(In case you missed Part 1)

I begrudgingly left the Best Place on Earth and Rob put me in charge of finding food in Asheville (THE PRESSURE). After pretending to look up restaurants on my phone for 10 minutes but really just scrolling Instagram, I quickly crowd-sourced my Facebook friends and received a few glowing recommendations for 12 Bones Smokehouse. Done and done. Back to puppy pics.

When we arrived, I rejoiced that FB had not failed me. This award-winning ‘cue joint off the beaten path in the River Arts District of Asheville is a total dive and totally divine.
12 bones barbecue ashevilleWhat…a sweet rack.

After we stuffed our faces, we got back in the POR-SHA, and what do you think Rob did?

A) Put the car into gear and juiced up the GPS.
B) Patted me on the head for finally contributing something to the trip.
C) Made an espresso.
D) All of the above.

Correct answer: D.
IMG_2250Espresso maker in the glovebox? Normal.

We finally got back on the highway to our next destination, and I believe this was the leg of the trip when I gave a passionate rendition of “Dirty Diana,” after which Rob promptly confessed he “wasn’t really into Michael Jackson” and I almost threw the iPad and myself out the window. I think he had the child locks on.

After a pitstop at CVS for band-aids, Neosporin, and nail polish (I had forgotten mine and an in-car mani was long overdue), we arrived at The Umstead in Cary, North Carolina where I was immediately concerned about roaches, bed bugs, and blue-collar crime.

I mean, what? This place is absolutely incredible from the upscale-but-relaxing aesthetic to the rooms to the spa to the pool to the service to the art exhibit wing (I mean, what?) to the foresty ambiance. (Is foresty a word? It should be.)
umstead hotel

We had a delicious dinner on the patio (I had to stifle an orgasm during the pork belly potato skins), a few glasses bottles of wine by the fireplace (because when in Rome the woods), and I raced back to the room to maximize my hours in the BEST BED OF ALL TIME EVER.
Seriously, this was a highlight of the trip and The Umstead has informed me via Instagram that they will be selling their CUSTOM MATTRESS very soon; so just a heads up to Santa/Mom/secret admirer/Umstead publicist that your girl is gonna’ need one.

The following day, after a prolonged wake-up session of exaggerated yawning/stretching and rolling around on that marshmallow of a mattress, I hung out in the sauna until I felt my body adequately re-energized (or dehydrated, whichever), and lounged by the pool with my book, where there was everything I needed minus vodka and cabana boy.
brilliantoasis2 2Rob went for a run and got work done. Show-off.

After soaking up some rays and giving an emotional goodbye to the #BestBedEver, we were on our way to…….the nation’s capital! (For the record, we literally added D.C. on the route the night before we left because America.)

Upon arrival in Washington D.C., I got VERY excited because I had not been to our capital since high school and also Homeland is my favorite show. We dropped our bags in the Sofitel (French for awesome), changed, and hoofed it down to the Washington Monument to snap a few photos before dark.

How did we do this, you ask? Because the guy who has an espresso machine in his glove compartment also has a wide angle/fish-eye iPhone lens and a remote control. SHOCKER.

We grabbed a cab, posted our pics to social media in record time, and pulled up our drinking drawers. First stop was Georgetown where we hit a few low-key bars, tossed back a few beers, and exchanged stories of our debaucherous and law-breaking younger years (Rob was a real-life Van Wilder; I had a fake ID by age 15), because what else are you supposed to do in a college town? When we were ready for a change of pace, we cabbed it to the lively Logan Circle ‘hood, feasted on fancy pizza pies and sipped guzzled wine at Matchbox 14th St. (cool spot, highly recommend), and ended the night at…where else but…Barcelona.
barcelona restaurant washington dcYes, the same Barcelona where we’ve spent many an evening (or afternoon) downing bottles of rosé in good ol’ ATL.

I knew I was intoxicated when the bartender announced it was last call and I looked at him like he was crazy because I thought it was 11 p.m. AT THE LATEST, then he informed it was 1:50 a.m. THANKS OBAMA.

This doozy of a cab ride is definitely hazy.

The next morning, #IWokeUpLikeThis…


…shook/showered off my hangover, and began to feel excited jitters for our next destination. But Rob abandoned me to meet a friend (the nerve).


Did I get a coffee? Did I dump it on him and ruin the trip and our relationship forever? Did I stop using all caps? (NEVER.) Stay tuned for the third and final installment…

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