It was one morning that I actually slept until after 6:30 am.
Of course! Since we were planning a trip to Hendersonville’s Apple Festival and wanted to leave pretty early, I WOULD sleep in.
No worries! We made it out of the house before 10am and headed to apple country.
Couple of things to always consider when the traveling anywhere during September, October and November: college football.
We’re usually good about working this into the equation since we’re big college football fans, but it just didn’t register today. I-85 was packed with what we believe was game day traffic headed to Clemson, etc. With Wofford playing Clemson, that alone was probably producing a good deal of traffic moving south from Charlotte.
Thankfully, we turned off at Kings Mountain on 74 and left the back up. Well, that back up anyway. Making your way by Shelby is always a cluster. There is ALWAYS congestion and just something you have to live with to get to appleland unless you want to go all the way down to Spartanburg and take 26 up to H-ville. We’d rather not go that way. Even with the traffic, 74 seems to take less time.
When we arrived in downtown Hendersonville, we met quite a crowd. After scouring several side streets, we finally found a church parking lot offering $5 parking and they had a few spaces left. At least that money was going to their children’s ministry. We were only 2 blocks from the main drag so it was really the perfect place. When we walked up, we realized just how lucky we were. On that corner was an apple orchard stand where we could fill our own bags of Honey Crisp and Cameo apples. (our 2 favorites) Of course they had Mitsus, Romes and Golden Delicious, but we were focused on the prized Honey Crisps!
One thing for sure, a street festival is a great place to people watch. Especially when said festival is in what one might consider to be a “good sized” mountain town. I don’t think some of these folks get into town much.
One of the most amazing details that I took from the day of moving around with the crowd. …. Far too many folks that had ambulatory issues were out with their equipment.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire those who continue to be active and do the things they love – even when they have some health issues. We’ve armed ourselves with equipment at every level of need to do so – but that doesn’t mean they should be used in a crowd so thick you can’t see your feet. I don’t see how they even feel safe trying to move about in this type of crowd. And it isn’t safe for others either. I have Scooter scars on my heels and Hurry Cane bruises that match then on the backs of my legs.
My belief that our nutritional habits continue to go downhill was also reinforced. I think the only people eating funnel cakes were the people who needed them the least.
Back to the reason we were there. Our mission was to get a good supply of Honey Crisps while they are in. Last year, we went to Tree Top Orchards in October and missed them. We got Cameos (which are great too) but – oh – the Honey Crisp!
Part two of the mission was a purchase of local honey. We truly believe in its powers.
We accomplished both missions – picking up the darker (sweeter) version in a 3lb. jar that was a better price than what we get in Charlotte. Your “local” honey doesn’t have to be from just down the street. As long as it is in your geographic region, the pollen picked up by the bees is pretty consistent.
We also tried out West 1st, a restaurant on West 1st Street uptown. We heard of it from a Gelato vendor in Flat Rock that we met while at Bonclarken a few weeks ago. She raved about their bronze salmon.
We read of an apple and beet salad to which you could add the salmon. I wanted to try both. Unfortunately my eating restrictions prevented testing out the salad (we can make that ourselves at home anyway!!). So yesterday we joined the others soaking in the food, drink and atmosphere at West 1st and I talked them into giving me just a serving of the bronze salmon – even though it wasn’t offered as an entre on the lunch menu. It was divine! I wasn’t sure if it would be spicy or sweet. “Bronze” could go either way. It was crispy and spicy! Yum!
As a bonus, we managed to find the Georgia game on the radio (and on simulcast on my phone) and enjoyed the last ½ of the beatdown my Dawgs gave poor Louisiana Monroe.
We could call it a very successful and fun day!