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In my mind, I’m goin’ to . . .

It’s taken a bit but it’s finally here!

There were more complications than I anticipated with the setting up of this new site and so while I kept assuring myself that it’d just be a matter of a few more days until I could get you all updated on the few things we were up to, time ticked on and our calendar filled up quickly.  Translation: I have much to talk about and I fear if I should go on and on, it will simply be a bore.  So, I suppose if I were to try and keep this short, just let you know about the “bigger” things that have taken place, I would share the following:

Our annual field trip for 2011 . . . (drum roll please) . . .

(a sneak peek)

the fabulous, breathtaking (and I’m serious, I actually gasped when I caught sight of it through the trees upon approach), enormous and absolutely enchanting . . .

 

Biltmore House

We were not (understandably so) allowed to take any shots of the inside but I assure you it was remarkable and by the time we finished the tour, we were so intrigued as to want to learn all there was about both the Vanderbilt family and the every day behind0the0scenes inner-workings of a wealthy Victorian household. I think the most impressionable of all the thousands of square feet were the basement dwelling (where the household was run from).

The gardens were absolutely beautiful.  Livy and I both were able to get some really incredible shots.

the “Greenhouse” ; stocked full of all sorts of glorious orchids and hydrangea in colors I didn’t know existed.

The Rose Gardens (reminded Livy and I both of painting the roses red in the Red Queen’s garden)

My little photographer getting a close-up shot . . .

This was one of my favorite shots taken in the garden that day.  I had little time to capture it and so I realize it isn’t the best quality but how cute is this little guy taking his bath?!

Rodel has this cool idea to set the camera up a different way and we got these ultra awesome, artsy shots out of it.  It actually showcases the fantastic architecture of the mansion, too.

In addition to our time at the mansion, we were able to spend a little extra time in other areas of Asheville.  It just so happens that some of our best friends who moved away years ago live in Asheville and were only too glad to put us up for a few days, show us the sites, and provide some good laughs.

 

Not far from their house is what has been named “America’s Favorite Drive”, the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway set in the Blue Ridge mountains, that affords one with countless opportunities to explore and be awed by the natural lush beauty that surrounds you at every turn.  We started with a drive straight up to Graveyard Falls where the kids spent some time in the wading pools . . .



And then onto another popular place to pull off of the road, Looking Glass Falls . . .

Downtown was great too!  The whole vibe was so “US”! Artsy and free-spirited!

 

We had so much fun all being together again!  It’s such a beautiful place and the warm weather was such a nice change for us all.  We absolutely loved North Carolina, and will definitely be visiting again.  We can’t hardly wait to go back!

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