Hi everyone! I’m back, as promised, with the second blog post regarding our adventure in Asheville, NC for the Emily Moore Photo’s editors retreat. I can’t wait to share more details with you – this post is going to be jam packed with fun! It’s hard to believe three weeks ago today we were saying our goodbyes. I truly can’t wait to do this again, and hopefully everyone can come and join. Let’s dive into the recap…
Day 2 of the Editors Retreat
Tubing on the River
- Started the day with a delicious breakfast spread of fruit, bagels, and muffins! Then it was off to South Asheville for tubing with Zen Tubing.
- Tubing started off with a little bit of a hiccup – come to find out two of our four rafts had holes in them. Right after we started floating away from the launch site, we heard air escaping from the tubes while they started to slowly dip into the water. We all agreed that was not normal, and should do something about it quickly. We decided to change course in order to pull ourselves over to the shore. Next we had to wade through the muck and Jess climbed up the embankment and snagged two new rafts for us. It was quite the scene (I *almost* lost my $1 Old Navy flip flop), but after that it was smooth sailing!
- It was my first time tubing, so I didn’t know what to expect, but our two hour journey down the river was incredibly relaxing! We turned up the tunes, popped open some White Claws (and Diet Cokes) and chatted about anything and everything.
- While floating down the river, we even made a new friend! A goose (who we named Peter) followed us halfway down the river. He got shockingly close to us, which initially made us nervous, but the little guy was just looking for some yummy treats (which we sadly didn’t have). He was so adorable!
Sierra Nevada Brewery
- After Nicole and I got a little bit crispy on the river, we ventured over to my favorite place to visit in Asheville – Sierra Nevada Brewery.
- Sierra Nevada has two locations in the US, one in California and one in Asheville. Whenever I go there I try to make it out! Not only do they have really good food & beer, but they have a great outdoor space! They have Adirondack chairs, rocking chairs, and tables on their back patio space that look out over a pretty amphitheater. When I go with my family, we love to sit out there and play cards and enjoy the space. They’re also committed to sustainable brewing practices. You can check out how they’re committed to high-quality, low-impact brewing here.
- However, on this visit instead of playing cards, we had a team meeting on the back patio. It was a really great way to get some feedback from my team about their experience as associates and where we are going as a company. We discussed some upcoming changes that we want to see implemented within the next year, and I am feeling so great about the future of this amazing team! It was also great for Nicole, who is a newer member of the team, to talk with Madelyn about what it looks like to be an associate editor full-time.
Cozied Up at the Airbnb
- Once we got back to the Airbnb, we all showered and relaxed before dinner. Jess prepared a delicious Italian dinner, complete with spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and a garden salad. If you haven’t gathered this yet, Jess is a great cook. Ooh she made the best meals during the retreat!
- After dinner, everyone except Jess avoided the hot tub because we were pretty sunburned. Instead, we hung out for a bit and then started a macrame crafting project. It was supposed to be a beginner level project, but we all had our share of struggles (square knots are not for the faint of heart). I think everyone got the hang of it after a little while, though. It was just fun to be together while learning a new skill! We also learned that I am the *only* person (in the world, apparently) who likes oatmeal raisin cookies. I mean, someone else MUST like them! Why would they put ⅓ of the cookies in the Costco pack as oatmeal raisin if nobody ate them? I digress…
Day 3 of the Editors Retreat
Breakfast and Team Conversations
- Day 3 started with breakfast and more team conversations. Since we were back at the Airbnb, we were able to go through and do some small trainings with one another. I showed everyone how to use email templates to speed up their email workflows, and Madelyn showed us how she uses Trello to make her schedule. Madelyn has been with me for 3 years now (she’s the OG associate team member!) and she’s put together an amazing workflow that she was kind enough to go through and share with us. It was a really neat way to see how other people use completely different workflows to achieve the same goals.
A Scenic Hike and Picnic
- Once we wrapped up our meeting, we headed out for what was supposed to be a relatively easy nature hike… or a hike “for novice hikers”. Ooooh boy we had no idea what we were in for. This hike was stairs, stairs….oh yeah, and more stairs. And not regular stairs – these were those giant stairs made from logs on a nature trail that were about 2 feet tall (and some of them were probably taller). It was like that all the way up until you had to scale a rock. The rock was actually not as difficult as it looked, but it was definitely a challenge. We all agreed that it was definitely worth it, though, because we were greeted with a beautiful view at the top of the mountain!
- After our hike, we found a fun spot by a river in Montreat to have a picnic lunch. Jess packed the cutest charcuterie boxes for us and I’ve decided I NEED more charcuterie box picnics in the mountains in my life. It really was just the perfect way to cool off from our hike!
- After showering, we somehow still had enough energy to head into downtown Asheville for some shopping and dinner! Luckily everything was open and we were able to explore more there than when we were in Black Mountain. I always love exploring the shops in downtown Asheville. They have so many unique finds and lots of items in the shops are supplied by local artists.
- After dinner, we finished our incredible day with drinks and a gorgeous sunset at the Omni Grove Park Inn. This is another must-visit venue that is always on my list when I go to Asheville.
Day 4 of the Editors Retreat
- I woke up feeling a little blue on Thursday that our time together was over. However, I knew everyone was ready to be home to relax and catch up on some rest after our fun-filled week! That morning, I drove Madelyn to the airport in Asheville then picked up Jess and Nicole and started the long journey home. While driving we hit some summer thunderstorms, which was pretty intense, but overall it was a fairly easy drive. We stopped for lunch at none other than Bojangles, a southern staple. Nicole checked that off of the list of things you *have* to do when visiting NC!
- Saying goodbye was such a hard thing to do – I didn’t want the week to be over! But I couldn’t wait to get home to Caroline and Zach. The getaway for four days was nice, but I did miss them a ton!
And there you have it – our editors retreat recap! These memories will live in my mind forever, I had the best time connecting with these women and having such a blast while being together. I’m already dreaming up the next retreat – where should we go next?