January 31, 2010

Amazing New Packages For Carolina Mornings' Guests!

2010 will be the year of positive change for travelers staying at Carolina Mornings' vacation rentals. Why you ask? Well let me share some wonderful changes that will be coming down the mountains and settling in our office. 
Updated MDP
Our MDP (Mountain Discovery Pass) is free with every reservation. Each reservation receives passes for all available activities each night of their stay.  We started this awesome and exclusive  value added amenity about about 18 months ago.  Now with feedback from  our guests we needed to offer year round activities. For now, we needed to say good bye to Lake Lure Cruises. On the flip side, we were lucky the stars were aligned and we found Ghost Hunters of Asheville! They offer a myriad of incredible yet revealing tours throughout Asheville with rave reviews! Stay tuned......

New Packages  and Additional Tours -TBA

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January 30, 2010

Watch the Super Bowl XLIV in Asheville, NC!!

Here's a great idea: why not get together with your Super Bowl buddies and take a Super Bowl vacation??! Visit Asheville, NC and make the trip a long weekend; there are so many things to see and do, and then you can relax in a property of your choice for Super Bowl XLIV! Each rental is a complete home, with a refrigerator (for beer), an oven (to keep you wings warm after take-out), at least one bathroom (guys, beer, the Super Bowl, need I say more??), and many places to crash out after a long night of whooping and hollering... how can it get any better than this?? Many of the properties have state-of-the-art Saints vs. Colts viewing technology, and some even have half-time game rooms!! Oh yeah! AND, the fact that Carolina Mornings has awesome WINTER SPECIALS that cut you a deal on a Super Bowl getaway!! Split it with the dudes and run away for the weekend- how many times do you have a reason to do this??
Then there are the FREEBIES offered by Carolina Mornings, to help with your pre and post- game adventures: this time of year with the Mountain Discovery Pass you get one free ticket for each night's stay to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort and Reem's Creek Golf Club!! Then there are the sights and events of Asheville, a hoppin' town with many a beer to drink (we were voted Beer City USA, if you didn't hear...) Get your group together and enjoy a much-needed, and well- deserved, man weekend, and enjoy the pleasures of a home-away-from-home, complete with all you need!

January 26, 2010

Dinner Theatre in Asheville, NC

Apparently Asheville has had a mystery theatre in town since 1993, the Nightshade Mystery Theatre. This group has been performing all around town at many venues; they do not have a static venue in which they perform. The Renaissance Asheville Hotel has gathered them together for a performance of "Curtains at the Speakeasy," a play about the end of Prohibition and the party of a crime boss' daughter. The performance actually started this past weekend, but will offer another showing on Saturday, January 30. This is the first play in a series at the Renaissance, and I will be letting you know as time goes on what else the Theatre will be offering. With your ticket you will receive a delicious three-course dinner and a spot in the fun of dinner theatre; as their website exclaims,
Our zany characters add to the fun as actors create scenes amongst the tables during the meal. After the inevitable crime, each table becomes a detective agency and works together to bring the villain to justice, just in time for coffee and dessert.

Come and visit Asheville, NC and stay in a beautiful mountain retreat with Carolina Mornings (remember, we have great WINTER SPECIALS!). Get yourself dolled up for dinner and the "thee-a-t-eeh," then head back to your cozy cabin and relax in the hot tub, or in front of a roaring fire. Then, take advantage of the FREEBIES that Carolina Mornings offers you with each night of your stay. Sounds like a great long weekend!!

January 25, 2010

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, together, in Asheville, NC!!

Known as two of the world's most talented fiddle players, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy will be playing at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, NC for the first time together. Both musicians have played in Asheville before but never together, although they are married. This is a great show that would be fun for the whole family: some great fiddlin', singin' and dancin', music that gets you movin' in your seat!!
What's even more fun is that Leahy comes from a whole family of musicians from Canada, known simply as "Leahy." There are eight of them, all contributing so much to each performance, all contributing to their success as a family of musicians. They offer a music camp for people of all ages and have made a huge name for themselves as being awesome musicians- those you would want to learn from.
Natalie MacMaster is also from Canada, also an artist that you want to learn from (she does do guest instructing at some music camps). She has her own band, but it seems that whenever her and her husband can get together to go wild with their fiddles they will.
This show sounds like a blast, and you have 2 nights to choose from (or, go to both!)! They are coming to Asheville on February 1 and 2, 2010, a Monday and Tuesday, so check out the winter specials at Carolina Mornings, load up the family in the car and come experience to fun of fiddlin', and of Asheville! Remember that you also get some great freebies with Carolina Mornings, so you are bound to have an exciting time!

January 24, 2010

Donna the Buffalo in Asheville, NC

Here is one fun show, great for the whole family (if you get a chance to see them at a venue that isn't 18+)! Donna the Buffalo, as the website states, plays "...eclectic and often socially conscious music [that] has it's base in traditional mountain music and is infused with elements of Cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country," and will be sharing such music with fans in Asheville, NC on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 9:00pm at The Orange Peel. If you are not part of "the herd," (what apparent fans of DTB call themselves) you may soon be! Their music is upbeat, fun, shake-your-booty kind of music- the kind of music we all should be listening to these days!!
If you are looking for a great deal of fun in a great town, well here it is. And, if you are looking for a great place to stay (why not a long weekend??) check out our winter specials at Carolina Mornings. Enjoy a dinner in your well-equipped kitchen (or enjoy one of the many awesome restaurants in Asheville!), release some stress at a great show, then follow- up with a weekend full of RE-LAX-ATION!! Soak in the hot tub, load up the fireplace, read a good book... Don't forget that Carolina Mornings offers a couple of winter fun freebies with our Mountain Discovery Pass; here is your whole weekend planned out for you!!

January 23, 2010

The Downtown Market in Asheville, NC

Today is another day for exploring the indoor spaces of Asheville, NC, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite new places: The Downtown Market, located in the heart of downtown Asheville on S. French Broad St. (click on the link where you can also watch their commercial). Calling themselves a "bazaar community," the Market is an eclectic blend of food and wares- whether they be re-sale items or crafts made by the vendors. Two major businesses are also within the market- Amazing Savings discount grocer, and, my favorite coffee shop in town, hifi coffee cafe (website coming soon). The market had their ribbon- cutting ceremony on January 8th, 2010, so the business is relatively new and on it's way to exploding. Open Friday thru Sunday from 10am-5pm (*NOTE: hifi coffee cafe is open 7 days a week, at 7am!*), you can start your adventure with a cup of delicious warmth, whatever your preferred drink may be. hifi serves farm-direct, fair trade organic coffee (as close to local as you can get with a cuppa joe!); many options of espresso/ coffee drinks; and other delicious, non-coffee drinks for those of us who enjoy a good cup of chai or homemade hot chocolate, not to mention some yummy treats to go with your liquid warmth. Sit back and relax, listening to the live music playing there every weekend-Asheville is known for it's local musicians (The Downtown Market keeps an updated list of who is playing). then, peruse the vendors of the market; new ones are joining in the fun every week! I have been visiting the Market almost every weekend, and these are the wares I have seen: antique items, handmade jewelry, herbal remedies and bodycare, organic baby clothing, books, toys, etc. etc. And, now that we are in the winter months, farmer's from the closed-for-the-season outdoor markets are heading indoors, making it a great place to pick up local food products as well as discount groceries from Amazing Savings.
Winter is a great time to visit Asheville and take advantage of Carolina Morning's winter specials
(don't forget about the Mountain Discovery Pass freebies you get with your stay as well!!!). Choose a beautiful mountain retreat, explore the great town of Asheville, then cozy up by the fireplace (or better yet, the hot tub!) in your home away from home. You will not regret the break you know you need!!

January 21, 2010

The Scoop on Poop in Asheville, NC

If your child is like mine, they are at their wits end by this time of year with staying indoors. My son, only 7 months old, has entered into his first illness and can't stand that we haven't left the house in 2 days. He stares out the window longingly, wishing for something, anything, to come and drag us out into the rain of today. Gratefully, Asheville is full of things to do in the wintertime, many of which are indoors (and are a lifesaver for Mama's like me with recovering-from-illness little ones). One such place that straddles the line of great-for-nice-outdoor-days and great-for-not-so-nice-indoor-days is the North Carolina Arboretum. I am particularly wanting to share their exhibit opening tomorrow, The Scoop on Poop. This exhibit really is interesting for the whole family, covering the subject of what we humans choose to do behind doors, but what most of the natural world does out in the great wide open. As a newer Mama, I don't expect my little guy to understand or take much with him from the exhibit, but it interests me enough to bundle him up and carry him around in our wrap to visit the exhibit, be it a nice, cold or rainy afternoon. This will help us both with our cabin fever!
The exhibit, which they say is hands on, is a traveling one, and it will stay in Asheville until May 9, 2010. Plan your trip now, in the winter, and enjoy one of the many winter specials that Carolina Mornings has to offer in our cozy vacation rentals. Curl up next to a fire and relax in your getaway one day, and visit the Arboretum for a taste of WNC outdoors and The Scoop on Poop the next. Carolina Mornings has a mountain retreat just for you!

Asheville, NC Fringe Arts Festival

Tonight marks the first night of the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, a festival founded in 2003 of the Asheville avant-garde (and believe me, Asheville is a mecca!). The mission of the festival, as taken from the website, is as follows:
The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival provides artists with opportunities to explore the edges of their work, collaborate across genres and bring new and innovative performances to culturally adventurous audiences.

Leaves one's imagination running wild...
This year, the Festival takes place in many locations, such as Scandals Nightclub, Bebe Theatre, and on the LaZoom Tour bus. It holds a space for such performances as the Runaway Circus; Western Carolina Sacred Harp Singers; Naked Stark Dance Company; the Lymphatic Players; and Eyelash Carpets, just to name a few. If you are one that revels in upbeat and off-the-cuff activities, the Fringe Fest is for you!! And, if you are one that enjoys great entertainment, the Fringe Fest is for you, too!!!
Jump in the car and head on over to Asheville, NC... stay with Carolina Mornings in a mountain retreat (and enjoy many winter special options, including a gas rebate to help cover the drive!), enjoy this great mountain town, and get yourself entertained at one of the locals' favorite festivals!!!

January 19, 2010

Fire and Ice Fest 2010, near Asheville, NC

There really isn't a whole lot of winter left!! To have a celebration of winter in late January is a rare treat, which is exactly what the Fire and Ice Fest 2010 is. This is the first year of the festival, held about 30 minutes outside of Asheville at the Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Spa. Celebrating all things cold, you can enjoy many wintertime events while basking in the brisk air of the Blue Ridge Mountains, complete with a snowy mountain view! Ice carving competitions, Polar Bear Bingo, skiing and snowboarding... the event seems to have it all, including beer and wine from WNC brewers. On your way to visit the festivities you can also check out the little town of Waynesville, nestled into the surrounding mountains with a cozy mountain- town feel.
Hop in your carriage and take advantage of the last of winter with an Asheville vacation!! Check out the winter specials that Carolina Mornings has to offer, and make your way over to Waynesville where they will be celebrating all things icy. Come and see what this area of WNC has to offer!!

January 14, 2010

Part VI: Get to know historic Asheville, NC!

The final destination of our Mountain Discovery Pass from Carolina Mornings takes you on a tour of historic Asheville for FREE!! When you stay in one of our beautiful mountain vacation cabins, Carolina Mornings provides sooo many things to help you enjoy your stay! One is the Mountain Discovery Pass, designed to give you an inside look at incredible mountain town and what it has to offer. We have discussed the other four freebies offered in the MDP (see previous blogs below), and now I want to share with you the journey on the White Trolley Line. This tour takes you on a leisurely jaunt through some historic places in Asheville- the beautiful Montford neighborhood, Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Village... just to name a few of the sites you will see. Touring Asheville in such a way gives you an insiders view of some of the beloved sites in the area, and the foundations of Asheville.
So get out your calendar, gather with the family, and let Carolina Mornings help plan a wonderful retreat for you and yours (don't forget to bring Dog- many of our rentals are pet- friendly!!)

January 13, 2010

Celebrate MLK 3-day weekend in Asheville, NC!!

Officially, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is on January 15th, but we celebrate the holiday as a nation on January 18th (this coming Monday). This gives us all a three-day weekend to remember and honor this amazing person, which most of us do by thoroughly enjoying our time off. Why not take this time to visit Asheville, NC and partake in some celebratory holiday offerings?? When you stay in one of our mountain vacation cabins this weekend for three nights, enjoy a dinner at Zambra on us! Carolina Mornings gifts our patrons this weekend in celebration: a $50 gift certificate to Zambra for FREE!! And, what is a birthday celebration without ice cream? You choose when you go, and we provide the funds: a $10 gift certificate to The Hop Ice cream Parlor! What a way to celebrate the birthday of a legend: three nights in the beautiful mountain retreat of your choice; $50 FREE DINNER; and $10 in celebratory ICE CREAM!! You can't beat it (starting to sound like a perfect idea for my birthday, too:)!!

While you visit Asheville, honor MLK by attending one of the local events out on in his name:
-Monday at 7:30am begins a Prayer Breakfast at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat
Center, with Asheville's Mayor Terry Bellamy as the keynote speaker.
-Monday, Asheville will gather at 11:30am to begin a Peace March and Rally at noon. The
Asheville MLK Association will be leading this march from Nazareth First Baptist Church to the
MLK Park.
-Monday there is a Candlelight Service at 6pm to honor local organizations who are working to
live King's teachings. This event will be at St. Matthias Episcopal Church.

Whether you choose to honor in the peaceful space of your Asheville vacation rental or you choose to gather with community, you are sure to enjoy yourself this weekend here in Asheville, NC!! Carolina Mornings will ensure it, with dinner and ice cream on us!

January 12, 2010

Part V: Northbound, ho! On the French Broad River

Gather the family and hop afloat for FREE at French Broad Rafting Expeditions on one of the two northbound rivers in the United States: the French Broad River! While relaxing in one of our beautiful mountain retreats, Carolina Mornings gives you one free adult pass for a family adventure- rafting on the French Broad River!!
Here is some info from the French Broad Rafting Expedition website:
  • The French Broad River got its name because the river flowed north toward French owned land and because the river is so broad (wide).
  • The main stem of the French Broad River is in Rosman, North Carolina.
  • The French Broad River is one of two rivers that flows North in the United States.
  • The French Broad River flows 210 miles through Asheville, North Carolina, then north to Tennessee and into the Mississippi River and then into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The French Broad River is a free flowing river that includes plenty of small mouth bass and catfish which makes for a great day of fishing.
  • The French Broad River is one of the oldest rivers with the Nile and New river predating the French Broad.
Source: www.riverlink.org

The trips upriver are offered 7 days a week anytime March through October.

This is only one of the perks you get from Carolina Mornings for your visit to Asheville, NC. Besides beautiful accommodations (complete with hot tubs and fireplaces to warm you for times like your post-rafting experience) and the Mountain Discovery Pass, Carolina Mornings has a plethora of other specials and offers!! Whatever vacation home fits your family, there are options for you!!

January 9, 2010

Specials, specials and more specials for Asheville, NC getaways!!

Okay, let's take a detour from our Mountain Discovery Pass (see here, here and here) and say that Carolina Mornings has SO many more specials to share with you while you stay in our Asheville vacation rentals!! Whether it is a discounted rate to certain properties, a coupon to a local establishment (let's face it- with the economy the way it has been, we can all use a coupon here and there!) or a package deal while you visit, Carolina Mornings has the savings you need to bring the family on a well- deserved vacation!
Just to name a few, there are discounted and free nights (??!!) offered; a Biltmore Bed and Breakfast Package; Romantic Getaway additions; an All-Girl Getaway Package; massage add-on options; and coupons to local establishments. And, all of this is on top of the Mountain Discovery Pass freebies!! With Carolina Mornings, we think of your whole visit, and your whole experience. Come and visit and see what is on the house! Here is how to save some bucks!

Part IV: Tour the infamous Lake Lure from Dirty Dancing!

So for the wintertime, Carolina Mornings offers tickets to two local area attractions for each night's stay: a free lift ticket per night's stay, and a free round of golf per night's stay. The Mountain Discovery Pass changes seasonally, and now is a great time to start planning for the spring...
One of the journeys that Carolina Morning's Mountain Discovery Pass takes you on for FREE is a tour of Lake Lure. You may have been wondering for so many years just exactly where that beautiful scenery was on the well-known film Dirty Dancing... it's Lake Lure!! National Geographic called Lake Lure "one of the most beautiful man made lakes in the world," and when you take this tour you can see why! Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Lure offers beauty and fun! Upon warm weather, there is the use of a beach, a water park, a marina (complete with paddle boat/ kayak rentals) a couple of restaurants, a spa,and of course, the Inn made famous by Dirty Dancing. Come springtime, the trees and flowers will be in bloom surrounding the Lake, making the mountain scenery come alive! I have yet to visit Lake Lure, but upon writing this blog I see that it is a must for me and the family! I believe that it is a must for you and yours as well! Start planning your Asheville getaway today and let Carolina Mornings help provide a beautiful vacation rental with a few extra perks!!

January 8, 2010

Part III: FREE GOLF!! Reems Creek Golf Club

So here we are on our count of the FREEBIES you get when staying with Carolina Mornings. With each night of your stay, you get free passes to local attractions!!
The first we covered was a free lift ticket at a local ski resort (see Part II). Now, we are talking about FREE GOLF!! With the Mountain Discovery Pass, Carolina Mornings has teamed up with Reems Creek Golf Club to give patrons one free round of golf per night's stay.
Reems Creek is known as a true Scottish golf experience. For those of us who aren't in-the-know, golf basically originated in Scotland, so a true putting experience would have to take place on a course designed around a Scottish golf experience. And, here we have it at Reems Creek!! If you are in the know, then you surely will agree. And, staying with Carolina Mornings allows you to enjoy the course for one round on us!! Reems Creek is only 15 minutes outside of Asheville, so you can enjoy coffee and breakfast leisurely at your home-away-from-home, and then mosey on over to Weaverville. There you can enjoy your golf experience, pick up some lunch in the quaint little town (I suggest Frank's Pizza, mmmm!) and even go from there into Asheville to enjoy more sights and sounds!

January 7, 2010

Part II: Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

As mentioned in Part I, when looking for an Asheville vacation cabin look no further than Carolina Mornings! Besides beautiful and peaceful accommodations, Carolina Mornings offers one FREE ticket to two (there are five in total, changing seasonally) WNC outings for each night of stay!! Come and visit an amazing little town, have a place to hibernate, and get out into the mountain air when you deem necessary. Sounds hard to beat...
Located just 30 minutes from Asheville, Wolf Laurel Ski Resort is one of the area attractions that comes as a freebie when staying in one of our Asheville vacation cabins!! Here you will find 20 different runs (although they are not all always open) on 82 acres, with the capability of generating snow as needed, perfect for skiing/ snowboarding. They also offer a tube run for those who need a break, or if you want to join together with the kids for some fun. Staying in one of our beautiful homes gives you one free lift ticket for each night of your stay!! That is hard to beat!! Start planning your first-of-the-decade trip to Asheville, NC and stay tuned for the other freebies you will enjoy!!

January 6, 2010

Staying in (or getting out!) for the cold in Asheville, NC: Part I

Now that the holidays are over, we all need a vacation, I'm sure!! One where we can sit and relax by a fire, cook a meal with the family, and get out only when we want to, only to do fun things. My suggestion is to bring yourself, and your family, to Asheville, NC and hole up in a mountain vacation rental!! You decide when you want to relax in your beautiful home away from home and when you want to take advantage of what the Asheville area has to offer.
Staying with Carolina Mornings is a great way to live this life you are dreaming of, if only for a week or so. Rejuvenate in the beautiful and quaint cabin of your choice for as long as you need, and then enjoy some great WNC wintertime events for FREE!! This is perfect for the after-the-holidays crunch that all of our wallets are feeling...
For every night of your stay in an Asheville vacation rental, you get complimentary tickets to two different area attractions for the winter, and they change seasonally!! How can you beat that?? And then there's the fun in town to make time for...
Stay tuned: in the next few writings, I will uncover the freebie fun and venues. So start bouncing the idea back and forth in your head: when are you going to run away for the much deserved start-the-new-decade-off-right vaca??

January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Eating healthy (and how easy it is in Asheville, NC!)

On the same theme as before, let's explore another New Year's resolution: eating healthy. And why, you ask, would coming to Asheville help us with this?? It's simple: Asheville, NC is on top of the game for healthy eating! With so many local restaurants, and so many of them buying local produce/ meats/ eggs and such, the standard is set here for eating healthy all day long. Check out a couple of the restaurants, but why not gather the family together at your Asheville vacation cabin and remember the joy of cooking a few meals??

It is really hard to pick which restaurants I think are the healthiest; most all of them that I have seen in our parts have at least something on the menu that can be eaten without much guilt. Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head, while also thinking of affordability:
The Laughing Seed: a vegetarian restaurant, a really good vegetarian restaurant! A great place to go for those that understand (or are attempting to understand;) that you don't need meat at every meal... you actually don't need meat every day...
Sunny Point Cafe: a favorite, where you can get breakfast all day long... I love breakfast... offering many options for meals that are healthy and additive- free
The Green Sage: many offerings, focusing on quick bites and such
Rosetta's Kitchen: another vegetarian restaurant; I think they say it right when they tout themselves as "farm fresh vegan soul food"

And, if you decide to utilize that great, fully-equipped kitchen there in your home away from home, here are some great places to get groceries for a homemade, healthy meal:
Greenlife Grocery:This is my favorite place to shop in town, where the folks who work and run the joint know what they're talking about, and understand what you are looking for! As the saying goes, they practice what they preach!
French Broad Food Coop: Our local cooperative, small but full!
Earthfare: A chain of stores that sells healthy products.
Amazing Savings: our local scratch and dent, often having organics and great products.

Ingles and The Fresh Market have their sections of healthy stuff, too, but I always shout out to the locals and organic markets.

So, here it is. Your list of how to eat healthy, and why a trip to Asheville can help with that! Remember, too, that Carolina Mornings offer eco-friendly rentals if your resolution reason is to help save the world!