Monday, July 25, 2011

A trip to the South ~ Part 2

      "The mountains are calling and I must go" - John Muir

Day 4 ~ (Continued) 

Chimney Rock State Park

We went to Chimney rock based on a relative's suggestion, so we really didn't know a lot about it going in. Once we heard that this is one of the locations where they had filmed 'The Last of the Mohincans' we just knew that we had to see it as the movie is big on gorgeous scenery!

Our first view of Chimney! Little did we know what we were in for....

Climbing lots and lots of stairs

Our view looking up at Chimney climbing up the many stairs.....


What a view!

Devil's Head...It's a fitting name, it was kind of creepy!

Beautiful paths to walk along

After enjoying the views we had a lot more walking ahead of us back down to Hickory Nut Falls, which was our very favorite!

Now the final trek down the mountain to the Four Seasons Trail. The whole day we had been surrounded by people but on the way down the mountain we never saw anyone. 

Lots of steep down hill trails...
It was the hardest trail but its said to be the prettiest. I guess climbing a mountain before my thirtieth birthday is something to be able to claim, right?!

Chimney Rock village was a very quaint town! Lots of little gift shops and restaurants


Day 5 ~ 

The Biltmore House and Gardens

We got up pretty early in order to be there as soon as they opened their doors!

The windows along the great stairwell.

You aren't allowed to take pictures inside of the Biltmore. I'm not sure why but I'll just tell you a little about it. The house was modeled after a 16th Century French Chateau by architect Richard Morris and the grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was famous for desiging New York's Central Park. The grounds and gardens are the size of seven Central Parks.

The house has 250 rooms with 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 firelaces. The basement even had a swimming pool, oh and there was a bowling alley inside! We paid a little extra for the audio tour which explained the history and importance in each of the rooms. It was well worth the extra few dollars!

The grounds were just beautiful! We toured the Woodland Trails, Spring Garden, Azalea Garden, The Boat House and the Bass Pond, which were all lovely.

A very quiet and relaxing spot near the waterfall.

The Walled Garden and the Rose Garden were like nothing I had ever seen before.

The Conservatory

So many gorgeous flowers. These were probably my favorite!

A lovely view of the house from the gardens. It looks like the castle out of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' ~ Just magical!

The Farm at Antler Hill Village -

This is just one side of the massive barn. There was a movie being played in one part of the barn and all kinds of old-timey toys and games were set up all around for young children to play with. There was a lot for families to do with a blacksmith and a woodworking shop, and craft demonstrations. 

A look inside the stables

Last but not least the petting zoo with the cutest goats and sheep that I have ever seen!

He was the the trouble maker! 

Bert was pretty shy but he warmed up to me after awhile!

We finished up the night with Ice Cream from the creamery!

We had the most wonderful vacation that I could have asked for.
We are so blessed! I hope you enjoyed this small view of our wonderful time away!

Good night lovely friends.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A trip to the South ~ Part 1

Hello lovely friends,
 We just got back from our first real vacation since our honeymoon a little over four years ago! We had a wonderful  time in Asheville, North Carolina! I have always wanted to visit Asheville. As a child I read a whole series of books based around the area. We mainly went to see The Biltmore, another place that I have always wanted to see! It was more beautiful than I could have imagined! We took a few pit stops along the way for delicious food featured in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (My husband's idea of course). Lots of antiquing, shopping, and we even climbed a mountain!  So, sit back  and relax with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy part 1 of our trip!

Day 1 ~ Driving and eating

Our first stop was Lexington, Kentucky to visit the Parkette Diner and eat some down home, fried chicken!


Amazing chicken, gravy, tater-tots, fries, coleslaw and rolls! 

I need to learn how to make their gravy! Just delich! When we arrived they had just run out of all their chicken. Since that was the whole reason for stopping in we decided to wait for half an hour for more to be brought in. It's served fresh every day so I think its probably the freshest chicken that I have ever eaten. It was well worth the wait!  I don't think I have ever had chicken that tastes that good in my whole life!


Day 2 ~ Antiques 

We were then back on the road for a few more hours of driving. We checked into our hotel (in the mountains) pretty late that night. We were up and ready pretty early for us, shopping in the Biltmore antiques district!

There were many antique places to shop at all in one close area. Bryant Antiques was probably my favorite but they were all great!

I just loved this little painting and I had to snatch it up right away! I've learned that lesson the hard way, losing out on good deals. Not this one though! It will always remind me of our wonderful vacation in the mountains.

This dry sink reminds me of something that my oldest sister Pam owns and I just wanted her to see this!

Great bread box! A little too expensive for me but I'm hoping to find another one like this sometime soon.

Anything with a toile design and I have to have it! These are now at home nestled in my tv stand and I just love them!

This was another great shop to browse around in!

Trunks, tins, rooster and soap boxes - I love it all!

So, if "y'all" get a chance to visit Asheville and you share my love for antiques be sure to check out Bryant Antiques, Oddfellows Antiques, Nostalgique Antiques and the Antique Tobacco barn. There are many more stores in the area but I didn't get the chance to check all of them out. I'm not sure my husband's sanity could have taken it! :) All joking aside, he was so sweet (and always has been) to spend hours with me doing what I love! I am truly thankful for the wonderful spouse that God has given me who sacrifices in ways that may seem small to him but mean so much to me!


Day 3 ~ Exploring Asheville

We spent a wonderful day touring the city. It's a great town that really seems to take pride in it's history. There were many wonderful gift shops, book stores and restaurants. They had trolley tours, art galleries, live musicians on the streets and many other attractions.
My favorite store was Mast General Store. There are several locations around North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee I found the whole place quite charming!

Barrels full of old time candy to fill your own bag with any kind of assortment that you can think of, lots of housewares and kitchen items, great signs (Don't you just love The Andy Griffith show, I Love Lucy)? and old displays from days gone by. They also had outdoor and mountain gear, honey on the comb, their own jams, barbecue sauces and so many more items I couldn't even list them all.

I loved their window display!

I had to take a closer picture of the laundry theme going on in the display window. I use good old borax in my own homemade laundry soap so I just loved this!


More food -


My husband was on a mission to find as many restaurants with deep fried pickles. (his new passion) They were quite delicious! They were called dill pickle chips and they came with zesty ranch. So good!

I had the 'Carolina.' I wanted to try as much real southern food as I could and I had heard  that chili, coleslaw and mustard on a burger was very good...and it was! They were served with meister wedges which was a mixture of sweet potatoes and new potatoes with herbs, they were perfection!

My husband got the 'grass fed' burger with all the fixins' and kettle chips. Delicious as well! 

 Their ginger iced tea was amazing! Our wonderful waitress just kept bringing me refills once she knew how much I loved it. She even gave me the recipe and one more for the road! I just love that southern hospitality!

Day 4 ~ More Antiques

We spent a wonderful morning at a church service in Candler near our hotel and stopped in at one more antique store before heading off to our adventure at Chimney Rock! (Continued in my next blog)

A quaint little place out in the middle of nowhere.

A lovely pie safe

These baskets look exactly like something my great grandparents used to have on their screened porch stacked almost exactly like this. I couldn't believe it! I'm wondering if my sisters will remember this?!

Something that caught my eye in the display window upon our leaving. Isn't that cute?


Well, friends this is one long post! Hopefully tomorrow I will post our trip to Chimney Rock and The Biltmore.