A wondrous thunder storm rumbled through the night bringing clear blue skies and cooler temps in the morning as we left Charlestown and headed west toward the Great Smokey Mountains. It was a long driving day with two stops along the way;
1. The city of Ashville, North Carolina where we planned to see the Biltmore mansion built by George Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt of Newport fame. This mansion claims the title of America’s largest house. However, the entry tour price of $60 per person changed our minds. Instead we headed downtown to stroll through the shops of the renowned Grove Arcade. Monica bought some real cotton seed pods for a future wreath. While she shopped, I stepped next door to photograph the magnificent circular Bacilica of St. Lawrence, with its spectacular stained glass windows. (see Gallery/World Windows for all the photos).
2. Hendersonville, North Carolina known for its antique shops. What a lovely town. We started the visit with a refreshing cold one and shared an order of potato skins (they give you the entire potato…delicious). Then we shopped. The find of the day was much to Monica’s delight… Wedgewood “Silver Ermine” china… enough to finish the set that we got as wedding presents and then some. It is a discontinued pattern and she has been searching for it for years. She walked out of the store with $650 US worth of china for $100. Can’t beat that with a stick.
Finally we came to the town of Cherokee and found our hotel. We are actually in a Cherokee Reservation and the town is fully equipped with casino, bingo hall and many authentic craft shops. Very touristy and very lovely nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tomorrow will go over these mountains.
Here are the photo highlights of day 18 – Charleston to Cherokee