Greetings from Asheville, NC

Greetings from the Asheville, NC area - home of weird stuff, many breweries, Bold Rock Cider, and the Biltmore Estate., but I actually live south of Asheville in a sleepy town called Fletcher with my hubby Mark, and our dog Bandit, 15 and cat Boodah, 18.

I joined TrustedHousesitters last month after having enough of unreliable/unavailable and nonresponsive sitters that I would invite for a sit in our home. I was happy to find this alternative. We were very lucky for 3 years with a local sitter that was such a good and trusted caregiver to our little old men. Unfortunately, she moved to Michigan, so the search was on again…and again…and again…

The concept of bringing together people who love to travel and people who need a housesitter is a new one for us. We usually rely on someone local, but even on here that isn’t happening so we are of course trying folks who want to travel to this area to visit. Fortunately, we are in a very desirable location in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It just means having a different sitter every time.

We like to visit the higher elevations in the Smokey Mountains sometimes or head to the beach to Topsail Island (Surf City, NC). We want to plan a 3 week-long trip to Italy sometime once COVID is over so I can visit my grandpap’s ancestral village in Ripacandida as well as AirBnB down the west coast, up the east coast and back around again.

We like to cruise as well - our favorite being a 7 day Alaskan cruise, but while the food is great and you are pampered, you really don’t get a lot out of the ports of call.

We do go to Mexico for a week or two every year or every other year. We are researching expat life there for retirement. Our last trip was 6 nights in Tulum, 4 in an AirBnB in Playa del Carmen, and 4 nights in Cozumel. We had a great time and love the Maya, but it’s time to see other parts of Mexico, like Le Paz, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Queretaro, Oaxaca, etc for a month or two at a time. We are working on our Spanish.

Someday, I want to visit the UK too - I have so many online friends (Genesis fan club friends) there that we probably would not need to get a hotel or AirBnB for a visit.

The 2 bands that I travel most frequently to see are Genesis and My Morning Jacket. My hubby shares no interest in EITHER (LOL) but he doesn’t mind the trips to Mexico for the My Morning Jacket One Big Holiday festivals if it means alcohol and a swim-up bar.

~Gina (Mark, Bandit, & Boodah)


I sent you a PM (will appear as an application for your holiday sit).
Welcome to TH. Your trip to Italy sounds like a dream! Hope 2022 can work for that trip. If we learned nothing else from Covid, it’s that we need to not put things off as life can be short!
We have been to Mexico 3 times - once on a cruise, another time we spent a week in San Jose Del Cabo and another time we did Cozumel (spent a day in Tulum).
My DREAM vacation is 3 weeks in Australia and 2 weeks in NZ. We LOVE The Lord of the Rings trilogy so would love to see those sites in person. Would love to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and climb the Sidney Harbor Bridge (if we don’t do the latter soon we’ll be too old)
You are bound to find reliable people on here. Sorry to hear of your troubles with unreliable care Rain the recent past.

Welcome again,



Oooooooo, New Zealand! Hobbits! One ring to rule them all! :smiley: Another thing my hubby shares no interest in! LOL But that does sound like a lot of fun.

Thanks also to you for the welcome. I feel like this site has more potential than the others that I have used in the past.


Hi Gina … I had to look up your “My Morning Jacket” band, I’m already a fan of Genesis and after watching a video will have to look at more!

Welcome to our community forum. Thank you for a great intro into your life in Asheville, your travels and future travel wishes, I’m sure you will realise your destination goals.

It’s always interesting to discover what motivates pet lovers to join our TrustedHousesitters community it’s different for sitters and owners of course, although animals are the one constant …

The relationships that are built between members makes our community very special and also unique, the stories we hear of like minded people being brought together, lifelong friendships being made and the authentic experiences a pet and house sitting lifestyle presents demonstrated what is at the heart of our community.

Since COVID we have also seen a change in sitter members travel, many have discovered that sitting locally is just as rewarding as traveling halfway around the world (which wasn’t possible of course) sometimes your own backyard is full of surprises and of course pet companionship is special whether they live 10 or 1000 miles away.

For sitters slow travel, being part of a community and living like a local in places they might otherwise never see and for owners the ability to travel more than they ever thought possible, with absolute peace of mind is what TrustedHousesitters enables and we look forward to sharing in your new journey and following your story.

Perhaps you will become a pet sitting traveler too … .

Thank you again for joining, enjoy connecting with other members from around the world and thanks for the intro to MMJ …

Angela and the Team


Hi @Cyn @mattersfact2 we had a 3 month sit in Brisbane QLD and the owners came back mid sit (we arranged all of this from the very beginning, no surprise “we’re coming back” calls :slightly_smiling_face:) to give us the opportunity spend two weeks in NZ … we had an amazing time, as well as being in the middle of a terrifying earthquake in Christchurch (2011) but that’s another story, anyway the point of this is I have a passion for horses and riding and one of the best rides I have ever experienced is a 3 hour Lord Of The Rings Ride which took in many of the locations where the movies were shot … it is truly breathtaking scenery.


What a great life…and a Genesis fan as well! One of my favourites. I don’t think you will have any difficulty in finding pet sitters. You live in a beautiful part of the world.
Is there rooms to park a 24 foot RV?..……just asking for future reference.


Welcome to our community @mattersfact2.
I believe you will find this a great place to fulfill your needs and dreams.
Asheville is a most beautiful and indeed unique place with a great many things to discover in the wonderful town shops and the many places to hike and explore.
It’s interesting and I enjoyed your band stories as my very first trip to the UK back in 1997 manifested itself because of my online Paul McCartney fans and friends.
It is a long story, one that I have actually written about but because of the networking and the relationships I established with those other wonderful crazy Macca fans, I actually got to meet Paul on that very first trip. We had a lovely chat. He has the softest hands btw. :grin:. Met him many times afterwards and have practically lived in the UK thanks to THS. So don’t give up on your dreams, ever. I actually sat a beautiful cat for two women, mom and daughter who went to Japan to see their favorite band!
You will love the UK and Mexico too! Been there on medical mission trips several times, even to Oaxaca. I hear Tulum is a wonderful place so if you are up for it, share some goodies on the Travel topic here on the forum.
Best wishes and enjoy!


Wow, you were in NZ when they had that huge earthquake! Amazing what being a part of this community can allow folks to experience. We have lived through a few of CA’s major ones but not while on a holiday.

The idea of riding horses through some of NZ’s majestic beauty sounds amazing. I will have to remember that idea whenever we get to go.


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FYI … … Dart Stables, Queenstown


New-Zealand is well worth the trip; beautiful country. And of course Hobbiton :heart_eyes:; the place is beautiful and there are a lot of other places in NZ where you can see sites from the two series, such as Mount Doom. And Milford Sound in the South Island is a must.


Thanks for the info! I took a screen grab and saved it to photos for future use!


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Thanks for the photos! Makes me even more anxious for a visit!


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Thank you and very happy to be here - YES to My Morning Jacket, but I have found, you either like them or you don’t. LOL I will say, I was on the fence about liking them until I saw them live. Seeing them live will make your face melt. :rofl: :joy: :rofl: :joy:

anyway the point of this is I have a passion for horses and riding and one of the best rides I have ever experienced is a 3 hour Lord Of The Rings Ride which took in many of the locations where the movies were shot … it is truly breathtaking scenery

:open_mouth: :smiley:


Is there rooms to park a 24 foot RV?..……just asking for future reference.

Unfortunately not on my street. We live in a development. It might fit in our driveway with part of it sticking out into the street? The driveway is between 20-24 feet. :slight_smile:


Blockquote He has the softest hands btw. :grin:

OMG!!! :joy: :rofl: :joy: :rofl:
I was in Pittburgh, PA for a Genesis concert, staying in the same hotel as the band. They all autographed a huge 2.5 x 4 foot band portrait the night before that I drew when Danny Gillan (Phil Collins’s PA) took it backstage for me. So the morning that we were all checking out I got to talk a bit with Mike Rutherford in the hotel lobby, and HE TOO had the softest hands! These men must moisturize or something!

My art has been autographed by all Genesis members, even former members like Stevek Hackett and Peter Gabriel, but I have only ever met and spoken with Mike, Steve, Daryl Stuermer, and Chester Thompson (because Danny was watching me like a hawk making sure I had no chance with Phil). Steve Hackett and his wife Jo are super nice people. When Steve and Jo come to the area on tour, I try to get a cup of coffee with them the day of or day after the show.

@gchampagne, those photos are breathtaking!


They have soft hands because they need to protect them for their livelihood. No manual work that could risk an injury. Like hand models they probably have their hands insured.

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And those are just a few of the more than 2000 pictures we took on our one month drive around New-Zealand starting in Auckland and ending in Christchurch winding our way through Whitianga, Matamata, Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro and Wellington (all in the north island). Then the ferry to Picton and then on to Kaiteriteri, Abel Tasman (where I jumped from a perfectly good airplane at 16 500 feet), Greymouth, Franz Josef, Wanaka (where we landed on a glacier with a helicopter), Te Anau, Milford Sound and Queenstown. Breathtaking views everywhere along the way. :heart_eyes:

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