>Here in Asheville, we take Christmas seriously!
Maybe it’s the presence of the Biltmore with its 100 Christmas trees, 150,000 lights, 10,000 feet of fresh garlands and more than 25,000 ornaments; maybe it’s the fireworks which “sizzle” every Friday night (the restaurants have special deals to get you out in time to watch); maybe it’s the Dickensian weekend when Victorian England spills out onto the streets of Asheville; maybe it’s the Grove Park Arcade with its display of gingerbread houses made by children, teens and adults (the smell alone makes the room worth going into!); or maybe, just maybe, it’s the wonderfully friendly people who love their city and want to share it with you.
Today, Sara and I went to get a Christmas tree for the Carolina. It was pouring with rain and icy cold and for the first time in my life I was less than enthusiastic about the prospect of going to buy a tree. But time was pressing so out we went. Given the choice, I am much more likely to patronize a “worthy cause” roadside stand than a regular retail store so we drove a bit out of Asheville to Weaverville to find our tree. The first place at which we stopped was deserted, even the sellers had gone home. They probably figured no one in their right mind would come out today! So we moved on to the next one.
We pulled up to a small lot with a trailer in the middle decorated with snowmen smiling widely. Peering through the car’s fogged up windows we saw an older man come out of the trailer, ready to sell us a tree. It didn’t take long for us to find the right tree for our inn. Apparently the trees this year are much better than last year because of the extra rain. Anyway, the gentleman kindly asked us, would we like the end cut off? “Yes” we replied. So off into the trailer he went and emerged with an electric chain saw and a long extension cord. Did I mention it was raining? It didn’t seem like the best idea but he was comfortable it and I quickly reviewed in my mind the CPR instruction I was given years ago. A few buzz cuts later and the tree was ready to load on top of the car. We hadn’t been able to find any rope to bring but the nice man assured us he had some. He did: a thin green plastic twine. He tossed the tree up on the car and set about securing it, using the least possible amount of “rope” and making, what seemed to us, remarkably few ties. Nervously we asked him if he was sure this would hold? “Weell,” he said, “I haven’t heard that one fell off yet.” That was when I noticed the sign on the side of the trailer: The NB Optimists Club!
But as you can see, we got the tree home and decorated and it is sitting in our parlor waiting to welcome you. And for our gift to you: check out the specials at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast. We would love to show you how Asheville does Christmas!