the amount of water coming over the falls, it is cool in that you can walk behind (and through) the falls and climb to the top.

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Some members of the party did not see climbing to the top as a positive feature of the falls.

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After leaving Bridal Veil Falls, we almost drove right by Sliding Rock Falls, which I had researched and then completely forgotten about due to the onset of senility. The falls are literally a natural water slide. In the summer, Sliding Rock is so crowded that there is a lifeguard stand to the right. Coming in April, we managed to avoid the crowds.

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We also avoided warmer water temperatures – the pool at the base of the falls was about 60 degrees.

McKenna was dying to go down the “slide,” and Laura took the hit for the team.

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After absorbing all of the warmth from the sunny rock, Laura and McKenna were ready to drive to our next destination.

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Although we were only about 2000 feet above sea level here, it was much less spring-like than even the Asheville area.

Last on the list of falls to see was Looking Glass Falls, which was more of a traditional waterfall.

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There was no official swimming area here, at least not in April, although this did not stop McKenna from coming very close.

So we distracted her with something she likes almost as much as swimming – a photo shoot.

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We got back in town before five and changed clothes to go downtown. Apparently, we were not the only ones who thought of going to downtown Asheville for the Friday evening at the end of Spring Break.

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Visiting downtown Asheville was a chance to teach McKenna about city life, and especially about window shopping, by letting her choose a shop based on what we saw in the window.

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And that’s the story of how we ended up in a head shop.

Having seen the above picture, you will probably not be surprised by some of the other things we saw in Asheville, including 1-2 acoustic guitarists per block and enough man buns to establish this city as the man bun capital of the nation.

In addition to lots of man buns, Asheville also has lots of breweries.

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That’s right – we took our child to visit a head shop and a craft brewery. She will have a lot to share with her class about her Spring Break when she returns to school.

As if to confirm everything we had thought about Asheville, as we were walking back to the car we encountered an impromptu drum circle in a park.

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Clearly, some people had visited the head shop before coming to the park.

In the name of science, we stayed to research the drum circle, which appeared to appeal to multiple demographics.

Our research complete, we returned to our high quality Best Western for the night. The next day, we would be returning home, but it was a great vacation with lots of memorable experiences – a mountain of fairy glitter, stroller peer pressure, illegal pool use, princesses around the world, and head shops and breweries.

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