I have a passion for everything outdoors and love to capture life's moments with photography!
Why is it that many family reunions take place when a loved one passes? It’s not a horribly bad thing, and I suppose it’s understandable when you are all dispersed across the USA. It’s just kind of a bummer for obvious reasons.
A few days before Christmas – I got the note from my cousin – my first best friend in the world. “Gary died over the weekend”. Gary is her husband. It was horrible, I was in shock, didn’t know how to respond. I think I said something lame like, “Oh no”- I didn’t have the words. I don’t live in the same state to provide comforting hugs – she wasn’t ready to talk about it. I felt somewhat helpless.
She always wants to jump in my suitcase when I adventure, so I decided to plan one for the two of us and another awesome cousin of ours. Hoping this would be a good distraction, and for her to know that while not nearby, I am always here for her. Not anything over the top, no pit toilets, or camping in the woods in the middle of a 3rd world country, but something still adventuresome that I thought they would both like and would remember forever!
She picked Asheville, North Carolina as the destination. I jumped on that pretty quick, because Asheville is a very cool place, a smaller version of Denver or Portland. At first I looked at AirBnB for lodging options…then GLAMPING jumped in my head. Glamping is essentially camping, but with a few “plush” amenities. Which in the end, I think the only thing we didn’t have to do was sleep in a tent. We did have a fridge for beer, we had comfy beds, but no suitable showers, no toilet (port-a-potty) and no way to heat food, though there was a grill available for use.
The lodging of choice was Asheville Glamping. I’d give you the address, but then I’d have to kill you! They don’t like giving it out because they don’t want everyone and their brother driving through the property in search of a peek and disrupting the peacefulness of the place. The owner has great energy, my interactions with her were positive from the beginning – always a good sign. She is a young entrepreneur with a fantastic vision who wants to provide a unique experience for her clients.
Asheville Glamping has several different options for lodging – a few airstream trailers, 2 tented cabins, a tipi, and several dome-like structures. My cousin mentioned it would be fun to rent all of the airstreams with a group of friends – they are clustered together – I couldn’t agree more – it would be a total blast!!
Below is a view of the campground from our dome. You can see all of the sites are fairly well spaced apart, with the exception of the airstreams by the blue/white camper in the distance.
Almost all of the sites had their own fire pit but, there was a community section if you want to mingle with other campers.
Each “glamper” is decorated with pretty sweet furniture and bedding. We poked our heads in one of the larger tents and captured this….super cute. This particular tent had it’s own hot-tub and nice sized deck to enjoy.
The tipi below only sleeps 2, but it is adorable and sits at the base of some nice trees. I am sure they are amazing in the summer!
What did we choose? We picked the biggest dome they had so we would have room to spread out and wouldn’t be in each others “stuff” the whole time. It was the 1,000 square foot – mega dome – a one bedroom with a loft. The loft had two options to descend to the bottom floor – a SLIDE or stairs. It was awesome. I think there is a little more work to do inside, but it was great nonetheless!
What was the dome like? Well, it is a giant orb if you will. Half of it is covered in white canvas to provide some privacy and shade, the other half is clear plastic so you can enjoy the stars at night, the sunrise in the morning, and have a beautiful view of the surrounding rolling hills of the Smokey Mountains.
(The master bedroom and kitchen – Image by Asheville Glamping)
(A view from outside – Image by Asheville Glamping)
It was a treat to wake up and see the sun shining in the dome every morning. In fact, the sun was so bright, we had to wear shades (I feel like there is a song there…) and slather on the sunscreen while eating breakfast! My cousin had the pull out couch, so every night she could see the stars and reflect on the events that have turned her life up-side down.
All in all, we had a great time and I think it was a good distraction for her! We spent a day shopping and exploring the arts district in Asheville, hiked in the Smokey Mountains, ate and drank to our hearts content, celebrated a birthday and laughed until we cried telling stories of growing up with our crazy families. It was good to see her laugh :-).
I did learn there is a picture of one of my cousins that I MUST get my hands on. He is very handsome and has gorgeous, wavy, red hair. He was 17, 2 days before his senior yearbook picture was taken. His friends convinced him to get a perm. It turned into an afro. His picture was taken in a baby blue suit with a big tie in an oval frame setting. Every time I think about it, I want to die laughing!! 😂 I MUST HAVE IT!!
If you haven’t seen beloved family in a while, I highly recommend it! So good for the soul. Oh, and glamping in North Carolina isn’t too shabby either.