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MINIacs Gather for Annual MINIPalooza Event

Miniacs at the MINIPalooza Little Switzerland Run

Over 100 MINI Coopers registered for the MINIpalooza in Asheville, North Carolina, recently. They came from up and down the east coast and as far away as California.

Annual MINIpalooza Event Tar Heel MINI Club

As new MINI owners we joined the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club for a drive up to Little Switzerland off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There were 24 cars in our “Diamond Back” run.

2014 MINI Palooza by Tar Heel MINI Club

We’ve seen and heard the slogan “Not Normal” in our MINI club, and we’re starting to understand it. There was even a pair of these riding as passengers in one of the cars…

2014 MINIPalooza Passengers

The drivers were Not Normal, too. The biggest Miniac (as they call themselves) was our lead driver, who definitely looked and drove like a Miniac…

MINIPalooza Lead Driver

Some of us were glad when the Diamondback portion of our tour was over (and very thankful we didn’t wreck or get a ticket!). We took a break at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The view was spectacular…

2014 MINIPalooza Parkway View

We got back to Asheville just in time for dinner, which was sponsored by Flow MINI from Winston-Salem. Their motoring advisor, service manager and service technician answered lots of questions about our fun little cars…

2014 MINIPalooza Dinner

The next big MINI event hosted by the Tar Heel Mini Club will be the MINIs Slay the Sleeping Dragon (MSSD) at the Tail of the Dragon, October 24-26, 2014. We’ll see you there… to take pictures (sorry, we can’t keep up).

Spectacular Hospitality at Old Edwards Inn & Spa

Entrance Old Edwards Inn, Highlands, North Carolina

After hearing so many good things about the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, we finally rode out to Highlands, North Carolina, to spend the night and see it for ourselves. We found it to be even better than we were told.

Entrance to Falls Cottages at Old Edwards Inn

Pampered doesn’t begin to describe how the staff at the Old Edwards Inn treated us. They went way beyond our expectations in every way. When we checked in the steward gave us a glass of Champagne and escorted us to our suite in the Falls Cottages.

Cullasaja Cottage at Old Edwards Inn

We stayed in the impressive Cullasaja cottage (above). The rustic, massive stone and wood exterior was stunning.

Old Edwards Inn Gifts

Inside our suite we found two complimentary caps, cookies and a rose, along with separate notes from the Old Edwards Inn president and sales manager. The suite itself was large and comfortable, with a fireplace, small bar and lots of seating in the living area.

Inside the Cullasaja Cottage at Old Edwards Inn

In addition to the beautiful Falls Cottages where we stayed, the Old Edwards Inn has a variety of accommodations, all with exquisite furnishings…

Old Edwards Inn Accommodations

The Old Edwards Inn offers lots of activities for guests, including salon and spa services, golf at the Old Edwards Club, fitness facilities, several pools and whirlpools, plus wedding and business venues, and more.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa Photo Montage

Pools at the Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, NC

The Old Edwards Inn and Spa has eight different dining opportunities, but we enjoyed the ambiance and convenience of Madison’s Restaurant for both dinner and breakfast…

Madisons Restaurant at Old Edwards Inn and Spa

We’ve been told the dress code is “mountain chic” which I’m pretty sure is similar to business casual. But the food is strictly black-tie-over-the-top-fantastic. We started with a scallop and pâté appetizer that was out of this world…

Scallop and Pate Appetizerat the Old Edwards Inn

Our salads had baked pears, fried goat cheese, and garden fresh greens. It was as delicious as it was pretty…

Pear Salad at Old Edwards Inn and Spa

My sweetheart (who usually orders the chef’s special) enjoyed the Seared Striped Bass with herb and broccoli purée, fingerling potato salad with bacon mustard vinaigrette, roasted artichoke, and braised greens. She loved it…

Striped Bass at Old Edwards Inn and Spa

I enjoyed a seared rib eye with caramelized vidalia onion, baby shiitakes, fingerling potatoes, and Marsala ragout. It was so good I asked if they sell the Marsala in a bottle. Sadly they don’t…

Ribeye Steak at Old Edwards Inn

As usual, we didn’t watch our calories and ordered desserts: a pretty lemon mousse with fresh berries, and a pecan pie with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and candied pecans…

Special Desserts at Old Edwards Inn and Spa

We should have spent some time in the Old Edwards Inn fitness center the next morning before we ordered a scrumptious breakfast. We had a Belgian Waffle (with delicious bourbon barrel maple syrup) and thick cut French toast, with crispy bacon. Every bite was delicious…

Breakfast at Old Edwards Inn, Highlands, NC

If you’re looking for the perfect getaway, I don’t think you’ll find a better place than the Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands, North Carolina. We highly recommend it. For reservations or additional information visit the Old Edwards Inn website, or call toll-free (866) 526-8008.

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