Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Playin' Tourist Like Richie Rich

As a kid, I spent my summers in the Asheville area and my parents would take my sister and I to the Biltmore house as a "city" excursion.  I imagine I found it half boring and half exciting.  They did film Richie Rich there, so culturally's a pretty big deal.  If ya don't know, the Biltmore is the largest home in America.  It was built by George Vanderbilt in 1895 and the landscape architect was the same dude who designed Central Park.  The architect of the house was probably quite important too, but he didn't come up when I Googled "biltmore facts" so I apologize that my history lesson is lacking.

The Biltmore is in the most "touristy" part of Asheville, called Biltmore Village, with all the fancy shopping and expensive restaurants that locals rarely patronize.  (Well, at least the locals I hang with.)  So it's not that weird that Heather had never been, but it felt like something she needed to experience! Last Saturday we joined in the hordes of well-dressed (read: non-Ashevilleans) people and played tourist in our own town.

Honestly, the house is just not something I can wrap my mind around.  No part of my brain can fathom living there. Obviously the home is totally stunning and extravagant and amazing, but to me, the best part about the Biltmore are the grounds.  Because the home is so otherworldly, the most relatable part of being there is the surrounding nature.  The house sits on a high point of the property and when you're walking around the house, inside or outside, it has one of the best mountain views in the whole city.  There are fabulous greenhouses, gardens, and nature trails on the property, too.  That part I can get down with; a greenhouse and a rose garden? Sign me up.

We toured the gardens first since rain was threatening all afternoon.  The air felt so energized and fresh, it felt amazing.  I am a huge fan of that sort of weather, it's like the air is brewing up excitement and I get to breathe it all in.  Heather and I both agreed, that was the best part of being there.

Below is a magical gift called: "Heather wanted me to stop taking her photo, so I persisted long enough to be able to create this GIF."

Tickets to the Biltmore are not cheap, but it is really a day-long activity.  And there is a free wine tasting at the end!  So if you would rather walk in curated gardens than Asheville's rambling downtown, it's a safe bet!  It's not my typical choice so it was a nice change.  And all the Dowton Abbey costumes are currently on display, so....that's pretty cool.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Years!

Get ready for the mush.

Heather and I celebrated two crazy years together on Monday! Here we are playing tourist in Asheville, asking passerby to take our photo.  We celebrated with an amazing meal at Limones downtown and then a dance party at home in front of the record player.  We're real cool like that.

Can you believe it has been two years?! No?  Me either!

It's not quite fair to count April 13, 2013 as our "anniversary" but I am weird about dates.  Weird, as in I remember them obsessively.  On that day, my best friend from forever was in town and went to get her first tattoo before I dragged her to a show.  When Heather mentioned she was going to see El Ten Eleven with friends that night, I totally pretended my friends and I already had tickets.  How convenient!

So as Abbey got what was surely a very painful tattoo, I nervously sipped whiskey from my classy little flask.  Looking back, that was not very fair of me, since she was the one with needles poking in her, but c'est la vie.  Post tattoo adventure,  we ran all the way down Haywood Road (not sure why) to Isis where I nervously gulped a beer.  (This is not a story of sobriety.)  Once Heather walked in, I tried to pretend I was listening to the people with whom I was talking, but I was totally faking it. Very rude, but very true.  I was so very, very nervous!

Once we finally acknowledged each other, it was over.  All friends were ignored and we talked the whole night, over the music.  MANY apologies to everyone who was there that evening.  If you are a friend, I wasn't a great one that night.  If you were there for the show, I surely annoyed you by being the rude gal who wouldn't stop talking.  I mean, it was an El Ten Eleven show, not really one where you have loud, drunken conversations. Despite the drinking, I remember the whole thing clearly.  There were lilies in the bathroom that smelled so strong, and now I always think of that night when I smell them!

And ever since then, we have been solid.  It's just one of those things where there was never any doubt.  I was never self conscious, I was never scared of getting hurt or showing my true self.  We both just plowed ahead blindly and have somehow come out unscathed.

Tonight, we are going back to the scene of the crime to see the Honeycutters at Isis in West Asheville.  Maybe I will run down the street in commemoration.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Five on Friday: April 10, 2015

It has been a minute, eh?  It has been a very busy couple of weeks over here! Here's a quick little recap of the last week-ish:

The weather here has been insane! It was 80 yesterday and it was so hot in our house that I had to turn all the overhead fans on to cook, and later, to sleep.  I was feeling some summertime nostalgia for sure.  Thankfully, we are supposed to have a gorgeous weekend here!

We went camping last weekend and it was very necessary.  Time in nature is so important and I have been slackin'! It rained overnight while we were there, which cut our campfire time short but made for the most magical sleep in our tent.  The sound and smell of rain is my most favorite thing in the world! 

I made raw zucchini pasta and veggie sauce this week and now I'm inspired to start spiralizing more veggies!  I follow Ali Maffuci, the spiralizing queen, on Instagram, but I've never actually read her recipes...I just shamelessly enjoy her food photos.  She just came out with a cookbook though, so I may have to snag that!


I got a promotion at work a couple of weeks ago!  I don't write much about my work here, but this change has contributed to my lack of posting.  It's not that I necessarily have any less free time, but I surely have less head space for dreaming up blog posts!  As with any new job, it's exciting and a tad intimidating at the same time.  Thankfully, I have an amazing team who won't let me fall on my face, I hope!

I have been using my lunch breaks at work to work out and it's really been helping with consistency.  Also, since I work with lots of amazing, healthy people who also like to workout, it helps with motivation too!  I hope to keep this up, although it is getting warmer and I'll be more of a sweaty mess when I return to that will be cute!