Thursday, July 29, 2010

Visit Asheville with the Go Blue Ridge Fun Package At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn

Asheville and surrounding areas, already extolled for a myriad of credits from friendliest city and happiest people to the best place to retire, to Beer city USA- which was I believe the most recent, has a secret!

The true joy of living here is quite simply it's beauty.
Gary and I have lived here for over 11 years operating At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn and we marvel at it all the time.

This year we've decided to try and share the experience that is Asheville with others.
We are offering a three night mid week package with Go Blue Ridge Cards.
Now, likely if you have not used these cards while traveling in other cities,(they are available in Boston,Chicago,New York, L.A. and Las Vegas just to name a few) you may not know about their value.

Let's say you are coming to Asheville for 2 days. Watch as your savings mount exponentially.

If you planned to do any of these things:

Biltmore House: $60.00
Colburn Earth Science Museum: $6.00
Asheville Art Museum: $8.00
Nantahala Outdoor White Water Rafting Trip:$37.00
Chimney Rock Park: $14.00
Museum of the Cherokee Indian: $10.00
Tweetsie Railroad: $32.00
Unto These Hills: $18.00-$22.00
Gray Line Trolley: $20.00
Great Smokey Mountain Railway:$58.00
La Zoom (Asheville's Must See Bus Tour): $22.00

Let's say you didn't even use it for the many other attractions the card discounts or pays for entirely, this would be a bargain in itself. Take a moment to go to the website at Go Blue Ridge Cards and when you see all the opportunities for fun that are listed .....Well, let's just say you might want to stay a few days more.

So, come and visit Asheville for a few days or a few days more and see what all the hubbub is about.

Patti and Gary Wiles

Monday, July 26, 2010

Asheville Historic Buildings-Part V

Any visitor to Asheville will take note of at least two buildings even if they have no interest in architecture at all. One of those is our County Courthouse. Completed in 1928, it claims fame in being one of the most extravagant courthouses in our state of North Carolina.

When now known Asheville was previously known as Morristown, the city went through several standing log and brick structures during the 19th century but in 1923,coinciding with the rapid growth the county was enjoying, county courthouse officials felt that a new courthouse was a high priority.

The city began to push forward on a design by architect, Douglas Ellington rather in conflict with a prior design that both city and county officials had agreed upon. Thus began a parting of the governmental minds of these two groups. Whether the crux of that disagreement lay in actual design or the relative inexperience of Ellington, the county commission settled on a D.C. firm, Milburn, Heister and Company for the design of the courthouse in 1926. Though the founder of this company, Frank Pierce Milburn and his national reputation for quality public building was the reason for the selection of this company he died in September, 1926. His son, Thomas, succeeded him with a flawless transition and virtually no effect on the operational aspect of the firm.

Most would agree that this courthouse is the most opulently finished of public buildings with its complex setbacks, window groupings and Neo-Classical Revival overlays.
Once inside, the viewer can appreciate a sweeping marble staircase, both bronze and glass screens, ornate plaster artistry, a coffered ceiling and mosaic tile floor in keeping with the ceiling design.
At its 1928 completion date it was the tallest local government building in the state of North Carolina.

This, the County Courthouse building and the adjacent building,the City Hall, in local terms are referred to as the Cakebox (County Courthouse) and the cake(City Hall)

This cake and cake box description never fails to amuse and delight the visitors At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn all of whom have taken note of these two buildings as they approach Asheville drawn in by their exceptional beauty and distinctive design.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Asheville Bears

We purchased At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn over 11 years ago and from the moment we came to this state we have been enchanted with the trees, flowers and in general the very natural habitat that is the hallmark of North Carolina. They don't call it God's country for nothing. The complete beauty of the surrounds, though we live here and can enjoy it every day, sometimes takes our breath away. Another vision can take your breath away too and it is becoming more frequent than I have noted in previous years... Bears!

These majestic and powerful creatures are on the move and on the rise in Western North Carolina.
On June 7, 2010 a bear killed a dog in East Asheville. The week of July 3, 2010 noted not one but two goats fall prey to prowling bears.
On May 26th, a bear about town in all senses of that word actually took a much written and photographed stroll through downtown likely looking to enjoy some of the wonderful cuisine our downtown is noted for.
Lastly and certainly sadly early in the month of June a bear was actually euthanized after biting a tourist. The tourist had pursued this animal in a photo taking session in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as though this bear was a willing subject and not a wild creature trying to quietly exist in his own environment. Bears are not play things, they are not domesticated. They are large, powerful animals that occasionally will be found in areas they are not expected in. This does not give one license to develop amnesia regarding their status. Whether they are downtown, in your garbage can or most certainly in their own natural environment, they must be viewed as wild. Do Not Feed, Antagonize, torment, pursue with photographic equiptment or attempt in any way to socialize these wild, large and beautiful animals as domestic pets. It will be to their peril and possibly to your own.
I mean,the authorities executed the bear for biting the tourist but I think it is clear who violated the rules of good conduct and cost the bear a loss of his life. Please restrain your natural curiosity of a site that is not usually available for your viewing. To do less is to jeopardize an animal just trying to live.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Monday, July 19, 2010

Unto These Hills-A New Perspective

Moments of this drama played out under the summer sky are a part of the childhood and adult recollections of nearly six million people. Opening originally on July 1, 1950, the interpretation of the story has been rewritten 2006, 2007 and 2008 and this years current production, I am happy to report, the story has gone back to its roots.

The cast is largely made up of Cherokee indians, the director is Cherokee making the telling and heart of this story extremely personal.
The defining moment is the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians from the mountains of Western North Carolina and their journey along the tragic and infamous Trail of Tears. Beginning with the Indian Removal Act of 1830 the Cherokee Indians became the fifth major tribe to experience the forced relocation to Indian Territory-Now Oklahoma. Nearly 4,000 Cherokees died of starvation, exposure or disease and to this day this action remains a black mark on American history.

Turn off the cell phones, disconnect the laptops and I-Pad and see some live theater. I know that the story will seek your heart. Many of our guests take a day drive to Cherokee and experience this drama under the stars. Without exception, they felt it worthwhile and haunting.

Patti and Gary Wiles

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Steak Bites Recipe from At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn

Most of the time grilling is the order of the day in the summer. However, sometimes it is just so completely blazing hot that you may not wish to add to your woes by standing in front of a hot grill... Or possibly, like at our house, you knew you were out of propane but when the moment to cook strikes.... so does the memory that you forgot to fill it.

For these moments, the following recipe will make you forget about it and move on to a great dinner. However, now would be a good time to put the Propane tank re-fill on your TO DO LIST!

Steak Bites from At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn:

3 garlic cloves, minced
5 T. sesame oil
5 T. soy sauce
2 1/2 T. Rice Vinegar
2 tsp. of peeled and grated ginger root
2 T. fresh cilantro leaves
4 1/2 lbs. of choice beef loin sirloin (cut into square chunks of 1.5")
1 T. chives
1 tsp. Kosher salt

In a small bowl mix garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Stir in cilantro leaves. Place meat in a large ziploc bag. Pour the Sesame oil mixture into the bag and seal after expressing excess air. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, remove meat from the marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle the meat with salt.
In small batches, in a large saute pan cook meat over high heat, 3-5 mins for medium rare(internal temp. of 145 degrees)

Sriacha hot chili sauce (optional for dipping)

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summertime In Asheville Bed and Breakfast Lemonade Recipe

Summertime and the livin is easy here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. When temperatures rise all of us are looking for a great cool down beverage so here goes. It is cold, it is wet, it is easy, delicious and beautiful all rolled into one. What's not to like?

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Raspberry Lemonade

1 can (12 fluid ozs.) of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
3 cups of water
3/4 tsp. of fresh squeezed lime juice
1 bottle of lemon-lime(sweeter) or gingerale(less sweet) soda. Diet is fine if you prefer to reduce sugar content.
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup fresh raspberries for garnish
1 cup fresh mint for garnish *(pineapple mint if you have it). If you don't have it, use any mint for now and plant some. Summer and pineapple mint go together like ice cream and a cone.

In a large bowl combine raspberry lemonade concentrate, water and lime juice. Stir in soda and crushed ice. Garnish each glass with raspberry and mint leaf. Make plenty. It will leave them breathless and wanting more.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Biltmore Flower Carpet Evening Tours-Garden Romance

Asheville is a romantic place. Ask any of my guests At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn.
Biltmore Estate is bringing the sizzle to summer nights with Flower Carpet Evening Tour to be held on August 20, 21, 27 and September 10th and 11th.

Flower Carpet is a totally unique, stand alone flower exhibit. The South Terrace, always a place of entertainment when this house functioned as home to the Vanderbilt's, is the location of the Flower Carpet. Every flower carpet creation is drawn from some design element found in Biltmore House. It is the largest exhibit of its kind in the entire nation measuring 14,000 square feet.

A ticket for this event includes an evening house visit, flame braziers and path lighting to enhance enjoyment of the intricacies of the flower carpet design and an opportunity to hear live jazz in the Tea House.

For lovers of horticulture it will be bliss, for those with a love of design, it will inspire and for those just seeking a romantic evening under the stars, they will shine.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Asheville Rocks It with Shindig on the Green

Summertime in Asheville, North Carolina for this, its 44th year, is synonymous with Shindig on the Green. Every Saturday of the summer Asheville revisits the best of mountain traditions of gathering at the end of the day on front or back porches all around the south with fiddles, banjos and the tapping of feet to some grand Appalachian Bluegrass music, food, great conversation and the like only instead of porches, it's downtown and it's free.

Shindig will be held at Pack Square located in the middle of our downtown and is completely free. Many of the guests at our inn make their own participation in this event a yearly custom. They, like others, bring their instruments of choice, lawn chairs or blankets and jam with the professionals. They join the ranks of 3,000-5,000 visitors finding their way to Asheville from all around the country to enjoy the donated musical talents of the fine dancers and musicians.

This year, to the delight of all its residents, this event will be showcased on the new Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage just completed in our new green space in the middle of downtown.
Count the fireflies, star gaze, set your vibe to some good mountain music while sipping a cold drink from one of the vendors and let the summer begin.

Shindig is every Saturday of the summer with two notable exceptions but even then, Asheville does not disappoint.
On Saturday, July 24, our Bele Chere Festival supplants Shindig. See Blog on Bele Chere of July 1, 2010.
On Saturday, August 7th the fine musicians and dancers donating their time to Shindig on the Green instead offer up their talents to the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival held at Diana Wortham Theater.

Patti and Gary Wiles

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sliding Rock-One of the Top 10 Swimming Holes in U.S.

Well readers of the blog, our breakfast of Almond Encrusted French Toast is complete here at the Inn and so I turn my thoughts to my blogging.

I have a news flash for you all because while we are going to have, according to local weather, a brief respite from our heat wave for a few days...The heat... it will return.
When it does, I have just the tonic for you.

As of yesterday, our friend Yahoo has once again given our pristine area national recognition. Sliding Rock, located in Pisgah National Forest, has been selected as one of the Top 10 Swimming Holes in the nation.

Now, a few words about Sliding Rock best known before, as opposed to after, you make the plunge.
Sliding Rock is a waterfall in Western North Carolina located near Brevard. The valiant, ok and the not so valiant can slide all the way down the waterfall into the plunge pool located at the end. The water is cold (about 50 degrees), the yelling is loud and a good time can be had by all.

Parking can be found in a large lot above the rock. Also, should any member in your party have second thoughts about actually doing the slide themselves, they can still live vicariously at either of the two viewing platforms providing a view of the sometimes comical entrants. Restrooms are present and open in season. Lifeguards are sometimes present in season, on the weekends but largely it is done at visitor’s own risk. Not recommended for those who are not swimmers.

Coordinates: 35.311021N 82.787252W

Cost of admission currently is a big $1.00.
Now, that's my idea of a bargain.

Patti and Gary Wiles

Thursday, July 1, 2010

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Famous Insalata Tricolore

In my June 24, 2010 blog I related my tomato plant stories. Today, At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn wants to share just the most wonderful, to die for, summertime salad around. It is filling, it is beautiful and will put to excellent use some of the gorgeous tomatoes we have put all this hard work into growing.

Most of you are familiar with the traditional favorite of Caprese Salad but today I am going to share our version of a lesser known favorite;

Insalata Tricolore

Find the most beautiful, naturally ripened med-large size tomato on the bush. Wash it and cut into six slices.

1 ripe avocado peeled and cut into six slices

1 large ball of fresh mozzarella dibufala sliced. Do not skimp on this choice. It is pricy and it is worth it. Entirely different flavor than the other type and for this purpose exquisite. The richness and creamy texture of this particular cheese makes this dish and failure to use it will transform something that could have been sublime into something mediocre.

Good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Good quality balsamic vinegar

Course Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Fresh Basil washed and torn.

Before going to the directions let me say again...This dish is simple, fine dining and because it is not complex each ingredient needs to be the best quality to do make it the masterpiece it can become.

Directions: Arrange tomato slices on serving platter. Position one avocado slice on top of each tomato and top with fresh mozzarella dibufala slice

Drizzle olive oil, then balsamic vinegar over the tops, season with salt, pepper and fresh basil.

Buon Appetito!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Asheville's Bele Chere 2010

It's that time again here in Asheville, North Carolina. Each year in our much celebrated city, we launch the largest, free, street music festival on the East Coast. Regular visitors to our Asheville Bed and Breakfast will recognize this as Bele Chere. Those of you who have not experienced this street festival before are likely shaking their heads. I can actually hear your wheels turning and the first question on the tip of your tongue is,
"What does that mean?" It means the very thing that quantifies Asheville, the city I call home; beautiful living. It also means a ton of fun.

Attendees of this 3 day street festival can expect an awesome, original and diverse musical lineup. Some of the music will be old, toe tapping favorites and some will be original compositions. Actually there is great competition to be in the line up at Bele Chere. More than 750 applications are generally received and less than 1/7 of those will be chosen by the committee as performance artists for this event.

Some things you might wish to know before attending. It begins on Friday, July 23 this year and will finish Sunday evening.
For those wishing to engage in alcohol consumption, purchase will be available on both Friday and Saturday. No alcohol either purchased at Bele Chere or carried in will be permitted on Sunday. All those intending to enjoy libations must purchase a $2.00 I.D. bracelet which just lets the sellers know you are of age to consume alcohol. They will require photo I.D. and proof of date of birth to issue these bracelets so don't forget to bring them with you.

Food is plentiful at Bele Chere and this year will be no exception. Some of the best restaurants in the city, many of whom the guests of At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn return to again and again, are participating this year. The Lobster Shack, Bouchon and The Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village and many more. Needing a bit of sweet after, our friends at French Broad Chocolate Lounge
can hook you up. Now, after all this delectable food, we in Asheville are not shy and don't want you to be either. The music is playing, the food is extraordinary, the arts and crafts just what you were searching for and now it is time to release your inner self and shake your booty.

Gary and I have owned our Asheville Inn for 11 years now and if there has been one single year during that time when Bele Chere has not seen just a few moments of precipitation... we don't remember it! Bring a slicker or an umbrella....Better yet, just go for it. Cool off and enjoy it. It's only water and it will allow you to shake your tail feathers a bit longer. That is never a bad thing.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast