Biltmore Bass Pond and Waterfall

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When we were done at the Bass Ponds we found our way back to the Biltmore House and took the bus back to the parking lot where we parked our car. We then drove to Antler Hill Village. After all our walking about the grounds and trekking through some warm trails we were really ready for some nice refreshment.

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We had a great lunch at Cedric’s Tavern named after the family dog. “Named for George Vanderbilt’s beloved Saint Bernard, Cedric, this warm, relaxing tavern overlooks the village green at Antler Hill Village. The décor, ambience, and menu pay tribute to the neighborhood pubs of Britain and Ireland. Enjoy satisfying pub fare alongside robustly flavored American and global cuisine presented with Biltmore flair.”

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We weren’t disappointed by the food or drink at Cedric’s.

So I’m still catching up on our Road Trip posts. I only have a couple more. I was so busy over the weekend I really didn’t have time to come up with something more current. Here we are in the last week of May. Soon the wedding month will be here and this year we actually have a wedding to attend in June. We also are getting some visitors in June. This week we will make some decisions on our main floor bathroom. We were so gung ho to have it gutted by now but here we are dragging our feet. It’s hard to decide how much to let someone else do and charge you an arm and a leg for…

What’s happening this week in your world?

Biltmore House Azalea Garden

Biltmore 062These photos are from our time at the Biltmore Gardens on Saturday May 3rd.

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I want to finish up my posts from Katie and my cross country trip before June. I still have a few posts from the Biltmore House and Gardens. A few of these posts are visual with no need of commentary. Remember if you visit the Biltmore to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. There are lots of trails to explore.

It’s amazing to think of all the miles we logged and all the beautiful sights we were afforded on our cross country trip.

Today I’m home again home again jiggity jig. Dear and I got home at about 11:00 P.M. on Tuesday night. Dear was off to work on Wednesday at 5:00 AM and I had my annual doctor’s visit just after 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday.  On Thursday I will be mowing our overgrown lawn (mostly weeds). I’m pleased with the Spring growth that has bloomed while I was gone.  I’ll have to take some photos of some things that surprised and blessed me on my return. I’ll share my sweet memorial azaleas for my dear mom that bloomed so pink and pretty.

How are things in your corner of the world?

 

 

May Note Card Party!

Pop over to Vee’s at A Haven for Vee to join in on her May Note Card Party.

Thank you Vee!

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I guess you see where I was going with my May Note Cards. We are so thrilled for our Son-in-law Andrew’s homecoming from Afghanistan.

Collages9Late August 2013 they drove from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Seattle in their car packed with all they could carry. Katie moved in with us. Andrew flew back to Jacksonville. Andrew was deployed to Afghanistan in September. Katie sent packages, wrote letters, communicated via the internet. We all prayed. September, October, November, December, January, February, March went by and April came. Andrew’s time was extended in Afghanistan. We kept praying. We started making plans to get Katie and their car back to Jacksonville, North Carolina. I made a road trip map. Andrew got tentative word about his possible return dates. We packed the car. We set out on our SeaJack trip on Sunday April 27th. We arrived in Jacksonville on May 4th. We found an apartment. We carried their minimal possessions up 3 flights of stairs. We ordered a bed. We shopped at Wal-Mart and the Commissary and the Exchange. Katie made a Welcome Home sign. Everything was ready. I flew to Orlando to meet my Dear on Thursday May 15th. Andrew returned to Katie’s arms at 11:00 P.M. Saturday May 17th, Armed Forces Day. Happy Happy Joy Joy! We prayed again thanking God for His great gift to us!

I’ll be coming around to see your note cards soon. I’m flying this evening from Orlando to Seattle. Looking forward to being back in our home.

Road Trip Re-Cap

It’s time for ABC Wednesday and we are on the letter R.

Thank you to the ABC team!

I’ll share a few snapshots of my daughter and my road trip across the U.S.A. The reason for our road trip was to return her and her car to Jacksonville, North Carolina to be ready for her husband’s return from Afghanistan. The reunion will be rewarding for them. We left Seattle on April 27th and arrived at our final destination on May 4th.

In the meantime it’s interesting living in a Marine populated city with license plates from all over the U.S.A. I will leave Jacksonville on Thursday and re-unite with my Dear in Orlando, Florida for a conference he is attending and then finally be back home later in May.

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Day one on the road. We stopped in Spokane Valley for lunch with my son and his girl friend and then carried on.

P1050070Day one we drove across Washington and Idaho and into Montana!

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Day two started with snow in Bozeman, Montana. Retreating was not an option so we returned to the road hoping for good traction and no sliding on the road.

SeaJack #2 009Day two ended in Rapid City, South Dakota. We drove across Montana, down into Wyoming and across to South Dakota. Three states a day became our road trip theme. The other theme we did not want to repeat was snow but when we woke up in Rapid City to start our third day on the road snow was whipping side ways in some extreme wind conditions. Again retreat was not an option.

P1050082We learned to rely on Rest areas in many states across the U.S.A. They appeared just when we needed them most and they were all clean and well maintained. This is how the snow was sticking because of the severe winds in and around Rapid City.

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Many times along the roads that were unknown to us our minds recalled the reassuring verses in the New Testament from Matthew that read…

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

I also would sing in my head…His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

P1050086Day three ended in Nebraska which means we traveled across South Dakota, into Iowa, and finished in Nebraska.

P1050111Day four we left Nebraska, entered Iowa again, and headed to Kansas City Missouri to meet up with a bloggy friend for RIBS!

Collages7After a great lunch and meeting Pam face to face along with her daughter we continued on to our stop for the night which would be just outside St. Louis, Missouri in the state of Illinois.  Day four ended up being a four state day!

P1050182On Day five our goal was to reach Hendersonville, Tennessee. We traveled along some rock lined highways and other areas full of green trees from Illinois into Kentucky and then down to Tennessee.

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On day Six we would only travel in two states Tennessee and North Carolina. Our goal was to take a scenic road to Asheville, North Carolina nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a two day retreat and rest before we traveled the final five hours to Jacksonville, North Carolina (Camp Lejeune Marine Base).

SeaJack #6 010Our scenic route took us through some towns that surprised us with their weird attractions not so much rural charm.

SeaJack #6 019Finally after passing a few attractions like these in Pigeon Forge we entered some refreshing views like these.

SeaJack #6 027We were rewarded after our sixth day of travel with dinner at the Omni Grove in Asheville, North Carolina with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

SeaJack #6 126 If you’d like to see more photos from this grand Inn click here.

Biltmore 066Our seventh day was spent at the Biltmore Estate and Gardens. The azaleas at the Biltmore were in their glory. I will be posting more about our day at the Biltmore in the future.

P1050206On day eight of our travels we reached our final destination in Jacksonville, North Carolina, home of MCCS Camp Lejeune. We checked into our hotel and started the planning lists for securing an apartment asap and setting up a temporary home for Katie and Andrew upon Andrew’s return and homecoming from Afghanistan. I’m happy to report that I’m preparing this post from that apartment with wifi and all the bare essentials are in place for Katie and Andrew to live comfortably for the next few months. I might have even lost a pound or two carrying boxes up the three flights of stairs to their third floor apartment. (no elevators)

Road trip mission accomplished. Semper Fi!

Relief and Rejoicing upon Andrew’s Return soon to commence!

 

Colorful ~ A Photo Challenge

Biltmore 053The images I’ve chosen for the challenge are all from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. My daughter Katie and I visited the grounds on our recent SeaJack road trip from Seattle to Jacksonville the week of April 28th through May4th. We visited the Biltmore Estate on Saturday May 3rd. Soon I’ll share an entire post of our time on the grounds.

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Biltmore 066Donna’s challenge this month is Colorful. To see some colorful posts or join in the fun click on the image below.

4ff58-personalphotochallengebuttonThank you Donna for your challenges!

Today in Jacksonville, North Carolina Katie and I are chillin in the apartment and not venturing out at all. It’s good to have a do nothing day!

Looking Back ~ Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum

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On the 5th day of our roadtrip Thursday May 1st we doubled back to St. Louis to visit the Bellefontaine Cemetery. Bellefontaine is the 14th great rural cemetery built in the U.S.A. Before rural cemeteries the dead were buried in family plots or churchyards. The first internment took place in 1850.  Because of the Cholera outbreak in St. Louis in 1849 and a devastating fire that killed many, the city needed a large cemetery.

Like Calvary Cemetery there are a lot of people buried here that were influential in the history of the U.S. Before I share about the people I’m going to share the beautiful trees and flowers we enjoyed.

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Bellefontaine 007I’m a huge fan of dogwood and we were treated to many beautiful dogwood trees here. Katie and I left home just as my pink dogwood was starting to bloom.

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Bellefontaine 141I’ll be sharing much more from this great cemetery in the future.

Today in Jacksonville Katie and I shopped for all the staples for her kitchen, all the basics for cooking and baking. Katie is making dinner for us tonight. She has been registered on an e-meals sight for a while now and you choose the meals that sound good to you and a shopping list is generated. It has been a handy tool to get Katie more comfortable in the kitchen.

It’s so nice to be in a residence instead of a hotel. Having internet makes a big difference, too. No T.V. yet but we are surviving nicely. Katie and Andrew have some interesting neighbors. Apartment life is so unpredictable! At least you know you aren’t in one spot forever especially if you are in the military. Did you know that active military members that receive any new orders are free to break any lease without penalty? That’s a very good policy.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

The Here and Now!

Katie and I have been very busy in Jacksonville these last few days. We arrived here Sunday night and checked into our hotel and had dinner at O’Charley’s. On Monday we hit the ground running…

ApartmentFirst order of business was to find an apartment for Katie and Andrew. The second complex we visited had a one bedroom apartment available to rent on the 3rd floor with immediate occupancy subject to credit and background checks. Katie filled out all the forms and by 4:00 on Monday she had the keys to the new apartment.

Apartment1The one bedroom is 824 square feet and has nice high ceilings. It is 100 square feet larger than Dear and my condo that we had in California.

Apartment2There are some nice closets and the washer/dryer and all kitchen appliances are included.

Apartment3Of course upon close inspection we found some flaws but this is the nature of the beast with apartment living. One big thing is that the complex is pet friendly.

Apartment5Even though the apartment was supposedly cleaned and carpets washed after the last tenant left we still found an amazing amount of cat hair from just a once over in the living room with the vacuum. Disgusting! I’m thinking the apartment cleaners need to upgrade their vacuums!

On the bright side, the views from the windows are of a lovely green space between this apartment complex and the next one over.

Apartment4It was not easy for Katie and me to trudge up and down the 3 floors of stairs with the minimal belongings that they are setting up home with. We had to break down some of the boxes of kitchen items that Katie had packed so well and that were stored here in Jacksonville for the last eight and a half months because they were just too heavy for us to get up the stairs.

Tuesday was the big long move the boxes and possessions in day. We worked for many hours and shopped for some needed items in between. At 9:30 PM we finally made it back to the hotel pretty much in a delirious state of mind.

On Wednesday we checked out of our hotel and headed to the apartment for the mattress delivery. We vacuumed some more, washed floors and put away all the kitchen items. We also started loads of laundry. The mattress delivery was made and we made up the bed. Katie called the cable company to set up internet and minimum cable and the technician said he was working 2 days out but he’d put Katie on his ASAP list and if anything opened up he’d give us a call. Well…by 4:00 today the internet was hooked up. We headed out to Wal-Mart again and bought a wireless modem. Katie with some difficulty figured out how to hook everything up and we are now connected to the W.W.W.!

Apartment6Sunrise to Sunset has been the theme the last few days. Tomorrow we are taking it slower and returning some items we bought and doing our grocery shopping. We need all the staples (flour, sugar, spices, salt) and extras.

Let’s talk about my hair and humidity. My hair takes on a life of it’s own here in the southeast! It gets some added curl and twists and turns when I’m working hard in the humidity. I think the humidity tires me out faster, too.

Some of Andrew’s company that are good friends of him and Katie will be arriving home sooner than Andrew in the Advon party and we plan to put them to work bribing them with food and company. We need some strong young men to help us get a T.V. into the apartment.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a nice strong cup of french press coffee here at K & A’s apartment. What are you looking forward to?