Monday, August 22, 2011

Biltmore Butterflies!

After mom and dad left, and while I hid under the covers all day...
Army dad was busy hanging the stained glass Butterfly that
mom and I picked up at one of the gift shops at Biltmore
She really wanted a large one too, but mom was worried about how to get it
home. So I surprised her with a smaller, more carry-on friendly version for
her birthday. However, the real surprise will come later this week, when
the big one she liked the most will be delivered to her at home! It was
not easy, but I managed to distract her to pull off a sneaky moment!
I love it, and I know mom will be thinking of me every time she sees her
butterfly in the window just like I'm thinking of her when I look at mine!

I miss you already!

And just like that...
My shopping buddy, gym partner and Best friend...
And, my big bowl of happiness... 
Pulled out of the driveway, and went away!

Tonight I will take my usual 5:30PM spin class but it won't be the same or nearly as much fun because my mom will be missing from the front row. My dad carried Bing and snuggled with him so much that I'm afraid it's going to take him a whole week to figure out how to get around on his own four paws again. Sigh...

They've been gone less than an hour and already I miss them so very much. I am grateful to have today off... Let's me cry my eyes out in peace.

This is going to be a crazy week of adjustments and highs and lows for all of us. Mom and dad are on their way back to Atlanta now for their flight home tomorrow morning while Army dad and I are packing up for our 11th trip down to Ft. Benning - This time, to see our Ranger graduate from Ranger School.

A week of extreme happiness and uncontrollable tears. Then more happiness, and more tears.

But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world... Because all this heartache means I have people to love and people in my life that love me back.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We do Birthdays right!

After mass this morning, shopping and dinner at Bonefish...
There was Cake!
And matching Cupcakes!
And wishes made!
All to Celebrate my wonderful mom on her special day!
William and Julie joined us for the party...
And, a happy-time was had by all!
I have loved having my parents visit...The only problem I have
with them is that they always have to leave me and go back home!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is your Special day and I am...
So happy you're here to Celebrate with us. Look! I kept
that 70-number off the cake, just like you suggested!
Last night, Mom hopped on the mower. Army dad doesn't let anyone touch
his lawn tractor... At least that's what I'm always telling him is the rule!
Funny... Until mom used it, I didn't know there was a turbo feature!
 She mowed the back yard in half the time it usually takes!
I hope I'm riding the mower at her age. Not really... But you know what I mean!
Well done, Mom!
You look like a pro, which means you should trade in that
postage stamp back yard at home and move here immediately! 
Because one thing's for sure... 
Our yard has Never looked better!
Happy, Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I chose The Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
for dinner to celebrate Mom's 70th birthday! 
I wanted it to be a very special meal experience
Because my parents certainly...
Deserve it!
We began with a champagne toast, the Lemon poached shrimp cocktail, Heirloom
tomatoes and Estate garden salad. Then mom and dad chose the Atlantic Halibut... 
While the man I love chose the pork tenderloin, featured on the menu as
Chef Boyer's winning dish from the 2010 Western North Carolina Chef's
Challenge competition. You can read more about that event here 
After our attendant described the Surf and Turf special, I agreed to make it
my dish because you-know-who said he was dying for a bite of filet and
a scallop to go along with his pork tenderloin. And, as you can plainly
see, the scallop disappeared before I could even snap a photo! 
Unfortunately, my steak and baked potato was delivered severely
over-cooked. And, when the replacement filet arrived bleeding, I
decided to forgo my dinner and just enjoy this evening with...
Which of course, was a triumph no Chef could deliver!
I do want to thank Chef for the dessert he sent out, and the Staff
at The Dining Room because their service was impeccable!
Happy Birthday, Mom!
 Thank you for being here to Celebrate your special day with us!

Biltmore House and Inn with Mom and Dad!

The last time (see here) we visited Biltmore I stood in this spot
down in Antler Village, threw in some coins and made a wish...
And, Look at that... My wish came true!
We're here in Asheville at Biltmore House...
With Mom and Dad!
We toured the house...
Then mom and I crushed the gift shops...
Which means we'll have to find a way to distract our guys
between the hours of five and seven when our purchases
will be delivered to our rooms at the Inn at Biltmore!
Maybe we'll take an evening tour of the house to view the sunset
And chill some more on George Vanderbilt's terrace!
After our tour of Biltmore House and lunch at Cedric's Tavern
we headed back to the Inn for naps before our dinner...
My gift to mom and dad for mom's 70th birthday is
this trip, and this beautiful King room with balcony!
Because the Vanderbilt's and I want them to enjoy themselves to the fullest!
I cannot wait for them to wake up tomorrow
morning to another beautiful mountain view!
This is mom and dad's bathroom
And, tub!
Not quite like George Vanderbilt's tub at
the main house, but it will certainly do!
I love how spacious the rooms are!
Army dad and I are right next door...
In our King Premier room!
Equally as plush...
Minus the terrace balcony but Plus the jetted tub!
I brought along Lush bathbombs... A few for me, a couple for mom!
I like huge bathrooms... A lot!
We're off to dinner now then back to Biltmore house to watch the sunset!

I wish to thank Jennie Phillips, Guest Historian and current Employee of the Month at the Inn on Biltmore Estate for her special attention during check in. Jennie went out of her way to ensure we had the very best accommodations, and because of her effort I know we'll be making the Inn on Biltmore Estate our go-to destination for our future visits to Asheville. Sorry, Grove Park!