We played our annual game of mini golf this past Sunday. A little change this year, my mom and dad played with us. It was so much fun and they got to experience the little course that we play on each year.

It was actually dad’s suggestion to play on Sunday. After the crazy day we had on Saturday for my mother-in-law’s surprise birthday party, we were all exhausted and the golf course is close to home. Perfect activity.

The winner this year was officially my mom but since the competition is really just between Sean and I, Sean won. He only won by one though. I actually thought I won but my mom had miscalculated and Sean won. Its completely ok though, I think I am cool with not having to plan our anniversary trip. We will have to see where he chooses for next year!

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My mother -in-law kept telling us that she really wanted to see the Biltmore. She kept talking about it anytime the south, Southern Living or our weekend trips were brought up. “Why can’t we just go one weekend?”, would be the question we got a lot. She didn’t always understand that there has to be some planning involved when we both work full time.

We agreed and said that 2015 was the year that we would go to the Biltmore. We wanted to see her happy and visit as a family.

Well a week ago we made it all come true. We visited the Biltmore and Asheville, North Carolina. We flew down on Friday.   A half an hour after we arrived, my parents arrived. We will all very excited to be there and to visit.
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Friday night started off with dinner at a BBQ joint called Luella’s. It was everything that the Google reviews cracked it up to be. It was very good. We followed that with dessert at Double D’s in downton Asheville. Both I would recommend.
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Mom, Dad, Sean and I finished the night off with playing dominos in the lobby of the hotel. While a busload of senior citizens were unloading into our hotel, we were just trying to figure out how to play chicken foot. We almost went over and asked one of them if they could explain to us quickly how to play. We did finally figure it out though, even though we all decided that we were way to young to be playing that game.

Saturday morning it was off to the Biltmore. The morning was supposed to be gorgeous but the afternoon was supposed to be a little bit rainy so it was off to the gardens. We walked around for about two hours before heading off for a quick lunch before heading into the actual house. There were about 7,000 people there the day we visited, which according to one of the workers is absolutely overflowing for them.
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After lunch we had time to snap a couple of pictures before heading into the house. We choose to do the audio tour which turned out to be a great choice since we all wanted to learn about the house. It was incredibly insightful.
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The Downton Abbey costumes were spread throughout the house while we were visiting. Some of the gowns were stunning to see in person. I know they are gorgeous on tv but it was really neat to see in person.
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Two hours later we found ourselves exiting the house and getting back on the bus to head to the winery on property. Four of the seven of us waited in the line to do the wine tasting. It was an incredibly long wait for such a short line but some of the wine turned out to be very good. We even bought a couple of bottles to bring back home with us.
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It was dinner time after that. We headed back to downtown Asheville to a place called “The Lobster Trap”. It was also an oyster bar…so if you know my family you know who was extremely excited. The food turned out to be awesome. We had to wait a little bit for a table but it was very much worth the wait.

Sunday we had time for breakfast and then we were headed our separate ways. I always hate that part of the trip. I was ready to hang out with mom and dad a little bit longer but we will see them again very soon.

 

One little side story. In between lunch and going in the house, Sean and I walked out to the edge of the lawn in front of the house. As we were standing out there I noticed a couple to my left that was trying to take a selfie with their daughter in her stroller. I asked them if they would like for me to take a photo for them because it looked as though the dad was struggling to get them all in the photo. Little did I know he was probably a nervous wreck. Sean and I went on taking a few more photos and I look over again and he was proposing. I just started clicking the camera. I ended up getting some awesome shots of him proposing to her. She was absolutely shocked. After it was over I walked over and asked if they would like me to send them the photos because I had just taken about 50 pictures. I then took a couple of nice photos of the two of them together and emailed all of them to the couple when I got back home. They were so excited and happy with them. It was such a cool moment to be a part of and I am really happy that I had a chance to catch that special moment for them. The funniest part of the whole thing is that their daughters’ stroller in the background of the photos is turned the opposite direction!

When I was a freshman in high school in 2001, the National Catholic Youth Conference was held in Indianapolis. I attended as part of the Holy Family’s group that was part of the bigger group from the Archdiocese known as Region 16 and the cow region. We stayed in a really nice hotel downtown close to everything. It was a great time and one that I have very fond memories.

Fast forward to 2007 when I met Sean. After talking about many aspects of our life early in our relationship we discovered that we actually stayed in the same hotel at the same conference even though he was attending with the Diocese of Wilmington.

Fast forward to about a month ago, St. Margaret’s, our home parish, was advertising the Lenten Parish Mission. I was so excited to see that Steve Angrisano was going to be doing the mission. Back in 2001 when I attended NCYC, I distinctly remember many of the songs he sang and a few of the things that he talked about during the conference and I knew that I really wanted to attend the mission. I knew that the hard part would be convincing Sean that we should attend. Not that he isn’t up for attending this sort of thing, it just takes some convincing.

I talked him into the first night. He convinced me to go back the other two nights. Needless to say, we really enjoyed hearing Steve speak each night. It wasn’t just speaking either, it was more like Catholic Aerobics (as he called it).

These are just a few of the songs he sang over the 3 day mission.

Sacred Silence
Lean on Me
Yes, Lord
J-E-S-U-S

Singing some of these songs brought back so many memories but created new memories with my husband by my side instead of just in the building someplace. It was a great way to end the Lenten season for 2015.

Steve’s website.

 

Oh and Happy Easter!

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