It had been 21 years since I was last in North Carolina on a road trip, when I fell in love with the mountains, sequoias and weather that reminded me of New England. Yet, it’s an area where temperatures are milder in the winter months — a benefit from what Boston brings with its typical intolerable bitter cold temperatures.
Since that time, the southern state has beckoned for my return. So now, I’m back, but not in the triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, as I was 21 years ago. I am in the western part of North Carolina, in Waynesville, just outside of Asheville.
The road I drive from Charlotte to Waynesville is a three-hour ride into the Smoky Mountains, and where the Andon-Reid Inn is nestled. This is a residential area, but off the beaten path. The room I’m assigned is a large, yet cozy room once occupied by the home’s first owner, John White. As in this room character abounds in architectural and design details throughout the home, which boasts 10 fireplaces and five large rooms owned and operated by Rachel and Ron Reid.
While staying at the Inn, there are many options for activities, including a venture to fish, hike, picnic and view the elk that roam by, as well as shopping on Main Street. Hanging out at the Inn is another viable option, either to sit by the fireplace in the living area where the bar has an assortment of munchies, or to head downstairs to the fitness area, where a pool table, chess and other games can be played.
My first night’s sleep was spent snug as a bug, thanks to the warmth of my gas fireplace, and my first morning began with breakfast in the dining room: a fan of sliced pears and dollop of berries, followed by a plate with bite-sized slices of kielbasa, a slice of Mexican egg — frittata style, with asparagus pieces, zucchini, green peppers and onions mixed over a bed of salsa, and a generous slice of lemon poppy cake. Breakfast dessert is customary at Andon-Reid, and this morning we were served a light, yet delicious peanut butter pie.
Aside from great food, I was in great company of a couple from Georgia and a family of three from Annapolis, Maryland, who entertained me with stories of the area, the surrounding areas, and future places of interest. We had a fun breakfast, but now it is time to get down to the business of burning off what I ate.
A 10-minute ride to Lake Junaluska to walk 2.5 miles gave me energy for the afternoon. Upon my return back to the Inn, I indulge in a banana and tall glass of water and head to the downtown area, where many retail names are titled “Mountaineer” — even the local newspaper is named The Mountaineer.
Next up: a wine shop stop, a good night’s rest, morning breakfast and a ride to Asheville for a stay at The Biltmore Inn.
To learn about Andon-Reid Inn’s Resolvacation package, click here.