Sunday, June 30, 2013


Our last adventure with Joey and Christen took place in Asheville, North Carolina. (Fun fact: Asheville is where most of the movie The Hunger Games was filmed!) We all piled in the car and drove the winding roads through the Smoky Mountains. All car sickness aside, the drive was amazing. My jaw dropped open many a time at the incredibly lush landscape surrounding us. I didn't know which way to look; waterfalls on the left and beautiful fields and farms on my right.

Our first (and most important) stop was at 12 Bones Smokehouse for some lunch. Matt had been told this was this best barbecue place in town so in true Derty form, our day revolved around it. We assumed we were in the right spot when we saw the line crowding the parking lot, so we hopped out and stood in the hot sun with everyone else. I was just about to start melting down in a panic of hunger when our group reached the door and the tantalizing combination of air conditioning and barbecue sauce aroma blew into my face. I let Matt order for us as I sized up the place. Coolers of sweet tea were propped up next to hand-written signs and buckets of lemon slices. Towers of tiny, paper cups were lined up next to an array of sauce choices. We opted for the much quieter outdoor seating once we saw how many fans they had pointing towards the picnic tables. Just a minute after I sat down, Matt placed a pie dish full of food infront of me. An oversized pork sandwich (that's right people, pork is part of my life in the south), a pool of macaroni and cheese and a pile of baked beans smothered in sweet barbecue sauce.

Feeling uncomfortably full, we drove into town and checked into our hotel room and geared up to explore downtown. By the way, you know you're true friends with a couple when you can share a two-bed, one bath hotel room together and walk out still friends afterwards.

Christen and I spotted this double-decker bus-turned-coffee-shop right away so we  all filed in for an afternoon pick-me-up. The barista flipped her dreads over her shoulder as she scribbled on our cups and pointed to the narrow staircase with her pen. "Have a seat, we'll call your name." We wandered upstairs and snagged a booth in the back (cool kids on the back of the bus, right?). The coffee was pretty good, but of course the best part was the novelty of the bus.

We continued our stroll through downtown, stopping in to a store here and there. The vibe downtown made me feel like I was back in the liberal and free-spirited arms of Eugene, Oregon. The closest thing I had seen to a "hippy" in the south so far was the girl I bumped into while scouring the health food store for coconut oil. So, now we know where the rest of them are. Asheville. 

After dinner, we made it back to our room just in time as a storm rolled in. We ended our night with mediocre drinks in the hotel bar. After some pretty terrible service at breakfast, we decide to skip the scenic hike Matt had picked out for us and head back to Chattanooga early. 

I finally found some cowboy boots! I had been pretty adamant on finding some during our visit to Nashville a few days prior, but we were pretty limited on time and Matt was pretty limited on shopping energy. So on our way out of Asheville, we stopped into Jackson's Western Wear (talk about being out of your element) and I snagged a pretty pair of boots! My sweet momma had caught wind of my western hopes and dreams so my birthday present from parents was one shiny, new pair of boots. Thanks guys! (Little do they know this is only encouraging me to get attached to a southern lifestyle and move away from the west coast...)

A pretty big highlight of the day for me was taking Joey and Christen to Trader Joe's-for the first time! I was like a little kid parading them around. "OH! This is really good. Oh! This is really good too. I love these!" It was pretty exciting.

I broke in my boots walking down the street to a Mexican restaurant to wrap up our week with them over queso dip and a pitcher of margaritas. We came home and indulged in delicious cupcakes Christen and I had picked up earlier.

I must say, Chattanooga has all the excitement and privileges of a big city with all the charm and convenience of a small town. We really liked it, but of course what we liked most about it is that Joey & Christen live there! Thank you for hosting us for ten days you guys! We can't wait to come back. 


  1. Sounds like you had such a fun time!! I love your dialogue about locating the hippies outside of Oregon. Cracks me up. I know from my own travels to the South, experiencing hippy culture down there is somewhat rare or perhaps...just well hidden. Like you need to know where to look to find them ;) Happy you found some in Asheville!

    1. I love that you've been to the south! If you have any pictures from your trip, you should do a throw back post :)

    2. Perhaps I will!! That's a good idea. I'll see what I can come up with :)