While I may not be “abroad” at the moment, I have been able to take advantage of my time in North Carolina and travel to one of my favorite places in the world — the Appalachian mountains. Growing up in NC is such a blessing because whether you drive East or West, you’re going to hit either sunny coastlines or blue, blue mountains. And I’m lucky that for the fifth year in a row, I’ve had my best friend from high school to show me around. Remember her? My crazy blond friend who visited me in London last year? (Here is the post if you need to jog your memory.) Well, our debauchery has continued.
My weekend visit started off with my trusty GPS deciding to take me on a very roundabout way to Veronica and her boyfriend Matt’s humble abode in Blowing Rock, NC. I got to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway for miles and miles and fully appreciate the mountain scenary at its finest. My soundtrack of the day was the obvious choice of indie rock, the Fleet Foxes. So perfect, always.
Our weekend mostly centered around one excellent event: the High Country Beer Festival in Boone, NC. I had never been a beer fest of any kind before, so it was definitely a fun experience. As expected, our afternoon consisted of walking from stand to stand and sampling tons of domestic and international beers. Veronica and Matt are what I would call beer connoisseurs, so I know they were able to direct me toward the best brews at the festival.
Tons of tents at High Country Beer Festival 2012
Veronica holding her re-usable glass for the day
My favorites of the day were a mint beer from Ivory Tower Brewery (Boone, NC), both a blueberry and a coffee beer from Pisgah Brewery (Black Mountain, NC). My favorite non-beer beverage was kombucha, a fermented tea, from Buchi (Asheville, NC). It’s meant to be a healthy alternative to soda. It’s delicious!
Enjoying the day (ignore the porta-potty in the corner)
Naturally, once we found out there was a free photo booth at the event we thought we should take advantage of the service. We now have a few collections of photostrips to commemorate our day (or our downward slope from all the beer, haha). It went from this…
But when we weren’t enjoying the local breweries, we were able to go out for a hike and take advantage of the good weather. Veronica’s dog, Zoey, was happy to join us and fetch a few sticks in Trout Lake. I couldn’t have wished for a better way to spend my labor day weekend.
“And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in the trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”
– Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.1.15-17