About mid-week last week, Andrew and I (read: mostly me) decided it would be a good idea to plan a last minute weekend getaway to Asheville, NC. I usually plan trips months in advance, so this was very out of character for me to just want to up and go somewhere at the last minute. However, we were already planning to go to NC on Sunday to go skiing with some friends, so I thought it would be fun for us to head up on Friday night and make a weekend out of it. We’re also in the midst of training for a half marathon in February and were scheduled to run a 10k this weekend. I did some research and didn’t see any 10k’s in the Upstate area, but Asheville had a Hot Chocolate 10k that looked like fun, so I signed Andrew and I up for it.
Since we weren’t planning to go anywhere in January, we didn’t budget for a weekend getaway, so I knew I would have to get creative in order not to blow our monthly budget. For our hotel, I used this blog post as a guide on how to get a good deal with Priceline’s Name Your Own Price. I had never used it before, so I was a little bit nervous on what I would get. Basically, you pick an area and star rating you want and then enter the price you’re willing to pay, but you don’t get to pick what hotel you want. Since you select your minimum star rating, you’re not going to end up in a sketchy Super 8 if you don’t want to. If they accept your bid, your hotel is booked and then they show you which hotel you’ll be staying in. There’s no turning back if they accept your bid, so it can be a little bit scary once you enter the amount. While I didn’t get an oceanfront 4 star hotel for $55/night like they did in the link above, I did score a nice hotel in a decent location for $55/night. To book it, I used some credit card reward points that I forgot we had, so the money never even came out of our checking account.
I would definitely use Name Your Own Price again, especially after reading a few more blogs posts with tips on how to get the best deal, how to figure out what your hotel options are, and other ways you can “cheat” the system a little bit.
For our meals, I decided to look on Living Social, Groupon, and Restaurant.com to see if there were any decent restaurants listed in Asheville. It can sometimes be hit or miss with these sites, but we bought a Groupon for a little place downtown called The Green Room Bistro and ate there for lunch on Saturday. It was a cute restaurant and the food was delicious.
Overall, we had a really fun and relaxing weekend. It ended up being about 18 degrees when we ran the 10k. I don’t mind running in the cold, but Andrew absolutely hates it. He wore at least four layers, including huge ski gloves and light gray long johns under his shorts…it made for a nice fashion statement. It was a great run until the last mile, which was pretty much completely uphill. It was miserable. We finally finished and celebrated by enjoying some delicious hot chocolate at the finish line.
We wandered around downtown Asheville a little bit on Saturday afternoon, but it was pretty cold (it actually snowed a little bit), so we sipped on some fancy hot chocolate at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge to warm up.
We met our friends at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort on Sunday for a day on the slopes. It was a beautiful day to ski – clear skies, not too windy, and a high of 44 degrees. Our lift ticket and rentals were actually a Living Social Deal that we bought about a month ago, so we saved money on that too. Yay for saving!