Asheville Weekend

This past weekend we all made a trip to Asheville North Carolina to visit my brother, Shawn. He recently got engaged to his fiancée, Diedre; and, bought his first house in the suburbs of Asheville. He’s currently living alone. Being at his house was a strong reminder of what college life was like. While Shawn and I are very different in a lot of ways, we’re very similar in others. How we live while single is one of the things I think we have in common. I have no doubt my house would be identical if I were single. One of the many reasons I am very thankful for marriage!

We all had a busy week leading up to the trip, so we made most of our plans “on the fly”. We left the Nashville area on Friday morning around 9:00am. This has become our “default” travel time. It’s about the time Clara takes her first nap. If we’re lucky, we can get a couple hours down the road before needing a stop. This trip was no different.

My “new home” gift for Shawn was a Weber grill. I’ve had one for a few years now and absolutely love it. Charcoal grilling has been like a fun new hobby for me. When we arrived, one of the first things I noticed was the grill. It’s been used a few times, but still in mint condition. I’d gotten so used to mine—warn out and old—that I got excited at the idea of using a new grill. We decided to go out and get some salmon to grill (Grilled Salmon is a regular at our house!). We whipped up a fast, albeit healthy, dinner. We sat on whatever makeshift (college) furniture we could find and caught up.

The following morning, we headed straight to one of Shawn’s favorite restaurants, Another Broken Egg. They had a unique menu. I’m a fan of restaurants nowadays that try to add a twist to normal items. I got a spicy omelette (Hey Lucy! Omelette). The Restaurant is right next to REI. We made a quick stop in REI to look around. You can never go to REI enough, its probably a good thing I don’t live near one.

From REI, we made our first big trip of the day to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. Little did we know, there was a major festival happening here on this day—Hey Day! We struggled to get a parking spot, but it was completely worth it. We got to take the kids through the entire center absolutely free. I was impressed with the quality of exhibits they had. We saw Wolves, Bears, Deer, Cougars, Bobcats, and Otters to name a few. Here are a few pictures of that time.

After our visit, we headed back to the house for nap time. Alex and I really wanted to see a “Great Asheville View”. We decided to take a trip to the top of Mt. Pisgah. Unfortunately, the Fog was thick when we went.  We managed to get a few decent pictures even though the weather was less than ideal.

From here, we went straight to Tropical Gardens Putt-Putt Golf. For those who don’t know, Ian has become a bit of a prodigy at Putt-Putt. Ian, Shawn and I were all playing. Ian Tied Shawn in the back 9 and he was the only one of us to get 2 hole-in-ones (I got one, Shawn didn’t get any). They were legit, honest-to-goodness hole-in-ones. Unfortunately, none of us thought to take any pictures while we were there. But, it was one of the more enjoyable putt-putt courses I’ve ever played. Ian had a blast!

Later that night, my Sister Nikki and her daughter Shelby stopped by. They were travelling through from another trip, so they stopped by on their way home. We spent the rest of our time talking, eating and reading riddles.

Overall, this was a great trip. I’m excited for my brother and his upcoming marriage and his new house!

Wilson County Fair

This past weekend we had the opportunity to take Ian and Clara to the Wilson County Fair. The Fair is always a big topic of conversation in the Mt. Juliet area. Some have said it’s a bigger event than the Tennessee State Fair. It’s located just east of Lebanon which is about a 25-minute drive from our house. We decided to make the trip on a Saturday morning before the crowds got too busy. While we only stayed for a few hours, I think it’s safe to say the kids had a good time. Here are a few pictures and videos from our day.