Monday, July 18, 2016

A Three Part Vacation: Part One - Asheville, NC

If you know Andrew and me very well at all, you know we have very different hobbies and interests.  But you also know we enjoy some of the same things as well.

Our vacations are a true reflection of this.  They tend to be a mixture of all sorts of activities.  We do things he enjoys, things I enjoy, and the things we both enjoy.

It makes for fun trips.

Thursday afternoon when Andrew got off work we hit the road.


Our destination... Cookeville, Tennessee.

Cookeville was just our stopping point for sleep on the way to Ashevillle, North Carolina.

We woke up early Friday morning to make the trek on to Asheville.

Along the way we decided to make a pit stop at Knoxville to see Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee.

It was a lot of orange.

I called the hogs to make myself feel better.





Then it was onward.

We made it to Asheville around 2:00 that afternoon and immediately found a place to eat.

Fish tacos at The Cantina in Biltmore village were delicious!!




After we got out bellies full we went over to Biltmore Estate to buy our tickets for Saturday.  They told us if we waited until 4:00 to go in that we could go that evening and the next day with the same ticket.

It worked out perfectly.  There wasn't much of a crowd there Friday evening.  We were able to explore the estate at our own pace.  

And clearly that exploration had to include some ice cream.  Andrew hasn't stopped talking about that apple pie ice cream in a waffle cone.  


The Biltmore Estate is INCREDIBLE!

It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt and is the largest privately owned home in the United States.  Four acres under that roof.





 The banquet hall was insane!

Can I please have this library?

Who doesn't have an indoor swimming pool in their home?


As things began to shut down at Biltmore for the day, we headed out to check out Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

The drive out was beautiful.





When we first got up there you couldn't see much other than clouds, but it was really neat to watch the clouds collide with the mountains.


After about thirty minutes it cleared out and we were able to see an amazing sunset.









Saturday morning we went back to Biltmore for a couple of guided tours.  The first one we did was the rooftop tour.  It was all about the architecture.  I'll give you one guess as to which one of us picked this tour.

It was a great tour.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and great at telling the story of the estate.



We had a couple of hours before our second tour began so we walked around some more.  The gardens are beautiful at Biltmore.





Our second tour was the Upstairs/Downstairs tour.  It was a look at the servants' area as well as guest rooms.

Both tours were great, but I think the rooftop tour was probably my favorite of the two.

We ate lunch there at the Stable Cafe.  As its name suggests, the cafe was in what used to be the stables.  We ate in a horse stall.


After a full day at Biltmore we went back to the hotel for some rest.

Other than going out for dinner, we took it easy the rest of the night.

Sunday was going to be a busy day.

Sunday started too early in my opinion.

It was golf day and Andrew had a 7:30 tee time.

The course he played was beautiful!



 There were wild turkeys roaming around on the course.


It was a challenging course.




We grabbed a quick bite to eat after golf and then we were off to a big adventure.

Because we haven't taken enough selfies on this trip.

We had reservations to go zip lining through the mountains Sunday afternoon.

This was all my idea yet I was totally scared.

Once I started on that first zip all fear was gone and I enjoyed every minute of it.


This is our group.

Our guides did role call before we took off.  When he called my name one of the other girls raised her hand.  We both looked at each and said "Wait.  You're Elaina too."  Haha!  She spells her name with A instead of an E, but it isn't too often that we meet someone with the same name.


The mountains behind us are known as the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They are absolutely gorgeous!

I lost count of how many times Andrew and I commented on the beauty of our surroundings.

God is an incredible artist.

Zip lining gave us a bird's eye view of that artwork.


We did three zips.  All parallel.

Andrew beat me every single time.

The second zip was the longest at 3600 feet.  Andrew was so far ahead of me, they had him landed, unhooked, and completely done before I got there.  I lost a lot of speed at the end.  Like enough speed that I wasn't sure I would make it back to the platform.


This gives you an idea of how much faster he was. This is about the point I lost speed and you can tell I'm still quite a ways out from the platform.


Sunday was a busy outdoor kind of day.

After golf and zip lining it was time to head toward Charleston for the second part of our vacation.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dreaming of Vacation

Andrew and I officially booked our vacation yesterday.

Y'all I seriously start crying when I think about it.

I guess I'm becoming more Weaver. :)

It has been six years since Andrew and I went on a week long vacation by ourselves.

We've been on several little weekend getaways and a vacation with all the Weavers.

And I love those!

But there is just something about a week away with just my man.

We will be visiting the Carolinas.

We've been talking about Charleston forever.

We decided to Asheville and Myrtle Beach to the itinerary.

I feel like this good vacation is a good mix of both of our likes.

We will play golf and go zip lining.

We will see lots of history and do lots of shopping.

And the best part...we get to spend some time with our NC family.

Let the countdown begin.




Thursday, June 30, 2016

Homemade Birthday Treats

My sweet, soft, cuddly Lincoln Baxter is FOUR today!





We decided to celebrate with some homemade dog treats.

I found a few easy recipes on Pinterest and then did a little grocery shopping.



I may have gotten a little excited and bought ingredients for four different recipes.  

I think the first recipe is our favorite.  


Four simple ingredients.

The recipe calls for oat wheat.  I chose to make my own using oats and my food chopper.



You mix together 4 cups of oat flour, 2/3 unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 2 eggs.

I goofed up and added a whole cup of peanut butter.  OOPS!  It was an easy fix with a little more oat flour added to the mixture.

Mix it all together and then roll out the dough and cut with a cookie cutter.


Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


After they are fininshed baking and have cooled, they are ready to enjoy.





Lincoln Baxter pretty much inhaled his.


This second recipe was definitely the easiest.

Mix 32 oz plain greek yogurt, one banana, 2 tbs peanut butter, and 2 tbs honey.


I tried to use an icing bag to make little drops of this, but it was too thin.  I got a few made like that and the rest I put in a tupperware bowl.  You freeze and it is a nice cool treat for your furbaby.

Lincoln approves.



We haven't tried this third recipe yet.  They are still cooking.


You slice a sweet potato, cover them in olive oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 250 for 2.5 - 3 hours.



The fourth recipe I tried was a flop and never made it to the oven.

I couldn't get the mixture to the right consistency.  It was sticky and crumbly.

Making treats is definitely cheaper than buying treats.  I think we will definitely make the first treats again and maybe the frozen ones too.