Food, Beer and Beauty: Our Whirlwind Adventure with the Roaming Gnome

We at AskAsheville.com were honored to be the official host of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome during his wonderful roam around Asheville. The goal was to show him the best our beautiful city has to offer — from the mountains to the breweries, and the local eats to the local arts scene. In just a few short days, we and our pointy-hatted friend wandered everywhere. He experienced Mountain View massages, toured the Biltmore Estate, tasted as many pints as humanly (and gnomely) possible, stuffed his face with liquid truffles and duck tacos, and even learned to skateboard (kind of). Here are just a few highlights from his whirlwind adventure. First he soothed his weary hat at the Omni Grove Park Inn Spa.

omni grove park inn asheville

Then took the Architect’s Tour at Biltmore Estate, and got a crash course in shooting sporting clays and casting flies.

biltmore estate asheville nc

He scarfed down scrumptious breakfasts at Tupelo Honey Café, Biscuit Head and the Red Stag Grill.

asheville breakfast

Drooled over the lobster corn dogs at Rhubarb, devoured chipotle blueberry ribs at 12 Bones Smokehouse AND annihilated the Wild BBQ at Plant Restaurant. (He’s a gnome of many tastes obviously.)

asheville dinner

Then he washed all that dinner down with dessert at French Broad Chocolate Lounge and topped it off with a heaping scoop of salted caramel at Hop Ice Cream.

asheville dessert

He acted as a muse at Jonas Gerard Fine Art Gallery.

jonas gerard asheville

And attempted pottery at The Village Potters.

village potters asheville

He hunted wild foods with Alan Muskat, “philosoforager” extraordinaire of NoTastelikeHome.org.

alan muskat asheville mushroom man

And got an exclusive invite to check out Thrashville.org’s 3,000 sq. foot hand-built skate bowl.

asheville thrashville skateboard

He sipped everything from saisons to IPAs at Burial Beer Co., Highland Brewing, Wedge Brewing, Green Man Brewery, Wicked Weed and Hi-Wire.

asheville breweries

He went backstage with MOD SUN and D-Why at the legendary Orange Peel.

orange peel asheville

Took in the fresh mountain air at Pisgah National Forest.

biking in pisgah asheville

Then freshened up at the Grand Bohemian.

grand bohemian asheville

And somehow during his busy schedule, he even managed to deliver the weather (drizzly) with Sadie on 105.9 The Mountain.

105.9 The Mountain Asheville

All in all, we helped show the Roaming Gnome as much of the beauty, charm and vitality that our city holds as we could muster. And while he was here, we got to see sides of Asheville that surprised even us. Which is why when it came time for him to depart, we waved goodbye with a tinge of sadness. We’ll miss that 2-foot-tall bearded fellow and his zeal for travel, but we know adventure beckons him on.

farewell asheville

So with that we say, “Best of luck, little buddy. May the road treat you kindly, the beer be cold, and the wind forever be at your back.” You can keep up with all the Roaming Gnome’s future travels on Instagram and Twitter.




Gnome Crushing

I was a little bit nervous.  I  noticed myself checking my make-up in the rearview mirror, and straightening my clothes obsessively.  I’d waited all week to meet him.  My hour was arriving and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  This man is a legend, and I know everyone wants him.  His origins are argued over, and remain part of his mystery.  However, the mystery isn’t necessarily reason enough to be nervous.  It’s the things he knows, the things he’s seen, and my thirst to know them.  I want him to share with me, and let me in on his secrets (which I think he hides in his beard).  I want him to tell me what he saw in the Bermuda triangle, or where the holy grail rests…I’m sure he’s the only one that knows.  Most of all, I want to capture his spirit, and walk the streets of my own town with him, seeing it through the eyes of a legend.  If he’d only let me loop my arm in his, and go for the ride.  I feel like a schoolgirl, and I know now it’s official…I have a crush on the Travelocity gnome.

Legend says gnomes around the world have been captured time and time again to stand post in boring gardens, entertaining the small lives of the tomato plants.  However, sometime in the 80s a group of good Samaritans, Robin hoods of the gnome world  if you will, decided to take a stand, steal these gnomes, and release them into the wild.  They then travel the world until their true homes are found again.  The Travelocity gnome is no different.  He’s been globe-trotting on his little gnome sojourn since 2005.  He’s been all across America, Europe, and maybe Mars.  However, last week, it was the mini-metropolis of Asheville that whispered to him.  Man, this town must really have something…

I met him on a darkened street corner after barely missing him at Hi-Wire Brewery (where I hear he got a little tipsy).  I was coming to meet him, but wasn’t quick enough, and that gnome, in his little nomadic nature, is like taping pudding to the wall.  He’ll just slip away without warning and slide into unmarked crevices. 

However, like ships in the night we passed briefly again.  I found him stumbling down a sidewalk fresh off the dance floor at Scandals.  He claims he was only there for Zumba lessons, though I wasn’t sure.  However, I didn’t ask many questions, but  just stretched out my arms.  I knew we had but minutes.  That famous portly creature leapt into my yearning embrace, and for a moment he was mine.  I could smell the history on him like a thick French musk.  His face and body had definitely taken a couple licks through the years, and he was wise to things I have no knowledge of yet.  I felt honored to meet him, and perhaps more honored that he’d been drawn like a moth to a flame to this town.  The magnet that is Asheville, NC, composed of quirk, beer, Southern Charm, beer, cultural diversity, beer, and an unparalleled charisma is now part of the patchwork quilt that makes up the adventures of this world-renown gnome.  Now I think the real crush I have is just on Asheville.  After all, Asheville drew the gnome.

Gnomy nose nuzzles

Gnomy nose nuzzles

 

 




The Travelocity Roaming Gnome is Coming to Asheville

travelocity gnome asheville tourism winter travel

Exciting times this week as the Travelocity Roaming Gnome brings tidings of great joy to Asheville, North Carolina. Our community is making so much good noise around the world, that he simply had to come by to experience it for himself. And we at AskAsheville.com are thrilled to be his local guide for his visit, making sure he sees all of the area’s best sights. 

He will roam about with us for three days: sampling the cuisine, taking in our area’s natural beauty and documenting every moment of his visit on Instagram and Twitter.

And with so many things to do in Asheville and the western North Carolina area, you’re probably wondering just what will be on his agenda.

travelocity roaming gnome asheville foodie

First up: food. The Roaming Gnome can’t be expected to properly gallivant about without fueling up his belly. And there is so much incredible local cuisine on all ends of the WNC community that a foodie tour is definitely in order. He will not miss out on a single tasty morsel! 

After all that food, he’s sure to be thirsty. So we’re taking him to sample some flights at Asheville’s great area breweries. We want to give him a proper taste of the awesome Asheville beer scene, so don’t be surprised if you spot him downing a pint down the bar from you.

And you can’t explore Asheville without stopping by the Biltmore Estate. The Roaming Gnome will be taking a tour of the epic mansion, sipping some vino in their tasting room and maybe even canoeing. (Paddling is not his forte, but he’s up for anything.)

travelocity roaming gnome asheville spa

R&R is also on the itinerary, with a soothing visit to the Grove Park Inn. If anyone can loosen up the stiffness in a cement statue, it would be their masseuses. 

Plus, we’ll be hitting up The Orange Peel for an authentic Asheville music experience.

But above all, the Roaming Gnome is the sort of fellow who likes to fly by the seat of his underknickers. So keep your eyes peeled. You might catch him dancing to the drum beat at Asheville’s Drum Circle, scarfing down breakfast at the best morning spots, or perusing pottery in the River Arts district. You just never know!

He’s arriving soon, so if you want to keep up with all his Asheville adventures, make sure you follow him @RoamingGnome on Twitter and @RoamingGnome on Instagram.