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

    Such self control not buying any of those gorgeous keys or printing blocks. I have a “thing” for anything to do with printing. As part of a job eons ago I occasionally ran a small offset printing press, I have been yearning for one of my own ever since…I have space in my basement…

  2. Katie says

    There is also a Bat Cave, NC. They have some interesting names there. Brevard is beautiful, and Asheville is a really fun city. Loads of hand crafted goods in both areas.

  3. says

    Asheville is an awesome place to visit! I’ve only spent a few days there here and there. If you visit during the fall, you definitely need to take a drive along the scenic Blueridge Parkway. There are places to stop and take pics or go for a short hike on Mt Mitchell for a great view. The town has an artsy vibe for sure so I am sure there are a lot of great shops to visit. You could also visit the Biltmore Estate for inspiration.

  4. Meg says

    Asheville has great shopping! A bit spendy though (at least that’s what I found). We did buy our little one a white ceramic giraffe for his room & definitely thought of Clara!

  5. says

    My boyfriend and I took a trip to Asheville this summer for a mini-vacation. The highlight of our trip was definitely the food—Tupelo Honey (www.tupelohoneycafe.com/), Early Girl Eatery (earlygirleatery.com/) were both amazing. And then we stopped through Black Mountain on our way back home to Charlottesville and ate at Veranda Cafe, which was super adorable. You definitely should go sometime—it’s a great little getaway.

    • holly says

      tupelo honey is my all time fave asheville restaurant!

      early girl is awesome as well. and you ALWAYS have to go to Mast General Store for the candy in the big barrels!

      i need to plan a road trip. Stat.

    • gk says

      i hugely agree with both of those restaurant recommendations! also, the laughing seed (vegetarian, but soooo good). i love asheville in general. it’s such a cute town to walk around in and explore, with beautiful mountains all around. i don’t have much in the way of specific shopping recommendations b/c it’s been a few years since i’ve been and can’t remember many store names. only ones i remember are malaprops (bookstore) and the woolworth art walk (lots of different artist stalls). oh, now i want to go back to visit!

  6. MrsProck says

    While I admit some bias, Boone is far superior to Asheville. It’s a smaller town but easier to navigate and there are lots of fun things to do nearby (Blowing Rock has great restaurants, West Jefferson has a cheese factory, Linville Falls is beautiful….) and King Street has a ton of thrift & antique stores :)

    • Cara says

      My family went to Boone this summer and had an amazing time! Grandfather Mountain (which actually has a neat zoo near the top) and Tweetsie Railroad (a train-themed amusement park nestled in the mountains of Blowing Rock) are attractions that are not-to-be-missed. All ages LOVED Boone! I highly recommend it for a fun getaway!

    • Lindsay says

      I grew up going to Boone, as my mom graduated from App State. And, my husband and I just spent our first anniversary weekend in Boone/Blowing Rock! Definitely checked out Grandfather Mountain, and we went horseback riding… my first time doing that, and it had been on my To Do list for quite some time. So much fun!

  7. Tabitha says

    That area has lots of little towns with neat hole in the wall shops and such (Cashiers,Rosman, Hendersonville)… and of course nature itself in that area is gorgeous… if you go back to Brevard you should definitely go into the Pisgah National Forest area and see Looking Glass Falls (Right by the road), Sliding Rock (natural water slide thats open for use in the summer FYI), and Moore Cove Falls.

  8. Carol N. says

    Ashville is one of my favorite places in the world! Love visiting Biltmore House but that may need to wait till Clara is a little older. Plus there are a lot of neat places to look for art in the area too. One year we stayed nearby at Lake Lure at a resort where they filmed part of “Dirty Dancing”. It was a lot of fun!

  9. Nikki says

    Asheville suggestions: For dinner you must visit Tupelo Honey. They have this nut-crusted chicken that (while sounding funny..haha nut-crusted) is delicious. Also for brunch try the Early Girl Cafe…great food at both places. I was there for work so food was really the only highlight. I didn’t get to the Biltmore which I’ve heard is amazing!

    • says

      That has actually been up there the whole time! Back when we made the frame wall I flipped a canvas over and hung it with a nail right through the canvas part (so the frame in the back faced out). It made a nice little ledge so I put my horseshoe in there (facing up for good luck of course!).


  10. Andrea K. says

    My cousin is getting married in Brevard at the end of this month. Now I know some cool places to stop during downtime. What a funny coincidence. :)

  11. says

    I too love it that ya’ll stop and shop! I’m so trying to convince the hubs to do this; makes for a more enjoyable trip I say!
    Do ya’ll google/research ahead of time to see what is in the area and map it out, or just wing it while you’re there?? Wondering how I can start fitting some of this thrift shopping into our family vacas.

    • says

      We completely winged it. Sometimes we’ll do a search on the map part of my iPhone for “thrift” or something, but we happened to drive by all these places so we just went back the next morning to check things out!


  12. Atlantalee says

    My sister went to Brevard College. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. I can’t believe you didn’t pick up a statue of one of Brevard’s famous white squirrels. Surely there was a ceramic white squirrel. :)

  13. says

    Have you guys written about that horseshoe before (the one below your new paper art)? Is it a canvas turned around? I’m just sitting here trying to figure it out.

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