Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Feb 26, 2014

This past weekend was a welcome reprieve from the cold, rain and snow. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss the sun until you’re standing in it and you feel recharged like a battery.

As I mentioned last week, I hosted a couple of friends for the weekend and I think I did a pretty good job. My best friend Amy and I have known each other since we were 3 years old in daycare. She lives in Georgia still, and we barely get to see each other any more so it was great to have her and her new boyfriend up for a visit.

Weekend of firsts

A re-occurring theme this weekend was "that's a first." It's a good feeling to still have firsts after being friends for almost 30 years or after being in a relationship for about 15 years. It was the first time Amy and Ross visited Waynesville, the first time Amy tried eggs benedict, the first time my husband Matt had been to The Biltmore House and many more.

Friday night we all ate at The Tipping Point before heading over to The Classic Wineseller for a great bottle of Malbec and to listen to Dulci Ellenberger on guitar. Saturday, I took them to Tupelo Honey Café in Asheville for breakfast, which is always a no brainer. The Eggs Betty dish was delicious as usual, and the biscuits with sweet tupelo honey are to die for.

Luckily, we called ahead to the Biltmore House and made a reservation for a tour because the estate was jam-packed Saturday. Thanks to Maggie Valley Alderman Janet Banks for warning me or we would have never gotten in that day. Amy’s boyfriend Ross (from Michigan) had never been before so it was quite the experience for him too. But I never grow tired of it because I always learn something new. I decided to upgrade my guest pass to a season pass so I am fully prepared to play host all year long.

Amy and Ross stayed at the Andon Reid Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville (also a first) so we joined them for dinner there Saturday evening. Innkeeper Mark Barber and his wife Kari purchased the beautiful bed and breakfast in 2012 after living in China for three years. Kudos to Mark for having a full house on Saturday and making sure we all had a wonderful meal prepared.

Mark made us all feel right at home for the evening. We played a few games of pool and darts downstairs in the game room and enjoyed meeting the other guests by the fireplace before dinner. He even invited all of us in the kitchen to help make the pasta — another first for all of us.

And finally, we ventured over to The Water’n Hole later that night to see Rachel Brooke (also from Michigan) perform in Waynesville for the first time. That girl can sing! And I loved the old-timey sounding blues numbers she did with the band. I only wish more people had been there to hear it. I think they would have been surprised at the quality of performers we get through town.

Overall, I think I gave my guests a well-rounded experience here in western North Carolina and they left with the desire to come back. I think a day of hiking or driving along the parkway and a day of brews cruising will be in order for their next visit in April.

March is just a couple of days away and it is obviously by the uptick in events on the calendar. Be sure to stop by the Waynesville Library from 1-3 p.m. March 2 to learn about the new seed library. You can enjoy some local food prepared by librarian Kathy Olsen and Buy Haywood coordinator Tina Masciarelli and check out some seeds to start your planting so you can grow your own local food this spring.

On March 6, Gloria Steinem will be speaking at Western Carolina University. I’ve already got my tickets to go because how often do you get the chance to be in the same room with a woman of that caliber? I wouldn’t miss it for the world. See page XX to find out how to get tickets.

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