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Day 35: Bringing out the artist in me.

i was heading east again, to the cute little town of black mountain. all ready to walk the downtown streets and find this new cafe called the artisan. as i approached the town, i typed the address into my navigation system and was slightly confused when it showed me a route that led through downtown and then south a little bit. i had no idea that i’d be outside of black mountain. and i didn’t understand how (or why) a new little cafe existed off of one of the windy country roads. but, i listen to my navigator’s voice and headed south…. but, i got lost. or i did’t get lost, actually. what happened was that i ended up circling back around on some back road which spit me out in the middle of downtown black mountain again.

i should’ve taken a left at the fork in the road. not a right. so, back on the same route, i made the correct turn off to the left, drove a few more miles, and suddenly saw a little community built on the side of a cleared and well-manicured mountain. ah haaaaa…. now i understood. this is where this little cafe was.

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the village of cheshire is a small mountain community of homes and commercial businesses which are designed to blend in with nature, offering a way of living that connects people to each other and to the natural world around them. there are homes, stores, cafes, trails, streams, and grassy areas. to me, it looks like a little bit of heaven for retired people. a chance to live in the mountains… comfortably and conveniently. it’s quite upscale. beautiful, i’ll admit it, but pricey and exclusive. check out some of the homes…

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just below the homes, right off the highway that leads you to cheshire village, are the businesses and restaurants. it looked as if some of the places we’re still available. i did love the whole arts & crafts style of everything. very woodsy. very natural. i walked around the area for a while, even exploring one of the trails that led off into a field before heading up a mountain. it was all very nice, but a little more planned than i prefer when i’m in the woods.

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DSC_0668then, i decided it was time to go in and check out the coffee & wine bar. i walked in and noticed the cozy, sort of lodge-y feel of the place. i’m pretty sure the fireplace on one wall made that lodge-y feel even more heightened. but, before i got my coffee, i walked over to the little artisan market connected to the cafe space. in there i found tons of bottles of wine, beer, and artisan breads. mmm…. it looked amazing. i so wanted to leave with an armful of bottles of seasonal wines that were on sale. but, i controlled myself and contained my cravings. i was not here for wine, but for coffee, i kept telling myself. wine and beer will be another blog project. hehe.

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i walked back into the cafe and approached the bar, looking at the coffee menu on the wall, but so very tempted to partake of the wine bar instead. nope. i had too far to drive. and, again, this is a coffee project. so, a small macchiato it was for me instead. and when i say small, i mean, it was small. like espresso cup small. and over two dollars. more than i almost always pay for a regular-sized (16oz) latte. gulp. i swallowed hard and paid. yeah. this place was exclusive. and yeah. it was only retirees in the cafe with me. no matter. time to enjoy my (tiny) coffee in the sunshine.

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as i sat and sipped, i suddenly felt the extreme warmth of the sun beating on my left arm through the window. and looked down at the table and saw the white cup, bathed in sunlight, agains the blackness of the table and knew that this would be a crazy awesome shot. so, i snapped it. satisfied with my shot, done with my macchiato, and inspired by the gorgeous weather, i decided to leave this upscale area and find my way into the woods – so i could be alone. i hopped in my car, said goodbye to the artisan, and drove away from black mountain.

i got up on the blue ridge parkway and just drove. the other day my brother showed me a little dirt road that led back into asheville through the woods, so i decided to take that road, thinking that the leaves on the trees would be amazing. i climbed higher and higher on the parkway, passed glorious sights overlooking the mountains, and then made my way into the trees onto this dirt road. it must have taken me forever to get down the mountain because i stopped the car every 20 feet to take pictures. i was in my element. i had a to go cup of coffee by my side and just snapped away. and i was all alone. it was total bliss.

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while i may not have had my most amazing fika visit ever, i am so glad that i found the little artisan wine & coffee bar. if anything, it inspired me to spend some of my day doing some other things i love… making art in my own way by photographing the world around me. that little cup of macchiato really did bring out the artist in me.

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namaste. /liz

the artisan .  2 east market street . black mountain, nc. www.artisangourmetmarket.com

About Liz McGuire

Liz is a blogger, writer, and amateur photographer in Asheville, NC. She is a returning expat, re-adjusting to American life after living in Sweden for the past three years. On any given day you can find her planning her next adventure with her wife, blogging away on her blog (www.belovelive.com) about daily life and social issues, and discovering little hidden gems and secret places in the city. She faithfully totes her camera and her coffee mug everywhere she goes. And she’s always up for a conversation about spirituality, politics, or other taboo topics. You can find her on the web at www.belovelive.com.

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