Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I know I'm behind in keeping up with the blog. Please bear with me as I try to get caught up. As I write this Kathleen is movin' and groovin'. She seems to be a very active baby. The pregnancy, while wonderful, really has been draining lately as I try to keep up with just the normal day to day schedule. I have an amazing amount of respect for second and third time moms who do this while still gracefully taking care of their current precious little ones. All I can really do now is thank God for my husband who grocery shops and does the laundry and count my blessings with each kick and punch.

The title of this blog post is 3-3-07 because Calvin and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary on March 3rd. It's hard to believe we've been married for 4 years and together as a couple for 7. I am so thankful that Calvin traveled across the country for a minimally paid internship at UNC. I'm even happier he chose to stick around for me.

For our anniversary each year, instead of giving each other gifts, Calvin and I plan to do something together that we've never done before. This was a tradition that was set at the end of our very first year of marriage when we both struggled for ideas of meaningful anniversary gifts. For year 1 we went indoor sky diving in Fayetteville, year 2 was a rainy day trip to Raleigh trying out new restaurants, museums and the Imax theater. Year 3 was a trip to Washington DC and, this year, year 4 was a trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

So on Thursday night, March 3rd, we headed out of town having dinner at the Olive Garden on our way to drop Rascal off at Mom and Dad's house and drive to Asheville where stayed at the Brookestone Lodge. By the time we arrived at the hotel we basically headed straight to bed. Friday morning after a delicious hot breakfast at the hotel we headed to the Biltmore Estate for the day. This was nice relaxing day that started with a walk through the greenhouses, then led to a walk through of the shops there at Biltmore and a delicious lunch at the Stable Cafe where we split the fried green tomato sandwich with bacon, lettuce and pimento cheese. It was amazing. Honestly, the food was delicious all weekend and the service Calvin and I received throughout our entire trip was exceptional. I wonder if the pregnant belly led to better service than normal or if everyone could just tell we were in love an on a romantic getaway. Either way, we enjoyed ourselves.

Neither Calvin nor I had ever seen the Biltmore before. Calvin's comment that summed it all up perfectly was that "George Vanderbilt was a baller!" It's truly amazing the innovation and details that were put into that home. And he was a bachelor when it was built! Really calling it a home seems like a stretch when the property was created with the purpose of entertaining and socializing. George Vanderbilt designed a place to  offer friends, family and influential people of the time an elegant resort type escape in the mountains of North Carolina. My favorite part of the house had to be the call buttons in all the guest rooms to the maid service and the butler's pantry. Also, the pool in the home was massive even by standards today.

After touring the house we headed back to the hotel for a nap, then had a lovely dinner at the Village Wayside Bar and Grill in Biltmore Village. The food once again was delicious; however, the highlight of dinner for me was dessert at the end. A homemade cake that was cheese cake on the bottom and chocolate cake on the top with a graham cracker crust that was soaked in caramel. All my favorites in one tasty bite!

Saturday was a rainy day in Asheville. We had a wonderful breakfast at Tupelo Honey Cafe where I had the famous sweet potato pancake and Calvin had Eggs Betty. Each dish was fresh and delivered to the table looking as beautiful as it did in the picture on the menu.

Heading back a little earlier than expected on Saturday we scooped up Rascal from Mom and Dad's and had dinner at the Mongolian Grill in Winston-Salem before settling back in at the apartment here in Durham. Everything worked out for a delightfully romantic and relaxing weekend together. I really most of all enjoyed spending the time with my husband away from the rest of the world.

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