Lovers’ Loop Retreat December muse-letter

            This is the month when we’re usually startled at how quickly the year seems to have passed. Is 2009 really nearly gone? In addition to December’s other notable days, it’s the winter solstice month, and that’s a date (Dec. 21, according to our calendar) we always observe here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat in Asheville, N.C. We like that the solstice marks not only the beginning of winter but the beginning of more daylight, even though very gradually. One aspect of winter that we appreciate is the visibility it gives us and our guests to enjoy the mountain views at our Asheville vacation rental and elsewhere around Asheville.

            For those who are captivated by Christmas and the various aspects of the year-end holidays, there are fun things to do in Asheville in this busy month. Some of the activities are free, which makes them all the nicer, and they’re all within easy range of Lovers’ Loop Retreat. We have events posted through December and into 2010 on our Web site, http://www.loversloopretreat.com/. Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. You can link to our blog, https://loversloopretreat.wordpress.com/, from the home page.

            If you enjoy some bang for your buck, downtown Asheville is the place to be for the annual Asheville Seasonal Sizzle, the fireworks display on Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19. Why wait until July 4? The show makes a lively downtown all the livelier.

            For a different kind of splendor, visit Asheville’s Biltmore estate, the mansion that’s transformed with lights, trees and other festive décor through Jan. 3. The estate — one of America’s most visited homes — is a year-round destination that many people make a point to see at Christmastime.  

            Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, performed by the Asheville Shakespeare troupe Montford Park Players, runs Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 10-13. Keeping with the Dickens theme, Biltmore Village outside downtown Asheville will host a Dickens-inspired Christmas fest Dec. 4-6.

            The Big Crafty on Dec. 6 is a popular happening, with about 100 crafters represented and live music in downtown Asheville. It’s free!

            One cool gig is the annual gingerbread house display through Jan. 3 at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. The competition draws many entries that make for an imaginative and artistic exhibit. This, too, is free!  

            For a nontraditional kind of holiday experience, the annual Swannanoa Solstice on Dec. 20 will feature varied entertainment, including Celtic and mountain music, bagpipers, dancers and storytellers. It’s at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville.

            And to wrap up the month – and the year — there’s the New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown in Asheville. In addition to that event, bars and restaurants downtown and elsewhere in the city are geared up to host their own countdowns.

            Looking into 2010, get a funky start to the year with the annual Asheville FringeArts Festival, which broadens minds and opens eyes each January. It will be Jan. 21-24.

            All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville

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