Sunday, August 09, 2009

Our anniversary getaway

**Andrew update**He's feeling OK. Most of his pain is being relieved by meds, but he still gets uncomfortable sometimes. He is finally able to keep fluids down and even ate a small dinner tonight. The ER doc said that for stones of his size (4 mm), 80% of them pass within 72 hours. That would be by 7 am tomorrow morning. So far that hasn't happened. He'll make an appt with a specialist for the end of the week and will need some sort of assistance if it hasn't passed by then. And now on to a much happier post than last one....

We had a VERY special treat for our anniversary this year. (Which is actually back in June, but it worked out to celebrate at the end of July...we'll take what we can get.) My saintly mother agreed to watch our kids for three days and two nights while we got away to the mountains. Yes, friends, this was after spending five LONG days in the car with us. She is amazing! And to top it off, we forgot to leave her a set of keys to the van, so they didn't get to leave the house the whole time we were gone. (We're so lame!)

We left after church on Sunday and enjoyed a quiet, relaxing drive to Asheville. It was a stark contrast to the drives I had been through over the past month. We had great talks about retirement, Andrew's book ideas, parenting...the three hours flew by.
We stayed Sunday night at our cousins' home, even though they were away on vacation. (Thanks Destinee and Ryan!) On Monday morning, we drove to the Biltmore, touted as America's largest home.

It was the Vanderbilt's mansion built in 1895.
The setting is GORGEOUS. I could see why someone with an endless supply of money would want to settle here. They didn't allow any pictures inside the home, but it was as lavish and extravagant as you could imagine. Very fun to tour, especially with Andrew. You can read his review here. Only he could have me belly laughing uncontrollably in the middle of the library. And he even agreed to talk in a British accent with me for a couple of hours on a challenge from Shelley.

We spent a couple of hours in the house with plenty of sitting breaks for Andrew's back. Walking is OK, but standing is still hard on him. Then we toured the gardens. We tried to take exotic nature photos.


Stargazer lily

My eye

We were really confused about how this
rose was the 2010 winner.
It's still 2009, right?

We both LOVED touring their little farm.
We have gotten really into gardening this year and
were envisioning our next home with acreage so we
could live off the fruits of our labors.

On Monday night, we stayed at a GREAT little
bed and breakfast called the Bent Creek Lodge.
It was fantastic.
I would highly recommend it.

We went on a little hike in the woods behind it,
watched a movie on Andrew's laptop,
and played a couple of super close games of pool.
(Darn you, 13 ball! You hexed me!)

After a scrumptious breakfast Tues morning,
we headed to the NC Arboretum to enjoy more hiking
and further attempts at nature photography.

How did we do?

When Andrew's back had reached it's walking quota,
we started heading home with a quick detour
at one of our favorite Chuck E. Cheese's.

Andrew won the jackpot on Flamin Finger for the first time.
Yes, we know we are nerds.
And we're completely OK with it!

We came home to find that Gigi and the kids had
not only survived, but even had fun together. Hooray!
Thanks again, Mom, for making this happen.
I wish it was an annual tradition.
Getaways are so revitalizing!


Kiersten said...

Sounds like an amazing little getaway...Mike and I need one :)
And your pics are great!

amy said...

I hope Andrew's doing okay. Poor guy.

Your anniversary trip sounds fabulous! You've been quite the traveler lately. Very nice exotic photos. My fav is the rose.

Natalie said...

I hope Andrew gets better soon. I am jealous of your trip.

shelley said...

that picture of your eye is just creepy. i'm just sayin'...

carmar76 said...

love the pictures! especially the shell-like... mushrooms? idk what they are, but all the photos are neat. and i'm glad andrew's feeling at least a little better! hopefully the stones leave for good!

carrie said...

You guys always seem to be having so much fun!! Your nature pics are pretty good, except the creepy eye one...

The Normal Mormon Husband said...

Creepy eye?! That photo is supposed to illustrate Andrea's oneness with nature, her primal connection to....

Eh, sounding smart is too hard. I liked it.

Mom Sweat said...

Andrea - You are such a good photographer! Loved seeing the pictures of your "pre-Lenny" get-away and that last photo with your mom and the kids is adorable. Caroline looks so old!
Mom Sweat

A Hunter said...

Love the pics! Biltmore has been on our top getaway list for 6 years now! One day....