Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's always a bit of a system shock to return to the "real world" after a getaway. There are dishes to be done, beds to be made, children to be cared for, and meals to plan. Although there is really nothing quite like coming home, there is always an adjustment period -- and I always dread it after a time away.

We seem to be adjusting well today. The bags are unpacked, most of the dishes are done, beds are made, and I'm back to operating on a to do list. My brain seems to be somewhat thankful for its return to usefulness, even if it is having to shake a little rust off along the way. And thanks to experience, I've learned to make the first day back an easy one, slowly returning to responsibility without causing undue shock to the system. But really, any of the shock is worth it for the chance to getaway like we did.

Michael and I had a wonderful time together in Asheville, North Carolina. (Although really, we could've gone anywhere and had a blast.) We spent the night with Mops and Pops on Wednesday night, preparing ourselves to release our Little...this was the longest we'd been away from her. It was a little more difficult to leave her than we thought; she came down with a 24-hour bug that included a 102 degree fever (her third in as many months). We knew, however, that we were leaving her in capable hands.

We left Thursday morning and drove for, well, a long time. Shattered glass on the side of a winding mountain road added another hour and a half to our trip, so we were relieved to finally arrive at our hotel. It was really everything we hoped it would be, and I was thankful to know with certainty that our historic hotel did indeed have air conditioning.

We woke early Friday to blue skies and cooler weather, so we headed out early to the Biltmore Estate. Beautiful! We were disappointed to learn that no photographs could be taken inside the actual house, but let me assure you... opulent doesn't even begin to describe this place! It reminded me of castles in Europe; it was hard to believe that the Biltmore is less than a hundred and fifty years old. We also enjoyed a stroll in the gardens, and we toured the Estate winery. The two of us geeks loved learning all about the history of the estate!

In front of the Biltmore Estate

(The shrimp plant...delicious!)

Saturday, we decided to take it a little easier. (My hip is still causing some aggravation, and I wanted to make sure we didn't overdo it!) We strolled around downtown Asheville, wandering in and out of galleries and shops. We enjoyed just being tourists for the day!
The Grove Arcade, downtown (built by a rich snake oil salesman!)

Playing the water bottle flute with some Appalachian musicians

On Sunday, we had a leisurely start. After breakfast, Michael and I listened to a message online from Voddie Baucham. I would highly recommend checking out some of his available messages; we listened to "The Centrality of the Home", and we were both challenged and convicted. Afterwards, we loaded up in the van and explored historic Hendersonville, NC. We strolled Main Street, enjoyed a free history museum, and devoured an incredible lunch at an old Apothecary/Soda Fountain. One of the highlights of my entire trip was enjoying an ice cold Cheerwine in a glass bottle! We then traveled a little further to the DuPont Forest, and took a short hike to a waterfall. On our return trip to Asheville, we stopped back in Hendersonville for some ice cream; what a great way to wrap up an afternoon!
Just "Kidding" around with the Hendersonville art exhibit

We know a cool photo op when we see it... the onion ring tunnel

Hooker Falls, also known as the redneck watering hole

We got up early Monday to head back, eager to get our Little back in our possession. We knew she'd had a great time, and so did we, but we missed her way more than we thought possible! After a couple of hours "layover" at Mops & Pops's house, and then dinner with the Harvards, we returned back home. It is so good to be back!


Lauren said...

This trip looks awesome! I keep hearing great things about the Biltmore.

Sarah, how many weeks are you now? You look great in the pictures!

j&bH said...

we LOVED our family dinner with our thomases! wish we could have extended it...we'll just have to plan for a slumber party. :)