Nick and I were able to get direct flights to NC this year, so we worked in the morning and then left for NC in the afternoon. Tiffany dropped us off at the airport (thanks!) in plenty of time, and by 7:15 we were traveling the highways of NC in our rental car! We reached Grandmom and Granddad's just before dark. We were greeted with big hugs, and we visited for a while before hitting the hay!
While eating a late breakfast, we watched this acrobatic squirrel! He hung completely upside down as he munched on his breakfast!
Morning/early afternoon rain changed our plans a bit, but it ended up being perfect! We were able to move our trip to the waterfall, and the rain cooled the temperatures to 70 degrees - MUCH cooler than the temps we left in KS! In the afternoon - after a couple of bowls of green bean soup! - Nick and I went into Tryon to wander around the shops.
We took a break on a park bench...
Visited Morris the Horse...
Made our first purchase for Baby A...
(More on Baby A soon!)
and took a scenic drive to Saluda and the Saluda market.
We went back to G&G's to visit and eat dinner - delish spaghetti casserole! - and we shared the news about their first great-grandchild while eating dessert (which included the best blueberries Nick has ever had!).
Granddad said he almost asked me if I was pregnant, and I believe him because just before dinner there was a moment where I thought he was going to ask me! Grandmom was especially excited because she can't wait for my dad to be a grandfather himself! She knows he'll be a good one - and I know it, too: ) I'm glad we were able to share the news in person - such a special moment together!
We spent the last few hours of the day at the Nouveaux Honkies concert - which was put on as part of the Summer Tracks Outdoor Concert Series in Rogers Park.
It was a beautiful night and a beautiful venue! The seats were made of stone and built into the side of the hill. The trees completely covered the stage and seats - I wish I had taken some pictures while we were there! We ran into Richard - a close friend of Granddad's - and his wife, so we caught up with them for a while and enjoyed the music and cool weather (It was so cool that I had to wear pajama pants under the dress I was wearing!). We ended the night with some pizza at Side Street Pizza and Pasta - YUM!
After a quick breakfast on Saturday morning, we made our way to Pearson's Falls. We were the first ones there, so we were the only ones on the trail! It was raining, but there were so many trees that we couldn't even feel it! Everything was SO green, and - of course - the waterfall was beautiful! We don't see a lot of those in KS; )
It was time for lunch when we returned to G&G's, so we chatted while eating AMAZING BELTs (bacon, EGG, lettuce, tomato). SO good: ) After cleaning up, Nick and I made our way to Asheville - one of my favorite places!
We hit some standstill traffic on the mountain, so we didn't have time to shop before dinner: ( We did have a quick bite to eat at the Asheville Brewing Company. I wasn't too impressed by the food, but I did enjoy the atmosphere!
From dinner, we went to a comedy show called Laugh Your Asheville Off (ha!) to see Carl Labove. The tickets were reasonably priced, and we were looking for something we'd both enjoy - this was perfect! There were 6 comedians before the main comedian, and were were laughing almost non-stop! Nick kept laughing which would make me laugh - it was a great time! We may or may not have had some ice cream after the show before watching some street performers and making our way back to the hotel; )
Nick slept in on Sunday morning, and then we were off to Lake Lure. Before we left Asheville, I made a quick stop (and purchase - see my necklace in the afternoon pictures!) at Ten Thousand Villages. We also stopped for some country breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I had the incredible Six Grain n' Granola Pancakes, and Nick had biscuits and gravy (duh!).
Rocking chair pic: )
We made it to the scenic lake tour just in time to grab a cold drink and hop on the boat. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we truly enjoyed the tour!
Dirty Dancing stairs!
A look back at the mountains...
I could get used to this...
My love: )
$14 million dollar home
The guide on the tour told us that we'd be happy with our lodging choice - the Lodge on Lake Lure - and he was right!
Our Deck and Room
Nick had some wine at happy hour, and I had more than my share of hor devours! We sat on top of the boat house for a while, and then we went to dinner at LaStrada Bar and Grill. We ate WAY too much - and enjoyed this view...
After dinner we went back to the top of the boat house. It was a GREAT night: )
The Lodge prepared made-to-order omelets, and we helped ourselves to some other goodies on the breakfast bar. I can't wait to go back!
We spent the rest of the day at G&G's. We filled them in on our trip, and then we went for short walk before jumping in the pool. We bought a ball to throw around in the water, and Nick and I spent quite some time trying to throw the ball 200 times in a row without dropping it (We only made it to 83!).
While I snacked and drank orange juice, Nick grilled steaks for dinner and drank some wine. The steaks were fantastic - so good that Granddad even gave Nick a compliment! We visited some more before bed...with ice cream of course: )
Suddenly it was time to go home: ( I went for one last walk in the morning to spend a few more minutes soaking up one of my favorite places! We ate breakfast, showered, packed, and chatted over lunch. After eating my Klondike bar for dessert (a family favorite - but only while in NC), it was time to say goodbye.
I've never been very good at saying goodbye to anyone, and I've always had an especially hard time saying goodbye to my NC grandparents because I only see them once a year. I started to cry before I'd even walked back in the house from dropping my luggage in the car, and I shed a few more tears while I hugged my grandparents goodbye. They're special people, and we've created a lot of special family memories in and around their home. I miss them terribly throughout the year, and I will always feel lucky to have spent part of every summer with them. I started looking forward to our next NC trip before we even made it out of their neighborhood!
A familiar sight - Grandmom with her ice cream and me with my tears!
SUCH a wonderful, relaxing, fun, much-needed, special trip!!!
"Home, I learned, can be anywhere you make it.
Home is also the place to which you
come back again and again."
— Margaret Mead
— Margaret Mead