We took a trip south for a brief respite from the cold. adding in a short visit with the in-laws and a stop in Asheville to see K’s new apartment and to meet the son of her steady girflfriend.
The in-laws, of course, complained about the cold as we stripped to T-shirts and sandals, as we enjoyed a few meals together and a visit to Hollywild Animal Park. Because it’s still winter, we had limited access to animals, but everyone seemed to enjoy feeding the hooved ones old bread. Thy had longhorn steers, a donkey-zebra mix breed, all sorts of cows and even a white buffalo.
Here’s most of us , Memaw, aunt, cousins by the handfuls. And the Cabana Boy, looking suave. (Special thanks to him for editing these photos so I can post them all. It’s been a nightmare. Thanks! )
After the animals, we had a picnic at Cleveland Park, which the folk said was family-friendly during the day, but at night was taken over by assorted people (and women) of the night. Nice to be sitting in the sun! That’s all I was worried about, for sure.
The high point of Cleveland Park is usually the train, but it was closed for the 50-degree winter. Ha!
Dr. Doo-Be-Do in particular, took charge of watching over his little cousins, and even flirting a little. He’s definitely girl-oriented. But they didn’t seem to mind.
The next day, K wangled us several surprises, including a free tour of the Biltmore house in Asheville. We had the audio extras–definitely worth it– and enjoyed the whole multi-floor building. I was grateful it wasn’t my house though. No wonder they needed a staff of thirty!
You couldn’t take pictures
inside, but outside it was gorgeous. No gardens yet, but I understand that in the next several months as the spring flowers, then the summer flowers come in, the gardens and greenhouses will be a thing of beauty indeed.
Our second surprise was a lunch at The Stable restaurant on the grounds. So named because it used to BE the Stable back in the day. Some of the ironwork of the individual stables is still there. The food was fabulous. The butternut squash soup was creamy and smooth, and permanently etched in my mind. The special of the day was a vegetable quiche, which the Cabana Boy ate, since he’s a Real Man.
K’s manager and all the staff were delightful to us, stopping by to tell us how proud they were of K (Us, too!) and to make sure we had just everything we needed. Thank you all for making our visit so extra special. AND for the creation of K and her friends shown here to the right– a sampling of the incredible desserts available at the Stable: lemon meringue pie, cherry cobbler, spice cake with homemade caramel ice cream, and best of all, a chocolate fudge pudding that was like PURE chocolate. And a special signature K described as “the kind of sweet tattoo I’d get on my shoulder.” Right on.