Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Getaway To Remember

Grady and I enjoyed 26 and one half hours away from our kids this weekend. Not that I was counting the clock constantly. It was more like, "Really?! It's time to go home already? Didn't we just leave?"

Friday afternoon we left cloudy Charlotte and arrived in sunny Asheville. We enjoyed the two hour drive and the chance to talk. When Grady pulled up to the valet at the Grand Bohemian Hotel I knew I was in for a treat. 
With the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop, our hotel was in the heart of Biltmore Village. Quaint and rustic decor. A beautiful room with a giant tub that had me asking Grady if we could delay dinner reservations so I could enjoy a long soak.  
He smiled and said there wasn't time for a hot bath, and I think that at almost the same time, I heard a knock on our wall from the adjoining room. Apparently my squeals of delight over the wonderful room caught the attention of our neighbors... which just so happened to be some fantastic friends of ours.

Okay, it wasn't a surprise Jason and Celia were there. We'd planned this getaway sort of last minute and everything came together wonderfully. Overnight childcare can be a challenge, but not this time! Coinciding schedules and calendars can be difficult, but not this time! We were four giddy-because-we-were-without-kids friends that were ready for a relaxing time together.
After a long and relaxed steak dinner we wandered to Starbucks for some long and relaxed conversation. I'm so thankful for friends who love Jesus. It's a rich blessing to laugh and talk and share together.

It wasn't until almost midnight that evening that I thought to myself, "Hhmmm. I wonder how the kids are doing. Maybe I should have called the sitter." And that friends was the extent of it. I was completely checked out from life back at home and was fully in the moment of being with my husband and friends.
We woke up Saturday morning to the best treat ever. Well, in my opinion at least. It was snowing! Big, fluffy flakes floating to the ground. After a very mild winter with no hint of snow, this Michigan-born girl was happy to enjoy a day of snow. The best part, though, was knowing that once we drove away from the mountains we'd come home to green grass and temps that were a tad warmer.
A brisk walk in the snow to get breakfast. A cup of coffee in a comfy chair by the fire. A wintry scene of white. For me, that was a perfect Saturday morning. Easing into the day in a cozy and fun sort of way.
The four of us checked out of our hotel and drove across the street, literally, to the Biltmore Estate. The long and winding road taking us back to the estate was surrounded by trees and hills covered in snow. Almost magical.
And then, after winding around another curve, this stood in front of us. Well, not really this because it was a cloudy and snowy day. The home is massive. The home is grand. The home was fascinating to see and tour.
No cameras are allowed in the home so I have no fun pictures to share. But that's okay, it just means you'll have something fun to anticipate when you visit someday. And you won't be disappointed!

We spent almost three hours touring the home, enjoyed a delicious lunch in the refurbished horse stable, and took a quick walk through the winery. Because the day was getting late and the wind was blowing, we didn't explore the gardens or the farm areas. Not a problem, I told Grady, it just means we have to go back again in warmer weather!
All good things must come to an end, however. Here I am on Sunday evening and I've already exchanged a couple of texts with Celia. We wonder if we can go back sometime soon. Sometimes soon like, well, now. Annalyse dropped her plate of food at dinner and Micah wet his pants because he didn't want take a break and stop playing a game. I have a dishwasher to empty and a stuffy-nosed little girl who I suspect will be up once or twice tonight. Celia has her own tales of woe.

The Grand Bohemian Hotel and the Biltmore Estate are so far away.


  1. Whoo-hooo for your wonderful little get-away! It sounds story-book wonderful, right down to the fluffy snow! Isn't Biltmore GRAND and fabulous! How wonderful to share it with great friends, absolutely perfect! (Although I'm experiencing just a wee bit of Christian envy, to borrow your phrase!)

  2. What a great getaway!! Thankful that you got to see snow! (and thankful that we've had NONE :)

  3. So fun and so glad you finally got to go! Glad you enjoyed it and want to go back! I can still remember going when I was 10 and have always wanted to go back! And I love that you got a gentle snowfall to enjoy on your weekend night just doesn't seem like enough, huh? Hope you have a great Monday!

  4. Oh, how lovely! How precious to be able to revisit the days of staying up and talking until midnight...and that estate looks so grand.

  5. What a wonderful little get-a-way!!!! The Biltmore is one of my most favorite places!! So glad you guys got to go and enjoy it!!!