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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Biltmore Extravaganza!

Yesterday, my family and I went to the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. Well…I should say my parents and “family friends,” but I claim them as family because they are so awesome! You see, the last time I went to the Biltmore Estate, I was probably around six or seven years old.

That was a long time ago.

I was much too young to have sampled the delicious wine or to have truly enjoyed the food that the Biltmore Estate has to offer.

Since I was there last, many more rooms have been added to the tour and they have a self guided audio tour now as well that provided us with lots of history about each room in the house as well as the people who lived and visited in each room.

When we first got there, it was snowing. Yes, snowing!! I was like a five year old at Christmas! I LOVE the snow, and seeing the Biltmore House in the snow was like icing on the cake!

Unfortunately, we were not able to take photographs inside the house, but I was able to get several exterior photographs.

Attached and to the right of the house, was the barn. Well, it used to be a barn. Now it houses a gift shop and a confectionary where people were able to get souvenirs and sweet treats. Yum!

When we came back out, it was no longer snowing, but the wind was incredibly harsh. It was hovering around 30 degrees.

I named the lions on either side of the front door Leo and Lena. Oh yeah, those names are going to stick!

I forgot how intricate the details of the house are. It is incredible that a house of this magnitude actually housed a family. A baby was born here, there was a family for 5 St. Bernard dogs here, and there were frequent visitors that stayed for weeks at a time. They would swim in the lighted (underwater that is) pool and exercise in the fully equipped gym.

To the right of the front door, you can see on the first level roof that there is a glass roof. This is directly over the indoor “winter garden.”

Here is a closer look…

It is so cool to me that even in the 1800s, the technology that there was in this time.

Then, there is the spiral staircase. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the house. Of course, I was only able to take a picture of it from outside of the house, but it is still as beautiful.

So beautiful!!

The experience of the Biltmore would not have been as fun without my family. Mom, Dad, Larry, Diann, and Leslie were all there with me and I would not have been able to go without each of them.

There is nothing better than family and friends. Life would not be nearly as exciting or  wonderful without friends and family. This was after our tour. We were waiting on the shuttle to take us back to our parking lot so we could go have lunch. At this point, we were famished!

Then, it was on to the Bistro at Antler Hill Village  where we had an INCREDIBLE meal complete with appetizers and dessert, each part being my favorite, and I’m going to make you wait for that one.

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Ok, so I know I’m running late on this post, but sometimes, I can’t do it all and posting occasionally has to take the back seat.

However, now that I’m here, I’m going to catch you up.

During the week between Christmas and New Years, I decided to take a week off. Yep, a whole entire week. Wow! I don’t believe that I have done that in quite sometime, but it was COMPLETELY worth it!

For the first half of the week, I went to Durham and spent time with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and parents. It was quite eventful, but at this time we are spending time on the second half of the week. That was when I took a trip up to Boone.

Every time I take a trip to Boone, it is always an adventure because I stay with a good friend of mine, named Wendy and her two precious little girls named Grace and SaraBeth. Let’s just say that Wendy has a whirlwind of a life and usually I just get caught up and go along with it. You know, I’m pretty easy going like that…especially when I’m on vacation.

So, first thing when I get there, we headed to the ski mountain in order to let the kids go snow tubing. By the time we got there, there was only one run that was open and the session had been sold out, therefore, we had to decide on something else.

Instead, we went up to Beech Mountain and allowed the kids to go sledding (for FREE).

Take a look at how much fun they had…

Even the adults went sledding.

So…

…much…

…fun!

The big kids really wanted to go skiing…that is, at first.

They decided that sledding was just as fun.

I love these girls!

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I never travel for the holidays…that is, until now. I have been spending the past couple of days in Boone where I just moved from. Its amazing how quickly I forgot how much I loved living in this beautiful, friendly town.

However, I have not forgotten how much I love all of my friends who live here. I have been able to catch up with some of my best friends and people who I have been so close to over the past couple of years. Each of these people have their own special place in my heart. Particularly these munchkins…

That’s right! Sarabeth and Grace are two of the kiddos that I miss the most. On Friday, we went swimming and went to this awesome frozen yogurt place called Sweet Frog’s (Fully Rely On God). I love that place and obviously…the girls did too.

The shop was wonderfully decorated with my favorite colors being the center of attention…pink and green with a splash of blue!!

 

It is a self-serve frozen yogurt place where you can choose from an assortment of flavors and toppings to make your own personalized, delicious concoction.

This was mine:

I loaded up on cake batter frozen yogurt and topped it off with strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, mangos, white chocolate chips, chocolate waffles, and Andes mint chips. YUM!!

I have to say, I was in heaven!

The next day, we did some walking around town and Grace decided she was going to go rock climbing on the tower at Footsloggers in downtown Boone.

She was quite the superstar.

 

The fella Zack, who works at Footsloggers, helped Grace get into her harness and tied to her rope. Then she was off!

Climbing higher…

…and higher…

…and higher! Until…

She reached the top! At the top of the tower, there was an upside down head that she had the privilege of grabbing. Then, of course she had to come down…

The cutest thing about Grace climbing the wall, was her loudest cheerleader was…

her little sister, Sarabeth. It was so cute to see her cheering her big sister on when more often than not, they are at each others’ throats, just like sisters typically act.

It was an amazing weekend of relaxation and excitement all wrapped into one. Now, I’m back in Charlotte missing those kiddos and looking for another weekend to visit and see more of the friends that I didn’t get to see this weekend.

Much love to y’all in Boone!

I miss y’all soooooo much!

~The Dreamer

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Wildlife of Wyoming

Recently, my family and I went on a vacation out west to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I have been privileged enough to travel a great deal this year and I have to say that I have enjoyed every stop, but Wyoming has been one of my favorite spots.

Look how beautiful it is…

I love how the mountains jut up out of the ground. There are no foot hills and no gradual incline…it is as if the mountains simply appear out of nowhere. These are the Teton mountains and they are a new love of mine.

All over the place, there are all sorts of wild animals that people stop on the side of the road to take pictures. In fact, there are times where people have to stop in the middle of the road in order for elk or bison or prong-horn antelope to cross the road.

These, of course, are bison or buffalo.

Then, we saw some prong horn antelope. They never came close enough to get a great picture, but these animals were the ones we saw the most often.

Later that day, we saw some elk. They were even further away…but we tried to get a picture of them anyway.

And…the biggest find of the trip was seeing a momma Grizzly Bear and her three cubs. It was so cute to see the little cubs scampering behind and in front of their mother as she constantly watches over them as they play.

As we traveled around, we were able to see all of the different animals at different times, but really they were everywhere! The one animal that I wish I could have see was a moose, but there was not a moose to be seen by me. Maybe I’ll just have to take another trip out to Wyoming just to see a moose. I have heard that they are massive animals and that their antlers are of incredible size.

Maybe one day…I dream of it!

Much Love,

The Dreamer

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