A Quickie To The Carolinas

Last weekend my cousin got married in Brevard, North Carolina. Translation: weekend road trip!

Okay, so it wasn’t on the scale of our road trip to Texas for my cousin’s wedding two years ago (different cousin, btw – I’ve got lots of ’em) but it was still a good time. Brevard is in southwestern NC somewhere between Asheville and the South Carolina border (so close actually, the rehearsal dinner was in SC). It’s about a seven hour drive from Richmond, though we broke up our ride with a stop in Charlotte to see our pals Matt and Kristin. The wedding was obviously the highlight of the trip (you can see some pics over on Young House Life), but Brevard did offer some other fun “adventures” too.

The Antique Mall downtown was one of the coolest (and cleanest!) antique stores we’ve been to in a long time. It also had a really great architectural salvage place next door. So of course we had to share some of the fun stuff we spotted, like this awesome collection of wooden printing press letters. At two bucks each, I can’t believe we didn’t come home with a full alphabet – but somehow we managed to appreciate them without buying any (check out the ones we already have here).

Similarly tempting was this rack of old skeleton keys for $3 each. Again, it’s a shock we didn’t buy anything. Sherry did mention something about buying a ton of them and making an amazing chandelier- like a giant one for over the dining room. How fun would that be? Maybe next time.

Actually, the thing we contemplated purchasing most were some charming paintings by local artists – like this quaint little covered bridge. It was an original watercolor, but the $49 price tag was a bit more than we planned on spending that day (Why are we so cheap? Now we look back and wish we grabbed it).

And definitely out of our vacation budget ($200+) was this weirdly cool painting of a ram-type creature. Sherry was into it, but for some reason I was even more head over heels in love. Or should I say head over hooves. Miss you, man ram.

Raise your hand if these guys remind you of Jonathan Adler pottery (picture me and the wife raising ours).

Like always, there was plenty of stuff that erred on the side of quirky. Who wouldn’t pay $40 for an inexplicably naked KISS action figure? Or $45 for a light-up stained glass chicken Beyoncé?

I’ve got a soft spot for the look and texture of potato sacks, but I just wasn’t quite sure if this one was for potatoes. If only it had been labelled better… (please tell me the sarcasm isn’t lost). Sherry thought it could make a fun pillow or ottoman (heck people even cover chairs with potato sack fabric these days).

Across the street from the Antique Mall was a thrift store run by the local Humane Society (Brevard is in Transylvania County, no joke). I didn’t get to see much of this store because Clara was obsessed with looking at the kittens so Sherry poked around the back while Clara and I hung out with her new furry friends. Everyone in the store probably got sick of hearing “Hi kittycat. Hi kittycatkittycatkittycat! Buh-bye kittycat! Hi kittycat!”

But Sherry was able to locate a few entertaining items, coincidentally both chihuahua themed. Too bad Burger wasn’t with us to enjoy them (he was back at the pet-friendly rental cottage that we stayed in for the weekend with the rest of our family).

Of all the shops we strolled through, the only place that we bought anything was the local Habitat For Humanity ReStore. This isn’t the store, obviously, it’s just their delivery truck.

Though Sherry thought it would’ve looked better like this (she wants me to note that Edward is on the other side). Women and their vampires… this husband will never understand.

Anyways, back to our purchase. For $5 we picked up the frame on the right, with an intricate paper cut design inside. We didn’t know quite where we’d hang it but figured we’d find a place. Once we got back home we found the perfect spot for it – in a frame in our hallway gallery in lieu of a generic picture of apples (which used to live in our first kitchen).

We had to trim the paper cutting a bit to fit top-to-bottom, but it looks great. We love that it livened up that corner of the wall with some stronger color and an interesting pattern. Plus we got an extra frame out of the deal, which I’m sure will get painted and hung somewhere else.

We feel mildly accomplished for not coming home totally empty handed (you know we love snagging stuff for our house when we’re on the road to keep the memory of our trip alive). But since we barely got a taste of Brevard while there (and even less of a taste of Asheville – we just drove through on the highway) we’re hoping we can make it back there for a longer visit sometime. Maybe when another cousin gets married…

Has anyone else hit the road for a trip lately? Or gone to any beautiful fall weddings? Oh, and if anyone has any Asheville area suggestions for us (or anyone else) we’d love to hear them since it looked like such a cool place.

Psst- Check out some of the cute and creative touches from the wedding (along with some family pics) here on Young House Life.


  1. says

    I love that you guys visit thrift stores when you travel!

    If I had been there, I would’ve snatched up some skeleton keys (they’re so cool looking) and maybe that Beyonce inspired lamp (I like hens). Love the print you got. It looks great on the wall!

  2. says

    sounds like a fun trip! I grew up in Charlotte btw :) we visit often, since my parents are still there. They live like 15 min. from IKEA. ;-)

  3. Wendy says

    Ya’ll find some of the best stuff in your shopping adventures! Any advice for traveling FAR with a little kiddo. My little guy and I are driving 6 hours for a reunion in a few weeks and I am very nervous.

    • says

      I just pile a lot of books and small toys into the front with us and whenever Clara gets bored/fussy I hand her something and that keeps her busy for about 20 minutes. Then she get fussy/bored again and I hand her something else. Haha. It’s sort of a cycle. And we’re sure to have her favorite music read on the ipod (she has two kid CDs and we made her a mix of her favorite pop songs like Katie Perry and Britney – no joke she loves them and sings along). Clara was AWESOME in the car this trip- such a little trooper! I think my other tip would just be to take long trips as often as possible so your little guy will get used to them. We’d be so sad if Clara wasn’t a road tripping baby, but she has grown so comfortable with it- so thankful!


  4. Stephanie Phillips says

    See Greenville on that map? It would only have been a… four hour? detour to come visit. I’ll be expecting you next time. ;)

    My husband and I are collecting ornaments from all of our travels. No Hallmark for us! Just locally made, original ones for our tree so that we can tell stories to our girls every year while we decorate.

  5. says

    Oh, my goodness. The best weekend we ever spent was a fall wedding in Brevard about six years ago. It was so beautiful and fantastic. My mother in law just bought a second home in Asheville. We really need to avail ourselves of that one of these weekends.

  6. Rebecca Siak says

    I’m actually from Hendersonville, NC which is close to both Brevard and Asheville. If you ever get a chance to come back to Asheville you should go to the Tobacco Barn. It is a really cool antique/salvage store that is in a huge warehouse. They always have great finds and fun and quirky things!

  7. Alicia says

    We recently went to Asheville and loved it. The houses are so cute up there. We could have rode around all day just looking at the houses! I loved the Goodwill! They had tons of house stuff! And really good prices. I got a huge clock for $5 and a whole 3 piece outfit for my baby for $3! At home, it would have been double at my Goodwill.

    • Marje says

      Asheville has a really nice Habitat retail store in the Biltmore area–a must visit every time I go to AVL. Grove Park Inn off Charlotte St. is a ver-r-r-y nice place. It’s said that during the Gilded Age they washed the money overnight so the guests received clean bills in the morning (I wonder if that’s just folklore…) Nearby is the Grovewood Gallery for neat artsy stuff. Not inexpensive, but interesting. Also, in Biltmore area, check out New Morning Gallery. On the Parkway, the Folk Art Center. Downtown shops, galleries, and restaurants will keep you busy all day. Check out the Grove Arcade in downtown.

  8. says

    Asheville is awesome! We went there on our honeymoon – we stayed in a cabin at Spring House Farm. So secluded!

    For fun we visited the Biltmore Estate, trolled the antique shops in the tres artsy downtown area, and visited Chimney Rock park, which is so pretty!

    Also, the huge lake in the area, Lake Lure, is where Dirty Dancing was filmed so you can recreate the water lift ;) I know you ladies know what I’m talking about.

    • Sarah says

      OMG i never knew that about the lake (if i would have only known). I had the great fortune that my grandparents lived there for about 10 years. GOt to go to the Bilmore Estate several times. Also in the winter (thanksgiving on) the Grove Park Inn has it’s yearly Gingerbread Display (it’s pretty cool :D ) Clara would love it!

  9. says

    In Asheville you must visit the Biltmore! The gardens and the architectural details of the exterior of the mansion alone are worth the trip. The Inn at the Biltmore is spendy but an experience, even if you only drop by for cocktails in the library or maybe breakfast. Beautiful countryside, exquisite in fall.

  10. says

    Oh! Asheville is about 70-ish minutes from us (we’re just east of Knoxville)! We love it there!! We visit all the time. The downtown (re: “urban”) area is so much fun to just walk around in and if you stop in, you MUST go eat at Doc Chey’s. Asheville has an unbelievable amount of amazing restaurants, but that one is one of our favorites for sure!!

  11. Lindsey says

    I love that a watercolor of a covered bridge caught your eye. I’m way up here in New Hampshire and the region of the state that I live in boasts 7 covered bridges! Yup, 7. I actually pass through two of them every morning and night as I head to & home from work. Nothing says New England like an old fashioned covered bridge. (And you should see them this time of year with the fall foliage as their backdrop!)

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