why asheville is my pick for beer city, usa.

drafts   if you have read our blogs before, chances you know a couple of things about us.

  1. we love asheville.
  2. we love beer.
  3. we love drinking beer in asheville

so, today, while a cold corona sits on our desk in sweden, we’re posting about asheville and beer and rallying for votes for asheville as beer city, usa = the best city with the best beer, best breweries, and best beer-drinkin’ atmosphere. if you have never been to asheville (and you like beer), then i promise you that you will agree with us. the vibe, the diversity, the sheer creative atmosphere of the city not only impacts the visual and creative arts in the area, but even the beer. there are local, micro-brews all over the city. there are pubs and beer places dotted all throughout downtown offering a beer connoisseur an experience not found anywhere else. there are festivals all the time, offering even more opportunities to sample new, seasonal brews. it’s all about local. natural. personal. relaxed.

on tap

asheville is small-town enough that you feel like you’re a part of a family, without being so small that you feel smothered. it’s just a bunch of people from all walks of life (literally) gathering together around a common love nature, art, music, beauty, or a cold brew. seriously, why would someone not vote for asheville as beer city, usa? for that matter, why would people not vote for asheville as the best city period. and if you haven’t visited, drop in (after july when we’ve moved there!) and we’ll invite you out for a great beer.

the wedge

we’ll probably take you to this one place that we love. majorly.

it’s located in the river arts district of asheville… a sort of co-op kinda place for art: clay & pottery(my sister-in-law has her studio there), jewelry, cafes, painting, wood-working, glass, fabric, metal, photography, and… beer.

girls

the wedge is a local brewery in an old warehouse in the RAD (river arts district) which brews its own beer right there. you might wonder about a local brewery that has set up shop right smack dab in the middle of an artsy area. well, the wedge explains it. their philosophy is that “beer is art”. now, that’s passion. think about drinking beer created by people who see the process and product as a contribution to the public as art. super cool, i think.

brewing

at the wedge you can sit and sip and chat, all the while seeing the brewing process behind the bar. it’s a simple place. with old brick walls. and only a wooden bar/counter and a few wooden stools. the reason is because there is ample, amazing outdoor space. in this warehouse yard, surrounded by other warehouses filled with fellow artists and the french broad river and railroad tracks, are tables, lights, chairs, and plenty of space to plop your own chair down. it’s just gravel and, again, simple. but, that’s the point. it’s industrial. raw. real. because it’s really all about the beer and the company you’re keeping.

outside

some days there is a food truck that pulls up and sells goodies. and in the summer there is an outdoor cinema once a month. and, of course, bluegrass music makes an apperance too. we have never been there to experience the wedge in all its summer glory, but it’s on our list of things to do… soon!

if you’re interested check out the wedge’s video.

the wedge is only one reason that asheville is beer city, usa. it’s only one of many unique, eclectic, diverse breweries/pubs in the area. in asheville, beer is more than drinking. it’s a way of life. a philosophy. a community.

i know you’re convinced now, huh? and you wanna go right on over and vote for asheville, nc as beer city usa, right? well, click here and you can vote. it’s truly clicking on one button. today’s the last day, so get on it right now!

because now you know the truth… in asheville, beer is art.

cheers!

do your thing. be you.

good tuesday morning, everyone! as i get back down to business (after some hours off yesterday), i wanted to share with you a quote that i stumbled upon. i love it. it speaks truth. and for all of us out there who have asked, and continue to ask, the burning question in our hearts, “what am i here for? what should i be doing? how should i spend my life”, this quote gives one great answer, i believe. it’s about listening to our souls. giving ourselves space to feel those things, crazy as they are, that make our soul sing, that fill us with a sense of peace & purpose, that are our passion.

i am so proud of the family from which i come. i have a cousin who is unbelievably creative and has a degree in art (not sure exactly what the precise title is). she left her stable, secure job in order to go back to school to study hair design. her passion. she’s living her dream, with her adorable, wonderful little family at the beach, and making the world a better place by living life true to herself. my brother (who can do, and does everything) and his wife (a potter) are dream chasers too. they both refuse to be satisfied with the status quo. instead, they make their own paths to ensure that their dreams of how life should be lived (simply, with good people, good food & drink, in harmony with nature, and surrounded by beauty & creativity) come true. currently they are living in the mountains of north carolina, asheville to be exact. the funky, artsy, eclectic, green city where my heart lives. my other two younger cousins are studying right now, both on their own journey to discover who they are. but, if they follow their cousins (my brother & his wife, my cousin studying hair design, and me) they will discover that they will be discovering who they are throughout their entire lives. of course my amazing wife belongs right here with us, too. she is another creative soul, simply bursting with the desire to put all of that creativity to use and, together, we are committed to living life from our soul, instead of simply existing. (not always an easy thing to do, but something we will never give up on). but, isn’t that what the journey of life is all about? discovery and commitment to our dreams?

yeah. we’re a funky, little family. and a little bit spread out over the world, but connected by our desire to live true to ourselves, no matter where the journey takes us or how crazy we may seem to the rest of the world. at least we have each other. ♥

in the end, i suppose it isn’t so much about what you do. rather it’s about who you are. right?

monday afternoon. each of us doing our thing….  singing, writing, gazing.

“your work is to discover your work

& then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

~ buddha

my dear readers, live life from your soul. be crazy. take risks. be who you were created to be. and enjoy whatever moments come your way today.

sending you love & peace.

wastin’ time.

of course i would totally agree with everything john lennon says, since he is one of my idols; but this quote is especially great. i have had my share of moments of feeling guilty for not doing one thing or another. i beat myself up for seeming to be so different from other people. sometimes i still feel like i’m on the “outside”, like there is no one else really like me. but, then, i remember that being me is exactly who i am supposed to be. and perhaps it’s a good thing that i’m not exactly like everybody else. and it’s ok that i seem to be a “time-waster” instead of a type-a, go-getter personality. that just doesn’t jive with me. i take life at  a much slower pace.

you may call me crazy, or lazy, or whatever; but i am much more comfortable, at ease, at peace, and inspired when i sit, reflect, read, chat with a few people, drink a glass of wine or coffee, sit in a park & people watch, stare out the window, listen to music, go to a museum or a concert, meet over a beer at a pub, hang out in bed reading & writing all morning… you get my drift. i am made this way. it’s who i am. for some people, i suppose it seems that i waste time. but, no one knows all that is going on inside me. i admit that i would love to take lina & zola, and go sit in the woods every weekend to recharge – write early in the mornings, take long, slow walks, build fires & sip wine, have a few visitors every now & then. i am a nature-lover. a hermit. a dreamer. but, i am me. and the reason that my time is not wasted is because i’m busy inside, working with my soul. when i waste time, i am in the midst of dreaming, imagining, connecting, creating. of course i would love to create something like my sister-in-law’s plates, bowls, and vases (she’s a potter); or be like lina, creating music with her voice. i don’t create something tangible to sell, or have the talent to entertain & touch people through music. honestly, sometimes i feel like i can’t really do anything well, except be alone. and then i remember what being alone produces in me… inspiration.

now, i am not saying that i wish or even could handle being alone all the time. i like being alone, or in a small group, but i need people too. i need the balance, and perhaps i need it a little more than usual. though i don’t even know if there is a “normal” amount of alone time. simply put, i must balance out my crazy days with some lazy days. and when i do, my life flows so smoothly.

all of this to say, we are all created differently; and while at times we may just want to fit in, more than anything, it is important to be true to ourselves. authenticity before popularity. so, i embrace john lennon’s words on not wasting time. i waste time, but that time has not been wasted. besides, just being is necessary in order to really do anything.

quote of the day:

“one person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” ~ Tim Burton

by the way, wasting an hour & 15 minutes last night at my yoga class was most definitely time well-spent! loved it. so, my dear friends, find your way to waste some time this weekend! enjoy the moments!

peace & rest.

my beloved nc mountains. asheville.

after a fantastic week in the north, it was time for a little taste of the south. yep. down south… where the dialects are long, rocking chairs on porches are the favorite seat, time moves a little slowly, manners are everything, the people are friendly, and you never meet a stranger. it was time to go home to north carolina – where i was born & raised. time to visit asheville – where my heart will always be. and canton – that smelly paper mill town that captured my heart. and, of course, lake junaluska – the beautiful community where my childhood memories live. it was time to nestle myself in the middle of the blue/gray mountains, and nestle i did. well, that, and eat, drink, laugh, chat, hug, rest, drive, visit pubs, catch up with friends, hang out with family, make memories with my love, and reconnect with myself…

here’s the asheville stuff!

finally driving again! i seriously love to drive. so freaking much! headed to asheville!

going to the movies!!!! so much cheaper in the states! we are most definitely movie geeks.

the first picture of downtown asheville. there is truly no other place like it. and, yes, you will see many more pictures. i can’t help it. this place holds a large part of my heart. the diversity, the funky-ness, the uniqueness, the art, the pubs, the people, the nature. everything about it makes lina & i feel at home.

after a visit at my brother & his wife’s new (old) home that they are completely renovating, lina & i headed to barnes & noble… an amazing, wonderful, big, & cozy book store. yep. you can find everything here.

first my brother. then some books. and finally some beer. at one of our favorite pubs, the thirsty monk. love it!

five walnut wine bar. a new place suggested by our amazing friend who lives & soaks up life like no one i’ve ever met before. looove her!

we visited the wine bar with friends (fellow teachers) that i worked with in asheville when i was teacher at a high school. such a crazy, eclectic group of individuals. to spend time with them is to get a glimpse of real life. i will always cherish the year & a half that i worked & hung out with them. and it meant so much to us that they made time to hang out with us! by the way, j, we absolutely loved 5 walnuts!

 there is an apartment for rent above this funky, hippie bookstore in the middle of downtown. cool.

crazy personal ads. cleaning. yoga. music. herbal medicine. beer & pubs. birth dancing (not sure what that is. hehe. but it’s soooo asheville!). religion. crafts. you get the picture, right?

 why, yes, i did go into the tattoo shop at the back of the courtyard. hehe.

 lexington avenue. let me just say… the best.

 the other favorite pub. yes, it’s a brewery. it’s a pub. it’s irish. yeah.

ok. here it is. the new FAVORITE pub & brewery in asheville. the wedge. in the river arts district, where my sister-in-law has her pottery studio. and where i feel like i have walked into asheville’s version of copenhagen’s (denmark) christiana. all i can say is that i am in love. lina is too.. with the people of all kinds. the locally made beer (as in i can see it being made as i drink mine). the outside seating. the informality & relaxed atmosphere. the lights. the hippie vans. oh hell, just everything. i love it.

 the beer. awesome.

 oh, how i love it.

 cheers, asheville!! oooh-pah!

well, my dear friends & readers, that’s a snapshot of my beloved asheville. peace out.

monday morning’s cup.

i read a little story this morning. it inspired me. and it also reminded me of my sister-in-law, who is a fantastic, organic, creative potter in beaufort, nc (USA). she uses her body & soul to create, i believe. check her out here. anyway, since i felt inspired, i thought i’d share some things with you. the story that i just read & a picture of my favorite cup that i own… made by my sister-in-law. i have had it with me & used it almost every morning for the past 3 years.

here’s your morning cup of liz’s thoughts… oh. and happy august!

“[a] woman potter summarized not only the making of a pot but her basic belief about life:

both my hands shaped this pot. and, the place where it actually forms is a place of tension between the pressure applied from the outside and the pressure of the hand on the inside. that’s the way my life has been. sadness and death and misfortune and the love of friends and all things tat happened to me that i didn’t even chosse. all of that influenced my life. but, there are things i believe in about myself, my faith in God and the love of some friends that worked on the insides of me. my life, like this pot, is the result of what happened on the outside and what was gong on inside of me. life, like this pot, comes to be in places of tension. life comes to be when we learn how to avoid looking for answers and finally learn how to ask the questions that will bring us life.

it is in responding to this gnawing discomfort that we have the possibility of giving shape to dreams that are at once faithful to who we are and who we can become.”

~from growing strong at broken places by paula ripple.

peace & love… all day long!