Breaking for Spring

Here in South Carolina, it’s officially feeling like spring. There’s the sheer yellow pollen coating everything, little bumblebees buzzing around, and the air is warm–most days. That’s the definition of spring in my state. The thing about South Carolina springs, though, is that they are mind-warpingly fleeting. It will go from balmy and warm to sticky-hot in just a couple weeks. You have to break for Spring, because believe me, it goes by fast.

Over my spring break, I mostly hung out with my best friend, Jessica, in my hometown. And this is the best thing. But probably not the most interesting.

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Parking garage views in Asheville, NC

Asheville, North Carolina, is a little hippie haven up in the Blue Ridge, and I took my first trip there over break. It’s a NC version of Portland and it is absolutely lovely. My dad and I took the 2 hour drive from Charlotte on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

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The first thing we did after parking in a garage was walk to a little park in the center of downtown and find a cafe to eat lunch. We decided on Isa’s Bistro, a beautifully decorated, slightly up-scale restaurant. We started off with a gorgeous charcuterie and cheese plate, which included a selection of artisinal meats and cheese, cranberry mustarda, and local honey. Cheese will forever have my heart, but I had a pretty serious affair with the local honey. So. good. 10/10 would recommend.

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Isa’s Bistro
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Cheese plate aka my personal heaven

For my entree, I had an herb roasted chicken chopped cobb salad. It had crispy shallots, egg, avocado, blue cheese crumbles, and buttermilk dressing. My dad had some kind of burger that was a special that day. It tasted nothing like a burger, which was weird. In a  delicious way. Both of us left very full and very satisfied with Isa’s Bistro.

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My entree
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My father refusing to let me take a good picture before digging into his entree

We spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering through the streets of Asheville. We went to Grove Arcade, which is just as interesting as it is pretty inside. We went to a couple antique shops and a bookstore/champagne bar there.

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Grove Arcade

After seeing a few of the sights (Basilica of St. Lawrence and Urban Dharma Buddhist temple were my favorites) we headed back to the car and called it a day (after stopping by a local record store to pick up my favorite band’s new album, Strangers To Ourselves by Modest Mouse–it’s amazing but I digress).

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Basilica of Saint Lawrence

After the Asheville trip I spent most of my break enjoying the company of my dog (and the rest of my family too, of course) and pretending that I had no responsibilities. So nice. But no trip home is complete without spending some time in the heart of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Saturday before I left to return to school, Jessica and I spent the day shopping for clothes and records and hanging out in the district North Davidson, better known as NoDa. NoDa is (arguably) the coolest place in Charlotte; it’s lined with eccentric boutiques, restaurants and bars, tattoo shops, and art galleries. It’s visually vibrant–they’re big on the street art there–but it also feels vibrant. There’s a really cool energy there, and on this warm, beautiful day you could especially feel it. Jessica and I stopped in at Cabo Fish Taco for lunch and it was both of our first time there. The atmosphere is really cool and the food was nothing short of amazing. They start you off with a ridiculously fresh tomato and corn salsa, and Jessica and I both had the blackened mahi mahi tacos with baja rice. There’s only a few of these restaurants around, so if you find yourself anywhere near one, do yourself a favor and stop in.

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Photo of blackened mahi mahi fish tacos courtesy of Jessica

So that pretty much sums up my spring break. It ended, but luckily the lovely weather is sticking around for a bit longer.

I’d love to hear what y’all are doing to celebrate the season. If you’re anywhere near me, I’m sure it will involve lots of Zyrtec. Happy spring!

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