Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apple Festival on Labor Day Weekend Is A Perfect Fit.

The NC Apple Festival, celebrating Labor Day and the apple harvest, starts again next Friday and runs through Monday. Blocks and blocks of street vendors, food vendors and of course…Apple Vendors. Every year I find a new apple. Apples of the past years are Cameo, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp and Arkansas Black. I cannot wait to find out what this year’s new crop will bring me. The taste, freshness and crisp feeling of the first bite - Incredible!

The festival has something for everyone. Two of my favorite activities are the Gem and Mineral Show and the music. The music stage in front of the old Historic Courthouse is always entertaining. Jack Roper of South Carolina television fame will come do his magic show with audience participation and bands from all over the Southeast will try to outdo each other. I cannot hear it at the north end of the festival but as I get closer to the old courthouse it casually wafts my way, enticing me, and I find myself speeding up to get closer. There is usually a gospel group on Sunday morning and the evening bands will play beach music or oldies or both. I love to watch the couples dance in the cooler air of the evening.

I asked a few people what their favorite thing about the festival is. More than half of them talked about the different foods. Apples with dipping caramel, funnel cakes, gyros and apple ice cream. Kilwin’s Chocolates makes nine different caramel and/or chocolate apples. My favorite is one they call a turtle. It has pecans, caramel and chocolate. The crowd at the counter testing the fudge (made on property) cannot deter me from my mission! Those lovely people behind the counter will even cut the apple off the core so that I can easily eat it as I saunter down the street.

As I walk down the street, enjoying my turtle apple, and looking at the wares brought in from all over the south, I am always amazed at the variety of street venders. Art of all types, crafts, home crafted clothing, hair bows, yard decorations, furniture, and so much more fill the street. This year I am looking for a pottery piece with red and blue for the living room mantle.

The guests at the 1898 Waverly Inn enjoy special apple treats this weekend as Darla bakes all kinds of wonderful apple desserts. Apple pies, cakes, cookies, tarts and more. Do you have a great apple recipe you can share? Bring it with you. Darla is always looking for something new to try!

So why Labor Day weekend? In 1894 the US Congress made Labor Day an official holiday for the purpose of a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. Here we have three days of 'festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families' and then we have our parade! The King Apple Parade, right here on Main Street, starts at 2:30 Monday afternoon. Something you will not see in most parades, that we have? An inflatable dancing police officer and not to be outdone, a fireman! Kids of all ages love to watch them dance down the street. During last years' parade a dance school float got so enthusiastic with their dancing that it broke the axle. They had to pull it off onto one of the side streets so that the rest of the parade could continue down the street. I will be here watching from the front porch to see what funny thing happens this year.

This end of the summer street festival and parade combines small town fun and good old Labor Day traditions. You might see someone from your neighborhood. Yes, even if you are from Bugtussle, Kentucky. Now that is America at its best.


We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cool off with WNC Waterfalls



The hot weather has driven almost everyone indoors and our thoughts to cooler climates. Our solution to cool off?...WATERFALLS!

Here are a few of our favorite places to visit when we need to drop a few degrees. All of these short trips provide cold and crystal clear mountain water falling out of the rocks and cooling off the hot sticky days of August.

Bridal Veil Falls is about ten miles away in Dupont State Forest. This waterfall drops off a high ledge with a second ledge behind the water. This gives hikers the chance to walk behind the falls. You may remember this waterfall from the movie “Last of the Mohicans”. They walked underneath the waterfall also. After the ledge the water slides down granite and into a pool below.

Wintergreen Falls is about a 20 minute walk from the Guion Farm parking area. This is the least known of the waterfalls with the park. If you want quiet and contemplation then this might be your spot.

There are several waterfalls within the park and there is more information at www.dupontforest.com.

Graveyard Fields is a very popular hiking spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Graveyard Fields Loop Trail is about four miles in length. The area got its’ name years ago from the tree stumps that looked like grave stones in a graveyard. There are two waterfalls on this hike.

Second Falls is one the favorite swimming holes in the area. It is a very short walk from the parking lot and a beautiful waterfall. Sliding down part of the waterfall is done but the rocks are slick and there are no lifeguards or EMS nearby. You will need to use caution.

Upper Falls is also on this loop. This hike is fairly flat until the last little bit. That part is a bit of a climb. It is definitely worth the hike though.

Some other favorites are Pearson’s, Big Bradley and Little Bradley Falls near Saluda about ten miles away. Transylvania County next door to Henderson County on the other side is known as ‘Land of Waterfalls’ so there may be too many see this summer. NCwaterfalls.com is a great website to check out the newest information on waterfalls in Western North Carolina. Another place to get waterfall suggestions is Romantic Asheville’s Top 20 Waterfalls.

You will need to bring a picnic if you decide to spend the whole day. Otherwise, nature has provided everything else you will need.



We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Experience The North Carolina Arboretum

Experience The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum has given pleasure to visitors of all ages for many years. With trails, gardens, Education Center and the Baker Exhibit Center it offers an incredibly diverse range of activities. Wonderful walking trails, exhibits, classes and information about everything from birds to local flora.

The Bonsai Garden alone is worth the trip. It is not just a myriad of bonsai trees. It is a garden, a landscaping adventure and a showing of native plants with traditional bonsai trees.

This summer the Baker Exhibit Center has combined two incredible exhibits to make a contrasting blast of visual stimulation. Photography of Dr. Terry Ashley: Botanical Chords, Patterns and More and The Fine Art of Wood: An International Invitational Exhibition of Woodturning are intermingled and make it feel like one big exhibit. It does make all of the pieces of art stand out individually.

Dr. Ashley, a former research scientist, termed her art “chords” because they connect two separate images: One traditional plant photograph and one image taken at a cellular level. Yes, you read correctly. Cellular level. She photographs the plant and she photographs a single layer of cells from the same plant. She then places the picture of the plant on top of the picture of its cells, creating a piece of art that after first blush looks, as the arboretum says...”Equally stunning aesthetically as well as scientifically accurate, the images encourage an understanding of plants …” It is awe inspiring work.

Nestled among the photographs are a variety of wood art pieces that are everything from wall hangings to tabletop pieces. Work from forty artists from across the country and around the world are available to study or just gawk at and wonder how in the world someone found and created something so beautiful out of a piece of wood. There is even an educational piece about different woods at the beginning of the exhibit.

After viewing the exhibits, walking across the quilt garden, and through the Bonsai Garden you might want to go into the Education Center to see the Painted Quilts by Artist Bernie Rowell. This series of beautiful quilts will be on display in the second floor gallery until October 2, 2011.

It is a wonderful way to spend part of a relaxing day during your stay in Western North Carolina. This treasure trove of beauty and sounds is well worth the trip.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC
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