Monday, June 26, 2017

2017-06-14 Thyen Family Vacation to Asheville - Day 5

The Thyen Family Vacation

Asheville, NC

Day 5  (The Day of the Rainbow)

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
 Group Photo on Craggy Pinnacle
It was a very foggy morning to start the day, so I soaked it all in on the Front Porch with my morning coffee.

Foggy Morning view from the Front Porch

Liam was the only other early riser to join me on my morning hike to Lunch Rock on the MST.
Me and Liam at Lunch Rock along the MST

 Liam at Lunch Rock along the MST

 Morning hike Selfie with Liam

Later that morning a group of us decided to do a few short hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway starting with Craggy Gardens.  The Rhododendrons were a little past peak, but they were still really nice!
Group Photo at Craggy Gardens

Liam and Marielle


 Craggy Gardens

Next up was Craggy Pinnacle!

 Marielle and Liam on the Craggy Pinnacle Trail

Amy at Craggy Pinnacle

Amy and Me at Craggy Pinnacle

My brother Bill and his family at Craggy Pinnacle

Me and Amy at Craggy Pinnacle

We finished up our morning the short climb up to the Summit of Mount Mitchell.

 Heading up to the Mount Mitchell Observation Platform

 Liam and Conner on Mount Mitchell

 Marielle and Liam on Mount Mitchell

 Group Photo at the highest peak East of the Mississippi

Later that afternoon Bill, Michelle, Amy and I headed into downtown Asheville to visit a couple of Breweries.  It was my first visit to the Twin Leaf Brewery and I really like it.  I was a bit disappointed in Hi-Wire Brewing.  Hi-Wire used to be one of my favorites, but in my opinion it has really gone downhill over the past few years!

Amy, Michelle, and Bill at The Twin Leaf Brewery

My Brother Bill and Me enjoying a flight at the Twin Leaf Brewery

For dinner, my brother-in-law Scott (the Chef) picked out a place called Copper Crown.  This is definitely not the type of place I would have selected, but Scott did well with the restaurant choice as this ended up being the best meal of the entire week.

While at dinner we had a heck of a storm roll through.  Once we got back to our rental house we were rewarded with an awesome rainbow!

 My Treasure under the Rainbow!

 Rainbow from our front porch

 Rainbow from our front porch

 Rainbow from our front porch

Rainbow from our front porch

I finished up the day with a sunset hike to Lunch Rock along the MST

 Sunset from Lunch Rock along the MST

 Sunset from Lunch Rock along the MST

Sunset from Lunch Rock along the MST

The complete set of photos from Day 5 is posted here:

Friday, June 23, 2017

2017-06-13 Thyen Family Vacation to Asheville - Day 4

The Thyen Family Vacation
Asheville, NC
Day 4  (The Day of the Bear)
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

 Mary and Liam at Lunch Rock along the MST

One of my favorite things about this year's vacation was our early morning hikes.  I tend to be an early riser, and was usually the first one up.  I would enjoy views on the front porch with my morning coffee while waiting for others to emerge from their slumber.

 Morning Twilight view from the Front Porch

This morning my Sister Mary and Nephew Liam were up early as well.

Liam and Mary

The three of us decided to go for a hike along the MST to Lunch Rock and a good ways beyond.  We were rewarded with some awesome above the clouds views!

Liam and Mary

Above the Clouds

 Morning Hike Selfie

 Hanging out at Lunch Rock

The morning views were awesome, but the most exciting part of the hike happened at the very end!  We spotted this guy along the trail: 

Note:  The bear photos were all taken with Full Zoom and cropped (sorry about the lousy quality).  It is still one of the closest I have ever come to a bear in the wild.

We pretty much stopped once we spotted the bear on the trail ahead.  The bear obviously spotted us as well and paused to look us over.  It stared as us for a few seconds, then took about 5 or 6 steps towards us before scampering down the hill towards the Blue Ridge Parkway down below.

Many people are afraid of bears, but I always get enjoyment from the rare occasions that I see one in the wild!  And I was extra excited to be there for Liam's first Bear in the Wild experience!

Later that day, a group of us went into downtown Asheville to stroll around town, check out a few local shops, and to hit a local brewery for a flight or two. 

We ended up at Wicked Weed Brewing Company which was previously my least favorite of the Asheville Breweries I have been to.  However, since it was the only one we found that was open early on a weekday, this is where we ended up.

My brother Bill and Me enjoying a flight at Wicked Weed Brewing

If you are a person like me that does not enjoy crowds, this is a much more relaxed and enjoyable spot at Noon on a Tuesday than it is on a Saturday Afternoon!

 Conner, Liam, Me, Bill, Michelle, and Marielle at Wicked Weed Brewing

After a few appetizers and brews, we met the rest of the gang for a late lunch / early dinner at the Bier Garden Restaurant for their Tuesday Pint Day Specials.  Great Beer Selection and the food was better than expected as well!

Liam and My Dad at the Bier Garden Restaurant

As with most days during the week, I finished up the day with a Sunset Hike to Lunch Rock along the MST

 Sunset from Lunch Rock along the MST

 Sunset from Lunch Rock along the MST

Ran into this guy during the hike back

The Complete set of Photos from Day 4 are posted here:

More to Come Soon!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Thyen Family Vacation to Asheville - Day 1,2, and 3

The Annual Thyen Family "Beach" Vacation
Day 1, 2, and 3
Asheville, NC
Saturday, June 10th through
Monday June 12th, 2017

 Dad's 80th Birthday Dinner

Just about every year for the past 20+ years my family has gotten together and rented a big beach house for a week.  This year we decided to do something different and moved our annual "Beach" Vacation to the Mountains of North Carolina!
On the way we made a stop in Rutherfordton to pay a visit to Amy's parents and check out their new Screened in Porch.

Amy enjoying her parents new Screened in Porch

We had a nice visit with Amy's Parents, an excellent lunch in downtown Rutherfordton, and a visit to the nursing home to see Amy's Grandma.  From Rutherfordton, it was only about a 45 minute drive to Asheville and we arrived at the house right at the 4:00pm Check in time.  My parents would arrive shortly after.  The rest of the crew would not be arriving until the next day. 

"The Wayward Moose"
The house we rented

Morning Twilight view from the front porch

There were lots of rabbits hopping around the property

view from the front porch of our rental house

One of the things I liked about this house is that the Mountains-to-Sea Trail ran right alongside the back of the property.  Therefore, I did not have to drive anywhere to get a hike it. 

Ironically, the same Mountains-to-Sea Trail also runs along side many of the Beach Houses we have rented over the years!

About a 15 minute hike from the house is an outcrop known as Lunch Rock!  I probably hiked to this spot about 15 times over the course of the week.

 View from Lunch Rock along the MST

 Scott and Conner enjoying a Sunset from Lunch Rock

Morning Hike Selfie at Lunch Rock with Marielle, Conner, Me, and Mary

Sunset from Lunch Rock

And of course there was plenty of good food and drink to be had!

 Me by the Jack of the Wood
Our dinner destination for night 2

 Me, Mary, Conner, Katie, and Scott at the Foggy Mountain Brewpub
for some lunch time appetizers and beverages

 Dad's 80th Birthday Dinner at the Bavarian Restaurant and Biergartan

My Nieces and Nephews  (Conner, Liam, Marielle, and Katie)

Lots more to come!

The complete set of photos from Day 1, 2, and 3 are posted here: