The “dog days of summer” — an escape to the mountains.

The dog days of summer are finally starting to wane the slightest bit here in Charlotte.FullSizeRender-2 That is to say that our high temperatures are hitting around 90 F these days instead 98-100 F. Of course when the humidity is above 70 the days remain hot and sultry which is one definition of dog days. You’ve probably guessed that I don’t fare well in hot weather. It may be something about being a mountain woman.

Imagine my delight when my daughter and granddaughter invited me to go with them to Asheville, NC. I didn’t have to think about it so I set about packing my bag.

We left early on Saturday morning for the mountains.IMG_1033 It’s about a two-hour drive. We were there before lunch and began our shopping/eating frenzy in earnest. Here’s my granddaughter waiting patiently for lunch. We took this trip in her honor because she leaves for her first year at university this week.

How do I describe Asheville? It’s a small, diverse city with many good restaurants, especially if you like being able to eat vegetarian. And I do. While I’m not a vegetarian, I eat very little meat. For beer lovers there are a number of local mini-breweries. I must not forget the Biltmore Estate, and most important of all — the air is cooler up there.

For Saturday dinner my daughter had made a reservation at The Sunny Point Cafe. Before and after our meal IMG_1034we traipsed around the backyard garden behind the restaurant where they grow many of the vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. The menu is varied and there are yummy choices for the most discerning diner, vegetarian or not.

If you click the photo to the right you’ll see a welcome-to-our-garden sign. Upper right, that orange thing is one of several bouncy rides for the children. Perhaps those little bits of entertainment help to minimize destruction of the plants. Perhaps, too, they distract big feet like mine from squashing the plants. Yes, I rode it. Yes, my granddaughter took a picture of me.  No, I’m not going to publish it.

I enjoy taking pictures in vegetable and flower gardens. This is a yellow squash that my mom called patty-pan squash.IMG_1042 I have no idea why she called it that but I liked the name because it’s a form of my name. And sometimes people call me Patty, especially Spanish speakers. In Spanish it’s spelled Pati. Okay, in Spanish it sounds more like potty than Patty but I still like it. I think the diminutive sounds affectionate in both languages.

I was surprised at the number of plants being cultivated in a small space.IMG_1044 It’s a well-tended garden with prolifically producing plants. In addition to squash, we saw grape tomatoes,IMG_1050 heirloom tomatoes, zinnias, nasturtium, sunflowers, rosemary, and on and on.

As you can see here, even their Sunny Point sign looked as if it were growing good stuff.IMG_1049

After lunch on Sunday we make one last stroll through downtown. Granddaughter and I spotted these “southern yoga” t-shirts and had to have them. I love the color. Now I have something to wear on St. Patrick’s Day.

This trip was proof that spontaneous is sometimes the way to go.IMG_1055 We had fun spending time together — lots of laughs. No stress. Good food. Happy shopping. Cool temperatures. Does it get any better than that?