That time of the year came that a roadtrip was desperately needed. So, at the last minute, we decided to pack our bags, leave the comforts of Asheville, and go for a ride to NYC aka The Big Apple; and more specifically Brooklyn New York. Before leaving, we made a pit-stop at Lux Salon in Hendersonville North Carolina to get all prettied up! Casey gave us the royal treatment and made sure there was not a hair left out of place. We had just found out that there was a new rental car option at Asheville’s Anderson Nissan, so we headed over to see Rob and rent the perfect vehicle for this roadtrip. My daughter ran into the dealership all excited, and immediately picked out the 370z sportcar. We quickly brought her back to reality. The car of choice for us? A white 2014 Nissan Altima that well exceeded our expectations. Then, my son decided that he wanted to take a selfie with the rear view camera as you can see. Fun times already lol. Love was already in the air, and stopping in Virginia definitely confirmed that! For many Northerners, this State is like the beginning of niceness if you are headed down south from up north. We hit the road and headed toward Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for a quick rendevous with family. Halfway through the trip, we decided that the meeting point was actually going to be in Morgantown West Virginia, so we took a few minutes to get some photos around the town. This place is actually hipstery, and reminded us of a smaller version of Asheville. Tattoo shops, restaurants with funky names, t-shirts with cool sayings, comic book stores, coffee shops, bars and more.
After about 18 hours of driving, stopping, and driving me crazy; we ended up in Brooklyn New York! This place is no stranger to us. Several on the team grew up here, but left prior to the Post-Giuliani Renaissance for a new beginning in an up and coming mountainous city called Asheville. Today, Brooklyn and Asheville are quite alike! We hit the hay (went to bed) right after arriving in Flatbush. The City may not sleep, but we definitely had to. Rise and Shine! We woke up, got ready and immediately headed to Park Slope for brunch. We ended up at the Purity Diner on 7th Street and 7th Avenue right next to the Methodist Hospital, and glad we did. We will be back! After brunch, we headed over to the Brooklyn Tabernacle, an amazing church with so many countries and cultures represented. On top of that, the Choir is world renowned, bringing a song to the heart of so many. We made some new friends and had a wonderful time. Then we headed back to Park Slope to check out the many thrift shops and boutique stores. Flirt on 5th Avenue had a bunch of cool selections on their racks and shelves. Monk Thrift Store was packed out with lots of great thrift items. The manager greeted us and was extremely helpful as well. You can actually see his smiling face in the photo amidst the clothing if you look closely enough. We were later told by a friend that they have several shops around New York City. Then we stopped by Life Thrift Store. Even though they did not have a outdoor sign, the indoors made up for it. Lots of funky and useful things to choose from. I even made a new friend that actually listened to me as you can see. Glad we found it! They also have a few locations throughout the city. We headed over to Sunset Park Brooklyn, to see the home I grew up in during my teen years. A Brownstone! So many memories racing through my head with each step that was taken here. Brunch at Cafe Lore in Sunset Park was so delish. That is the best waffle I ever had in my life! Wonderful time talking to the owner and learning about the new neighborhood dynamic. We will be back to try their Italian cuisine dishes on our next trip! And… a trip to Coney Island and Nathan’s Hot Dogs was in order! The boardwalk and beach was packed out. CI is one of the top staycation destinations for Brooklynites who just need a quick little getaway. Oh, and don’t let me forget the incredible dinner we had at Bogota Latin Bistro in Brooklyn!!! The food was amazing, the atmosphere was perfecto, and the staff was so on point. Excellence! Definitely on our list to go back to again and again.
Then it came time to leave Brooklyn. We had to make a stop in both Jersey and Philly. We got off to a late start, said goodbye to John & Gina (the lady on the Bamboo bicycle), and our host for the trip. We had not worked out an arrangement with a hotel this time, but instead tried AirBNB for our accommodations. Everything was wonderful. On our way out, we wanted to stop by and pick up some bakery items for our family and friends back in Asheville, to show some of the yummy foodie heritage we have in Brooklyn. Court Street Pastry Shop had so many delicious Italian cookies, and they even had Italian Ices! We also stopped by Marquet, which is a French bakery on Court Street, to pick up some cookies! Lovely spot with so much deliciousness. As we were about to get into the car, we noticed Brother’s Bagel Cafe on the corner, so we headed over there for one last bite. Let me tell you, I wish I was still biting! The simple Ham, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Mayonnaise, Salt & Pepper Hero Sandwich was the best I have had in so many years. The dude behind me was like.. “I want the same sandwich he has” when it came time for him to order. I should of turned around to get another one while I still had the chance. This is now my destination sandwich shop in Brooklyn! We went over the Manhattan Bridge, into Jersey City and Hoboken to see some family. More on this area, and also Philadelphia, on our next trip! Then it was back home to the hills, North Carolina! We stopped at Surry Diner … country cuisine in Dobson NC, for a quick bite to eat. Great little spot in the middle of nowhere. We finally made it back to Asheville North Carolina, returned the Nissan Altima that we had rented and picked up a 2014 Sentra for some local travel in the Western North Carolina area. What a great roadtrip! Mission Accomplished!!! Where is our next Roadtrip destination? Who knows, but it is coming very soon!