Ladies and gentlemen, step right up.
We should have known within fifteen minutes of arriving, when my sister in law asked for directions, we were in for a show.
A young, shaggy haired man appeared to be the person in charge of several tables of jewelry for sale on a street corner and, one would deduce, he must live in town.
"Excuse me. We're trying to find the center of town. When we drove in, there was this tall, pointed, gray structure?"
His response: "Duuuuuuuuuude, that sounds awesome."
.............. um .............. hmmm .............
We were expecting something more along the lines of "Go to the end of the street here, make a left and a right and you'll see it."
But we should have left our expectations in the trunk of the car that we left in the free parking lot [Another thing we weren't expecting! Free?] After living in NYC for a total of twenty years between H and me, we thought we couldn't be shocked anymore.
We'd never been to Asheville.
We proceeded to walk through this lovely town with it's unique shops, beautiful old buildings and interesting people.
"That man is wearing a skirt," my 8 year old niece pointed out.
I turned, expecting to see a man in a kilt. But, there was indeed a man in a long, red flowing paisley skirt paired with sneakers.
Yup, that man is wearing a skirt. And, that's OK. I like this free spirited town.
After browsing the boutiques and stopping in a coffee shop reminiscent of the Hungarian Pastry Shop in NYC, we were ready for a late lunch.
Tall Gary's looked good. We sat at one of the two tables by the window and took the menus from the waitress.
Mexican? Tall Gary's is Mexican? Ha! Oh, Asheville. Such a charmer this town is, always defying expectations, like you do. It's so cute here.
We didn't know it at the time but we were in the best seat on the face of the planet. If you're a people watcher, THIS is where you
want NEED to be. Book your trip to Asheville now. You're welcome.
Feast your eyes, ladies and gentlemen, we've got people walking down the street on their way to lunch with two parrots on their arm.
Pfft. What else ya got? Oh parrot lady is sitting now, eating lunch at a nice restaurant and feeding her parrots? It's weird but it's cool. Give me something else.
A burnt out sedan packed with dreadlocked hippies and multiple dogs? Yeah, I'll take a peek. As my niece astutely pointed out, "That car is full of people and dogs." Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
What else ya got, Asheville?
That's when the PubCycle drove by.
Exactly what it sounds like - people drinking at a long bar while pedaling around town together.
Okay, that's AWESOME.
But, there was more. The grand finale. The piece de resistance. The essence of Asheville.
"That woman's boobs are hanging out," my niece nonchalantly remarked.
As I turned around, I was - yes, expecting - hey, I'm a slow learner - a woman in an ill fitting halter top. Perhaps a too tight tube top. Those are always unfortunate. Or maybe- HOLY CRAP THAT WOMAN HAS NO TOP ON!
She was naked from the belly button up and had triple Z's that were indeed ... hanging out.
What? You've never seen a topless woman walking down the street while you're having lunch on a Sunday afternoon with your husband, in laws, 8 year old niece and 10 year old nephew?
Welcome to Tits and Asheville.
We learned later that Asheville has an ordinance allowing women to go topless. Yup, progressive and quirky, Asheville is. Almost as quirky as these boob salt and pepper shakers we later spotted at a store in town. The kids shouted the minute they saw it "There she is!"
In the spirit of Stop and Blog the Roses, here's to ~
Family memories being made. Who needs Mickey Mouse when you've got the Big Topless Circus?
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